NFS Garden Club
The NFS Garden Club is in charge of the NFS gardens and teaching our children about healthy foods and where they come from.
We are excited to report that our new garden shed will be coming from the high school soon! And exciting news about the donation & installation of our NFS Garden Fence for our raised bed garden coming this spring thanks to Greg Morneault & Four Season Fence. Our NFS Garden club members are GROWING and anyone who would like to join in and help grow our NFS Garden together can please contact Kim Kumph or Sara Zoe Patterson.
IN THE NFS GARDEN by Kimberly Kumph
April 9, 2018
Hello & Happy Spring!
The NFS 3rd Graders are taking part in a “First Peas to Table” Contest. All three of the Portsmouth Elementary Schools are participating in this contest, as well as PMS & PHS. The Contest states: The first school to harvest 1 cup of shelled peas from their school garden Wins!! FUN!!!
Kate Mitchell was out in the NFS Garden this past Thursday morning @ 8:45AM, with 3rd grade students & Teachers & staff (and I can tell you… It was CHILLY) They planted their peas in several different stages of germination. It will be interesting for the students to check weekly on their planting and add info to their garden journals to see which grows best. Students will also be encouraged to determine what might help their seeds. A fabric crop cover for chilly nights, perhaps staking or constructing a trellis for the pea’s as the plants get more established. But it is ultimatey left up to the 3rd Grade students to make the call as this is their contest! Good Luck NFS! Have Fun with this!!!
Thank you Farmer Kate for the Great Pea Planting lesson!!!
We have some exciting news!!! The Garden Gate is finished and installed! Greg we can’t thank you enough for all that you have given of you time, expertise and materials for this unbelievably COOL New Franklin School Garden Fence! Amazing!!
If anyone knows anyone who is looking for fencing (commercial, industrial, residential) please spread the word on what an amazing company Four Season Fence is!!
Four Season Fence
15 Banfield Rd.
Another piece of good news is that we have a new hose (last one that we left laying across the parking lot didn’t survive). Solution: Eddie acquired a new length of hose for us. Thanks Eddie!! I purchased a shut off valve, since the picket shutoff is inside the locked door on the loading dock. We just need to be sure that after watering to shut off the water between hoses, disconnect the hoses and coil both hoses back up (green hose coiled on the school loading dock hose hanger and back hose coiled on the garden fence hose hanger.) Thank you for your help with this.
Thank you for families that have joined in our Monday evening Gardening time, it has been fun to see you and the garden’s thanks you! Sarah M. has a plan to spread an entire raised bed with lettuce tonight. The idea being plant it now and with a weeks worth of regular watering, it should be great timing to harvest when the kids return at the end of August! Awesome!
I also have some plants that I grew from seed, some Malibar spinach and Swiss chard that we can plant in one of the beds tonight, I also have a sage plant and a few small basil plants that can be added to the herb garden (which is mostly mint… please feel free to harvest some mint!) Hope to see you this evening if it works for you to stop by!
We spoke about setting up a weekly set time for a NF garden work evening. A time when anyone who is available and interested in meeting up with others can work a little in the garden, swap some gardening knowledge, bounce around NFS Garden Club ideas all while helping keep the NF gardens thriving over the summer months!
I'm sorry for the last minute notice... but we were thinking that Monday evenings might be a great time. Say 6-7 p.m. or 6:30-7:30 p.m. I'll be there this evening, if you are free and this sounds like fun, bring the kids and we'll dig in!
So much has happened in the NFS Gardens this past weekend and Monday! Thank you Peter L. for moving the square raised bed and good garden soil from out front back to the fenced in garden and transplanting the mums growing there!
This past HOT weekend Nurse Barbara single handedly tackled a mound of piled up earth waiting to be taken away, and dug in and used it to fill the fence trench! Great idea and such a tremendous effort, AND dug and moved a pile of fill to level the front corner of the garden where we placed the small square bed.Thank you SO much Barbara! WOW, that was a ton of work! Thank you! So beautiful to see a pile go flat!
Now Unitil can come and grade and seed that area between the garden and the parking lot where they did their gas line work last fall. Yeah! On Saturday, Emily Loehwing & Dad helped to spread the soil in the far side of the garden, great effort, now it’s level and ready for wood chips.
Greg came in this past super hot Sunday and put in the last few sections of fence. Once the gate goes in the fence is a wrap! It looks amazing!
Monday Sarah M. braved the heat and dug in weeding the NFS Daisy-Girl Scout raised bed, planted some tomato plants, marigolds in the front garden, and some lovely Amaranth plants she brought in! Thanks for all of the gardening work Sarah! I know a super hot day is not the best for the plants, but we watered everything in like crazy! There are only 8 days of school left we needed to get these plants in the gardens!
