Gov. John Fairfield School Principal Maureen McMullin cuts the ribbon Tuesday afternoon at a ribbon cutting for the school’s new greenhouse. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry.

Gov. John Fairfield School Principal Maureen McMullin cuts the ribbon Tuesday afternoon at a ribbon cutting for the school’s new greenhouse. The ceremony was held in conjunction with the Biddeford + Saco Chamber of Commerce + Industry.

SACO – The addition of a greenhouse will enable Gov. John Fairfield School to expand its established gardening program.

Fran Poisson, the school’s kitchen manager, started a garden a few years ago on the school grounds. Students assist with the growing of vegetables and herbs, and Poisson incorporates the fresh produce in school and summer lunch program menus.

Through a PTO fundraising effort, the school raised more than $10,000.

“It was quite an undertaking,” said Principal Maureen McMullin.

The 21-by-48 foot structure was assembled with the help of the Saco Bay Rotary Club and the Saco River Valley Kiwanis Club, as well as local businesses and contractors.

“It was a collaborative effort,” said local Kiwanis Club member John Scully.

The fresh vegetables grown in the greenhouse will also be used in the school’s backpack program, through which students in need take home backpacks of food to use over the weekend. Previously, fresh produce had been added to the backpacks when in season.

“Now we can do it yearround,” said McMullin.

McMullin said Poisson and the students have been growing seedlings in classrooms, which will be transferred over to the greenhouse in the next couple of weeks.

She said the children have been very receptive to the gardening program.

“They love doing hands-on work and seeing the whole process,” said McMullin. “They’ve been on board from the get-go.”

— Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 325 or [email protected]


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