What’s Growing On? May 2023 News from Grow Education
by: Nate Sander, Grow Education Program Manager
With the month of May coming to a close we find ourselves fully embraced by spring as we celebrate a Grow Education milestone. After several years of planning and building, and the hard work of many partners, every elementary school in New Bedford and Westport is now benefiting from an on-campus garden! Over the last month, the Grow team has implemented workshops with students from 20 schools and filled all 134 garden beds with transplanted varieties of lettuce, kale, beets, collards, parsley, and directly sown garlic, cilantro, peas, and radish seeds. A huge shoutout to our friends Bill and Dee of Ivory Silo Farm who provided the beautiful transplants! And a special thanks to Geoff Kinder of Paradox Acres for donating compost and helping us build fertility in the soil at all the sites. Successions of potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and other warmer weather crops will rotate in soon. Working collaboratively with students and teachers at each school, the Grow team will weed and water the gardens and plan for an early summer harvest of the bounty before kids break for summer vacation.
FoodCorps service members are finishing up their service year with lessons in the gardens, harvesting, and food processing workshops. Farm-to-School fairs will happen at many of the schools to celebrate the school year ending and the growing season unfolding. We are actively recruiting for FoodCorps members to join our team for the upcoming 2023/24 school year. If you are interested in working in the cross section of food and education, or know someone who is, please spread the word! Thank you to our current members Shay, Jenn, and Olivia for all your dedication and enthusiasm! Y’all rock and we are so excited to see what comes next for you.