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James Faulkner School has hearty harvest

  • Vegetable garden scenes at James Faulkner Elementary School.

  • Fourth-grader Pat Lavoie checks out the pumpkins.

  • Vegetable garden scenes at James Faulkner Elementary School.

  • Third-grader Michael Costa shows off his hardworking gardening hands.

  • After harvesting the lettuces, students prepare the bed for a fall planting of peas. Photos courtesy of Jacquelyn Cornwell


Thursday, September 06, 2018

Students at James Faulkner Elementary School in Stoddard were greeted with a bountiful garden when they returned to school this August. The JFES garden project begins each February when students research and order seeds. Later in the spring, students start the process with early crops like pumpkins, peas, summer squash, marigolds and cucumbers in the school greenhouse. Once the plants are hardy enough, the students transplant them into the school garden.

The JFES harvest will be enjoyed throughout the school in the form of shared snacks and taste tests. Students try different vegetables raw and then as part of a recipe. “It’s a great way to encourage our students to try new foods,” said JFES teacher Jacquelyn Cornwell. “In the garden right now, we have more than one variety of potatoes, beans, tomatoes, squash, peas, beets, radishes, lettuce, cucumber, basil and kale. We also have several varieties of flowers including sunflowers, calendula and cosmos,” continued Cornwell.

In this coming year, JFES teacher and volunteer garden facilitator Jacquelyn Cornwell will attempt year-round growing with the students by planting cold crops like spinach and root vegetables in the greenhouse. “It will be fun to see the excitement on student’s faces when they realize they can have homegrown vegetables with feet of snow on the ground,” said Cornwell.