A History of Carlisle Grows Green, 2009 – 2011

In the spring of 2010, the CSA awarded a $1000 grant to Kindergarten teacher, Mimi Chandler, and parent and Master Gardener certified, Kathy Balles, for development of a raised bed school herb and vegetable garden.


Compost and gardens are a natural fit. Kathy and Launa met and talked about the inclusion of the compost project so students could see a full cycle demonstration of food from the start as plants and seeds to the finish of scraps becoming compost to grow more plants. Excited by the project, the 2010 8thgrade class donated a $1000 gift to the expanded project. This gift was followed by a $1000 donation from the Carlisle Garden Club.


With this seed money, came a year of discussion and planning that included presentations by the project team to the Carlisle School Recycling Committee. Approval to move forward was given by School Administration late spring 2010 and Carlisle Grows Green, The Carlisle School Organic Garden and Composting Project (CGG) was born.


Tuesdays at Flatbread Restaurants are dedicated to fundraiser evenings for community successful NPO applicants. In September 2010, a CGG fundraiser was held at Flatbread Restaurant in Bedford and generated almost $600 in additional funds. Flatbread management shared that the fundraiser on behalf of the project was one of the best attended of the fundraising events they’ve held.


Construction and installation of the compost bin and 4 raised vegetable and herb beds was completed as a 350.org 10/10/10 Day of Work event by several community groups.


Town residents donated building materials and the bin structure was completed off-site by town resident Randy Brown with help from resident Bob Webster for assembly at the site on 10/10/10. The bin and beds were assembled and installed by over 40 parent, student and community member volunteers with the bulk of the work done on October 10th. Finish work was completed during the following week by smaller groups of volunteers.


In the spring of 2011, food scraps were weighed and students sorted their food scraps and waste during a month long trial period. This trial period helped the project team refine the plan for school-wide implementation in the fall of 2011.


As of October 2011, over 90 students in grades 2-8 have signed on to be compost crew volunteers.