Saturday, September 20, 2014

Integrating the Garden into School, Fall 2014

The first three weeks of school have been beautiful in the garden. Students have harvested tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, delicata squash and carrots from the raised beds. Next week many of these vegetables will be used in our school cafeteria for MAINE HARVEST LUNCH WEEK. Teachers are integrating the garden into their curriculum in many ways. The pictures below tell the story of the FES Learning Garden, September 2014.
1st grade Pizza Garden

Produce transported to the cafeteria
K/5 Rainbow Garden

Garden Flowers Decorate the Front Lobby
Math Studies in the Garden
3rd Grade Garden Poetry

Rainbow Carrots!
Carrot Harvesting

First Grade gets an unexpected insect lesson- a tomato hornworm!

Sunday, August 31, 2014


It has been a great summer for gardening. The FES Learning Garden is ready for students to return to school. This summer we donated tomatoes, beans and cucumbers to the Falmouth Food Pantry. The recipients at the Food Pantry were very appreciative to receive these lovely vegetables. Soon students will be harvesting vegetables for their school lunch. Enjoy the pictures of our late summer garden.
The entrance to the butterfly garden 
Sensory Garden is flourishing
Indigo blue tomatoes
K/5 Rainbow Garden

Where is this big pumpkin?

Special Ed. students planted this bed
Beautiful dahlias in the 2nd grade bed

Welcome Back to Fall!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Garden is Prepped and Planted

May has been a busy month at the elementary learning garden. An irrigation system was installed thanks to a grant from FEF and other earnings from the Garden Club and Seed Sale.  Fifth grade Girl Scouts helped spread compost (from Garbage to Garden) and erosion mulch on the lower garden slope. Other 5th grade students spent a recess period spreading mulch in the butterfly garden. All of the raised beds were planted this week by students, teachers and our master gardener, Alora Carrier.
A special thanks is extended to Tom Raatikainen, for handcrafting and installing our twig trellises. 

The raised bed themes are:
  • K/5 = Rainbow Garden
  • 1st grade= Pizza Garden
  • 2nd grade= Dahlia Garden
  • 3rd grade= Climbing Garden
  • 4th grade = Stew Garden

The pictures below tell the story of our fun and fruitful May prep and planting. Please join us on Sat., May 31 for our Plant Sale which begins at 9 am and our Wellness Festival at 10:30. Funds raised from these events will benefit our school gardens and the elementary playground.

Girl Scouts spreading compost

Master Gardener helps us plant the Rainbow Garden
Planting the Stew Garden

Hard working Girl Scouts

Aerial view of the Learning Garden
5th grade help

5th graders spreading mulch
Trellis Installation 
2nd grade dahlia planting

1st grade plants the pizza garden

A sign of healthy soil!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Garden is Waking Up

Spring has finally come to Falmouth and our garden is waking up. The daffodils that we planted last fall blossomed beautifully this week. Our first Spring Community Programs After School Garden Club met. Club Kids  cleaned out hay from the Raised Beds and began the design for the permanent garden sign. 

I would like to recognize two people outside of school who are donating generous time and energy to the learning garden. Our master gardener, Alora Carrier helped us develop ideas and plantings for the grade level raised beds. She will be guiding us as we plant each raised bed this spring.  Garden Plans were designed and painted by Deb Train of Coastal Earth and Arts, Culinary Garden Installation. See Deb's beautiful water color garden plans in the photos below. For more information on Coastal Earth and Arts contact Deb at, 207-214-8500.

Daffodils planted by students last fall

Clean Up Crew

Working hard
Seed starters

Designing the Garden Sign

Garden Plan Drawings by Deb Train of Coastal Earth and Arts

The Falmouth School Gardens are sponsoring a Plant Sale on Sat. May 31 from 9-11 am at the Elementary School Garden. Come support us and purchase plants at the same time. We will have annual flowers,vegetables,herbs,perennials, lilacs and forsythia. Please bring cash or checks. All proceeds benefit your school gardens.

