October 2017 Newsletter


Join us! Annual Meeting Nov 9th
SGG Celebrating with pie?
School Garden of the Month:
 ** Islesboro Central School **
October is Farm to School Month
All that squash!
October Garden Tips

Upcoming events & opportunities

Join us!


The Maine School Garden Network invites you to the 2017 Annual Meeting where you will:

  • Tour exemplary school garden programs
  • Learn about current programs and offerings from MSGN
  • Network with fellow school garden coaches and supporting organizations
  • Discover and discuss opportunities for continued support for Maine school gardens

Here is the agenda:

5:00 pm: Welcome
5:15 pm: Tour of Messalonskee High School & Middle School Garden Programs
6:00 pm: POTLUCK Dinner
6:30 pm: Mini Sessions from supporting organizations (FoodCorps, Maine Agriculture in the Classroom, ReTreeUS)
6:45 pm: MSGN Current Programs & Offerings
7:00 pm: Business Meeting
8:00 pm Adjourn

Please RSVP here by November 3rd and learn more about this event at Eventbrite and stay tuned for updates on our Facebook event page. We look forward to seeing you there!

Celebrating with Pie!

We are overwhelmed by the success and growth of our School Garden Grown Program for the 2017 Agricultural Fair season. Congratulations to all the schools who participated this year, we have proven that School Garden Grown produce takes the cake! But don't take my word for it... let the numbers speak for themselves.
Last month at Common Ground Fair, 115 School Garden Grown produce entries were displayed from 7 different schools. We are so proud to announce that more than 84% received ribbons with 50% of the entries earning blue ribbons. Congratulations to School Garden Grown, that's a BIG piece of the pie!  


Congratulations to: 

  • Troy Howard Middle School
  • Ellsworth Elementary Middle School 
  • Albert S. Hall school
  • Ridge View Community School
  • RSU 22
  • MSGN's Kat Coriell for setting up our Exhibit Hall Booth which received the award for "Most Educational Display"!

View the Album of our Common Ground Fair experience along with many of the exhibit hall entries in our album. Sign up to receive more information on opportunities to exhibit your School Garden Grown in the 2018 Agricultural Fair season here!

Opportunities to Connect

How are you celebrating?
Get inspired and share your experiences with schools across the country!

Take the pledge HERE
Check out the Calendar of Events
Download materials and resources to engage students
Share your experience! Send pictures and stories to the Maine Farm to School Network. Send to Renee Page at

School Garden of the Month -
Islesboro Central School

Islesboro, Maine

Truly an inspiration! The 95 students on the island at Islesboro Central School are improving the lives of island residents by solving the traditional issues of island food insecurity.

Recently recognized by the Portland Press Herald and Mary Quinn’s new bookUnique Maine Farms;” the Islesboro Central School Horticulture program is a statewide leader in agricultural education - providing a unique curricular experience on the school’s diversified organic farm. A CTE-based satellite program of Midcoast School of Technology in Rockland, the program has a 20+ year history of exceptional food and agricultural education grades K-12.

First-year students work towards their Master Gardener Certification (offered through the Waldo County Cooperative Extension) through a series of plant, crop, and soil science modules. These students run our greenhouses, prune our apple trees, preserve food, tap maple trees, run our school farm stand, and so much more. Upperclassmen who return to the program find themselves at the forefront of our school’s wide-reaching sustainability effort, spearheading self-designed projects that expand our communities capacity to live sustainably; building aquaponics systems, writing grants, developing farm infrastructure, and educating the community.

 “In terms of our school sustainability program, everything starts with horticulture and emanates out from there,” said Ryan Martin, the school’s horticulture teacher. Ryan shared his experience at Common Ground Fair during a talk titled "An effective model for instruction in agricultural education?" in case you missed it, HERE is the presentation. Enjoy!

Would you like MSGN to feature your school's story? Please email us and let us know that you would like to be one of our School Gardens of the Month! All featured schools receive School Garden Pails with seeds and materials from Johnny's Selected Seeds.


So much SQUASH!

This time of year, the squash is plentiful and perhaps overwhelming! So how do you preserve all those different types of cucurbit cousins? Did you know that each type of squash cures and stores a bit differently? Here are some tips from our sponsor, Johnny's Selected Seeds, on how to make the most of this harvest season and avoid "squashing" the opportunity to enjoy it all. 
Don't miss this upcoming event!

