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The Weekly Harvest: This week with Holly Hill School Partners
9/26/2106: the Holly Hill Farm teachers have been welcoming fall by harvesting potatoes at the Cushing School in Scituate. After harvesting, with plenty of autumn sunshine still ahead, the 3rd graders then sowed lettuce and spinach seeds. Soon the farm teachers will visit the Wompatuck School, also in Scituate, to harvest and plant with 1st graders. Plenty of time to tend and grow.
9/19/2016: The farm teachers at Holly Hill Farm have been making fall plans to plant spinach and greens at the Cole School in Norwell. This is contingent on their desire to implement and place rain barrels at key locations to collect rain, when it falls, as well use some of their compost made from the cafeteria vegetable scraps. Compost is great for retaining water. Soon we will be at the Wampatuck School farm garden in Scituate to spread compost and transplant broccoli plants for a late autumn harvest.
9/12/2016: The prevailing themes of late summer farming and teaching are dry weather and no rain. But the Farm Educators at Holly Hill Farm continue to teach and plant wisely at local area schools. We are welcoming the South Shore Charter Public School in Norwell 1st and 2nd graders to the Farm for weekly work in their garden. The children are learning about the Farm and sowing some seeds which are being watered with watering cans from the rain barrel at the Farm and any rain that might hopefully fall from the sky.
Speaking of rain barrels, we are working again with a grant from the Aquarion Water Company in Hingham to secure rain barrels at the four elementary schools in Hingham and the Jacobs School in Hull so we can soon plant spinach. All on account of some liquid sunshine coming our way.
6/13/2016: The Farm Teachers at Holly Hill have been busy heeling in summer crops such as the Three Sisters: corn, climbing green beans and winter squash at the East and South Schools in Hingham. Also, grade 2 at the Jacobs School in Hull planted tomatoes and onions. Before school lets out, the students at the Martinson School in Marshfield will plant potatoes and carrots. Much to sow and hopefully much to harvest come Autumn.
5/23/2016: The Holly Hill Farm teachers have been as busy hosting at the Farm as they have been teaching at school farm gardens and communities. Carrot, bean, squash, potato and pumpkin seeds are just some of the plants and produce now growing at the Flaherty school in Braintree, thanks to students in grades K-5. Also there were two tomato seedling workshops for neighbors and senior citizens in Weymouth and Quincy at two workshops sponsored by the Keohane Funeral Home and hosted by the Interfaith Social Services and the Weymouth Food Pantry. Soon, as the soil warms, the teachers will plant potatoes at schools in Hingham, Scituate, Marshfield and Norwell.
5/16/2016: The Holly Hill Farm teachers have been busy heeling in potatoes both at the farm with visiting 2nd graders from Quincy public schools as well as at the Hatherly school farm garden. The teachers also sowed quick-to-grow arugula seed at the East and Foster schools in Hingham. Soon, the teachers will plant some carrots and salad greens at the Flaherty school in Braintree. It is the growing season indeed.
5/9/2106: The Holly Hill Farm teachers began hosting every 2nd grader from the Quincy public schools (630 students) for hands-on, experiential field trips at the Farm: seeing the animals, the seedlings in the greenhouse, the growing fields, the woods, the compost area and the Education Garden. At the same time, we helped construct 8 new growing garden beds at two elementary schools, the Lincoln-Hancock and the Clifford Marshall. Now students at these schools can start growing their own organic vegetables. Soon the teachers will bring compost to 2nd grade classrooms in Hingham, so students can add it to their garden beds and plant spring salad greens.
5/2/2016: The Farm teachers sowed seeds with 160 6th graders in Kingston. At their four new farm garden beds, the students seemed excited to think about lettuce, beet greens and kale to enjoy before school lets out in June. Even the third graders came out to place in some fast growing radish seeds. Soon the Farm teachers will welcome 2nd graders from Quincy to the Farm for some hands-on exploration of what is growing in the fields and gardens. The Farm teachers will also fan out to Hingham schools to spread compost from their classroom worm bins and place some spring greens of their own into their school gardens.
4/26/2016: The Holly Hill Farm teachers have been busy at Derby Academy teaching and sowing seeds with grades 1, 2 & 3. They transplanted kale and sugar snap peas for a hopeful, early June harvest. Soon, the teachers will help the 6th graders at the Wampatuck School in Scituate as they turn the compost pile, weed the beds, harvest scallions for the Food Pantry and check the asparagus bed for early spears of fresh asparagus.
