Francis A. Desmares School Garden is beautiful! The school garden was
started in 2010 by retired school nurse Kathy Schilder. The garden was
funded by a U.S. Healthy School Grant. It has been financially sustained
through fund raisers and donations. In Spring 2016, we had major work
completed through the generous funding from our Desmares PTO. No district
funds have been spent on this project.
students, staff and parent volunteers spend endless hours planting, weeding,
harvesting and performing weekly maintenance in the garden. Any
maintenance inside our tall garden fence, in our outside classroom under the
pergola and around the garden shed is all completed by volunteers. The
pergola and garden shed were funded and built by two boy scouts for their Eagle
students plant, care and enjoy the vegetables that they have planted with their
classmates. In summer volunteers pick crops and donate the produce to the Flemington Food Pantry. We also have beautiful flowers and several bird
houses along the fence area.
2016 our garden area became an official Monarch Watch Stop. We planted a
bed of milkweed for the Monarch’s to lay their eggs; we collect the eggs and
feed them while the caterpillars start the process of turning into a stunning
chrysalis and then a truly awesome Monarch Butterfly. The butterflies are all
released in our garden. We are excited to be watching the soon to be
Swallowtails as those caterpillars are munching on our parsley and dill!
have been challenges along the way but with the hard work from students and
volunteers our garden has flourished.
Jane Schnitzer & Linda Amato Desmares Secretaries & Garden Coordinator Volunteers