Altering the landscape: Raspberries for everyone.

Donning gloves and warm outerwear, a lively bunch braved the chilly late April winds to plant raspberries today. As the weather (hopefully) warms in a few more weeks, an herbaceous layer of tender perennials and annual crops started indoors will be planted among the trees and berry bushes.

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Bare-root everbearing raspberry plants soak in buckets of water. Their dainty roots must be kept moist at all times.

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A crew of strong workers spreads the finishing touches atop the raspberry bed. These bags of compost were generously donated by Coast of Maine. Based in Marion, their bustling facility composts lobster shells, kelp, Pineland Farms cow manure, and other locally sourced organic matter into a luscious and nutrient-dense feast for plants.

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Almost ready for planting…

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And in go the raspberry plants. If we’re lucky, perhaps we’ll harvest a berry or two this autumn. But by next summer, we hope to have a hardy crop of sweet and juicy berries to share.

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In addition to the raspberries, two hawthorn trees, two beach plum shrubs, and two elderberry bushes became a part of the school’s edible landscape today thanks to these fine workers. The hawthorns will provide a nectar source for bees with their delightful June blooms, along with leaves, fruit, and flowers for medicinal and culinary uses. The beach plums will supply numerous child-friendly fruits for nibbling and jam-making within a few years, and the elderberry trees will grace the garden with their magical umbels and provide fruits for teas and pies in late summer. There’s a lot to look forward to.

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