4/19/2016: The Farm Teachers have been transplanting sugar snap pea seedlings at the Cole School in Norwell, the Hatherly School in Scituate and the Osgood School in Cohasset. They also got a head start with third graders at the Jenkins School in Scituate sowing tomato seeds for their school plant sale in June. The seeds will continue to germinate at the Farm greenhouse while the students and teachers are on vacation. Soon, there will be many opportunities to build garden beds at schools in Quincy, Norwell and at the new East School garden in Hingham. It is a good time to be a busy student seed sower.
4/11/2016: The Holly Hill Farm teachers having been battling the elements, just like the rest of us, as we have been able to study vermicompost at indoor settings at the Old Colony Montessori school in Hingham and South Shore Charter Public School in Norwell. The students have found great pockets of worms enjoying the spoils of banana peels, apple cores and slowly deteriorating newspaper and coffee filters. The result is some great, nutritious compost for the garden, when the weather turns more spring-like and warm. Soon we will distribute the compost as well as transplant sugar snap pea seedlings at the Hingham Middle school in their new garden beds, built last August by the science teachers. Here’s to good growth.
4/4/2016: the Farm teachers have been urging spring along, constructing four new farm garden beds at the Kingston Intermediate School. Several enthusiastic 6th graders helped after their school day to drill together the rough cut pine and fill the beds with soil. We hope to plant sugar snap peas soon, as we wait for this blast of snow to pass. And with the snow, the teachers are busy scheduling and re-scheduling pea seedling transplants in Cohasset, Hingham, Norwell and Marshfield. As to the pea seeds already in the ground, here’s hoping for warm days and nights and adsorbing increased daylight.
3/28/2016: The farm teachers at Holly Hill Farm were at the Plymouth River school in Hingham sowing peas with 4th graders and gently tucking them in for spring growth. They placed transparent fabric over the beds for some extra warmth and protection. The teachers sowed peas with 3rd graders in Scituate so they too can observe, measure, provide support and help the peas to grow, climb and make edible pods and peas. There are plans, in fact, in the coming weeks for pea plants to grow at existing raised beds at schools in Marshfield, Norwell, Hull, Cohasset and at the Farm too. All these kids will place the seeds in the healthy soil, water and let the sun shine, while giving peas a chance.
3/21/2016: The Holly Hill Farm teachers have been sowing trays of sugar snap pea seeds for school farm gardens. The trays of seeds are slowly emerging, and despite the wet snow, are growing in the safe confines of the Holly Hill greenhouse. At least 20 trays for twenty different school gardens. Soon, we will build raised garden beds in Kingston and Quincy so schools in that town and city can grow vegetables and eat them too.
3/14/2016: The farm teachers at Holly Hill Farm were able to get back to the garden with the 1st and 2nd graders at the Old Colony Montessori School in Hingham. We transplanted our beet and kale greens into a newly turned garden bed. Next we will sow sugar snap peas, and enhance the compost pile. Soon, we will sow peas at the four elementary schools in Hingham and four in Scituate, as well as at the Gates Intermediate and Middle Schools in Scituate and Hingham. Let Spring continue to wend its way into New England.
3/7/2016: The farm teachers at Holly Hill helped launch a new cafeteria compost collection at the Cole School in Norwell. The cafeteria chefs and staff are collecting the refuse from their kitchen preparations, and the kindergartners and grade 5 are helping to haul it out to their new garden compost bins. Soon finished compost will be ready to sustain the garden.
This week, the teachers welcome back the 1st and 2nd graders from the South Shore Charter Public school for their weekly visits to the Farm and to cultivate their garden. Spring is upon us as the teachers at the Farm will also site some new, exciting garden locations at four public schools in Quincy. Now is the time to plant, grow and prepare the good earth for some edible, educational produce.
2/29/2016: The Holly Hill Farm teachers were at the Cole School in Norwell planning for cafeteria compost collection. The cafeteria staff has already been saving their vegetable and fruit scraps and now will work with 5th graders and the kindergartners to help place those scraps into an outdoor compost bin. The bin will also hold straw, as a good carbon component to go with the green nitrogen. Soon, there will be finished compost for the school farm garden.
Soon, the HHF teachers will make plans for new growth at schools in Kingston and Braintree, details, and spring, soon to come.
