Progress in our Farm to School Garden

Update: Farm to School in Action! Fall 2011

Sunflowers: This fall, SN Program Manager Morgan Beryl and Francie Baskett of ISLE (Interest-based Student Learning & Enrichment) Program worked on a project with 6 Nantucket students who had, as second graders in 2010, planted sunflowers in the Farm to School garden.

As part of the project, the students drew pictures of sunflowers, complete with labels indicating each part of the sunflower; they wrote an illustrated book about sunflowers; and demonstrated what they had learned by naming the flowers’ parts as they harvested the seeds. The seeds were put into packets and will be given as gifts – a wonderful way to share the Farm to School experience with friends and family! View the photo album for this project on our Flickr page HERE.

Pumpkins: This fall, first grade ISLE (Interest-based Student Learning & Enrichment) students embarked on a pumpkin-themed project as part of our Farm to School Program. The students learned about the anatomy of a pumpkin, how to harvest seeds, and carved jack-o-lanterns for Halloween.

The harvested pumpkin seeds were saved in Ball jars adorned with student-made labels and recipes for roasting.

Many thanks to Frances Baskett of the ISLE Program, participating WPI students, F2S Coordinator Kathleen Minihan, & Program Manager Morgan Beryl for making this fun and informative project happen! View the photo album for this project on our Flickr page HERE.

Update: October 10th, 2011… Building Raised Beds

Students from the Boys & Girls Club help with the raised beds.

During the first week of October, Sustainable Nantucket started construction of the raised beds in the Farm-to-School Garden. Volunteer Mitch Blake lead the Youth Council, members of the Boys & Girls Club, and other generous volunteers, and together they leveled the land and transformed the space into the new home of three rows of raised beds, including a wheelchair accessible bed. The newly constructed raised beds were filled with loam and were unveiled at the Discover Your Garden event hosted by Sustainable Nantucket on Monday, October 10th. To view more photos click here.

Our First Season of Gleaning

This was the inaugural summer for the Sustainable Nantucket Gleaners, who have been very busy harvesting surplus produce from Moors End Farm and assisting NPS Food Services Director Linda Peterson in preparing the produce for use in NPS school lunches. Check out all the updates HERE.

Update: September 23, 2011…Lasagna in the Garden?

Students building layers of lasagna compost

On Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 the Youth Council and Farm to School volunteers got together for Student Harvest Week for some lasagna composting! The group met at the NES garden and worked for 2 hours laying down multiple levels of organic and soil materials. This “lasagna bed” of compost will “cook” over the winter to provide nutrient rich soil for the spring when it’s time to replant our seeds. Our “lasagna” layers included cardboard, lime, peat moss, chopped leaves, barn litter, coffee grounds, and compost. Many of these materials were donated by individuals and businesses including: The Bean, The Pearl, Jesse Dutra Landscaping, Suzanne Gardener, and Bartlett’s Farm among others. Many thanks to our donors!

Wednesday’s participants included: Morgan Beryl, SN Program Manager; Beth Davies, SN Board Member; Sophie Davies and Sean Allen, Youth Council Members; and Denise, Phil & Conor Allen; John Benjamin and Nora Harrington.

Update: September 4th – Dads & Kids – Sowing Seeds for a Sustainable Future

Sowing seeds - Dads & Kids

On September 4th Sustainable Nantucket and the Community Network for Children welcomed dads and kids ages 2 1/2 years and up to spend an afternoon with us in the Farm to School Garden. We cleared out the garden for Fall crops and prepared the soil for the 2012 growing season. This was a great opportunity for the little ones to get their hands in the soil, and an exercise in building good foundations for future gardeners. We think the dads enjoyed themselves too! We hope this will be the first of many activities involving pre-schoolers in the Farm to School Garden.

Update Spring 2011

Students in the Garden, Spring 2011

Student members of the SN Youth Council, Sustainable Nantucket staff and SN volunteers are hard at work preparing for the installation and first growing season of the Farm to School Garden at Nantucket Public Schools. Donations we have received thus far have made this project possible, however more funding is needed to see it to completion. For information on how your contribution can help our garden grow, click here.

For a list of the businesses and individuals who have contributed to this project, click here.

The Garden So Far…

May 21 & 22: The SN Youth Council, SN staff, and a group of volunteers from the community gathered at the site of the Farm to School Garden to assist with the construction of the greenhouse, shed and fencing.

Construction of the Greenhouse, Shed & Fence. Spring 2011

May 4, 2011: We have a final design for the garden layout! (see below). The design is a combination of ideas from our Youth Council and their Garden Mentors. Click here to see the designs our student members submitted.

The NHS shop class students, with teacher Chuck Colley, participated in the design of the Garden tool shed, which will be constructed in mid-May along with the greenhouse and fencing.

The NPS Food Services Department will be working with SN, the Youth Council, and after school garden clubs to decide whichvegetables and herbs are the most beneficial to plant for use in the school system.

Some of the food grown in the garden will be preserved by Food Services, students and community volunteers. Program Manager Morgan Beryl is optimistic that the garden will eventually produce enough food to share with local seniors groups, food pantries, and to sell at the Farmers & Artisans Market.

We will continue to post our progress here as the season continues!

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