August 2018 Newsletter

Summer Success Garden Tour
School Garden of the Month:
 ** Harpswell Coastal Academy **

School Garden Grown
Meet the MSGN Board

August Garden Tips
Find MSGN at Common Ground
Save the Date for MSGN's Annual Meeting

Registration Open!


Ahhh the sweet smell of SUCCESS!

Join us September 15-16 for Maine School Garden Network's first ever Summer Success Garden Tour!

Ever wonder what visiting other school gardens in Maine would be like? Now you can find out! Meet garden educators and experience their programs first hand. Network with other garden goers, participate in a showcase of MSGN's program offerings and learn about ways to enhance the success of your summer garden program.

We'll kick off this two-day tour at Wolfe's Neck Center in Freeport on Saturday morning (9/15). From there, the road will take us to educational gardens in Durham, New Gloucester, Widham, Westbrook, and Portland. We'll travel back to Wolfe's Neck Center for dinner and overnight accommodations. Sunday morning (9/16) will kick off with a hearty breakfast and a hay-ride tour of Wolfe's Neck, then we'll drive up to our final stop in Bath. 

 Meals, lodging, and travel between garden sites is included. Participants will earn 13 contact hours or 1.3 CEUs. Registration for this event is $100 until 9/1. Thanks to our generous sponsors, we do have some scholarships available! Visit this link to register and email us for scholarship info.


Space is limited. Early bird registration is just $100 ($125 after 9/1).  Don't let price deter you--scholarships are available!

School Garden Grown
Fair season is upon us and we are ramping up to display School Garden Grown produce in exhibit halls across the state this year! MSGN would love to see ALL school gardens use this opportunity to promote awareness of their great work and show off their School Garden Grown bounty! We know how hard garden educators and volunteers work and the fruits (and veggies!) of your labor is valuable. Though everyone is a winner when we work together to promote educational gardens throughout Maine, entering produce into fair exhibit halls could lead to you winning prize money for your efforts!

MSGN invites you to promote your school garden and show off your harvest! Here's how:
1) Let us know
Email us so we know you're planning on entering 
2) Learn the details - Find your local fair dates and detailed entry information in fair books 
3) Determine your entries - What fruits or veggies would you like to exhibit? What are the entry requirements for your fair(s)?
4) Plan the logistics - Who will harvest your produce? Who will be available to drop your entries off at the fair(s) in the detailed timeframe? 
5) Stay in touch - Let us know if you've entered and if you receive any ribbons! And of course, reach out with any questions. 

Got questions? Email us at

School Garden of the Month -
Harpswell Coastal Academy

Harpswell, Maine

Harpswell Coastal Academy is a project-based public school in rural Maine, with the mission to connect kids with careers in a changing economy.

One of the successful components of HCA is their Farm Program, which is coordinated by special education teacher Abby Baker. The farm is a student-led project that incorporates the school’s student-as-worker program. At HCA, it is believed that regular work experiences are a vital element in teaching students the habits needed to thrive in both educational and non-educational settings.

The 20 students who are in the farm program are building the farm from the ground up! They have planned and built a shed, a hoop house, a 3-bin compost system, a chicken pen, and raised beds. The garden is intended to help feed a school of 90, where there is a student-as-worker kitchen program. These non-traditional work experiences at HCA foster an understanding of what it means to be part of a community and build a feeling of ownership and responsibility in HCA’s students.

For more information about Harpswell Coastal Academy’s Farm Program, visit coverage on this innovative program from NPR's Marketplace!



Thank you to Johnny's Selected Seeds for their continued support for our School Garden of the Month locations!
Please email us and let us know if you would like to be one of our School Gardens of the Month.

Pleased to Meet You!

Ever wondered who is behind the scenes of the Maine School Garden Network?
2018 is the year to meet the group of volunteers and staff who make it all happen! Each month we will introduce you to someone new.


