NLS Welcomes Rain Harbison, Director of Horticulture

NLS Welcomes Rain Harbison, Director of Horticulture

We are thrilled to announce our newest faculty member (and position) at Nantucket Lighthouse School: Rain Harbison, Director of Horticulture. In this part-time position, Rain will teach nine weekly classes to students in preschool through eighth grade. She will also work to develop a four-season gardening curriculum, expanding upon the school’s current studies.


Our Educational Garden is comprised of 12 raised cedar beds for growing vegetables, herbs and flowers, generously funded by the Nantucket Land Council; a 17’x28′ hoop house, funded by 2014 Nantucket Garden Festival Soirée guests; and a Pollinator Garden, funded by the Nantucket Garden Club.


Connecting children with the natural world and allowing them to explore the outdoors, including our school garden, is an integral part of our integrated curriculum. Students work in the garden, weeding, watering and tending to the beds. Classes utilize the space for lessons in science, social studies, math, reading, writing, and painting. A living laboratory, children are growing, experimenting, observing, measuring, comparing, and learning to care for something that is important to the Nantucket Lighthouse School community and to sustainability efforts around the world.


We are very excited to benefit from Rain’s experience, expertise and enthusiasm. Rain’s Nantucket gardening experience began in 1993 at Bartlett’s Farm and she has been organically gardening both professionally and at home with her children, friends, neighbors, clients (and some strangers and distant family members while on vacation) ever since. Her lifelong love of growing things sprouted in her great grandmother’s backyard oasis. There she fell in love with the raining cherry blossoms, sweet smelling hyacinths and vegetables tucked in among the hollyhocks and sunflowers. She considered this beautiful garden a surprise to find given that it was in a tiny city backyard. Ever since then, Rain has found ways and places, no matter how small, to grow a variety of plants.


Rain is passionate about composting, crop rotation, companion planting, seed saving, beneficial insects and finding delicious and nutricious recipes to use up a harvest.


When the weather is too foul for walking in her gardens, you will find Rain playing in her greenhouse, canning in her kitchen, sewing eco-friendly gifts in her studio, making salves, lip blams and surf wax, or collecting seaweed for mulch at the beach.


Rain is a NLS parent. Her daughter, Josie, is in Barrie’s Kinderclass.

Welcome, Rain!