Weekly Worm Archive


JudyThe Weekly Worm
Your School Garden’s Newsletter
“Bringing you fresh news from the garden!”

April 2005

Belfast Co-op

For the past few months many of the seventh grade students have been working with the produce manager at the Co-op, Patty Toy, During study halls and social studies classes. During our time with Patty, she taught us about harvesting the vegetables, like basil, swiss-chard, and dill.

After harvesting, Patty then helps us package them so they won’t get damaged on they’re trip to the Co-op where Patty sets up an area for them and starts selling out fresh veggies to the community.
chard On average our vegetables sell out within 2 days at the Co-op and we have come to the conclusion that it’s because the community just can’t get enough of our fresh vegetables. We’ve been selling our vegetables at the Co-op since January, and on average we deliver about 60 bunches of swiss-chard, 40 bunches of basil, and some dill.

Since we started working with the Co-op we’ve learned that marketing our vegetables there is a lot that goes into making sure that our vegetables are good enough to sell to the community. If our basil isn’t tall enough we leave it to grow for another week or so because we only want the best of our vegetables out in our community.

We feel that it’s very important to buy your food as local as possible, did you know that food in the supermarket travels an average of 43 thousand miles before it reaches your table?

By: Desiree Arnold and Misty Ray

Research Support for Kids Gardening

Many students may ask why on earth do we have to “work” in the green house. In fact I was one of those students at the beginning of this seventh grade year. Although, as the school year progressed further towards the summer I began to realize how wonderful the garden is for the students, and for myself. As the year first started out, I was a troubled student. However, as the school year came about i began to become involved in school. As a result school became fun.

The garden project played an amazingly large part in my success in school and in life. The garden and green house are both stress free, outdoor classrooms. In the green house many students like myself have learned how to do math quickly for planting purposes and how to support each other. If a student is planting for example, and class is almost over. The student may ask for help and is more than likely to have gotten help and completed the job. Working in the garden has also taught students people skills, and other life skills that are very important.

The 2002 National Gardening Association’s studies have shown that having a positive, stress-free, and peaceful gardening youth program, often is a influence on students with a low-self-esteem and bad attitudes towards school. According to 2002 National Gardening Association’s studies, “ A garden program will provide opportunities for kids to learn new life skills, and thereby increase their self-esteem and improve their attitudes toward school!

By: Jessica Berry

2nd Grade Tours

Earlier in the year we had some kids from the second grade come to our school for a garden tour. We are proud to say they had a great time. We had 3 stations with 3 groups of second graders and 1 tour guide for each group. All of the students were enthusiastic in each station.

The first station my group had was a relay race for things that you could use in composting, the people explaining the game were Mike Back and Kyle White. The kids called them the worm experts because they also had a live demonstration of composting with some of the gardens very own worms. The second station they went to was a scavenger hunt in the green house. Some of the hosts of that were Felicia Tucker, Whitney Cunningham and Winston Poole.

greenkidsThe last station was a make your own seed packet station with two 8th graders, Emily Desjardens and Brittany Dyer. A lot of the kids got really frustrated with that because they kept on drawing on the seed packet up side down, but over all the 2nd graders really liked the tour. There were tour guides, Ashton Fancy, Renna Smith, Sam Marston, Crystle Kirby and myself. The teachers said that next year they would bring their new second graders back and hopefully they have as much fun as they did this year.

By: Sarah Bowen

Tropical Air

Oranges, kiwis, prickly pears and more! These are all part of our new garden project. As an edition to our continuously growing green house we have decided to add some exotic fruits. Not too long ago we started out tropical expedition.
Tropical A lovely couple traveled down to Maine from Canada to help us out. We had many types of fruit to experiment with.