 Viña Lindley, MSGN Board Member

A transplant to Maine, Viña Lindley grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. As a kid, she wanted nothing to do with vegetables and her favorite fruit came in the form of strawberry and grape flavored skittles.

Viña's undying love of vegetables came later in life when she discovered how good food could be when you grow and harvest it yourself. She wishes that as a child her school had had a garden, not only because it might have improved her diet but also her grades. Like so many other young people, Viña struggled as a child sitting still in a classroom but has always loved to learn and has seen first hand the positive outcome hands-on learning can have for students who learn with their hands.

Despite early struggles as a student, Viña made her way through an undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts and then a MS from Antioch New England in Environmental Education. Currently Viña works for University of Maine, Cooperative Extension as a Food Systems professional. For three years she managed the FoodCorps program in Maine and now remains a close partner. Viña is a strong believer in the power of outdoor education and is so humbled by all the great work happening in schools across the state that are using gardens and outdoor classrooms to connect students to standards-based lessons that they can use for life.

Viña has served on the Maine School Garden Network for several years, including as the organization's chairperson. She is an incredible asset to the school garden and farm to school effort in the Northeast, and we are so fortunate to have Viña on our team! 

To learn more about programs and resources available through University of Maine Cooperative Extension, visit their website.  


We look forward to introducing you to a new MSGN board member each month here in the newsletter and hope to shake hands at future events and workshops!

If you are interested in becoming a board member or discovering volunteer opportunities with MSGN please send us an email.

Find MSGN at the Common Ground Country Fair! 

MSGN is thrilled to be heading to Unity again this year for MOFGA's Common Ground Country Fair! Throughout the Fair weekend, we'll be at our table in the Young Maine tent and will be sharing our display in the Exhibition Hall (and highlighting School Garden Grown entries!). MSGN is also sponsoring five different speakers to share about their experiences as garden educators in Maine. Visit our facebook page in the next couple of weeks to check in about when to catch those school garden enthusiasts!

School Groups are welcome at the Fair and enjoy free admission on Friday, September 21. Travel stipends are available to help get more students to the Fair. Check it out!

For more information about this event, visit MOFGA's website. See you at the Fair! 

MSGN Annual Meeting

We're thrilled to announce some preliminary information about this year's Annual Meeting. MSGN is in the 10th consecutive year of connecting and serving school gardens in the state, and we're celebrating in style. Our friends at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are hosting our event on Friday, October 26th from 3-7pm.

Mark your calendar now--more details to come!

August Garden Ideas:

Plan a School Garden Open House for late September:
 - Open your garden to the public
 - Feature student-led tours
 - Consider having music, a raffle, or educational activities
 - Take photos to share with students and staff
 - Recruit garden volunteers for the year
 - Ask a local newspaper to write an article to promote your Open House and garden programs!

Plan to participate in Maine Harvest Lunch Week in September.

Weigh harvested produce and keep records. Share results with your principal, Food Service Director, and School Board at the end of the season.

Donate the food! Send it home with families in need, volunteers who help in the garden, or donate to a local food pantry. (Find food pantries accepting garden produce at

Plan a field trip to an agricultural fair and enter your vegetables in the exhibition (and let us know if you enter your School Garden Grown produce!(. Travel stipends are often available for this purpose.

 Check out our MONTHLY SCHOOL GARDEN CHECKLIST 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.


School Garden Grown Opportunities Statewide! Coming to a Fair near you, email us.

September 15-16: Summer Garden Success Tour (register here!)

September 21-23: Common Ground County Fair


The Flannel Shirt Fund – June 1, October 1, February 1 ($400 to $1200)
RetreeUS – orchards for schools, ongoing
New England Grassroots Environment Fund –Seed grants ($250-$1000): ongoing, “Grow” Grants ($1000-$3000): September 15

Seattle Seed Company Organic Seed Fundraiser

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 © 2018 MSGN, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333

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Maine School Garden Network · 28 State House Station · Augusta, ME 04330 · USA

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