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Home » Food System Builders, Local Food & Farm Buzz

October 6 is NH School Garden Day

By Helen Brody (September 25, 2016)
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Stacey Purslow (center) with school gardeners (Photo credit: Leslie Tuttle)

The New Hampshire School & Youth Garden Network is opening seven school gardens from across the state to teachers, food service workers, administrators and others, who may be interested in getting new ideas for their own established  school garden or in beginning a new one.

“We have opened different garden types across the state so others may come, learn and get new ideas,” says Stacey Purslow, NH Farm to School program coordinator and spokesperson for the Garden Network.

Other organizations participating in the Network are:

  • UNH Cooperative Extension
  • NH Farm Bureau, NH Ag in the Classroom,
  • Cornucopia Project
  • Slow Food Seacoast
  • Vital Communities – Upper Valley Farm to School
  • Strawberry Banke

The most popular age groups are lower to middle school. “Many of the high schools have an already established horticultural program in a greenhouse,” says Purslow. “So, they are reluctant to participate in an outdoor garden as well.”

The groups have discovered that growing their own vegetables opens students’ minds to trying new vegetables and establishing better dietary habits and they are beginning to broaden their workshop efforts.

Strawberry Banke, with an on-site educational garden, is researching taking their garden plans into neighborhood schools and Debbie Cox of the NH Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Class Room is researching the writing of a guide for setting up a school garden.  And finally, The School & Youth Garden Network itself will be offering a workshop at the NOFA-NH winter conference in January.

The schools opening their gardens on October 6 are:

  • Elm St Middle School, Nashua: Solar heated hydroponics greenhouse
  • Manchester School of Technology: Greenhouse
  • Boscawen Elementary: 6 raised beds and a hoop house
  • Dover High School: Greenhouse and community garden
  • Maple St School, Contoocook: Vegetable beds, fruit trees, pollinator gardens and chickens!
  • Jacques Memorial, Milford: 10 raised hugelkulture beds
  • Josiah Bartlett Elementary, Bartlett: The Good Food Garden is incorporated into common core, food grown is served in the cafeteria.

Please register to visit a school here.

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