CAROL EMERSON, volunteer leader for The Amazing PES Kids’ Garden, watches students eat locally produced foods recently at EdgeWater Farm Bed & Breakfast in Phippsburg. The students are members of The Amazing PES Kid’s Garden, which will host a school garden open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. A similar open garden will take place in Bath.

CAROL EMERSON, volunteer leader for The Amazing PES Kids’ Garden, watches students eat locally produced foods recently at EdgeWater Farm Bed & Breakfast in Phippsburg. The students are members of The Amazing PES Kid’s Garden, which will host a school garden open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. A similar open garden will take place in Bath.

PHIPPSBURG

Members of The Amazing PES Kids’ Garden are learning about choices — and at the same time, about responsibilities.

The Phippsburg Elementary School students can choose to work in both the school garden and the vegetable garden at EdgeWater Farm Bed & Breakfast, where owner Carol Emerson welcomes them regularly.

They can choose to partake, or not to partake, in the products of the vegetable garden.

They often sit down to eat there, with the expectation that they wash up first, and perhaps help set the table.

On Thursday, as the group prepares for Saturday’s big open house at the school garden, the kids enjoyed freshbaked squash, beets, potatoes and eggs — eggs produced by student Brian Busler-Swizdor’s own hens.

“You know, Brian, these are your eggs,” said Brandon Read, who sat next to him at the dinner table.

Brian politely replied he’s not crazy about eggs. The chickens, meanwhile, milled around outside. His grandmother, Emily Swizdor, works at the B&B and helps with The Amazing PES Kids’ Garden.

“We have chickens and my nana brought them here because she works here,” Brian said. “I thought it was macaroni and cheese.”

Most of the kids did eat their squash, which bear a close resemblance to the little pumpkins at market gardens and stores this time of year. After dinner, they made grapevine wreaths and signs, cut hydrangeas and harvested beets and cabbage for Saturday’s open house.

Also for sale: house plants, plant sticks, seeds and painted chairs that the students renovate off season.

Emerson, Swizdor and the teachers at Phippsburg Elementary all have fun with this endeavor.

“It’s to learn as much as the kids can about all aspects of gardening, from growing seedlings in the spring and all the harvesting in the fall,” Emerson said. “Also, it’s about the cooperation you learn with fundraising, guided tours, art work and shows. They learn a little business sense. They learn how to raise funds for field trips, which are almost entirely funded by the garden club.”

Thomas Read seems to like it all.

“Garden club to me means fun,” Thomas said. “I like digging potatoes.”

Delaney Pascuzzo agrees with Thomas.

“Sometimes,” she said, “you cut them in half with your hoe.”

But they’re not wasted. The students in the garden club learn that, too.

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Student garden open houses

WHEN: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Phippsburg Elementary School , Phippsburg
¦
WHEN: 9 – 11 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: RSU 1 schools
L.O.C.A.L Garden, Lamont
and High streets, Bath


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