Appleton Roots Garden
The Appleton Village School, a K-8 rural school, began a small vegetable garden project about ten years ago as part of the seventh grade science curriculum. Over the years, our garden project has expanded to include more space and additional grades. The goals for our garden are to provide an outdoor classroom where students can learn about where their food comes from, what different crops look like, what it takes to grow, care for and harvest them, and to promote eating fresh, local food.
Much of our garden harvest goes directly to the school cafeteria where it is often used in the salad bar. Some grades plant and harvest a particular crop which they might use as part of a science, history or social studies lesson. For instance, our fourth graders study Maine crops, so they usually plant and harvest different kinds of potatoes. Sometimes, they get to take home part of the harvest to share with their families. Most students get to, at least, plant something in the spring and do taste tests in the fall.
We have also added our squash or potato harvests to Thanksgiving baskets which the student council prepares for local needy families. Our school hosts an annual Open House and other community events inviting families and community members to join us in fun and educational activities. The garden has often been a part of these events.
We maintain the garden through small fundraising activities and various donations of seeds and seedlings. While we are proud of our accomplishments to date, we feel we could increase student, teacher, and community participation if we could create a more focused outdoor learning space as well as having more direct and easy access to our tools.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
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Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA