Company Name

The Horticultural Science Program

                                                                                                                             at Islesboro Central School                                                                                                                        

Students who successfully complete the program have the skills they need to be successful in any number of post-secondary pathways, whether it be collegiate, entrepreneurial, or as an employee. 

Our first year course, Horticultural Science I provides students with a basic introduction to the science of plants and plant production. Students are able to use this course to meet a basic graduation requirement. This course concludes with an opportunity for students to obtain a Master Gardener Certification, a unique and exclusive opportunity for our students that was piloted by our program in conjunction with the Univesity of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Our second year course, Horticultural Science II, is a rotating elective course that shifts based on the needs and interests of the student group.Generally speaking, the course focuses on sustainable agriculture, agribusiness, and practical application through student driven projects.

Our classroom environment is best described as hybridized. Students still meet on regularly for direct instruction, discussion, assessment, activities, and of course, hands-on work in our gardens! However, our students access, review, and submit all course work online, in the cloud. This lets our students work at their own pace, accessing materials anytime and anywhere and students. Most importantly, this approach helps prepare students for post-secondary education, where online learning is becoming the norm.

Our garden and orchard is the heart of program, and serves multiple roles. Firstly, it provides a working classroom from which our students put-into-practice the skills and concepts they learn in the classroom. Secondly, it is one of the few sources of organic food production within the small island community of Islesboro, ME.

During the fall and spring, the garden and orchard is managed by students currently taking classes within the Horticulture program. All of the food produced during this time goes to our school cafeteria, where it is utilized by our school chef Jonny Erskine, who prepares all of his meals from scratch, combining the produce with other fruits and vegetables sourced locally. During the summer months, the garden and orchard is managed by paid student interns funded through the generous support of the Island Institute summer intern program. A majority of this produce is sold at our student run farmstore. This year, our farmstore will also feature WestBay Farm Meats, Rosalie Joy Baked Goods, and a variety of other products from our gardens and orchard.

We are committed to agricultural practices that maintain the overall health of our community and environment through organic and sustainable food production. We maintain soil's biological health by reducing our annual tillage, practice crop rotation, and utilize cover crops and aged compost. We maintain biodiversity by producing a variety of fruits and vegetables cultivars using non-GMO seed from Johnny's Selected Seeds, a Maine based employed owned company. We can't list all of our practices here, but for more information please contact us by using the navigational link at the top of the page.
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Want to get involved?
Our program has numerous oppurtunities for members of the community, both near and far, to get involved. Maybe you are looking to donate supplies, labor, or capital to our tax-exempt program? Or perhaps you want to learn more about our curriculum or cultivation practices…. we want to hear from you!