We had many fruits and one vegetable sprawled out over the table. Our first pick was the oranges. Juice seeped out over our hands as we sliced them open. We would take out the seeds then squeeze the juice for a small portion of our tasty snack. The juice was sweet and refreshing but I was waiting to get my hands on the weird spiny thing on the table’s edge.
Having stared at the thorny fruit for about 5 minutes straight I was thrilled to finally give it a go at taste testing. It was called a prickly pear. It’s inside was a nice warm purple-red color. It didn’t have a very strong taste to it but it was delicious and filled with seeds.
We planted a small variety of about 3 types of papaya. I personally enjoyed the darker red one from South America. It was really sweet and ripe to perfection. It had a sort of mushy texture but was a great treat none the less.
We separated each of the different fruit seeds into little cups so as to keep them separate. Then we pulled out a fair sized white container. It had several rounded almost cone shaped cells in each row. Unlike the apple seeds it was not necessary to dry these so they were placed in the cells straight after we got finished with the fruit.
Since then there has been tremendous progress with both orange and papaya plants. Some of them have already been transferred to larger pots. At the moment they are continuing to grow healthy and strong.

By: Janet Mathieson

A Little Song
By Emma Clark

Rowing on the stream one morning,
looking for something to eat.
I see a rabbit hopping by.
What a taste looking treat!
I said to the rabbit,
“come over here.”
No, no, no Mr. Indian man,
go find a deer!


Rowing on the stream one afternoon,
looking for something to wear.
I see a large beaver making a home,
or some type of dome.
I said to the large beaver,
“come over here,I need something to wear.”
No, no, no, Mr. Indian man go wear a hare!


Rowing home on the stream, one evening
with my deer and my hare,
I see all the trees and my friends.
I call to them,
“dinner will be soon.”
The wigwams are warm at night.
What a long afternoon!

Lasagna Potato Tower

You might not know it but at THMS we have a tower… a potato tower. We call it the Lasagna Potato Tower. Your are probably thinking, “what does a lasagna have to withpotato potatoes?” It really has nothing to directly do with the potato at all but describes how they are prepared for growing in a small space like the greenhouse.
We layer the potato eyes, compost, worm castings and straw just like the layers of a lasagna. This is held together by thick metal screening that we molded into the cylinder shape that we had needed.
The potato tower grows a lot of potatoes in a small area about 3 feet diameter and five feet tall. Normally this many potatoes takes up to a 20 foot row in the garden but by using the lasagna method we only have to use 3 feet. The bottom line is we are maximizing our growing space.

note- This idea was given to use by a local, professional farmer that lives in Monroe. Mark comes down to help us in the winter with our greenhouse to monitor and cure disease and pest problems. He’s a great help. One day he even came down and gave us fruit to make a topical garden with. He’s also taught us to make all of our own fertilizers for any type of plant or flower.

By: Christopher Brown

Feb 2005

Harvest Supper

To prepare the harvest supper it took a lot of hard work to make it happen.
The process of making the sauce was a long process. It took several days to fully complete the sauce for the delicious dinner ahead. First we had to pick all of the veggies we planned to use for the sauce. It took a lot of tomatoes, namely 1200, which we froze last fall! We also picked peppers and onions and carrots too.

Then came the process of cleaning the veggies and sorting the good from the bad. The only thing we bought for this mealv was the spaghetti and tomato paste. We had to chop everything small enough to make a decent sauce without giant chunks of veggies floating around. Good thing we had an electric chopper. When we chopped the onion’s smell was so strong that it made everyone cry and have red eyes for a while.

The came making the sauce. We added just the right amount of every ingredient it every pot. Execpt the vegetartan sauce. We left the meat out of that one! The sauce smelled great! We had four giant post filled with the stuff. The health room smelled of sauce and onions for a couple of days.
The students had a lot of fun, especially two students named Renna Smith and Sarah Bowen. Who were splashing each other and the walls with sauce.

In the words of Ms. Wislow,”What did you girls do!”

On the night of the harvest supper, a few students volunteered to stay after school to help prepare for the supper. They laid out the saouce, spaghetti, salad, coleslaw, and homade Garlic bread. The teachers also stayed behind to begin their own task of cooking enough spaghetti for all 7-North and their families.
When I tasted the spaghetti it was delicious! My brother wanted seconds. Altogether the supper was worth the hard work. It was a successful event.

