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*Updated Aug. 29, 2016

Butterfly Station and Organic Garden wraps up successful 18th season
Summer 2016 was one for the record books! The butterfly house saw over 1500 visitors and the native plant garden donated nearly 900 pounds of organic produce to local food shelters.
A special thanks to Butterfly Station Director Jennifer Phillips, Organic Garden Coordinator Christina Jager, and the student volunteers for all their hard work.
Visit the GCSD Facebook page to view a photo gallery of Summer 2016 at the FMS Butterfly Station and Organic Garden


FMS Organic Garden donates nearly 900 pounds of produce

Group photo of Organic Garden volunteersAug. 11, 2016—After just three weeks of harvesting, Guilderland students from the middle school and high school managed to pick 897 pounds of produce from the school’s organic garden – and then donate it all to local food pantries and soup kitchens.

The garden, maintained all summer by FMS School Counselor and Organic Garden Coordinator Christina Jager and student volunteers, features flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables. The native plant section of the garden includes lupine, mint, lavender, basil and marigolds overflowing their beds. Nearby, sunflowers and stalks of corn tower over vines laden with cucumbers, zucchini, acorn squash and Bender melons.

The farmers’ willingness to get their hands dirty can be seen in Jager’s labor-intensive turning of the heavy compost pile, to the student volunteers rounding up 111 cucumbers in an afternoon. Students say the work has been hard, but rewarding – and delicious.

“Eating,” seventh-grader Athena Wu said, when asked about her favorite part of working in the garden. “But we’re also learning a lot, which is cool. Did you know that squash can get sunburned?” she continued, explaining that the different shades of squash can be attributed to their time in the sun.

“I found out that chipmunks and squirrels love to eat sunflowers, and spraying a spray bottle of water and a bit of cayenne pepper on the plants will keep them away,” fellow seventh-grader Annie Urig said in between bites of corn. (Students also learned that raw corn is not only edible but enjoyable.)

Although the Butterfly Station will be wrapping up its final day tomorrow, August 12, tours of the organic garden can be arranged by contacting Ms. Jager at


Pictured above: (L-R) Christina Jager; Annie Urig (Gr. 7); Amy Zhang (Gr. 8); Grace Wei (Gr. 7); Athena Wu (Gr. 7); Colin Ingraham (Gr. 9) Ryan Brocci (Gr. 10)