Gardens in the Works for Ellsworth Schools



ELLSWORTH — Pencils. Check. Backpack. Check. Trowel. Huh?

Gardening may soon become part of the curriculum at Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School and Ellsworth High School.

Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School students in the ASPIRE program pose with the garden sign they helped install. — JULIANNE KEARNEY
Ellsworth Elementary-Middle School students in the ASPIRE program pose with the garden sign they helped install. — JULIANNE KEARNEY

“We know that if kids grow the food, they are more likely to eat the food,” explained Regional School Unit 24 School Health Coordinator Kelly McKenney.

She said that about five years ago, Ellsworth school officials became involved with the Farm to School program, which connects schools with local farms to promote healthier eating. Unfortunately, buying local foods cost about twice as much.

That disappointment sparked the idea of creating school gardens. Recently staff from the elementary-middle school and high school attended a School Garden 101 workshop hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to learn more.

Staff, students, parents and community members have formed a committee to further the project.

School Garden Wish List:

  • Compost/soil
  • Garden bricks for ground beds
  • Lumber for six 4-by-8-foot raised beds
  • Tools – hoes, spade shovels, pitchforks, hand tools, etc.
  • Bales of straw
  • Fencing
  • Garden hose, sprayer and caddy
  • Gardening gloves and knee pads
  • Seedling starter flats
  • Vegetable and herb seeds
  • Wheel barrow
  • Drip irrigation tubing
  • Loam
  • Composted manure
  • Seedling starter flats
  • Shed

Small garden tools can be dropped off in boxes outside the EHS or EEMS offices. To donate larger items, contact Kelly McKenney at 667-4722, ext. 5526 or [email protected].

 

For more education news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

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