Gardens & Greenhouse
Mary Nash Beaupre Sustainable Gardens & Campbell’s True Value Raised Beds
The vibrant world of gardening comes alive with endless opportunities for the next generation. Our gardens and greenhouse serve as a nurturing haven for young minds eager to cultivate a lifelong love for growing, tending, harvesting, and preparing fresh produce.
We believe in empowering youth through hands-on experiences that not only deepen their connection to the earth but also foster invaluable life skills. Our immersive programs blend the art and science of horticulture, providing a fertile ground for curiosity to blossom and green thumbs to flourish.
Youth in our childcare programs are immersed in the sowing of the seeds ensuring a sustainable future as we cultivate a community of passionate, young growers. They prepare the beds, plant the seeds, water, weed, and control pests, harvest the produce, and then use the goods to help prepare the fresh nutritious meals they eat from their Kids’ Kitchen! Additionally, through our ASP Family Dinner Nights, and the Greenhouse to Your House Program youth learn how to prepare fruits, herbs, and vegetables grown in the gardens. Youth are also encouraged to try new foods and learn invaluable skills that will only enhance their world in the future.
Check out our cool growing dome!
See our kids growing their own food!
Greenhouse to Your House
The Greenhouse to Your House program not only provides a free, healthy, and fresh product to our community to help mitigate food insecurity in the short term, but the kit concept helps create cultural change by defining a new narrative around healthy food and cooking at home with the goal of inspiring families to implement healthier practices in the long term.
The program is available to all ASP kids and families regardless of income. The attractive and desirable fresh food kits will be delivered directly into caretakers’ vehicles during curbside pickup. Recipes, picture cards, and instructions are included with each meal kit.
A portion of the produce provided in the boxes is grown by AYCC Gardens Coordinator, Zoe Mason. She and her team of Volunteers not only prepare and care for the AYCC’s Sustainable Gardens, but the children in our childcare program learn to plant and tend to the produce as well. The very best of Farm to Table.
The first of many meal boxes provided to childcare families using the GH2YH meal program.
Watch this Greenhouse to Your House video to learn more about ingredients provided in the boxes.
NEW! Farm Drop partners with the AYCC
We are excited to offer a new service to AYCC members and the entire community! The AYCC is partnering with Farm Drop to bring you fresh, locally produced groceries right to the AYCC!
What is Farm Drop? It’s an online platform that functions like a farmer’s market. You can order from a huge selection of locally produced food ONLINE and pick up your order from the AYCC lobby on Fridays between 1-5pm.
How to participate: Order online through the Farm Drop vendor stores between Saturday 8am through Wednesday (midnight). Set up your account to order from the Central Maine Hub and choose AYCC (Alfond Center YMCA/Boys and Girls) at checkout.
Use coupon GoFarmDrop on your first order.
Is it expensive? To reduce the cost of delivery and overhead, we are offering coupons to cover some of the fees, such as the $5 pick up fee. We are offering this service for FREE, with NO PICK UP or DELIVERY fees because we want you to try it and love it and we want healthy local food to be at cost. You will be able to enjoy the convenience of 1) ordering online, 2) picking up your order when you come to the AYCC, and 3) only paying for the food itself with no extra charges.
The soil-stained truth: local food is often more expensive that what we find shipped into Maine. Food production is cheaper in other countries and in other states due to low labor costs, a longer growing season, cheaper supplies, and farm practices that are less healthy for people and the planet. We can support local farms, local economy, and the local ecosystem by purchasing from nearby sources. Farm Drop is a Maine company and organized locally by farmers themselves.
FMI, please reach out to AYCC Gardens & Greenhouse Coordinator, Zoe Mason