2/22/2016: Last week, Jon Belber and Janice McPhillips were invited to participate in first ever Massachusetts Horticultural Society School Garden Summit, a gathering of 25 school garden leaders throughout the state. The goal of the summit was to share of successes and opportunities in school garden education. Mass Hort hopes to create a mechanism to share resources and best practices to improve and expand the network of school gardens throughout the state. The Summit was followed by a day long School Garden Conference attended by about 150 teachers and school garden enthusiasts including parents, garden club members, and other community members. Jon and Janice presented a workshop about STEM curriculum in school gardens. Farm Educators Lauri Jacobucci and Sonya Claridge also attended the Conference which was held at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley.
2/9/2016: Currently the Farm Educators are spending some indoor winter time writing an exciting new curriculum about school farm gardens. In our work with more than 30 schools, there are some wonderful informative lessons to write. The lessons focus on making compost, planting garlic, designing garden beds, sowing sugar snap pea seeds as well as collecting and drying herbs, to name a few. In the end, the curriculum guide will feature 15 lessons with many meaningful connections to science, literature, math, social studies, art, engineering and writing. Until the snow melts and the temperatures warm, the Farm Teachers have plenty to write, publish and share.
2/1/2016: Recently the Holly Hill Farm teachers have been continuing their vermicompost lesson having now taught every second grader in Hingham about the merits of reducing waste, putting good fruit and vegetable scraps to use and helping the worms to make some great compost for spring planting in the school gardens.
The teachers also put a few lettuce and beet seeds in a tray at the South Shore Educational Collaborative with children from the Quest program. After one week, there is already some terrific growth and with this weather of late, the promise of spring seems true.
Our teachers are now preparing to facilitate a discussion of organic school farm gardens at the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s two day seminar on growing school gardens in February over the vacation break in Wellesley.
1/26/2016: Recently, the Holly Hill Farm educators collected vegetable food scraps at snacktime from second graders at East School in Hingham as part of our town wide effort to teach about vermicompost. The second graders set up the worm bin with red wriggler worms, the food scraps, shredded newspaper and water. In eight weeks time, there should be some nutrient rich compost to add to the garden.
1/19/2016: Recently, on a not too brisk winter afternoon, the grade 1 Girl Scout Daisies at the Cushing School in Scituate gathered to earn their green badge, learn about the environment and eat oranges, apples and bananas for snack. They then collected the cores and peels to put into the new school compost bin out back by the garden. For a few months the 6th graders have been collecting similar fruit and vegetable scraps from lunch in order to and in hopes of making compost for the new school garden. Mixed with carbon based straw, the nitrogen rich food mixes well together, along with worms, to make some compost for Spring. The Daisies were happy to contribute and help reduce some trash as well. It was a nice way to help the garden in winter and offer help for the earth, while one waits for warmer weather.
1/11/16: As the farm teachers busy themselves with scheduling field trips and planning for spring seeds, there are still programs to teach at schools. Recently, we taught about indoor vermicompost at The South Shore Educational Collaborative. We started an indoor bin for food scraps and added red wriggler worms to do the work of making compost.
Soon, we will look at seed catalogues at The Old Colony Montessori School elementary classroom. It will be exciting to plan what to grow.
11/16/15: The Farm teachers joined Hingham High School students on America Recycles Day (Friday, November 13) to utilize compost made on site from lunch scraps. The sifted compost was added to the school’s 3 raised beds to enrich the soil for the newly planted garlic, harvested from the very same beds this past summer. This is the 5th year Hingham High School students have participated and learned about the cycle of sustainably growing food organically.
11/9/15: The Farm teachers joined the South Shore Charter Public School 1st & 2nd graders (Jane Sullivan’s Pod) at the Glades in North Scituate. There we gathered seaweed to bring back to their garden. The seaweed will enrich and replenish the soil in hopes of a plentiful harvest next year.
Fall is the best time to plant garlic as evidenced by the numerous school gardens that now have a crop of garlic planted for harvesting next July. Several schools joined us in baking garlic bread in their school kitchens, along with some schools that cooked potatoes and kale chips. The Friends is eager to work with any new schools that would like a School Farm Garden, K through 12.
We will host 75 kindergarteners from the Blackstone School in Boston this week at Holly Hill Farm.
10/26/15: Recently the Holly Hill Farm Educators gathered and collected sunflower seeds from drooping sunflower plants at the Cole School in Norwell. The kindergartener seed savers counted, organized and will save the seeds until spring. This week in Scituate, most of the 8th graders at the Gates Intermediate School braved the cool weather to plant garlic and sow carrot, beet, arugula, lettuce and radish seeds. We hope that these crops will get established this fall, have a nice winter’s nap and flourish in the spring.
