Thanks to the efforts of many people, Wednesday June 3 marked the launch of an incredible edible raised bed at Narraguagus High School.
Backed by Principal Lucille Willey, three teachers signed up for the April School Garden 101 workshop offered by the U. Maine Cooperative Extension Service. The four classes covered the basics of organic vegetable gardening and provided curriculum ideas for all grades. It also gave teachers an opportunity to begin to imagine ways to make the garden the center of a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching science, art, literature, writing and history.
Last week, a local carpenter built the 16 ft. x 5 ft. cedar bed out of 2in x 10 in. boards. But the real excitement came on June 3rd when five students were released from class to dig the sod out from the bed. They made short work of it, removing the sod and disposing of it in just thirty minutes flat.
The next step will be layering the bed, with manure and seaweed on the bottom, and a well-mixed combination of sand, peat, and compost on top. After that, it will be time to plant seeds and seedlings.
The goal is to have the garden all planted before school lets out and to find students and their families who will take turns watering and weeding it this summer. The bonus to putting in time with the garden will be the chance for families to harvest fresh organic local vegetables to enjoy this summer.
Next year? Maybe a greenhouse. Stay tuned.