Sarah also suggested having a set NFS Gardening evening this summer when committee members could plan on meeting up with other Garden Club members and spending some time in the gardens working on what ever needs tending to. GREAT idea! Let’s say… Monday evenings from 6:00-7:30pm or however much time you have to spend. No pressure, but if you are available it would be great to meet, have the kids play and or help work in the garden and continue to get the NFS Gardens to where we want them to be.
Sarah also volunteered to create a Google doc sign up sheet so families can sign up for a week to volunteer to water and tend to garden needs over the summer. AWESOME. I will send this out to all soon!
Thursday 6/8 Ms. Dennis’s 3rd grade class planted a raised bed full of potato seeds! This will be an great crop to harvest when the kids get back to school in the fall! We will need to get a bucket of soil to keep next to that bed and keep layering over the greenery as it grows.
Monday Mrs. Shaw’s class & Ms. Patterson’s 3rd grade class toured the garden and learned what was growing in each of the raised beds. Mrs. Shaws' Kindergarders planted a boarder of marigolds to help protect a row of tomato plants. They were super planters!
Thanks once again to Lang’s Landscaping generous donation! Mrs. Patterson’s 3rd grade class prepared a raised bed and planted an entire bed of multi colored sweet bell peppers! They also enjoyed checking out the new shed. Great work 3rd. Graders!
The 5th Graders were looking to help with a gardening task. If it’s not too hot today, I will ask if they would like to help spread the pile of wood chips around the end of the garden that was leveled over the weekend! That’d be fabulous!!
If anyone is available to water for the rest of this week that would be great! Ed put a hose hanger on the fence so no more lugging the hose from the loading dock. Thanks ED!!!
Currently, We do need to fill watering cans from the hose and bring them to the front garden to water… working on a solution to this!
All for now! Have a great week!!
Ms. Keil’s class planted their bean plants that they grew from seed in their classroom. Ms. Hennigar’s class will plant their bean plants in the garden as well.
NFS STEAM Night: Did you witness those creative NFS students turn a bunch of branches into our new garden archway that we will attach to the inside of the gate to welcome you into the NFS Garden?
Late last week Genevieve delivered the most amazing donation from, her family’s, Lang’s Landscaping company. Including seed starts: onions, sweet bell peppers, broccoli, and seedlings,several different varieties of lettuce and plants, acorn squash, sweet bell pepper, mojito mint, chives, sage, AND flowers, including 12 marigold plants (in 3 different colors) and a Cosmos and 5 Sunpatiens (in 3 different colors). Thank you for this SUPER generous donation!!!!
There were a bunch of busy 3rd grade gardeners out in the garden Monday with Mrs. Buck. They planted: lettuce, peppers, broccoli, kale, chives & mint in the raised bed by the front door. They also lined the front of the bed with a pretty pop of Marigolds! Looks great! That is going to be a BIG “Salad Bowl Garden”! This was a perfect planting day and should get a nice watering in Tuesday too.
Also in “Salad Bowl” are two heirloom tomato plants donated by my neighbor Mr. Sarcamone. He has been saving seeds and growing this variety, he calls them “Ox Heart Tomatoes”, for 49 years! We have 3 more of his plants to put in the raised beds out back, Thank You Arthur!
Leslie Stevens of Sidewalk Farms generously donated the following seedlings: two different varieties of Kale (“Blue Russian” & “Dwarf Blue curled”), broccoli, parsley, “Bright Lights" swiss chard and 4 super sweet red cherry tomato seedlings and some seed potatoes. We are so fortunate to have so many generous donations! Thank you all.
All of the lambs Ear that has been planted in the garden by the front door as well as the Torch Tithonia and native Sunflower plants that were donated by, Caroline Fesquet. Thank you!!
The Fence is looking AMAZING! SO Amazing! Thank you for ALL you are putting into this project Greg!
Mrs. Bates Class released their butterflies into the Garden on Monday.
I know this is a VERY busy time of year, but wondering if anyone would like to get together and maybe put in an hour or two, or however long you can, working in the NFS gardens sometime this coming weekend? I can be at the school Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning to mid day. There are lots of projects to be completed, not to mention the weeds will be coming fast and furious after this rain!Let us know if you have any availability.
June 1, 2017
We would like to thank the Muske Family, Lang’s Landscaping, Leslie Stevens of Sidewalk Farms, Caroline Fesquet, and Mr. Sacramone for their very generous donation of seed starts, veggie seedlings, herbs, perennials and annuals! Wow the kids have a busy planting week ahead of them!
