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Merrimac Community Charter School students encounter critters and worms on Work Day


October 18, 2018

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On Saturday, October 6 during a lull in a week of rainy days, the Merrimac Community Charter School held it's biannual Family Work Day. Arriving by car, by bike and walking, moms, dads and children gathered to prepare the school's garden and grounds for the coming winter. Following a "To Do" list that was created by the Kid's Garden Club children and their leaders, Deb Beuchner and Kit Eilertson, everyone pitched in. In two and a half hours the large garden was cleared of dead plants, the tool shed organized, bushes were trimmed and the fruit trees were protected against hungry deer. There were plenty of surprises, too. Mice scurried everywhere when the pumpkins they were feeding on were harvested. A rabbit that had been hiding among some of the dead sunflower plants suddenly decided that there was too much noise and activity to be safe. He ran through the garden in a mad dash for safety, startling everyone in his path. Although the earthworms were no real surprise, they offered endless fun, wiggling in their captors' hands before being returned to the damp garden soil. The MCCS Community garden was established shortly after the school became a charter school. Each year it is planted by the children and their teachers in the spring, cared for in the summer by families under the guidance of Master Gardeners and Garden Guides, and harvested by anyone who helps in the garden. Once school begins in the fall, classes use the produce for their cooking projects. The garden is even the focal point of the school's first musical performance, the Garden Gala. The students have been learning a variety of tunes in preparation for their Oct. 15th performance. Many of those songs could be heard as everyone worked in the garden on Saturday.

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