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County: Middlesex

Town: Winchester

During the 2016-2017 year, McCall’s Greenhouse Club members continued to fulfill their original mission statement “to share and promote within the community a healthy ,green lifestyle while acquiring the scientific and environmental benefits of conserving energy and growing locally.” This year’s dedicated group focused on the “sharing and promoting within the community(children, families and businesses) … while acquiring the environmentally benefits of conserving energy and growing locally.” This commitment arose from an abundance of delicious organic tomatoes,beans, and herbs first grown in the greenhouse, and then transplanted to a large vegetable garden. A partnership was formed with 13lack Horse Tavern since their menu supports locally grown produce, and it is located across the street from the greenhouse. The students picked and delivered the tomatoes to the Black Horse Tavern for a popular featured McCall’s Caprese salad from June to July. Environmental education became a year round, hands-011,outside the classroom walls topic- especially this past summer as the gardens continued to grow and produce vegetables.The Greenhouse Club joined with the Cool Science Club members during the month of July to continue care for the gardens. Black Horse Tavern once again agreed to support the locally grown garden produce and invited the Cool Science Club to a “From the Garden to the Top of the Pizza Day.” Young children worked in the garden; learned about the nutrition; selected fresh herbs and tomatoes; walked to Black Horse Tavern; and created and baked their locally grown pizza toppings on fresh dough. Students returned to McCall to discuss how locally grown can conserve energy, reduce your carbon footprint, and be delicious. During the month of September, club members gathered for fall clean-up and bulb planting. As students noted the gardens dried flowers and late blooming chrysanthemums in mid- November, they decided to recycle several pumpkins after Halloween. The floral arrangements were donated to the McCall community and families for Thanksgiving centerpieces. In December students were cleaning a surplus of planting pots, so they decided to recycle many of these pots by painting them each one silver or gold. Kristen Ward Design came to demonstrate how to use the pine cones and evergreens students collected locally. Kristen’s business only usesnatural, locally grown materials. The students became very creative and completed over two dozen arrangements. Winchester Hospital partnered with the club and gladly accepted the centerpieces for their patients who would be spending the holidays in the hospital. Winchester Hospital has become a very special bond with the students. They are learning giving locally, not only has environmental benefits, but good citizenship and kindness qualities as well. The club sustains itself on grants such as the Secretary’s Award and the $300.00 the Black Horse Tavern gave the McCall greenhouse for the donated tomatoes and herbs. This year we want to expand the garden and create a wired top not just sides to eliminate all critters small and large! We still have a long term goal to complete the greenhouse with a heating element. Your contributions in the past have been so worthwhile in keeping our greenhouse funded along with community support. We appreciate your support in the past, and thank you for your consideration again this year. Please contact me if you have any questions, and the Winchester Star included a picture and Letter to Editor thank you note of some of our endeavors. It really has been “Green Thumbs up for Community Partnerships!”

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