May 28, 2017
Hello, hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Memorial Day weekend!! I have so many EXCITING NFS GARDEN Items to report on! Our new NFS Garden shed was delivered on Wednesday 5/17 by Ken Linchey and his crew!!!! Quite the challenge transporting and positioning the structure! The shed it solid! Those PHS carpenters sure did a great job! Go check it out, if you haven’t already done so, I think you will be impressed!!
Last weekend Greg & Scott got to work on the fence. The fence is looking SO AMAZINGLY AWESOME!!!!!! More work was done on Saturday, with the last few runs and the gate to be installed soon! Can’t thank you enough Greg for all of your time & expertise!
Thanks to Sarah G. the Arctic Kiwi tree has had a healthy haircut and clean up in the front garden is underway! We’ve scratched and amended some soil, planted the dahlia tubers and lambs ear plants and a torchtithornia that were donated by Caroline. Thank you Caroline!! If anyone has time this weekend and feels like doing some digging in the garden… I left a wheelbarrow full of compost, compostsed cow manure & peat moss mixture that can be dug in the back side of the garden closest to the school.
Oh and Leslie Stevens donated some seedlings she grew: Broccoli, Russian Red Kale, kale, red cherry tomatoes, parsley & collard greens! So great! I’ll tend to them until the fence is complete so the ground hog I saw on Saturday doesn’t mow them down!
May 19, 2017
The wood chips have arrived and Matt who takes care of NFS's landscaping has spread a good healthy layer around all of the raised beds for us, Thank you Matt!! The remaining pile will need to be spread but not until the fence is installed. We need to keep the edges where the fence posts will go free of the chips for now.
The garden as you enter the school needs some help! There are many lovely low maintenance perennials in the garden, but we need to amend the soil, reset the pavers and set a plan for the theme.
Here were some ideas that we discussed earlier at a Garden Club meeting. One of the raised beds could be a bed of all edibles, like a big salad bowl garden. Basil, Nasturtium, Mixed lettuce, Arugula, many varieties of herbs… whatever else… ideas welcome… please chime in!
We also discussed a butterfly garden bed, wouldn’t that be beautiful in the raised bed just under the New Franklin Elementary School sign to the right of the doors? Perennial Sunflowers, Torch Tithonia (Aztec sunflower - annual), Celosia, Catmint and maybe some California Poppies?
I feel so fortunate to have met with Caroline (Sadie & Gus Alati’s Gram) she is a Portsmouth Garden Club member and is responsible for the exquisite gardens at the Warner House downtown! She met me at the school this morning and had so many wonderful ideas (and gave me a perennial sunflower plant and 3 Brilliant Red Heirloom Dahlia tubers that I wanted to share with you all for feedback.
In addition to her ideas with specific plants for the “Butterfly Garden” bed, she had many pruning suggestions with the shrubs & fruit tree. Caroline also suggested a border of drought tolerant Lambs Ear, Catmint and Gaura.
First step is to dig in! Loosen the soil and amend it with a mix of composted cow manure, peat moss and loam. I have some time on Saturday afternoon, please let me know if you do? I realize this is VERY late notice so we may just be getting started with a wheelbarrow, some bags of soil amendments and a pitch fork… but it all starts somewhere, right?
Mrs. Shaws' Class will be planting Potatoes in the raised beds by the shed on Monday during their Library time at 9:30 if you are able to join the fun, please shoot me an email.
Mrs. Keil’s Class will be transplanting the Beans that they have started in their classroom, If you interested in helping, please let me know.
May 18, 2017
New NFS Garden shed was delivered yesterday by Ken Linchey and his crew!!!! Quite the challenge transporting and positioning the structure! The shed it solid! Those PHS carpenters sure did a great job! Ken is coming back next week to do the final leveling, but feel free to go check it out, I think you will be impressed!
The NFS Daisy Scouts and their leaders came to the NFS gardens last Wednesday after the early release and got right to work. Filling the bed by the front entrance with new soil, and weeding the garden and planting lettuce seedlings and carrots, arugula, and snap peas. (The rabbits have unfortunately already mowed down the tender lettuce seedlings.) Can’t wait for that fence! Thanks goes out to that hard working troop for digging in! Great job!!
Speaking of Fence…Greg & Scott will start work on the Garden fence this weekend!! Very Exciting!!
We will be getting a delivery of wood chips this week that will need to be spread around the beds if you have time and want to grab a rake to push some around, that would be much appreciated.
Come join us next Thursday 5/25 for STEAM evening @ NFS. One of the stations will be building an archway for the garden.
