Connecting Maine’s School Gardens with Agricultural Fairs
What is School Garden Grown?
A program developed by Maine School Garden Network (MSGN), “School Garden Grown” is an opportunity for local schools to promote awareness of their great work and show off their school garden’s bounty. MSGN encourages schools to enter their produce in agricultural fairs, and we work with volunteers and fair personnel to display stickers on their produce once exhibition hall judging takes place. Since 2016, we’ve seen nearly 500 School Garden Grown entries across fairs in Maine!
What does the process look like?
MSGN starts with promoting this opportunity to schools. We direct schools to a list of fair dates and the detailed entry information in online fair books. Schools determine what fruits or veggies they would like to exhibit, paying attention to entry requirements for each fair, then each school coordinates their drop off to their respective fair(s). Once judging takes place, stickers are placed on the entries, allowing for the name and location of the school to be recognized. Sometimes schools visit on field trips so students can see their bounties on display!
How can fair personnel be involved?
MSGN has stickers and promotional materials we can provide! We include flyers to promote the stickers, the stickers themselves, and MSGN brochures. Posting flyers near the exhibition hall tables, outside the hall, and in a welcome book are great ways to show how your fair is participating. Ideally, provide additional promotion for this in your fair’s information if there’s room! Even a simple blurb saying, “Look out for Maine School Garden Network’s School Garden Grown stickers highlighting wonderful produce grown by local students!” or something of that nature. Once judging takes place, place stickers on entries that indicate they were grown at a school garden. If possible, as a follow up, we’d love to see which schools were involved to send them congratulations and keep a tally of how many stickers are used!
Sponsorship Opportunity Available
We extend our heartfelt thanks for the support of School Garden Grown! by a MAITC: Maine Agriculture in the Classroom grant in 2022.
If you or your business are interested in sponsoring the School Garden Grown program, please contact Susan Joy Sager, Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Where can we find out more information?
Contact Maine School Garden Network at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to work with you to bring this program to your fair. Please let us know how we might be able to accommodate your needs in order to make this program happen at your fair!