Prior to the sale we are asking for donations of perennials from the following list:
Astilbe, Bee Balm, Black Eyed Susan, Bleeding Heart, Catmint, Coneflower,Coral bells, Coreopsis, Creeping Phlox, Dianthus, Garden Phlox, Hosta, Irises, Lady's Mantle, Lilies, Day-Lilies, Mayapple, Sedum, Shasta Daisy and Roses. These plants should be brought to the elementary school garden before Friday, May 30. Please contact Sue Raatikainen ( or Alora Carrier, Master Gardener ( if you are able to donate plants for our sale.

The Wellness Team and the PTO are also sponsoring a Wellness Festival on Sat. May 31 form 10:30 to 2:30. This event will include a Fun Run, Wellness Village, Rainbow Stew Storywalk, Kids Fitness and Crafts, live music and food trucks. Proceeds will be used to build a natural playspace on the FES playground. Watch for more information on the upcoming facebook page (

Mark your calendar for this fun-filled day at FES to promote school grounds and gardening! Check our blog regularly to watch our garden and playground grow.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

See how we celebrate Nutrition Month at FES


FES is celebrating National National Nutrition Month school-wide. All grade levels received a copy of the book “Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure”. This book offers children a fun way to get off the junk food track and makes healthy eating fun. It is  based on the Foodplay Production that all students saw in December. Each week we are focusing on the 5-2-1-0 message and My Plate. Specialists in PE, music, library, art, computer and health are integrating nutrition information in their classes.

We began the promotion with a healthy food “rap” that was performed by Principal John Flaherty and Paula Kennedy on morning announcements. 5th grade students are singing healthy raps during morning announcements the last week in March. On Friday,March, 28th  the cafeteria will “wrap up the month” by serving a healthy chicken caesar wrap for lunch.  More information on healthy eating is available at , , and The pictures highlight our school-wide celebration.

Giant Fruits and Vegetables decorate the front lobby

Broccoli and Grapes!

5th graders studying sugar content of drinks in Health

5th graders learning about MY PLATE

1st graders point out their favorite vegetable

Playing My Plate in PE

Library Display
March Taste Testing
Dr. Seuss Lunch

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Signs of Spring~Its Maple Sugar Season

March is a transitional month in Maine. Daytime temperatures above freezing and nighttime temperatures below freezing provide perfect conditions for maple syrup production. First grade teacher Josh Olins recently brought his students outside to the Peace Park to tap a maple tree on a sunny March day. The pictures below tell the story of this unique outdoor learning opportunity. It is a hopeful sign of spring!

Finding the perfect maple tree
Tapping the tree

Watching for syrup

Pancake and Syrup Production

Finished product!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Growing Valentines, Cultivating Community

Falmouth Elementary School students are planting hundreds of bulbs to bloom just in time for Valentine’s Day. While they grow, students will nurture and observe them inside our building. Just as they are about to bloom, we will reach out and deliver these heartfelt Growing Valentines to seniors in our community.
For each senior that an elementary school family anonymously “adopts” FES volunteers will deliver a Growing Valentine as a gift from their friends at Falmouth Elementary School. Deliveries will be made in bulk sometime during the week of February tenth. Several private and civic locations have been designated as distribution centers. These locations include Ocean View (assisted and independent living), Falmouth By the Sea, Foreside Harbor, Sedgewood Commons and Falmouth Memorial Library.
❤ Many families have "adopted" a senior community member to help us spread love & goodwill across town as we wait together for hopeful signs of spring to arrive. The pictures below are an example of these beautiful living valentines that are growing at FES.
All proceeds will benefit Falmouth Elementary School Wellness Committee for the promotion and improvement of outdoor play & learning. This project was made possible by the very generous discount provided by Skillins Greenhouse and Ruth’s Reusables Resources. Thank you!
❤ Check our blog in a few weeks for an update of this Cultivating Community Project.

4th graders working with preschoolers

Scientific Studies

Front Hallway Display

3rd Grader studying plant growth

Growing Valentines