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Happy World Soil Day School Gardeners! 

Even though Thanksgiving is behind us, we are still sending much gratitude out to everyone who has supported our campaign and other school garden campaigns on SeedMoney so far.

We are just short of our first goal of $600 and if we reach that goal, we'll be entered into a drawing for a $400 challenge grant from SeedMoney. Your donation can help us reach this goal, and will gain you a chance to pick our School Garden of the Month! Especially today, during this global celebration of soil, we invite you to support more small hands digging into learning where their food comes from. 

Many thanks for all the support you give to this Network. 

Click here to give today. 


Warmly, 
Myra 
MSGN Coordinator
December 2016

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

Albert S. Hall School, Waterville

Contribute to their program through SeedMoney today! Click here. 

All those who attended last year’s Maine School Garden Day know how special the Albert S. Hall School in Waterville is.

The garden itself is a modest size, with six raised beds right on the blacktop next to their playground. There are some round beds for herbs and small vegetable plants, with easy access for small hungry hands. It is highly visible and accessible – students at recess will wander through and engage with the space. There are signs on the fence asking passersby to “Please Respect our Gardens”. Those signs were what first brought me to the magic of Mary Dunn's classroom and garden program several years ago. 

Sam Mclean, the Hall School’s FoodCorps service member, and Mary make an all-star groovy garden growing team, bringing many spectacular taste tests, special guests, and garden fun to the 4th and 5th grade students. 

Between the thousands of pounds of donated onions, the wiggling and waggling to Peanut Butter Jelly Time, visits from special guests such as Will Allen and Chellie Pingree, and delectable taste tests featuring goat cheese and blueberries, there's lots more to learn about this flourishing program. 

Read more about the Hall School Garden here.

Click here to support their SeedMoney campaign

Featured Fundraising Opportunity from Slow Food USA

 
"Healthy, Local, Sustainable Fundraising"


 Sign up to do a healthy school fundraiser by December 31st for this special offer from FarmRaiser

Already thinking about next year's garden season? Get your school garden off to a great start with a collection of seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. We've picked some of the most popular and easy-to-grow varieties from Baker Creek's seed bank, and paired it with an inspirational and educational book, "My School Garden" from Readers to Eaters. When you sign-up and plan your first healthy fundraiser with FarmRaiser by December 31st, 2016, you will qualify to receive this free gift.

Sign up today!

FarmRaiser is healthy fundraising company that connects local farms and food artisans to schools and organizations raising money for important causes. Students sell healthy, local products instead of the usual suspects (junk food, wrapping paper, pizza kits, etc.) and advocate for the importance of supporting local food systems. A great way to raise money for your cause, teach kids about the importance of healthy, local food, and strengthen your local economy.

Questions or comments?  Email lauren@slowfoodusa.org

Read ME Agriculture 2017

**First come, first served on this great garden-based literacy material. Sign up today!
 
Each PreK-4 classroom will receive a copy of the book with lesson ideas, and information on Maine Agriculture given by a volunteer reader from the area. Read ME Agriculture has been a very successful program, reaching over 87,000 Maine students, since 2008. 
 
You may sign up both teachers and volunteers OR you may submit just teachers or just volunteers and MAITC will provide the missing component. All forms must be returned to the MAITC office by January 1, 2017. 

December Garden Ideas:

Grow indoors!

Have you tried growing microgreens or shoots for some fun, colorful additions to your school's salad bar? 










Even though your garden has been put to bed and outside feels cold and dead, your classroom or cafeteria might be the perfect place to add a LIGHT CART or other grow light system for indoor growing. The limiting factor at this time of year is light, but if you have a warm place for plants and can provide artificial light to bring their exposure time above ten hours, you can have colorful and tasty greens all year! 

Click here for Shoots growing information from Johnny's Selected Seeds. 
Click here for a video on MICROGREENS from Johnny's too! 
 

Fun with SEEDS!

How about adding some cheer to your garden-related activities with some seed ornaments and decorations!?

These were made by Mary Dunn's class at the Hall School - this month's School Garden of the Month - with seeds donated from our friends at Fedco Seeds

 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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

January 10-12: State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Augusta 

VIew our EVENTS CALENDAR here.

View MOFGA's events calendar here.

GRANT OPPORTUNITIES

USDA Farm to School Grant: OPEN NOW, closes December 8th

For more grant opportunities, visit www.msgn.org/grants

 

LOCAL GRANTS
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

NATIONAL GRANTS
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
DONATE
and help us reach our $600 goal to become eligible for an additional $400 from SeedMoney! 

A HUGE thank you to our SPONSORS!









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