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The Central School Garden Committee found out a week ago that due to construction of baseball fields for the new High School, our garden needed to be removed. We’ve spent the past week harvesting what we could, transplanting plants that could be moved, and removing all our equipment. There doesn’t seem to be a suitable site for us anymore at the Central School (the school is losing a lot of its green space to the High School). It has been hard to destroy a garden that took five years to build, but we hope to start a new garden in a new location next year. The wonderful thing about gardens is that if you don’t succeed one year, there’s always next season to dream about. The CSG Committee would like to thank everyone who has supported us over the past five years: our eager members, our patient parents, our hardworking volunteers, and our generous donors. We hope to be starting a new garden (perhaps at the Middle School, perhaps at Sachem Rock Farm) in the Fall of 2014, most likely geared towards Middle School students. We will need help to do it! Stay tuned for how you can help us create an even more beautiful, productive, and inspiring garden!

Some pictures from our last meeting at the Central School:

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Here are some members with their new creation: “Ecoshakes.” Ecoshakes are made with organic (and edible!) ingredients from the Central School Garden! Ummm, yummy! (These pictures are from our July 7th meeting.)

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Here are some lovely pictures from our July 1st meeting. Our peas, carrots and lettuce came in nicely!

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Our Teasel was quite spectacular! Notice the little cups the leaves make where they grow out of the stem: butterflies and other pollinators love getting a drink in these mini-pools.

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That’s all for now: Thanks Everyone!

A bittersweet last meeting of the year: please bring your kids to the garden over the summer, we are going to miss seeing them!

To start the meeting, EB High School volunteer Miranda Zigler taught the kids a “Gardening Dance” that she choreographed. I think everyone had a great time! Thanks, Miranda!

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I take a lot of the pictures for the CSG, but during this meeting, Korin caught me in the act of teaching. So nice to have it recorded!

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We had special guests from the EB High School this week. Technical Education (“Shop”) teacher Mark Ferioli and Senior Brody Clay stopped by to demonstrate the use of the beautiful cedar potato bins they built for our garden. Note that Senior Shane Millette, who couldn’t attend, also built the bins. (Mark and Brody also enjoyed a tour of the garden by Beth Pennington, who made them try some sorrel. You go, Beth!)

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Our seedlings grew well inside the school. Today we brought them outside and transplanted them into the garden.

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The other big news was: our strawberries are ripe! If you are at the Central School, stop by and pick the red ones. (It’s either you or the bunnies!) Be sure to look carefully.

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Our soybeans look happy:

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We planted potatoes in our new bins.

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After a lot of hard work, we enjoyed a sweet treat (100% fruit juice, of course). Have a safe and fun summer, everyone!

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We didn’t spend much time inside at this meeting, because we had special visitors and a lot of work to do. First, representatives from the East Bridgewater Charitable Committee at Bridgewater Savings Bank came to check out the garden and to present us with a “big check” representing their donation to the Central School Gardeners for next year. We are so grateful to the bank for supporting our mission to educate kids and families about gardening and healthy choices! (And what a fun group picture! Click on it to see it enlarged.)

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We also made a special presentation to Kate Strassel, the founder of the Central School Gardeners. We have named our small octagonal flower and herb garden “Kate’s Garden” in her honor. Next time you visit the garden, check out the plaque on edge of the bed! Thanks again, Kate, for having that idea.

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Otherwise, we got a lot of work done in the garden. We are really excited about our overflowing and ready to ripen strawberries, but the fact that we scared a baby bunny out of the patch during our meeting is a little disturbing. I’m sure baby bunnies LOVE strawberries, aren’t you?

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We had a fun time at the East Bridgewater Garden Club’s plant sale. Thanks to Beth, Eloise, and Maya for their help!

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We started our meeting with a fun snack: strawberries (sadly, not local, but they’re coming) and meringues (made by Petra)! They were a hit!

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The meringues were made with fresh eggs from Petra’s free range, organic chickens, introducing one theme of today: chickens and the garden! Maya Zigler presented her chickens, Nutmeg, Jasmine, and Coco.

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One of our primary activities was spreading mulch over the paths, to control weeds. These kids are great at shoveling! (And removing the tough weeds!)

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We also planted pansies in our flower bed, planted beets, and started tomato, gourd, pumpkin, and watermelon seedlings in a seedling tray. The tray will be placed under lights in the Central School so everyone can watch our babies grow up!

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As usual, we enjoyed some fresh sorrel from the garden. Yum!

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Thanks for a great meeting, everyone! See you in a few weeks! (Because this is such a busy season in the garden, we have two meetings in May.)

New Potato Bins!

Petra and I visited the EB High School’s shop class last Thursday to view progress on new potato bins being built by Seniors Brody Clay and Shane Millette for the Central School Garden. The bins are really starting to shape up!

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Here is Technical Education teacher Mark Ferioli advising Brody and Shane as they cut the side boards for our bins. The bins will feature removeable sides to facilitate hilling up and harvesting the potatoes. We’d like to thank Mark for eagerly taking this project on and finding the students to complete it.

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That’s Shane Millette in the plaid shirt and Brody Clay in the dark sweatshirt. Thanks so much, guys, and keep up the good work!

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Here you can see the basic shape of our bins: they will be quite large. We do love harvesting potatoes!

The school bus ride was half of the thrill!

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We learned what seeds need to grow versus what plants need to grow. You will see Laurie Amberman, chief educator at Soule Homestead, speaking to the gardeners.

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We planted lettuce, carrots, and garlic.

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We toured the farm and looked at the different habitats found there. The straw maze was a favorite!

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We drank local spring water, fed the llamas, smelled skunk cabbage, walked the boardwalk, tried maple sap, and tasted the syrup: what fun!

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