SeDoMoCha garden to bloom this summer


DOVER-FOXCROFT – This summer a garden at the SeDoMoCha School will be in full swing for both the school and larger community. Grade 8 social studies teacher Chris Miller said since he began teaching at SeDoMoCha six years ago as a grade 6 teacher, he has offered botany and gardening as exploratories, non-academic classes.

DOVER-FOXCROFT – This summer a garden at the SeDoMoCha School will be in full swing for both the school and larger community.

Grade 8 social studies teacher Chris Miller said since he began teaching at SeDoMoCha six years ago as a grade 6 teacher, he has offered botany and gardening as exploratories, non-academic classes. Each spring student would plant seeds and then take home the plants in late May or early June for their own gardens.

This has grown over the past few years with different elementary students working with middle school students. Many elementary teachers have joined the planting and currently have their own variations. The grade 2 garden run by University of Maine Cooperative Extension Piscatiquis County Extension of U-Maine is still in operation with teacher David Murray at the helm. We are now happy to create what will become a full-fledged garden that will hopefully have a “garden to fork result” for our cafeteria and community.

Photo courtesy of SeDoMoCha School
SCHOOL GARDEN – SeDoMoCha School officials are hoping to create a full garden to provide food for the school and community and to enhance learning for students.

Through grants written by Miller, Librarian Carolyn Clark, and Superintendent Stacy Shorey we have been able to build the garden. Heather Whitten was able to secure grant money for the amazing fence that protects the garden from our deer population. The kitchen staff is ready to cook what we grow and share the cycle of growth to plate with our students. The grant from Maine Agriculture in the Classroom was used to build a functional fully aquaponic system for the classroom and purchase a smaller mobile version used in elementary. In late December we plant seeds in the grow tubs and put bait fish in the aquarium. The fish feed the plants, plants oxygenate the water and the system provides for itself. Last year grade 5 science added quail to the top layer.

We received a grant from Kiwanis last fall which provided us with raised beds, soil, and materials. We have received a grant from Tractor Supply the past four years secured by our local store and spearheaded by Barbara True. Clark tirelessly works toward all outdoor education opportunities and purchased the sundial that is the center piece. She also received a grant for fruit trees and we will hopefully have more planted this spring! We have received heirloom seed donations and a greenhouse (weather destroyed it) from online donors. All funds have come through grants and donors across the country.

The entire garden is designed as a compass with trees and flowers planted at the cardinal directions. The vision is to have stones that depict various Maine landmarks at their compass point, like a stone with Sebec Lake, Katahdin, and other places.

We hope that the garden will be used over the summer to enhance learning for students, add to meals provided by the school, and help in the community. We are looking for help from the community to maintain the garden and hopefully next autumn teach students how to preserve and jar for the winter. This garden opens opportunities for students to learn about agriculture and self-sufficiency that will carry beyond school. We hope and welcome help, materials, and most importantly the knowledge and skills of the communities the school serves.

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