Nute Middle High School

After receiving the much needed grant to build a composting program at Nute Middle High School in Milton, New Hampshire, we purchased the supplies to build the actual bin and the supplies needed to collect and deliver organic materials to the bin.

The Agricultural Science class, with the help of the Industrial Arts teacher Ben Carleton, built the bin in the shop of our school in about 30 days. We also invited a high school student, Paige Viel, to coordinate the project for school credit as an educational learning opportunity.

She started coordinating collection sites on campus by delivering supplies needed for collection and educational materials about what organic matter can be collected. We will be adding soil and collecting organic material for a few weeks before school ends and plan on picking up full composting from our kitchens in the fall.

The composted soil will be used by the Agricultural Science class to plant seedlings next spring. This project has allowed us to use the organic material generated from our school to produce much needed soil for our greenhouse project.

Many thanks to the Strafford County Master Gardeners for the Carolyn Bassage Memorial Grant for the money needed to start our composting program at Nute Middle High School!

Submitted by:  Christine Henner, Life Science High School Teacher

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National Pollinator Week 2019

This week, join an event to help take action to help pollinators in your area!

  • Sign Up Pollinator Party, NH Audubon, Saturday, June 15, Concord, NH
  • Sign Up Pine Barrens Workday, The Nature Conservancy, Sunday, June 16, Silver Lake, NH
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Lady’s Slippers

Have you seen enough Lady’s Slippers for the season? If not, I have a great tip from my good friend, Sue, in Dover.

On Sunday afternoon, she took a 2 1/2 mile hike at the Meadows around the pond. She counted over 400 Lady Slippers without leaving the trail.

Not sure where that is, here’s a map. Happy hiking.

Submitted by:  Judy V., MG since 2007

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Garden Tour

This past week, the Master Gardeners of Strafford County were treated to a very special garden tour. Carol, a Master Gardener since 1992,  graciously opened her lakeside woodland gardens to us.

The property itself is a little over 2 acres. The previous owner had installed the hardscape, some of the anchor plants in the boulder garden wall and some of the foundation plantings, but Carol’s touch can be seen everywhere you look.

Carol has been working on the gardens for about twelve years, and they now include a beautiful woodland water feature. The landscape has many layers and certainly shows what hard work can accomplish when applied by an experienced and knowledgeable gardener.

Those of us who got to spend time with her on Thursday, thank her sincerely for sharing her wealth of plant knowledge with us. I think I can safely say, we all came away inspired.

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The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul. Alfred Austin

Submitted by:  Judy V., MG since 2007

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Portsmouth Pocket Gardens Tour

The Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth 30th Annual Tour
Friday, June 21, 5-8, and Saturday, June 22, 9-3

Map credit: Tate and Foss

Walk through over a dozen gardens in the Christian Shore and Creek part of Portsmouth.

The gardens chosen this year were selected with sustainability in mind so they include flowers, vegetables, and herbs.

Advance tickets are $20 and Tour Day tickets are $25.

If you love garden tours and need a few more options, check these out:

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Farm to School Update

Somersworth’s Sustainability Efforts Come Full Circle

May has been an extraordinarily busy month in our schools. Maple Wood and Idlehurst saw the upstart of several new garden beds, identifying Kindergarten, Grade 3 and 4 as the primary recipients of garden education this spring.

The continuation of Somersworth Youth Connection Plant for Growth this year includes a growing and selling arrangement with the Seacoast Area Mobile Market (SAMM) Van, which will visit every Tuesday at the Somersworth Housing Authority on Bartlett Ave for 16 weeks starting June 18.

Mr. Fox Composting came through on their commitment of a cubic yard per school contract of finished compost, and then some. Instead of Maple Wood and Somersworth Middle School (SMS) receiving one yard, Mr. Fox filled the 8 yard dump truck and donated an additional 6 yards to the school gardens.

Finally, a unique professional development opportunity paid for by our USDA Farm to School grant brought Northeast Resource Recovery Assoc. (NRRA) of Epsom, NH, to SMS for a comprehensive waste audit called Trash on the Lawn Day (TOLD). TOLD events enlist staff and students in the saving of a day’s worth of trash (minus bathroom and medical), weighing, separating, then weighing again to identify opportunities for better recycling and composting.

With sustainability as a stated Somersworth goal, shared vision and partnerships with these local businesses and organizations are moving us all in a positive direction.

There was also a strong turnout from Somersworth schools at this year’s Northeast Resource Recovery Association (NRRA) School Conference. In attendance were two school board members, two 6th grade SMS teachers and seven students, with a presentation on potential cost savings of recycling and composting at by the FTS Coordinator, and an award given to SMS custodian, John Stevens, for Excellence in Composting.

Learning opportunities included presentations on microplastics in the ocean; a mini-waste audit; and vendor information on recycling electronics, textiles, and less commonly recycled plastics were among the day’s offerings. Our Somersworth cohorts are eager to share their new found knowledge and to see a better, more sustainable future.

Submitted by: Wendy Berkeley, Somersworth Farm to School Coordinator

SCMGA was proud to work with the Somersworth school system this year by providing a school gardening grant. If you are a K-12 teacher in Strafford County and would like to learn more about our school gardening grants, check out this link for further information.

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Garden filmography — The Sunny Side

Interesting post by a local landscaper on the plant damage we are seeing this year.

No, I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. It’s been a crazy winter and an even crazier spring, so I haven’t been writing as much. However, this weekend I’m out in my garden for the first time this season, taking stock of things, and what I’m finding has motivated me to write. It […]

via Garden filmography — The Sunny Side

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