The Maine School Garden Network (MSGN)—serving schools of all grade levels—has hired its first ever coordinator, Suzanne Balbo, thanks to a USDA Specialty Crop Grant. The USDA grant also will allow the network to promote school gardens, update the website, disseminate information, provide educator trainings and workshops, attend conferences and events, create connections between schools and local farms, and create new school garden sites.
Balbo grew up in Oakland on her grandparents’ vegetable farm. She spent time teaching at a Montessori School in New Mexico before returning to Maine to teach elementary school and then start a farm with her husband in Whitefield. Her combined background of education and farming will well suit her new position and enable her to provide valuable advice to interested Maine schools. To contact the Maine School Garden Network, email firstname.lastname@example.org.