Thursday, October 29, 2015


    Last week we finally harvested our two pumpkins that we grew with Mrs. Garrity's second grade.  The pumpkin seedlings had been a donation from one of our second graders last year, and he and his class had a blast harvesting and weighing them.  The students spent a class period out in the garden, and cleaned out the pumpkin bed, transferred all the pumpkin vines and plant materials into the compost, and harvested the two pumpkins which were a dill variety.  The dill variety of pumpkin is named after Howard Dill of Nova Scotia and are most commonly used to grow giant pumpkins. The pumpkins usually end up weighing between 50 and 100lbs when harvested.  Mrs. Garrity's class borrowed the scale from the nurse's office and we weighted each pumpkin.  The first pumpkin weighted 38lbs and the second weighed 63lbs.   
     This week we decided to carve the pumpkins with the second graders, so we could display them in front of our new greenhouse for our annual school Halloween parade on Friday afternoon.  Unfortunately when we began carving the pumpkins, we quickly found that they were very thick and extremely difficult to carve.  We quickly changed our plans, and had the second graders decorate and draw faces on the pumpkins with markers.  The students had just as much fun decorating the pumpkins instead of carving them. If you are walking past the school anytime soon, you can find them sitting on some hay bales outside our new greenhouse for the parade tomorrow! 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Watermelons and Cantaloupes

      Last spring Mrs. Garrity's second grade class started watermelon and cantaloupe seedlings from seeds that were donated to the garden program.  We started the seeds in late April and we grew them on the second grader's windowsill all spring.  In June right before school let out, the kids planted the seedlings in one of our raised beds for the summer. Normally both of these crops are hard to grow in Maine because of the cooler temperatures and shorter growing season.  Luckily we had an extra hot and unusually dry summer for the state of Maine, which had a negative effect on some gardening, but for our watermelons and cantaloupes it was the perfect climate.  This past week, we took the now third graders out to harvest both the watermelons and the cantaloupes from the garden.  In total we harvested about 6 watermelons, and 9 cantaloupes.  The third graders had a taste of both, and they were delicious.  The rest of our melon harvest can be found on our school lunch fruit and salad bar.
       These students seeing the full circle of planting seeds and harvesting the fruits or vegetables almost 6 months later, is what our garden and greenhouse program is all about!  The students love it! More harvest news to come soon!