Falmouth school garden task growing like a weed

What began as a basic patch of lawn has now become a place for learning and food production?

Straight across the street from the school campus on Woodville Road and adjacent to the School Department s administrative offices, the brand-new school greenhouse location is nearing conclusion.

A hoop houses a tunnel-like structure made of polyethylene used to heat plants inside the structure quicker than heat can escape has been created, with plants and vegetables are starting to sprout.


Genna Cherichello, the garden supervisor, stated she met sixth-grade students in the spring to teach them about various kinds of hoop houses so they could design their own. Cherichello then made a design based upon what the students came up with and, in May, building and construction began.

Students and personnel participated in a building day; Cherichello estimates a minimum of 200 individuals helped in the design and develop.

The greenhouse is being spent for with a $40,000 grant from the Falmouth Education Foundation.

All that remains before the almost 1,600-square-foot structure is total is to install fans and shutters, Cherichello stated. Numerous vegetables have already been planted, consisting of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant, and Cherichello stated more will be planted this summertime by groups from Falmouth Community Programs.

We’ll plant things they’ll be able to consume this summertime, Cherichello said.

The hoop house will likely be a three-season project, since the structure won’t be heated in the winter season.

The hoop house and surrounding garden location will be utilized for educational functions when students return in the fall. While each school already has its own garden, Cherichello stated the new location will be utilized to develop unity among the three schools, in addition to in the town and area.

Each class that comes adds to the greater great, she stated.

First-graders came in the spring to plant potatoes in a spot next to the hoop house. She stated the hope is those students will return in the fall to aid with the harvest.

12The food that comes from the garden will be used in the school, with excess deliberately planted to be donated to the Falmouth Food Pantry. Cherichello stated volunteers are constantly welcome, and can take home food from the gardens. After school and weekends are the very best times for volunteers, because otherwise they would require authorization from the schools to be present when students are in presence.

It’s less of a traditional community garden, but neighborhood members are certainly welcome to volunteer, she stated.

Cherichello said there is still more planting to be done over the summer season, and more plant beds to be developed to produce more productive planting space.

There’s still a lot to do, she said, but it’s pretty remarkable how far we’ve gotten.

Cherichello has some long-lasting plans for the local area, which totals just over half an acre. She wishes to produce an orchard towards the front of the lot, and start other jobs, such as growing mushrooms, in a wooded part.

The strategy is to use every little last inch of functional space, she said.

A hoop house, which heats up plants faster than heat can leave, is almost total at the greenhouse and garden area for Falmouth Public Schools. The area, which will be utilized as a learning environment also, is across the street from the school campus on Woodville Road.

Garden Manager Genna Cherichello tends potato plants at the Falmouth School Department greenhouse and garden area on Woodville Road.

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