February 2017


School Garden of the Month
(sponsored by Maine Ag in the Classroom)

Troy Howard Middle School

 “Watching a tiny grain turn into a 12' sunflower is something you can't experience on a computer.”  – The Troy Howard Middle School Garden Project

The School Garden of the Month feature has a few intentions: to highlight the work of school garden educators in Maine, to show the incredible possibilities that exist in school garden programs, and to provide models and resources for gardens around the state. It can be intimidating to see the success of some of these sites, but hopefully by seeing the trajectory, you can draw some inspiration and take your program to the next level, one small seed at a time.

When discussing model school gardens, one would be remiss not to mention Troy Howard Middle School. Educators Steve Tanguay, Don White, and Linda Hartkopf began the program in 2000. Using their combined abilities, they wrote grants and received funding to start the program. Mr. Jon Thurston was hired on as the Project’s Agricultural Educator. With strategic partnerships, they worked with the administration to designate a garden space. They built a heated greenhouse. They collaborated on an integrative garden curriculum. They worked with school food service and created a path to bring produce into the school cafeteria. They designed a composting system to limit food waste and close the loop. The collective efforts of this team working with many other staff members and students laid a strong foundation for the extensive, well-developed program that exists today.

Read more about the Troy Howard Middle School Garden Project here.

Also, they're
HIRING A GARDEN INTERN! Click here to learn more.

School Garden/Food Access
Job Opportunities

Troy Howard Garden Intern: a part-time stipend position (with delicious garden lunches!) running for 7 weeks over the summer.

Yarmouth School District Garden Coordinator: a part-time (5 hours per week), year-round, district-wide position managing the production and education in the school garden and hoophouse.
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area seeks an AmeriCorps VISTA to increase access to USDA federal nutrition programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the School Breakfast Program, and the Summer Meals Program.
FoodCorps is seeking applicants for its 2017-18 service term. Applications accepted through March 15, 2017. Click on the link above for more information and to apply.


Forty educators joined MAITC at the recent workshop to learn about composting, soil lessons, nutrition, and check out those fancy new worm bins!
Looking for more lessons? Teachers can borrow from MAITC's lending library! Check out the "Healthy Foods From Healthy Soils" curriculum guide book which includes units and lessons on food waste and composting.

Maine School Garden Day

May 6, 2017
This year's Maine School Garden Day will take place on Saturday, May 6th, at Falmouth High School from 8-4, a full day of classes, exhibits, and more! This is a K-12 educator training workshop and all participants will receive certificates for contact hours or CEU's. The cost of the day is $25 ($35 after April 30) and includes a local foods lunch. Scholarships are available. Click here to register now!

February Garden Ideas:

With LOVE, from the Garden

Take your Valentines up a notch with SEED PACKETS, cleverly adorned with lovingly witty veggie puns... "I have BEAN missing you", "Two PEAS in a pod", "My heart BEETs for you", "KALE me maybe?" (I can't take credit for these)
Don't forget to label with the variety, date, and germination rate (from your germination test!)

February is a good time for planning your seedling sale, ordering seeds from your local seed company, and learning all that seeds have to teach us.

Plan for Garden Maintenance NOW!

Last month, we featured the Garden Planner for physically planning out your garden, but this is also a great time for thinking about how the garden will be maintained and planning for that even before planting anything.
The Cornell Garden-Based Learning program has some great resources on ENGAGING VOLUNTEERS, including thinking about volunteer roles, recruitment, orientation, communication and feedback, and of course appreciation.
Now is a good time to create a volunteer role description. What do you need volunteers for? How can you find them in your community?
Need help? Contact us!

 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.


March 20-24: Read ME Agriculture
READERS STILL NEEDED: Click here for more info.
July 31 - August 4: Summer Teacher's Institute (Farmington)


View MOFGA's events calendar here.


Maine Ag in the Classroom (MAITC) Grant Program - Request For Applications Available Now: Click here for more information.

For more grant opportunities, visit


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): March 15 & September 15

Lowe’s Toolbox for EducationThe Spring 2017 grant cycle will open on December 18, 2016 and close on February 9, 2017.
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

click here to
(THANK YOU to all who contributed in 2016 to our SeedMoney campaign and otherwise!)

A HUGE thank you to our SPONSORS!



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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Share This Newsletter
Tweet It
Pass It On
Copyright © 2017 Maine School Garden Network, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp