School Garden Open House 2011

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Hello Educators and Gardeners,

As we happily watch our fledgling gardens bask in the sunshine after the never-ending spring rains, the Maine School Garden Network (MSGN) is already thinking ahead to fall and the harvest.

MSGN invites you to join in our first annual School Garden Open House to be held this fall on Saturday, October 1, 2011. We encourage those of you with educational gardens to participate in this event, which will provide the opportunity to promote your garden project, involve your students in a community activity, possibly generate new volunteers and funds, and help us to create statewide publicity and support for the rapidly growing school gardening movement in Maine.

MSGN will sponsor this event by publicizing it statewide through television and print media, in much the same way that the Dept. of Agriculture sponsors Open Farm Day in July. MSGN will provide participating schools/organizations with promotional materials, suggested activities, and resources for planning your event.

Your school/organization, if you decide to participate, is free to structure your Open House on Oct. 1st in a way that works best for your time and resources. We only ask that you keep the focus of the day on the garden and students, and that admission be free and open to the public. Activities might include anything from student-led garden tours and garden-focused games to displays of garden-inspired art and cooking demonstrations by local chefs.

October 1st falls at the end of Maine Harvest Lunch week this year, and holding an Open House might be the ideal way to highlight the connections between school gardens, local farms, healthy meals and your agricultural curriculum.

So, we think this could be an exciting and rewarding addition to your educational gardening season. Please let us know if you plan to participate by emailing us at (by July 1st if possible), with the name of your school and a contact person. Also, please include any ideas for ways that the MSGN could help in your planning, such as more activity suggestions, educational materials or lists of speakers on various topics.

Watch for more information on our website, We will also contact you with updates if you respond that you might like to participate.

Have a great summer and enjoy your gardens!

Kat Coriell and Betsy Miller Minott
MSGN School Garden Open House Committee

PS: We hope you already know about our Youth Art Contest and Art Show going on right now. Deadline for submitting artwork is July 16th. Please check our website for details!

And, if your young gardeners are growing beans for drying this summer, consider joining in the fun at the BeanFest which will be held at Medomak Valley High School on October 15th. Check out the calendar on our website for info.