Eddy School Garden

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Eddy School Garden
157 Boothbay Road

Edgecomb, Maine 04556.

 

Category
School Vegetable Garden, Farm to Cafeteria, Nutrition Education/Cooking with Students, Nature Education, School Composting
When was your garden project started?
2008
What type of facility hosts your garden?
Public School, Elementary School
What does your garden project include?
Vegetables, Composting Bin, Composting School Waste, Hoop House, Our Garden Produce Used in Cafeteria, Cooking or Taste Testing in Classroom, Nature Study
Who volunteers in your garden?
Teachers, School Staff, Students outside of school day
How is your garden project funded?
Donations, Sale of Seeds, Plants, Vegetable
What community connections do you have?
Local Farmers, Other Local Businesses
Who tends the garden when school's out?
Volunteer students/families, Me!
What are your future goals?
Near term: This Fall we plan on expanding the garden to include a new composting area, and raised beds to grow more Garlic. Our plan is to grow Garlic to help sustain the garden.Long term:Raising money to continue working with FARMS to provide a program for K-6 students.Building and outdoor covered classroom/storage shed to provide an enhanced hands-on garden enviorment.Bringing water to the garden.Procuring funds to build an ADA path and ADA raised bed to and in the garden.Constructing a gravel driveway and parking area near the garden.Building a raised herb garden near the cafeteria for fresh cooking herbs.Planning a multi-generational community garden at the school.Fundraising events:planning monthly dinners using local chef's and local garden produce.Selling Garlic products raised in the school garden.Continuing our annual May plant sale.Networking with other school gardens to share resources.Communicating with local media using press releases and photo's of our progress.
What is your most significant need?
As with most public school gardens on a tight budget (or as in our case, no school budget at all and no active PTC), funding our projects is second behind encouraging volunteers and community members to take ownership of this valuable educational resource.Therefore, our immediate needs include:VolunteersFunding/donationsStrawGarden soilLumber for a new raised bed for Garlic production.
Any other comments?
History of the Eddy School Garden:As an Edgecomb resident, in 2006 I had volunteered and started a hands-on local history, after-school program at the Eddy School while my son attended ( I had parent volunteers). This program introduced interested students to the history of their town and provided many field trips to various historic sites in Edgecomb, introducing children to what's in their own back yard. We called this program "Edgecomb Explorers".The after school "Explorers" program ended when volunteer parents children went off to middle school in 2008Being invested in this school and the students there (even though my son had moved on to middle school), I saw the need to continue an after-school program. I started the school garden as a graduate of the Knox-Lincoln County Extensions Master Garden Volunteer program. This program requires 40 hours of volunteer time a year to keep in the graces of being a MGV. I could have easily joined other MGV’s volunteering at a slew of K/L County Extension approved non-profits, but I wanted to work with my own community. Growing up in NY state with parents who owned a nursery, gardening was a way of life for me, at the time I had extensive vegetable and flower gardens at my home. After convincing the Edgecomb school board how a school garden would enhance the educational opportunities of students and provide an after school program. I rototilled a 20' X 20' garden plot and quickly signed up 12 students and two parent volunteers. I personally funded the garden program until establishing the annual May plant sale (dividing perennials in my own garden as well as donations from community members).The program a 2 1//2 hour after school program for grades 1-6 and was very popular. Each year I provided a different garden theme (Science in the Garden, Art in the Garden, History in the Garden) and the garden was a mecca for learning. I had to turn away students because of regulation adult/student ratio's. I ran it throughout the school year, one day a week (Thursday's) for three years with an average attendance of 12 students. The program also offered healthy snacks which included foods that students had never tried and I sent home a newsletter every week. It was a lot of work but very rewarding.After living in Edgecomb 27 years, I moved to Brunswick with my family. I was then contacted by Karen Kleinkopf from FARMS who asked if I would come back to the Edgecomb School as volunteer garden coordinator, and start a FARMS program with her for 2nd graders. We ran the program with Mrs. Garey’s class during the 2012-2013 school year, anticipating continuing the program this year. Unfortunately the program at the Eddy School was canceled due to a lack of funds.I contacted Dawn Garey (the 2nd grade teacher), whom I’ve known for 20 years, and we have re-newed a garden program for her students this school year starting on Sept. 18th!We are excited to be included in the Maine School Garden Open House and are currently organizing our participation in this event! We look forward to celebrating and highlighting our school garden and as well as our success with volunteers, teachers, students and the community!

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