220. Asa Adams Elementary Greenhouse | Shaping Green Future Growers | Joe the Mason Returns | Orono, Maine

Listen to the full episode at the Organic Gardener Podcast

Asa Adams Greenhouse 1.jpg

Joe the Mason Greenhouse coordinator and awesome Elementary School custodian returns from Orono Maine to tell us about the school greenhouse he cares for, and the pollinator garden he’s going to create this spring with a grant from the Audubon Society! As well as his pickling successes and many other golden seeds! You won’t want to miss this episode!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for having me back on ! I feel like an honor to be back on the second time. I am a custodian at our ASA Elementary.

Asa Adams Elementary Greenhouse Joe the Mason

I am an organic minded grower in the backyard

this year I was selected to be the greenhouse coordinator and I was selected

that is

Tell me about your first gardening experience?

So it was back when I was a kid in the same house I was living in now, my grandfather

qualtiy control

wipe the dirt off on the shorts


pull a accept

when I moved back to maine in 2007

I started gardening on a

back in the house that I grew up in

dug the back up again

go to lawn

dad mowing it

dug it back up 20’ x 50’

Asa Adams Greenhouse 4.jpg

Tell us about something that grew well this year.

Once we

not a good year for my garden

grew well

my tomatoes

back to hand tilling g

more earth worm friendly turn over

new seeds

one of my ag friends here

seeds were too old


here’s a tip I wasn’t aware of

planting all of my seeds 1/4 inch deep

a seed isn’t supposed to be planted more then a 1/4 inch

what makes it grow and the food to get there

if it doesn’t have enough

too deep

not envought to

hear it it makes total sense

use all these lessons

  • carrots
  • beets
  • peas
  • basic garden

still grow brussels sprouts because I love those

cucumbers and zucchinis

I pickle everything!

actually for Christmas my friends got me this book:


The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round 

Maine Ag in the Classroom

been around since about 2008

funded by grants and sponsors


maine ag license plate

choose when you get a car

money from that

teaching ag which is a big business in maine

to kids

3rd weekend in

weed and ME

and ag

they have a book

one book for every classroom

have volunteers each week

read the book

AppleSauce Day by Lisa Amstutz and Talitha Shipman

Applesauce Day!

passed on through the generations


kitchen manager

each classroom

  • so for a special reader
  • will go into each kindergarten class
  • one reader for each 4th grade class
  • pre-k
  • 19 classrooms
  • 19 readers in that day

and the book is left in the classroom!


Maine’s average age of farmers was like in the 30s

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners


works with farmers helps them secure loans to start farms


They can buy a small plot of land here and get a lot of produce

or animals for meat they can still have a small farm and produce cheeses and some milk for people. IDK if the median age has changes. 

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Now Let’s Get to the Root of Things!

Asa Adams snowy Dec 2017

Pollinator Garden Coming

Another way doing this in conjunction with some other teachers

co-sponsored by the Audubon Society

We were selected to have a pollinator garden built

were still choosing the site 10 foot by 20 foot


and lots of colors!

One of my first guests was Elizabeth Leonard from EARLS kitchen gardens in NY and she talked about how soothing it is for kids to have gardens to be in!

and don’t forget if you need help getting started check out our new 

Free Garden Course.comFree Organic Garden Course Website

 Free Organic Garden Course 

Remember you can get the  2018 Garden Journal and Data Keeper to record your garden goals in 


You can  download the first 30 days here   while you’re waiting for it to come in the mail. 

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