You can grow your own food. And we can help!

Ferry Beach Garden Ecosystem

The Ferry Beach Ecology School is a non-profit environmental education organization which teaches the science of ecology and the practice of sustainability. Since 1999 we have served over 100,000 program participants, most of whom are elementary and middle school students from New England. The goal of “Food for Thought”, our food systems education program, is to teach the connections between food, humans and the environment throughout all Ecology School programs.  This education is integrated throughout our Dining Hall, Ecosystem based lessons, and in our “Garden Ecosystem”.  

Through thoughtful permaculture design, our garden is meant to mimic nature in order to create a food ecosystem. A diverse forest garden builds fertility while producing a bounty of annual and perennial fruits and vegetables. Swales slow runoff allowing it to build soil and not degrade it through erosion. Using STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based curriculum, students are able to scientifically compare the surrounding ecosystems to this space and learn low tech methods for creating a high yielding, ecologically regenerative garden. In our vegetable beds students experientially learn about all aspects of growing food including starting seeds, identifying beneficial and harmful insects and watering. In addition to trying foods right “off the vine”, each week students harvest at least one ingredient from the garden that is then prepared by our chefs for a meal. They also learn about our compost- the process of turning our dining hall “waste” into a resource. This education is further enhanced in our dining hall where skits and songs transform meals into a fun memorable learning experience teaching the story of food. This knowledge is essential to creating resilient, healthy, environmentally literate citizens inspired to make systems change.

Where it's at:

8 Morris Ave
Saco, ME 04072
United States

Garden type:

school/youth garden

Garden size (in square feet):


Garden beneficiaries:

children and familes, food insecure people, at risk youth

Number of people reached:

4 000

What this project needs:

fruit bushes
fruit trees
irrigation system
garden cart

Project leaders:

John Ibsen
Drew Dumsch

About us:

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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Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606