JACKMAN — Forest Hills School, Regional School Unit 82, students, staff and community continue to benefit from the volunteer work of Joe Bergeron “Farmer Joe” and Danielle Hale.

Their gardens and educational programs have provided produce to the food service program throughout the summer and school year and to the local community food bank, according to a news release from Principal/Assistant Superintendent Denise Plante.

Bergeron and Hale have continued to receive recognition and awards for their immersion-style of educating students, staff and community in healthy eating, palette development, year-round rotational crop production and self-sustainable agriculture in the school and community.

Some of the benchmarks for 2016 include:

• Greater Somerset Public Health Collaborative award for their continued dedication to the health and education of students through helping to change a school and community to a healthier and sustainable way of eating;

• Awarded the Maine Agriculture In The Classroom grant for $3,000 which will allow Farmer Joe to expand the growing capacity by 1,500 square feet with extra raised beds and hoop houses that students will be taught how to build under Farmer Joe’s supervision;

• The summer program included a fully instructional/working student job that not only helps to further the knowledge of their agricultural interests but it part of their overall volunteer garden program, according to the release.

The students work with Bergeron and Hale in all aspects of the running operational greenhouses and garden space for production food source growing and other applications.

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