November 2013 Newsletter

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Upcoming Events

Youth Garden Grantapplication due - December 6
 
Maine Ag Trades Show - January 7-9

Networking Opportunities

Do you have experience with beekeeping at your school garden?  Is this something you would be interested in adding to your garden?  A Maine-based bee supply company is interested in connecting with local schools and we'd like to know more about the best way to integrate this opportunity into the garden and school curriculum.  Share your experience or interest with our coordinator,ryan.fahey@maine.gov

Resources

Check out the new Food Safetyresource section of our website.

Learn about which crops winter garden guru Eliot Coleman recommends planting.

Find Us On Facebook

We are now on Facebook - Like us to stay up to date with featured gardens, useful articles and the opportunity to share your ideas!

Crop of the Month - Spinach

Spinach is a cold hardy crop that can be enjoyed through the winter when grown under plastic or in cold frames.  Thinking ahead to spring, the seeds can also be frost seeded for an early crop when temperatures warm.  It's a good idea to prepare the garden bed for such an early crop in the fall.  Successive plantings will ensure a constant supply for the salad bar.  Students will surely want to Popeye's favorite food a try!

Skillin's Greenhouses provides helpful tips on growing and harvesting spinach.  Teach ME Food & Farms offers an ELA lessons for K-2 students featuring spinach. 

Visit - Roberts Farm Land Preserve

RobertsFarmPreserveThe MSGN annual meeting was recently held at Roberts Farm Land Preserve in Norway.  The 3 acre farm features several greenhouses and a classroom, providing nutritional and agricultural education to the Oxford Hills School district.  Student interns maintain the garden and help with summer programming through a Youth Employment Program. 

Food Corp service member Kyle Plummer took us on a tour of the pictured greenhouse, explaining that students will be performing experiments here to measure the effects of different light intensities on plant growth.  An inexpensive and simple computer module is being developed with volunteer help that will help regulate greenhouse conditions and measure experimental data. 

How are you utilizing your greenhouse this winter?  Send us your story, ryan.fahey@maine.gov.

Grant Opportunity

Sow It Forward: Maine-based Funding Source for Food Garden Projects on Track to Double in 2014
 

The Maine nonprofit Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) is pleased to announce that it is once again accepting applications for its Sow It Forward garden grants program. Sow it Forward offers $300-$500 grants of cash, seeds, supplies, educational materials and online garden planning software to groups wishing to start a new food garden project or sustain an existing one. Last year's grantees included schools, food banks, community gardens, libraries, colleges, senior groups, tribal organizations, prisons and other nonprofit causes interested in the health and sustainability of their local communities. 

The program is expanding this year and will be offering twice as many grants as last year. All applicant groups will be given web pages for their projects which they can use for their own communication purposes. Applications are due by 5 January 2014and must be submitted via KGI's online application form located here: SowItForward.org. Although there is no paper version of the application, there is a prep form that can be downloaded and printed (Word, PDF) to familiarize applicants with the questions and application procedure. There are no geographic restrictions as to which groups can apply. 

About KGI:  

Kitchen Gardeners International is a 501c3 nonprofit founded in Scarborough in 2003. Its membership includes over 32,000 people from 120 countries who are growing their own food and helping others to do the same. It is best known for having led the successful online campaign urging the Obamas to replant a kitchen garden at The White House.