October may have been National Farm to School Month, but November in Somersworth was busier than ever.
Mr. Chris Asbell’s Garlic Project at Somersworth Middle School reached a milestone – every single clove planted for next year’s harvest was grown in the middle school’s own garlic beds, making this the first year that the Garlic Project is completely self-sustaining.
Despite the monsoon-style conditions on the day of planting, every middle school student got outside to plant garlic for another robust harvest next year.
Mr. Daryl Dunbar is the apple of Somersworth Middle School’s eye these days, and it shows. The removal of a dead tree in front of SMS inspired him to start planting apple trees with his Wood Skills class.
Together they removed the stump with chains and the horsepower of his truck, and planted a healthy Honeycrisp apple tree in its place, plus one more for good measure.
It may take a couple of years, but those apples will taste amazing accompanied with the maple syrup that Mr. Dunbar produces at SMS with his students in the spring.
The November 7th Somersworth Farm to School Community Dinner was a great success. Over 150 people turned out for a delicious meal of chicken pot pie, steamed broccoli, and fresh biscuits with maple butter. The majority of the vegetables came from Somersworth’s school gardens, including the syrup for the maple butter, along with donations from NH Gleans.
Local apples were featured in the apple crisp dessert, and a creamy sweet potato pudding with local cream was another treat.
In addition to being a mostly locally sourced meal, all plates, cups and flatware were compostable. Toby from Mr. Fox donated the composting totes that are now on their way to becoming soil for our gardens.
Kale used as floral arrangement for community dinner.
Funds from our USDA Farm to School grant paid for most of the food. Donations of labor and products came from local businesses such as Ovington’s Produce, Smoke and Cream, 45 Market St Cafe, Cafe Services, and Mr. Fox Composting making the night a true community event.
Leftovers went home with families, and volunteers. School Board member Maggie Larson also brought hotel pans of food over to our fire and police department that night. They were pretty happy to see her come through the door!
Big thanks to all the families who turned out to volunteer. It takes a village, and wow what a village we have here in Somersworth.
Submitted by: Wendy Berkeley, Somersworth Farm to School Coordinator
There are three Somersworth schools involved in gardening projects: Somersworth Middle School, Idlehurst Elementary, and Maple Elementary. There is also an after-school gardening program open to K-8, and those gardens are located at the Somersworth Housing Authority, within walking distance from Maple Wood and Middle School.