The Portland Press Herald advanced the 17th annual Portland Flower Show. The show will include an auction on Sunday, March 9, 2014 that will feature items donated by local garden centers, as well as plants and materials used in the show. Funds raised from the auction benefit the University of Maine Cooperative Extension demonstration garden in Falmouth and the Maine Harvest for Hunger Gardens program.
The Morning Sentinel previewed the 20th Rural Living Day that will be held in Thorndike on March 29, 2014. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Waldo County Extension Association are holding the event that will offer more than 20 workshops and seminars on topics such as how to make cheese, brew beer, attract native pollinators and produce maple syrup.
A study being conducted by University of Maine researchers to determine what flowers are most attractive to bees was the topic of the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. UMaine professors Alison Dibble, Lois Berg Stack and Frank Drummond are conducting the study at gardens in Old Town, Jonesboro and Blue Hill with the help of graduate student Eric Venturini. Honeybees have become scarcer and more expensive to bring in from out of state, which makes wild and native bees more important to commercial growers and home gardeners, according to the article.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 10-session Master Food Preserver training program starting June 19 and ending Sept. 25.
Lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab education will be conducted 10 Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road, Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
A Master Food Preserver is a UMaine Extension volunteer who has successfully completed the practical, research-based program on food safety and preservation. Volunteers agree to give back 20 hours of time for community-based projects within a year. Projects could include hands-on food preservation workshops, staffing educational displays and demonstrations and providing information at farmers’ markets, county fairs, and other food-related events.
May 2 is the deadline to apply. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $125 to $330, based on household income. For more information or to request an application or disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine). Or, for additional information, contact Kathleen Savoie, Extension Educator, 207.781.6099, email@example.com
Online applications will be available March 31 at http://umaine.edu/food-health/food-preservation/master-food-preservers/.
Image Description: Preparing for canning
The Village Soup reported Liz Stanley, Home Horticulture Program coordinator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will lead a workshop for beginning vegetable gardeners in Camden on February 22, 2014. The hands-on, interactive workshop will take place from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Merryspring Nature Center.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. The article focused on the state of Maine preparing to hire a specialist in invasive plants whose first project will be to develop a list of invasive plants for Maine. UMaine Extension currently has a list of potentially invasive plants, the article states.
James Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke to the Associated Press for an article about preventing garden slug infestations with baits and upkeep. He suggests removing any debris from the garden, such as straw, boards or leaves, that provide hiding places for slugs during the daytime. The Washington Post carried the article.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and organizers of the Portland Flower Show invite Maine youth ages 6-18 to write a garden or forest fairy tale for the flower show’s eighth annual student essay contest.
In 150 or fewer words, entrants are asked to create a fairy tale in a forest or garden setting that includes magical people, animals or plants. An original picture or illustration may be included with the essay. Three prizes ($50, $30 and $20) will be awarded in each of three age categories (6-9, 10-13 and 14-18). Essays will be judged on creativity, focus and passion for the topic.
Winning essayists will be invited to the Portland Flower Show opening night preview Wednesday, March 5. Selected essays will be posted for the public to read during the rest of the show, which will be March 6-9, at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland.
For more information, including contest rules and an application, contact the UMaine Extension office in Cumberland County at 800.287.1471 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://portlandcompany.com/flower/ or http://umaine.edu/cumberland/.
Applications are available for the 2014 Master Gardener Volunteer training with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in York County.
From Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, through early June, participants will receive more than 66 hours of in-depth horticultural training. Classes will meet weekly each Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen St., Springvale, Maine.
The winter program focus will be on growing fruits and vegetables. UMaine Extension specialists, county educators and other experts will train volunteers in a number of areas, including soils, botany, composting, starting seeds and pest management.
Master Gardener Volunteers are required to give back 40 hours of volunteer time by providing outreach education in gardening and community service projects, including with demonstration gardens, Maine Harvest for Hunger, “Kids Can Grow” and Garden Angel programs.
For more information and an application form, or to request a disability accommodation, call UMaine Extension at 1.800.287.1535 (in Maine) or 207.324.2814. The deadline to apply is Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Additional information and applications are also online at http://extension.umaine.edu/york/programs/master-gardener-volunteer-program.
Image Description: Maine Master Gardener Volunteer with participants of Kids Can Grow
Orders are being taken for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers “Grow it Right!” plant sale.
UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers support community gardens, grow and harvest food for the Maine Harvest for Hunger program and from June 2012 through May 2013 contributed more than 26,000 hours to community-based volunteer programs across the state. Plant sale funds will support the Master Gardener Volunteer program that has been active in the state for more than 30 years, including for educational projects and scholarship funding for Master Gardener Volunteer training.
A high-bush blueberry pack of three young plants (two varieties per pack) costs $35.95; a pack of 10 asparagus crowns costs $15; and a pack of 25 young dormant strawberry plants costs $15. All are suitable for Maine’s climate and will be ready for spring planting. Plants may be picked up Saturday, May 17, 2014, at a University of Maine Cooperative Extension county office of choice. Office locations are in Ellsworth, Bangor, Springvale, Falmouth, Waldoboro, South Paris, Dover-Foxcroft, Machias, and Highmoor Farm in Monmouth.
To order, or to watch video clips about site selection and soil testing, visit http://umaine.edu/gardening/master-gardeners/benefit/. Purchasers will receive expert advice on growing blueberries, strawberries and asparagus at every stage, as well as a take-home package of instructions from Extension staff and Master Gardener Volunteers. To request a disability accommodation, or for more information, contact Richard Brzozowski at email@example.com, 207.781.6099 or toll-free in Maine at 800.287.1471; or Marjorie Peronto at firstname.lastname@example.org, 207.667.8212 or toll-free in Maine at 800.287.1479.