School Garden Intensive - COMING SOON!
A school garden intensive for teachers and school garden educators. Participants will receive garden lessons, Wild Blueberry Curricula, Agriculture for ME Resources and more! October 14, 2017 9:00 - 4:00 at Sebago Elementary School (283 Sebago Rd, Sebago, ME 04029 for GPS). Participants will receive 7 contact hours or .7 CEU's from the University of Maine. Register online using Eventbrite. Or you can register by mail via the registration here.

October Garden Tips: 

  • Use cold frames or hoops and plastic to protect crops from frost.
  • Harvest fall crops such as pumpkins, winter squash, kale, Swiss chard, carrots, Brussels sprouts, beets, lettuce and spinach. 
  • Plant garlic, spring flower bulbs, and new perennials.
  • Plant hardy vegetables around the middle of the month in your greenhouse.
  • Divide perennial flowers, but first check whether the plant is best suited to fall or spring division.
  • Mulch new perennials, bulbs, and divided plants.
  • Clean-up garden beds, composting non diseased plant material. Dispose  diseased plant material.
  • If you have a compost bin system, turn the compost from one bin into another.
  • Cover raised beds with straw or rinsed seaweed unless a cover crop or winter crop has been planted.
  • Plan a cooking project using pumpkins, carrots, or squash. These vegetables are tasty in muffins and soups.
  • Conduct a pumpkin weighing contest with your class or whole school. The winner gets the pumpkin!
  • Save the date for the Maine School Garden Network's Annual Meeting Nov 9th.

Check out our SCHOOL GARDEN CALENDAR to learn more about what this month looks like in the garden! For more information, try out these awesome resources: MOFGA's Planting Calendar, Fedco's Veggie Chart, and Johnny's Planting Calculator and Succession Planting Template.
Join our Team!

The Maine School Garden Network is seeking enthusiastic new Board Members!
Are you motivated to support the development of school gardens across Maine? Do you have valuable experiences and connections that can serve our mission?
Let us know! Email us to learn more about this opportunity!

Prime Peeping!
How lucky are we to live in this beautiful State of Maine!? At the end of another gardening season, Mother Nature reminds us that there is beauty here in the changing of the seasons. Don't miss your chance at prime leaf peeping in all areas of the State with help from Maine Fall Foliage Facebook page maintained by Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry.
We Want to "Like" You
Do you have a Facebook Page to represent your School Garden? If so, let us know!! We want to "like" and "share" all your inspiring stories, news, and events. We have connected with several school garden pages and love helping to spread the word about the great work being done in school gardens via social media.
Don't have a page? Here are some of the perks we have heard from garden programs who use social media:
  • Useful tool for documentation/timeline of garden work and events
  • Promotes awareness of garden program
  • Helpful for recruiting help and resources
  • Multi-purpose resource that saves time and is FREE
Let us know about your page and feel free to connect and "Like" us too! Visit us here.



Do you have a new project you'd like to promote in your school garden? Are there things you'd like for us to share with you? Let us know!


Oct 14th: School Garden Intensive (Sebago)
Nov 2nd: MAITC Annual Meeting (Augusta)
Nov 9th: MSGN Annual Meeting (Oakland)
Feb 9th, 2018: Maine Farm to Institute Summit (Belfast)
March 25th, 2018: Maine Flower Show (Portland)
View MOFGA's events calendar here.


NEW! Natural Resources Council of Maine - Nov 30th - $500 grants to middle school (6th, 7th, or 8th grades) teachers and clubs in Maine
The Flannel Shirt Fund – June 1, October 1, February 1 ($400 to $1200)
RetreeUS – orchards for schools, ongoing

Save the Soil Challenge - STEM Challenge for grades 5 - 8, discover topsoil importance and convservation and win cool prizes! Due Nov 1st
NEW! Youth Garden Grant - Due Dec 8th - 25 programs awarded $1000
NEW! FY18 Farm to School Grant - Due Dec 8th - USDA
Digital Wish Grants – 15th of every month, submit a lesson plan to win
Fruit Tree 101 – orchards for schools, ongoing
Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools – get a salad bar for your school, ongoing
Whole Kids Foundation Grants - School Garden grant, Extended Learning grant, Honey Bee grants and more!

For more grant opportunities, visit

A HUGE thank you to our SPONSORS!

Copyright © 2017 Maine School Garden Network, All rights reserved.

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