Thank you to:
Ms. Carlson for putting up with us using her room.
Mrs. Fancy for sharing some of her catering skills with us.
By: Ellen McDonald

The Greenhouse Effect on T.H.M.S Learning

In the green house, students are given the opportunity to work with plants and animals. When students are given the opportunity to work in the green house, some students think of the green house as an excuse to not do work. However, working in the green house is an important way of learning because many students are able to learn by hands on material. The green house has been one of the most useful tool in school. The green house is a very relaxed place in which learning seems like the impossible.

The green house is a very calm place where learning is really the easiest thing in the world because of Mr. Tanguay our Social Studies teacher and Mr. White the garden coordinator. They have been able to teach us ways to cope with problems in a healthy environment. Mr. Tanguay and Mr. White have worked together to become one of the best teaching partners in my opinion. Mr. Tanguay and Mr. White have made this school year better for many students. The green house has not only been a safety net for many students in their time of frustration but the green house has also played as a valuable learning tool for many students.

I personally have found that the green house is a very calm, cool and collected area in which students seem to very comfortable. The students at the T.H,M.S have come a very long way this year. The seventh graders of 7 North have showed a lot of maturity and a lot of patience in the garden project. I have interviewed some students after having gone out to the garden. They seem to be relaxed and very collected.
Students who stay inside while the rest of the class or part of the class goes out to the green house, they appeared to be very frustrated and very poorly focused. I’ve asked a student her opinion about what she thinks about the green houses effect on students learning.
Student Allie Carpenter of rm #115 had this to say about the green houses effect on learning: “ I think it helps with our learning as long as it doesn’t come in between our school work.”
I personally would have to agree partly. As long as it doesn’t effect my concentration when I’m not out in the green house, I’m all for it. I think that the green house effect is not only helping with school but is also a outlet for some students. Some students I’ve noticed have gone out to the green house to take space to de-escalate a situation.
While some students use the green house to help them relax other students use the green house as a “class”. Some students use the green house as a “class” to teach them patience and kindness to the plants and rabbit. The garden is a useful tool for many and all students. It’s all how you look at it.
The green house is a very calm place and many students really enjoy being able to take a period once and a while to go out because it’s always an interesting place to be. I’ll end this article with a quote by a research facility about gardening and how it effects learning and the average students.

“ Gardening is a great opportunity for the youths of our schools because gardening teaches youths very valuable lessons like for example, people skills, gardening skill, fast math skills, and patience”.

Christopher Brown and Janet Mathieson

Paper Making

Troy A. Howard Middle School has made paper on September 1, 2004. Our school saved our trees and made paper from soft wet cotton like materials. A great experiance it gave us. We made paper step by step and here is how it goes.
We got the cotton substances and put it into a bucket of cold water. The water keep the material from drying up and turning into paper.

Our class had separate little trays that had tiny holes. What we did was take the tray and pick up the tiny particles. Lots of water got in and that is were the tiny holes come in. The holes would keep the particles in, but would release the water so that we could move further on.

When there was no more water we started to make sure our paper was spread out good enough. We had tiny stencils so we could make star shapes. If you used a stencil then you would have to take the extra paper out and put it back in the bin with the wet paper substance.
After we got our shapes we would get a soft tissue paper and flip it over cafullly so that the shape would not mess up. You would let the paper dry so we wouldn’t mess it up. It took a while but the paper was finally dry.

Now the paper was great and ready to use. It was a great experience and it taught us that there is always a better way to make paper. Instead of cutting trees we decided to make it this way. Our schools used the paper for one of our school projects. The project was to make our own currency. The paper worked very well. All of us were very happy and had awsome designs. Another success of THMS.
By: Nelson Maldonado

Tea Time

For the fisrt time Troy Howard Middle School garden company has made hebal tea, and it tasted great. Tea making is not a easy task. first we planted different herbs such as mint and sage.
Then we picked all of the leaves off the plant and put them into a pot of water. Then we placed the pot of water on the burner and turned it up to the max so we could get it to boil. Once it is boiling for about 5-10 minutes so we could get all of the flavor out of the leaves. Once that was done it was ready to drink. If you want you can add honey, milk or maybe sugar to pice it up a little bit.
Most of us at the garden company enjoyed it. There were very few who didn’t. It was probably one of the best experiences that I have had. It is a great activity to do with a group. It takes a tremendous amount of teamwork and talent.
By: Josh Wolfe

Notes From the Editors

January 2005

Simply Salsa

The 7-North team made some salsa to sell at the garden stand. Al of the kids took part in it somehow. For example some kids picked the vegetables, some cut up the vegetables, others put in the spices, and some put the salsa inn containers. The team worked extremely hard and had a lot of fun.

