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US (PA): Holland Middle School opening greenhouse for weekly harvests

Free, locally grown produce is available for the community throughout summer courtesy of the Holland Middle School greenhouse. The greenhouse will be open to the public 6-7 p.m. each Monday throughout the summer, allowing community members to harvest various fruits, vegetables and herbs. 

The greenhouse at Holland Middle School will be open to the public, free of charge, from 6 to 7 p.m. each Monday throughout the summer.  Although this is the third summer opening to the public, HMS STEM teacher Bill Boerman said this will be the first “full-fledged” opening.

“The first summer was right after we built the greenhouse, so we didn’t have much to offer,” he said. “Last summer was the pandemic, so it was a bit short. Knock on wood, we’re hoping this is the first summer we can be full-fledged and have a lot ready to go.” 

There will be an HMS staff member and students at the greenhouse each Monday to walk guests through what produce is ready for harvest. As the season progresses, different produce will be available week-to-week.

“You don’t quite know every week what we’ll have, but that’s part of the fun to bop in, see what’s ready and walk out with free produce,” Boerman said.

This week, the greenhouse had cucumbers, green beans, peas, a variety of lettuces, cilantro, dill, parsley and more. “We have some stuff on the horizon,” Boerman said. “We have tomatoes that are bigger than a ping pong ball, so those should be ready in the next couple weeks. We have a ton of blackberries and red raspberries coming on that will be ready soon. Zucchini and jalapeno will be ready fairly soon as well.”

Anyone in the community is welcome, not just those with ties to Holland Middle School. Produce left after community hours that needs to be harvested will be donated, Boerman said. “If we have overflow that we have to use, we’ll cut that up and bring a tub to Community Action House,” he said. “We don’t want to have anything wasted.”

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