The mission of the UMaine Extension Tidewater Farm Demonstration Garden is to provide agricultural and horticultural educational opportunities to the community utilizing research-based, environmentally friendly and sustainable gardening practices.
Maine Harvest for Hunger — It has been a great season for the garden, which is located on the main field in the area adjacent to Portland Trails, on the hill just before the barn. In May, working with UMaine Extension horticulture staff, Master Gardener Volunteers cleared away a garbage pit that was in the field, and built & installed ten raised garden beds. The beds were planted with a variety of vegetables, herbs and sunflowers. The produce was grown in conjunction with the Maine Harvest for Hunger program and donated to Wayside Food Programs for distribution to local food pantries. As a result of our efforts, we were able to donate over 500 pounds of fresh produce.
In mid-October, we closed the garden for the season, and built an on-site 3-bin composting unit.
Bees at the Farm – We have been working with the Cumberland County Beekeeper’s Association (CCBA). This fall, they will be installing four honeybee hives in an area behind the barn. Having the hives on-site will be a tremendous benefit for the crops being grown, as well as serving as a teaching tool for workshops and field days. The Master Gardeners will design and establish a pollinator garden around the hives next summer.
Upcoming plans — In the next few months, we will be installing a 12×16′ Amish-made, gambrel shed on the border of the field near the dirt farm road. The outside of the shed has been finished with earth-tone colors and will blend in nicely with the natural landscape. It will be used to house our tools.
We will also be working on plans for Phase II of the garden, which will include a small orchard and a demonstration garden highlighting how to work with a wetland, as well as developing a schedule of public workshops and field days at the site.
Please contact Amy Witt, Horticulturist, UMaine Extension at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you have any questions about the garden.
Image Description: Volunteers with raised beds
Image Description: crops growing in raised beds
Image Description: volunteers and compost bins