We sold almost all of our salsa and we made a bunch! So it was very exciting to have our product being sold so rapidly. The salsa was a little spicy to give it that extra zing but it was really juicy and that was the best part.

The salsa had a lot of great tasting foods and spices in it like tomatoes, peppers, jalopenios, basil, cilantro, garlic, ect. The salsa was made fresh and it was full of flavor so everybody could enjoy it. When the kids first made the salsa they had a lot of fun because they each had their own job.

The salsa was being sold before we even opened because it was so good. It was juicy and the smell was awesome. We let the salsa sit for a while so when you eat it the flavor would really burst into your mouth. The teachers helped tell us what we needed to do but after that they let us do it by our selves.

To make the salsa we obviously need vegetables and spices so we grew all of the things we needed in our garden at school. The kids in our school work in the garden and they make it fun even though we are working. We picked the vegetablews and all the stuff we needed and chopped it all up and threw it in the pot and stirred it up. We used organic vegetables to make it and they were awesome. They tasted great and usually I don’t like all the vegetables but for this salsa I acually ate it and it didn’t bother me. We made the salsa and we sold the salsa now get out there and buy some vegetables to make your own salsa!

By: Caroline Carr
Bean Whole Bean Supper

The bean whole bean dinner was an event that took place November 9th, 2004 and was an enjoyable experience to all who came. This event has been in planning since last year when the former 7 North team had decided that they would come into some 6th grade classes and talk to them about Maine Beans.

The “Bean Team” taught us about seed development, the history of Maine beans and how to plant them. We even planted many Maine beans, including Jacob’s Gasless Cattle Beans! This year we all enjoyed how the beans tasted once they were cooked in a fun and enjoyable way, inside a hole over hot coals.

Of course this dinner was a little different then anyone could have anticipated. At this dinner we also had lobster dipped in butter! The lobster was donated, picked and cooked by Mr. and Mrs. Black. We ate at least 3+ pounds and learned that it took 7 years for it to grow to 11-12 lbs. Everyone found it to be a great treat ( well if they liked lobster).

Other people who where kind enough to donated they’re time and expertise Mr. and Mrs. Clark who were kind enough to also donate all the pots and pans used for cooking. We found they’re help to be invaluable in making this luncheon happen.
Another great dish that we had was garlic bread, but it wasn’t just any garlic bread. It was garlic breade that the students made themselves from scratch. The students who were involved in making this bread should know it was wonderful and be very proud of themselves.

This was a wonderful experience for all who were involved and we are very happy to say it was a huge success. It would be a great thing to turn into a 7 North tradition!
By: Desiree Arnold
The Common Ground Fair

At the Common Ground Fair you can do many things, you can buy other’s wares and, if you are a gardener you can sell your wares to other people. There are also demonstrations an animals there to buy or even just to look at. At the fair you never have to worry about going hungry, there’s always a food vendor just around the corner.
The amount of vegetables there is amazing! You have just about as many different kinds of veggies you can grow in Maine. There’s tomato, potato, garlic, apples, and onions just to name a very small few. Not only is the selection wonderful but all the veggies look fantastic! The vendor’s stands are also in tiptop shape, the stands are a feast for the eyes while the contents would be a feast for the taste buds and eyes.
The demonstrations are wonderful and informative. They tell you how things are done on a farm or just tell you about a specific subject, like one about birds that I saw. It told about birds of prey, and exactly what makes them birds of prey.

The livestock section of the fair because I like animals. The livestock animals include cows, sheep, goats, donkeys, and horses. They had a show where 2 donkeys compete to see which can jump the highest over a set bar they have to completely ce=lear teh bar of they are out and the other donky wins. The bar was raised after every round. The livestock section was the best.

