An animated and energetic group met to discuss progress and continue the wave of gardening throughout town.
Susan Polk-Hoffses explained the Farm to School project at Milbridge Elementary School. Susan and a helper will be maintaining the raised beds through September when the kids return. Then students will continue the garden care. The beds are in the front of the school, very visible from the street, just under the Milbridge Elementary School sign. The ultimate goal is to have vegetables from the garden end up in the cafeteria.
Kathy Gearhart has refined her logo design and will be starting a raised bed of her own. Kathy has also volunteered to paint the logo on the side of the propaganda garden cart. Thanks, Kathy, for sharing your amazing talents!
Susan Jordan Bennett has been tasked with coming up with the least expensive printing option for the signs. Susan is on this and we should see signs very soon.
Janis Lesbines brought photos of the completed garden cart, also known as our propaganda garden on wheels. This was a wonderful collaboration with many community members joining forces to create a unique vehicle for spreading the gardening bug. Joke Van Derschoot donated the cart, which was in sad shape. But Janis Lesbines and Charlene Sprague saw the possibilities. Charlene pulled the cart from Joke’s to her home with pieces of wood falling off along the way. Apparently the trip was quite an ordeal. Neil Bishop from Acadia Steel donated a piece of steel to repair the frame. Jack Orcutt did the welding and Fritz Genshiemer replaced the wood on the cart. Charlene painted the frame and got buckets of Janis Lesbines’ compost. Janis and Charlene met at the EIG soil pile and loaded up with rich soil provided by Mark Wright. Hauling the soil-laden cart back to Charlene’s, the tires started going flat, so it was a slow trip. Once there, veggies from Janis, Charlene, and Donna Pickard were planted. All told, they planted sun gold tomatoes, pole beans, corn, cucumbers, squash, peppers, nasturtiums, herbs, onions, cabbage, kale and eggplant. WOW! The planting took place on one of those 80 degree plus days, so it was work.
Following the Milbridge Days parade, the cart will spend the summer parked outside of Camden National Bank, enjoying great visibility in the community.
Bill and Ann Arnold have completed multiple raised beds and Bill has the lumber for the rest of the beds. These will be going to the Congo Church, Mano en Mano and Luna Midwifery. The need for a carpenter was discussed and if no pro’s are able to help, Michael Kuhni will help Bill. Bill is waiting on a saw blade to come in before he can proceed. He has also completed four large planters.
We discussed possible grants that may be available as we look to expand next year’s projects to include an orchard. We floated the idea of individuals, clubs, classrooms, service organizations each adopting a tree and being responsible for the care and maintenance.
Discussed recruiting young volunteers to help plant beds. Hopefully they will catch the garden “bug” and continue to share their knowledge and spread the message of sustainable healthy eating.
Donna Picard brought an article about a town in West Virginia and their success with EIG, also based on the Todmorden model. Another article addressed the hidden and unhealthy ingredients in foods.
Joanne Halpin attended and will continue to document our progress in the Downeast Coast Press. Thanks to Joanne for giving voice to our efforts. Remember, SEND PICTURES!
Next meeting will be Monday July 22 at 6:30 PM.