Newsletter: November 2020
Upcoming Network Meeting 12/1
 Monthly Gardening Ideas
School Garden Resource Highlights
Three Ways to Support MSGN
Upcoming Events

Harvest of the Month
Funding Opportunities 
MSGN is grateful for the work of each and every educational garden champion. In such a trying year, school gardens have served a greater purpose. Leading the way for more outside instruction, ensuring communities have access to fresh food, and engaging youth safely have been just a few ways school garden leaders have shown up in 2020. MSGN extends a hartfelt appreciation to our beloved school gardeners and all your efforts throughout the year.

Upcoming Network Meeting 12/1

Join MSGN to learn about funding opportunities for school gardens in Maine and get input
from the network for securing program resources. This event is free but registration is required.
For more details and to secure your spot, visit


  • Care for any plants still growing.
    • Water and tend to veggies growing in your hoop house or greenhouse. 
    • Cover those plants at night with row covers or remay when temperatures are around or below freezing. 
    • Protect young fruit trees by wrapping them with hardware cloth. 
  • Conduct a final check to be sure all end-of-season garden tasks are completed.
  • Arrange to have someone clear snow from paths to a greenhouse, cold frames, compost bins, or any other areas that require access over the winter.
  • Consider trying vermiculture (worm composting) with your students. 
  • Evaluate your tools. Take time to clean and sharpen them. Are there any new tools you may need for the next growing season? Start dreaming! 
  • Reflect on the closing growing season. Take year-end notes on the garden. What went well? What should be different next year? (Do you want to stick what that heat resistant lettuce variety? Did you plant your broccoli too close together? Was there a lesson that went particularly well?) Write it down before you forget!
  • Start planning for the year ahead! How will you rotate your crops? Are there any supplies that would help (and cost money)? Have these conversations now so you'll be ready to grow in the spring! 
  • Submit a grant application to Maine Ag in the Classroom by 12/14. 
    • Solicit feedback on your proposal during and after the Network Meeting 12/1!
    • Complete this survey from MOFGA:  Educational Events for Gardeners & Homesteaders
  • Research season extension techniques that you can implement next year. Brainstorm with the garden team about projects for the next gardening season. For season extension ideas:
    • MSGN's website
    • UMaine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #2752
    • UMaine Cooperative Extension Bulletin #1022
  • Read through MSGN's School Garden Coach Manual and identify areas of growth for your garden!
Check out our MONTHLY SCHOOL GARDEN CHECKLIST to learn more about what this month looks like in the garden! For even 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 Resource Highlights

In advancing MSGN’s mission to promote and support educational gardens for youth, it’s imperative we provide resources that assist garden educators in creating and fostering inclusive spaces where all students feel welcome and engaged. Follow this link to our Racial Justice & School Gardens Resources from MSGN document. A FEW highlights for the most recent additions: 
  • Prescott College's Food Systems Friday webinar series is ongoing. Most recent episodes include topics, "The Role of Weight and Race Bias in Health Outcomes," "Growing Food and the Power of Community," and "Addressing Poverty and the Designed Systemic Neglect of Agricultural Workers."
  • The MFSN website has a new resource page for Advancing Racial Equity and Addressing Racism in Farm to School, as well as Teaching and Learning About Indigenous Indigenous Peoples in Farm to School. Be sure to explore the Abbe Museum's Teaching Native American History in Schools: Tips for Teaching About the Wabanaki. 
  •  This article from Teaching Tollerence, "Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way"
  • Youth (ages 15-30) are encouraged to apply to the Maine Environmental Changemakers 2021 cohort.

We know districts have been working so diligently on mapping out what this school year looks like and teachers have been adapting to instruct children in a number of different ways. We've compiled some information we thought might be helpful for our network of educators and school garden leaders. A few highlights are below, but please find a more extensive list here
  • Educator resources: children's educational cranberry materials from UMaine Extension
  • Take a virtual field trip with Maine Farm Videos from the Maine Department of Education in conjunction with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry! 
  • Outdoor Infrastructure Planning Strategies, Guidelines, and Cost Calculator (!)  here 
  • Remote Learning & Online Resource Guide from MAITC has 5 pages of lessons, read aloud videos, games, and much more.

MSGN engages with the School Garden Support Organization (SGSO) Network which has tons of information for garden integration in schools. Their website  has webinar recordings, an online forum for School Garden Support professionals (like you!), and information about school garden best practices. Their Best Practices Documents feature topics such as program assessment, networking and communications, and program assessment. Visit the SGSO Network website to dig through their resources! 
If you know of helpful resources for school gardens, please consider reaching out to to share what you have found to be the most useful for your project! 

Three Ways to Support MSGN
Method 1:
When you shop at, Amazon donates. Please consider choosing Maine School Garden Network as the recipient of the charitable contributions you generate by shopping! Here's our unique charity link:
Method 2:
We spend the year supporting school gardens. Please take a few moments to show your support for MSGN and the work we do across the state by making a tax deductible contribution to our organization. Visit to make an online contribution via PayPal or mail a check to: Maine School Garden Network, 28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. 

Method 3:
Maine School Garden Network is actively looking for interested people to serve on our board. The board supports the mission and work of the Maine School Garden Network to promote and support educational gardens for youth, and to encourage school programs which teach healthy eating and environmental stewardship. As an MSGN board member there are many opportunities for you to serve, including executive committee and program committee roles. More details are available upon request. If you are interested in becoming an MSGN board member, please contact: info@msgn. We hope you will join us as we strive to support school garden programs in Maine!
Maine Harvest of the Month
November is Maine Brassicas!
December is Maine Winter Squash!

Local heroes disguised as nutrition directors and cafeteria staff are making sure youth stay fed across Maine. Catch up on all the details and learn how your school can participate in the Harvest of the Month program by visiting the DOE website.
For more HOM curriculum resources, Maine Ag in the Classroom has pages on the Teach ME website!

A HUGE thank you to our SPONSORS!


Stay Engaged:
Upcoming Events

11/20 3pm - Choose Seeds and Plants to Promote Biodiversity webinar

11/24 3:00-4:30p - MEEA  Monthly Equity and Inclusion Call (info here)

11/24 4:00-5:30p - Indigenous Food Sovereignty webinar

11/24, 12/8, 12/22 2pm - National Covid-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative 

12/1, 12/8, 12/15 5-7p - UNH 2020 High Tunnel Conference

12/2 12-1p - Growing Fruit Trees in Maine webinar

12/2 3:00 - NBEC Maine Outdoor Learning  Forum

12/16 12-1p - Garden Planning - Selecting the Right Seeds webinar

1/21 10a-12p - How Maine Feeds Our Children During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

For other upcoming events check out: 
Maine Audubon
North American Food Systems Network 

Funding Opportunities

12/1 Safer® School Garden Grant

12/1 Herb Society of America Classroom Herb Garden Grant

12/14 Maine Ag in the Classroom Grants

12/18 Youth Garden Grant

1/8 USDA Farm to School Grants

1/15 Captain Planet Foundation ecoSolution™ Grant

Get grant help! Join us 12/1 for our Network Meeting.
MSGN's School Garden Coach Manual:  a collection of resources including ideas other schools have used to fund their garden efforts.

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28 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333

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