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School Garden Update from Island Institute Fellow Ellie Mason
School Garden Update from Island Institute Fellow Ellie Mason
Mike Felton
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Things are growing in the school garden!  This month the school garden beds got a spring cleaning with a new layer of compost, some repairs to old and broken bed siding, and a deep weeding.  With help from Ryan LeShane at Blueberry Cove, all the beds have been repaired and readied for this season.  Along the way, bunches of chives and young garlic seem to have weathered out the cold winter and are thriving this spring.  I also pulled out the very long, dried stems to some sunflowers from seasons past.

In recent weeks, carrots, nasturtiums, dill, bee balm, kale, lettuce and more have been directly seeded into the garden with the goal to add zucchini and sunflowers, cucumbers and peppers!  Tomato plants have also just been transplanted!  

We have just acquired some giant pumpkin plants from the Damariscotta Pumpkin Festival Committee and have planted one in our garden, one at the Jackson Memorial Library and one at Blueberry Cove Camp. We hope teachers can use the pumpkins in various ways. Vines are said to grow up to a foot a day and the pumpkins can put on as much as 20 lbs a day as well, so data can be measured and calculated. The pumpkins have also been used for artistic projects, boats and other creative endeavors!  Many thanks to Leslie Ferguson who has spearheaded this project and brings years of experience to our school gardens.

Produce harvested during the summer months will go directly to the Community Cupboard and what’s harvested when school returns will be shared with the St. George School cafeteria and any teachers wishing to lead outdoor lessons in the school garden.  

Lastly, we are in need of labelled signs for the new plants!  We welcome painted popsicle sticks, stones, and other creative art that depicts fruits, vegetables or herbs.  Or feel free to just make any garden-themed art!  We just ask that whatever you make has the ability to withstand a variety of weather (including rain).  There are also pre-made, clay garden signs to decorate that can be picked up from outside the Jackson Memorial Library, behind the tool shed near the community garden.  All finished garden signs should be dropped off in the basket by the bench on the library porch.  

Many thanks to all those who have helped start the gardens this spring!  

If you have any questions please reach out to Ellie Mason (e.mason@stgeorgemsu.org).