Welcome Back to School!
Fall Planting Tips for Your 
School Garden 
Just because summer is on its way out and fall weather begins to crisp the air doesn't mean that you can't still use your school garden for fall curriculum. There are plenty of root vegetables and power greens that grow in low light and colder temperatures. Early fall is a great time to plant veggies like:
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Carrots
These crops are resilient and power through the seasonal transition. The earlier you plant them in the school garden the larger they will be when it is time to harvest around mid November. It is also important to prepare the garden beds for winter.  Introduce the concept of cover crops, which allow for microbiotic activity to continue through the winter, making the soil nutrient-rich and ready to use in the spring!  
Below are tips for cover-crop activities:
  1. Weed out any leftover plants or vegetables in the garden beds
  2. Cultivate the soil so you can easily plant the seeds on the surface
  3. Our three favorite choices for a school garden cover crop are: 
    1. Oats provide quick cover and the opportunity to plant the next crop early in the spring. Oats winter-kill, leaving dead mulch that decomposes quickly when incorporated in the soil.
    2. Winter rye can come as seeds and that can be widely spread throughout the soil.
    3. Spelt has a very high tolerance to winter cold and wet soil.
Questions? For more information about school gardening, please contact Abner, Education Coordinator, at   
Healthy Recipes for Teaching 

The October  Harvest of the Month for Massachusetts is the Pear. Harvest of the Month promotes a different Massachusetts-grown crop from local farms each month in school cafeterias across the state. Pears are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. They are low-glycemic, complex carbohydrates that provide long lasting energy. Pears have no fat or cholesterol and can help with healthy blood pressure and weight management. 

Here is a fun and healthy recipe of this 'sweet treat' that is sure to get kids eating and loving pears.  For more information about the harvests of each month and helpful recipes like the one below created by Mass Farm to School, visit  https://www.massfarmtoschool.org

Spiced Pear Chips
- 2 Bartlett pears  
- 1 tsp of brown sugar 
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon 
- 1/4 tsp of ground ginger 

  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees F.  
  2. Remove stem and seeds and cut pears into thin slices, as thin as you can. Arrange the slices of pears on a baking sheet in single rows. 
  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and spices and sprinkle over the pears. 
  4. Bake for 1 hour., turning them once. You will start to see the edges of the pears start to curl. Let cool to allow pears to crisp up into chips. 
Grants and Fundraising Opportunities
What would you do if you had a bit of extra funding? Build a school or community garden? Bring a salad bar to a local school? Build or promote a pollinator habitat?

Browse grants for these opportunities and many more at this link!
Meet GWL's Urban Farmer,  Chas Ryan! 
Chas Ryan is the Grower at Costello Urban Farm located in South Lawrence next to Costello Park. We had the chance to have a terrific conversation to learn more about him and his work.

1. Can you please introduce yourself and share your experience in gardening?
Chas: I am originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I have been gardening ever since I was a kid. My dad inspired me with his garden of sweet corn, blackberries and tomatoes that he maintained every year. For two years, I worked as a Garden Educator for Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, teaching children in after-school and summer programs how to garden. Last year, I work as a Farm Apprentice on a 13 acre vegetable farm servicing over 500 families through a Community Support Agriculture (CSA) farm share program and a farmers market.

2. Costello is an "Urban Farm" what does that mean?
Chas: An urban farm is an operation that grows and sells or donates food. It is "urban" because it is right in the heart of the southern part of South Lawrence, one of the most densely populated cities in the Merrimack Valley.

3. What role does Costello play in the community?
Chas: Costello has many different impacts in the community. First, we are providing fresh vegetables for free or at a reduced price to Lawrence residents. These locally grown vegetables are fresher and tastier than their store bought counterparts, which encourages residents to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. Our customers also get to meet their farmer to ask questions as well as make requests. We also donate produce to various meal centers around the city to incorporate into their meals. Second, Costello provides a space to teach young community members about farming and gardening. For seven weeks this summer, Groundwork Lawrence employed 10 high school students and two leaders, known as the Green Team, work and learn at Costello. They learned a variety of skills related to farming including harvesting, organic fertilization and weed control, and selling at farmers markets. We also host field trips from Pre-K to high school groups. Third, Costello is home to thirty-two garden beds for community members to grow their own produce. If you are interested in the community garden beds, please contact Maria, Healthy Living Programs Manager at mnatera@groundworklawrence.org
4. Are there volunteer opportunities at Costello for people interested in building their growing skills and helping out?
Chas: We are nearing the end of the growing season, but there are a few weeks left to volunteer on the farm and there is always next growing season. Anyone who would like to volunteer can email me at

If anyone is interested in scheduling a field trip for their students to Costello Urban Farm, please contact Caitlin Abber, Educat ion Director,
Glow Gala 2018: 
Transforming Tomorrow
It's almost time for Glow Gala 2018! We hope you will join us in a celebration of 19 years of changing places, changing lives! On November 15th from 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM at the Everett Mill in Lawrence come celebrate and spend an evening  filled with fun featuring auctions, raffles, tasty small plates, and a presentation from our Green Team youth.
A highlight of the evening is our signature EcoArt Auction. We are currently looking for artists to submit their best pieces incorporating themes of reduce, reuse, recycle, and repurpose for jury. You can find more information on our website  here including instructions and submission forms. We look forward to seeing your works of art.
We also want to thank our lead sponsor, 
New Balance Foundation for their
continued support.
For more information about Glow, including how to become a sponsor, please contact Sharon Mason, Development Director, at