Well when I say the best that is tied with the food section. They had a huge selection of food to choose from. They had onion rings, french fries, and smoothies just to name a small amount of choices.

Well, I had a good time at the Common Ground Fair and if and when you go I’m sure that you will have an equally good time. That’s all folks, bye, bye.
By: Genevieve Black

Frog Pond

The Weekly Worm has an important announcement to make, that is to inform the Troy Howard Middle School students that a all new frog pond has been installed in the THMS greenhouse!!! Thanks to our research team and encyclopedias we have counculded that frogs a small, tailess animal with bulging eyes. Frogs benefit people in many ways.
Frogs eat numerous kinds of insects,which might otherwise become serious pests. Frogs also provide us with food. The meaty hind legs of larger frogs are considered a delicacy in many countries. Frogs also are used in laboratories. Medical researchers use frogs to test new drugs, and students dissect frogs to learn about anatomy. Almost all frogs also have long back legs. The storng hind legs enable a frog to leap distances far greater that the lengs of its body. Frogs live on every continent except Antarctica, but tropical regions have the greatest number of species.

Frogs are classified as amphibians. Most amphibians, including most frogs, spend part of their life as a water animal and part as a land animal. The giant, or Goliath, frog of west-central Africa ranks as the largest frog. It measures nearly a foot long. The smallest species grow only 1/2 inch long. Frogs also differ in color. Most kinds are green or brown, but some have colorul markings. Frogs, like all other amphibians, are cold-blooded-that is, their body temperature tends to be the same as the temperature of the surrounding air or water. Frogs that live in regions with cold winters hibernate. Some species hibernate in burrows. Others spend the winter buried in mud at the bottom of a pond or stream, breathing through their skin. During hibernation, a frog lives off materials sotred in its boddy tissues.

A few hibernating species can live through winters during which much of their bodies freeze. In these species, the cells produce a natural antifreeze that keeps vital parts of the body unfrozen, enabling the frogs to survive bitter cold. Well now thta you know a little about frogs and why they are good for us go out and enjoy the frogs that make our life enjoyable!!!
By: Kent Bradstreet

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States of America and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli”.

– George Bush, U.S. President, 1990

The Pizza Garden

For 2 years the pizza garden at THMS has been cared and tended for by the 7th graders. Each year we grow wheat, tomatoes, basil and we get our cheese from our very own cafeteria. All year we weed, tend and watch our pizza garden grow. We look forward to going outside to work on the garden.
The first thing we did to start the pizza garden was pick the wheat kernels out of the wheat plant itself. We boiled and mashed the tomatoes until they turned saucy. We added basil and other spices to add flavor.

For a project that 7 North was doing in Social Studies all of the students in Mr. Tanguays class got together and opened up a restaurant ( not literally of course ) and made our own pizza. After we baked the pizza that our group[ make came the best part, to try our pizza that we made earlier that day. Some people liked the pizza, some people didn’t. But over all most everyone liked it and had more than one slice. THMS even has a web site based of the pizza garden, just go to http://www.sad34.net/garden aned click on the pizza garden. We had worked for a while to make the pizza and personally, I think all of the work was worth it.
By: Sarah Bowen

Veggie Word Search





Hey! After months of working we’ve finally got the paper up and running! Its been a lot of work and we’ve had a lot of people help us. We’d like to thank Mr. Tanguey and Ms. Hartkoph for taking time to help us and letting us work on it during classes.
We’d also like to thank Desmond Hasskle for the art work and Josh Wolfe for working on the paper too, that is the little work that he did meaning not much. We’d also like to thank Ms. Winslow for having her students write articles for the paper and all the students that wrote them. We hope you enjoy this issue and we will be getting another one out shortly. Thank you, the editors

– Ashton Fancy and Renna Smith

One Response to “Weekly Worm Archive”

  1. Tamara Houchard Says:

    I was really impressed with this website and your chronicles of the adventures in the garden and with learning how to enhance your relationships with each other. This is such an inspiration to me, as I am a third-grade teacher beginning to establish a garden program at my school. Thank you for the boost of energy!

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