7/13/15: Recently the Holly Hill Farm Educators sowed a new batch of carrots at the South Shore Educational Collaborative in Hingham. Garlic is now being harvested at several School Gardens so the students can make garlic bread with their teachers this fall.
7/6/15: The Plymouth River School Garden was featured on the 2nd Annual Holly Hill Farm Sustainable Garden Tour on Saturday, June 27. Children and parent visitors harvested radishes, arugula and garlic scapes and helped hill up potatoes.
Garlic scapes were harvested from several other local school gardens and delivered to two South Shore restaurants, The Corner Stop in Cohasset and The Galley in Scituate. We will continue to harvest scapes at other school gardens.
6/22/15: This past week Farm Educator Janice McPhillips worked with 5th graders at Plymouth River School in Hingham to harvest arugula and spinach. We donated 22 bags of greens to the food pantry and had enough to send a large quantity to the school kitchen to be served for lunch.
6/15/15: Recently the Farm Educators both hosted school field trips for Cohasset first and third graders. They sowed bean seeds, planted potatoes in the Education Garden and transplanted kale for the Summer Camp participants to enjoy. Soon, the teachers will plant beans at the Foster School in Hingham and potatoes at the Jacobs School in Hull. With all the snow and extended school days, the kids at schools have more opportunities to plant at their School Farm Gardens.
6/08/15: Last week the Farm Educators planted sunflower seeds with kindergarteners at the Cole School in Norwell. The kindergarteners had saved the seed from the fall. Soon the Farm Educators will transplant lots of tomatoes and tomatillos in Marshfield and Scituate for summer and autumn harvest.
6/01/15: Recently the Holly Hill Farm Educators have been heeling in hardy tomatoes at the Governor Winslow School in Marshfield and a Three Sisters (corn, beans, squash) Garden at the East School in Hingham. This week the Educators will plant six pounds of potatoes with second graders at Plymouth River School in Hingham. There are three second grade classrooms and each class will plant 2 pounds of potatoes. In the fall these future third graders hope to harvest a bountiful crop.
5/11/15: Recently the Holly Hill Farm Educators ventured to Brockton to work with Cape Verdean bilingual students in their raised bed garden. We transplanted spinach which hopefully will survive the recent heat. The Farm teachers are getting ready to transplant established corn seedlings into some Scituate and Hingham school farm gardens as part of a unit on planting The Three Sisters: corn, beans and squash.
5/2/15: Recently, the Holly Hill Farm Educators transplanted sugar snap peas into the Peck’s Meadow at the Farm with 41 Hingham High School Environmental Science students. In the same field with less precision, but equal passion, the Cushing School third graders from Scituate transplanted baby spinach seedlings. This week Newton Country Day high school senior, Sam will help transplant leeks, kale and Swiss chard. Also Milton Academy senior Alison will help pot up seedlings for the upcoming Plant Sale.
4/27/15: On Saturday, April 25 Consider This! Contest writers and illustrators gathered at Holly Hill Farm to celebrate their consideration of all things soil. The contest was sponsored by the Frank H. White Scholarship Fund. Certificates of Achievement were handed out to students K – 12. In addition, two classroom teachers were acknowledged for leading whole class activities. Second graders at Hingham’s St. Paul School in Mrs. Gaughan’s class created a collage about soil and Mrs. Paget’s fourth graders at South Elementary School in Hingham each wrote detailed essays with creative illustrations about the content of soil. Aine Folan from Notre Dame Academy quoted Franklin D. Roosevelt, “A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself”. 2015 is designated the Year of the Soil!
4/13/15: Recently the Holly Hill Farm teachers were at the OLD COLONY MONTESSORI SCHOOL in HINGHAM shoveling snow off of the garden beds and turning the cold, cold soil. We then planted spinach and arugula seeds. We also began after school programs at the BAY FARM MONTESSORI ACADEMY in DUXBURY and the EAST SCHOOL in HINGHAM. There are 14 young farm students in each program eager to welcome spring, sow seeds and get their hands dirty after a long winter. This week we will head to 12 school farm gardens to plant and transplant sugar snap peas in hopes of a June harvest.
4/6/15: The 5th Annual Consider This! essay and illustration contest, is sponsored by the Friends of Holly Hill Farm and supported by the Frank H. White Scholarship Fund. The 2015 topic: Soil is for Plants. Students in grades K-12 were invited to participate. Winners will be announced Thursday, April 16, 4:00 pm at the Paul Pratt Library in Cohasset.