Row cover experiment a success

Row cover on raised bed

Two classes of seventh graders planted adjacent raised beds with mixed greens in mid-April.  They covered one with row cover and left the other exposed.  Five weeks later weeks later we uncovered the bed with row cover and took pictures.  The difference was amazing.  The covered bed was way ahead of the exposed bed and the plants were healthier.  The questions began to fly and I attributed the difference to trapped heat, insect protection and protection from the heavy May rains we experienced.  I was glad the difference was so dramatic and I hope I made an impression on future gardeners and farmers.

Bed with  cover

Bed with no row cover

Students removing row cover

Garlic way ahead of schedule

We planted four varieties of garlic last October in our beautiful clay loam soil.  Early signs of green shoots began when the snow usually covers the garden.  The kids had to coax a few through the shredded leaf mulch but they were going gang busters by the end of march.  Now the porcelins are two feet high almost blue and the racamboles are a beautiful shade of light green in comparison.  We hope to harvest 1000 heads this summer and our prediction is that it will be earlier in July than usual.

May 20 garlic looking good

Mother’s Day rush cleans out hanging petunias

The kids started in January planting tiny seeds of three varieties of hanging petunias.  The first transplants were made in late February and single plants were placed in 10 inch hanging pots at the end of March.  The regulars begin to come into the greenhouse the beginning of May to hold their favorites and by yesterday most were gone.  This is an annual ritual at the THMS greenhouse and a real diversion from the vegetable only greenhouse we usually run.


Petunias hanging in greenhouse

Tomatoes are ready to go

This year we started 73 varieties of tomatoes, two varieties of tomatillos and two varieties of ground cherries.  Most of the varieties are heirlooms which were brought by Mr. Thurston from Medomak Valley High School.  They are the spotlight of our annual plant sale and will be sold out by the first of June.  At one dollar per plant it is quite a bargain!

Ecology Academy composters of the year!

Our Academy has been awarded the composter of the year award by the Maine Resource Recovery Association.  Mr. Thurston accepted the award at point lookout in Lincolnville.  He also presented a slide show of the operation to the association.  We are really proud the gains we have made this year in creating enough compost to cover our entire operation.