Hanover’s South Shore Vo-tech students sprout garden with Norwell Farms

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South Shore Vocational Technical High School is partnering with Norwell Farms to develop a community garden for the school’s learning restaurant.

Since the school reached out to Norwell Farms over spring break, the two have worked together to build the garden. The goal is to grow enough food for the Norwell Food Pantry and the vo-tech’s student-run restaurant, Brass Lantern.


In exchange for vegetable and herb seedlings and organic soil grown in the Norwell Farms greenhouse, vo-tech carpentry students built four raised beds for the farm’s new Learning Garden, according to Norwell Farm’s co-Chair Nikki Bartley.


“We were excited when [teachers from the vo-tech] reached out to Norwell Farms for help starting a garden for their school,” Bartley said.


Bartley said she envisions a long-lasting partnership that will benefit students, Norwell Farms and the community.


“We would love to have some of their students come to the farm to learn more about what we are doing in the fields at Norwell Farms,” Bartley said.


In the future, the school plans to help out at the farm’s facilities and provide other boxes and resources from the welding and carpentry departments “We’ve forged a solid relationship with Norwell Farms that will continue to grow,” said Sandra Baldern, vo-tech English department chair and mentor coordinator.


According to Baldner, the vo-tech considered developing a garden for years. Last fall, she decided to finally put the plan into action with the help of the school’s environmental club. The new garden is located in the school’s front courtyard.


“Our goal is to plant continuously starting this fall so we can have crops for the food bank by next summer,” Baldner said. “It will be a limited supply, but all the food will be fresh.”


The project has required collaboration between multiple departments at the vo-tech. Graphic communications created a blog for the garden, drafting developed blueprints for boxes, carpentry built the boxes, and culinary arts is currently creating a menu.


“It is a total community effort,” Baldner said.


Ten students are currently involved in the project. Junior Stephanie Donovan created the blog, Allie Joseph of Whitman developed the box blueprints, and Devan Dupuis is currently working on a menu for the garden.


Baldner hopes the garden will allow students throughout the school to team up to serve the community.


“I want the project to be way for school members to come together outside of school hours to work together in a cool and fun way,” she said.

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