May 5, 2017
Great news! Ken Linchey gave us an update that our new garden shed will be delivered May 16!
We also met with Greg Morneault over vacation to walk him around our currently swampy garden site. Greg is suggesting a 24 x 24 (100 ft.) fence to protect our garden. The fence will use the existing chainlink fence as one on it’s sides and will butt up to the shed. His suggestion is 50’ across the front, with a 4’ gate. The black thick gauge welded wire fence will be anchored with posts 8’ on center with 16’ deck boards sandwiched top and bottom with a kick plate. Greg has sprayed orange & white paint so the Dig Safe permit folks know where we would like to put the fence. His plan is to trench down so that a portion of the welded wire fence is underground to deter any critters from trying to dig their way in. Thanks again Greg, this is going to be so awesome!
We received cabbages from Bonnie Plants! Sara Zoe and I believe that it was from a grant that was awarded, as the cabbage plants just turned up before vacation with specific planning and care instructions from Bonnie Plants. Mrs. Patterson’s 3rd grade class planted many of them on Monday. Mother nature was kind enough to water them in for us on Monday evening!
Three more beds have been topped off with our existing loam/compost pile from last year. I had an amazing brother/sister team come over and help with this important garden prep work this morning during morning recess. So all the beds are ready to go!
I know our Kindergarten classes are currently working on a plant unit. I’m going to inquire and see what bed they would like and if they need any help. I’ll keep you all posted if anyone would like to volunteer to help these teachers as they bring the students out for planting please let me know. It’s such a blast to see how excited they get about getting involved and planting and that they are actually able to grow food that they can eat!
The Daisy’s have an NFS troop of the Girl Scouts (about 15 girls) that have asked the Garden Club if they could help with a gardening project. I love it! They are available on the next Early Release Day (5/10) to come work in the garden. Heather Mangold & Kirsten Hales are the troop leaders and said that the girls have discussed the following things when talking about the garden: The girls talked about planting a garden to help the bees, so the bees have food because bees are important. They talked about having food for people who are hungry, but also food for people who are poor. They talked about having pretty flowers for everyone to look at and to maybe give the pretty flowers to people to make them feel good. These ideas are all so wonderful! I can be there after the early release to help, if anyone else would like to join in please let me know. We’ll need to come up with our plan, so we can get this eager group to work in the garden!
If anyone has a suggestions, I’d love to hear them! I think we can accommodate planting flowers (either by seed or plants or both)(the bees will love this!), I also think we can also find part of a bed for a “feed the hungry row”… I would recommend planting leafy greens, chard, spinach, carrots or peas. I think NFS has all of these seeds or the girls are welcome to bring their own.
April 19, 2017
Our brand new shed is coming. The shed is 10 x 12 and will will need a fork lift & a flatbed truck to lift & deliver. At this point, we think we are all set on the deliver, but may need to reach out if it does not work out. We have an email message in to Ken Linchey who will help us prep the site for the shed and will get us the dig safe permit we’ll need before we start any site work.
We need to have the shed in place before the NEW GARDEN FENCE is installed. Thanks to Greg Morneault and Four Season Fence who have very generously agreed to donate & install our NFS Garden Fence for our raised bed garden! This is fantastic!! Thank you Greg!!
I was doing a little digging this morning and wanted to send you a couple of photos… Our raised bed site is still pretty soggy, the back corner is the worst. It WILL dry out eventually!
While we are waiting for the shed site prep, I think the first thing we will want to do is to dig the remaining loam pile and distribute the soil among the raised beds. I did the closest bed today (mostly because it was the driest and I could get the wheelbarrow in without getting stuck). Happy to try and coordinate a day this week or next week over vacation to have Garden Club families get involved in this project. We could do a clean up and loam distributing couple of hours… or if you find you have a little time and want to go shovel a wheelbarrow or two of loam, please feel free to do that as well. This is an NFS Community Garden where we hope everyone will feel part of what is happening in our gardens! Let me know if we want to try and schedule a day to try and get together as a group. I can throw a date and time out for vacation week and see who is available to join.
Here are the pics: The compost bins have been moved and the raised bed that was over by itself has been moved to be with the other raised beds (the soil still needs to be moved). Also exciting new… Sara Zoe just informed me that NFS Garden Club just got a donation of cabbage seedlings.
We’ll reach out and see what teachers and classrooms might be interested in planting these this week before vacation. (I’m thinking front beds and the bed that I added the loam to today)… Sara Zoe said there were many plants that were given to us! If anyone is available during school hours to assist the teachers please let me know.