Grow Food in Raised Beds, Containers with UMaine Extension

March 25th, 2014 10:46 AM
Raised bed gardensUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-class workshop on building, planting, maintaining, and harvesting square-foot gardens in raised beds and containers.

Classes meet monthly from May through October at the UMaine Extension office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan. The first class is 9-11 a.m. May 1; the final class is Oct. 9. UMaine Extension Somerset County staff will teach the classes and local Master Gardener Volunteers will work with participants in demonstration gardens throughout the growing season. Harvested produce will be shared with area schools and senior and food kitchen programs.

Course fee is $10 per person. Scholarships are available. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call Pete Bastien at 207.474.9622 or 1.800.287.1495 (in Maine). Requests received at least 10 days in advance are preferred; all requests will be accepted.

Press Herald Previews Flower Show Auction to Benefit UMaine Cooperative Extension

March 4th, 2014 2:57 PM

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.

Plant Sale Benefits Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

November 19th, 2013 1:45 PM

Plant Sale Benefits Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

Order blueberry, strawberry, asparagus now for spring planting

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 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, 207.781.6099 or toll-free in Maine at 800.287.1471; or Marjorie Peronto at, 207.667.8212 or toll-free in Maine at 800.287.1479.

Witt Talks to Forecaster about Falmouth Demonstration Garden

September 18th, 2013 3:24 PM

Amy Witt, home horticulturist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, spoke with The Forecaster for the article “Falmouth garden fertile ground for UMaine farm educators” about UMaine Extension’s Falmouth demonstration garden. Witt said common teaching themes at the garden include farming skills to help with food security and sustainable practices.

Sun Journal Covers UMaine Cooperative Extension Cooking Demo

August 12th, 2013 1:56 PM

The Sun Journal reported on an outdoor cooking demonstration on how to steam green beans with dressing, which was hosted by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Oxford County and River Valley Health Communities Coalition. Barbara Murphy, Maine Harvest for Hunger coordinator and extension educator in home horticulture and agriculture, said the demonstration was one of 12 cooking lessons to teach residents “how to be clever with their vegetables.”

Foster’s Daily Democrat Covers Master Gardener Plant Sale

June 19th, 2013 9:36 AM

Foster’s Daily Democrat reported last month’s annual plant sale hosted by the Master Gardener Volunteers with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in York County was a success. The sale, held in Springvale, saw hundreds of customers and generated several thousand dollars for community programs, according to the report.

$25,000 Donation Supports UMaine Extension Agricultural and Horticultural Education at Tidewater Farm

May 28th, 2013 10:33 AM

A private $25,000 pledge in support of University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s agricultural and horticultural education programs at Tidewater Farm in Falmouth is funding a new tractor for the public teaching and demonstration gardens, where fresh produce is grown for area food pantries.

Teams of Master Gardener volunteers from Cumberland County are engaged in the horticulture education programs at the farm, where youth and adults learn best practices for growing fruits and vegetables. Purchased locally, the tractor will also be used in Extension’s Farm Tractor Safety classes in which youth and adult drivers gain skills and knowledge for the safe operation of tractors.

The pledge is the lead gift kicking off the 2013 campaign to raise an additional $10,000 to purchase farm tractor implements and gardening supplies for the educational programs in response to the increasing public interest in growing fresh produce and feeding Maine’s hungry. The long-range vision for UMaine Extension at the farm is to offer expanded educational and cultural programs year-round for the public.

Since arriving at Tidewater Farm in 2011, UMaine Extension has worked closely with the Tidewater Conservation Foundation, local neighbors, town officials and organizations, such as Cultivating Community and the Center for African Heritage, to create an agricultural learning center offering popular gardening and horticulture programs throughout the growing season.

With the support of the Master Gardener volunteers, in collaboration with UMaine Extension staff, the gardens generated more than 500 pounds of fresh produce for area food pantries in the last growing season, with plans to increase that number in coming years. According to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, 23 percent of Maine’s children are food insecure, meaning they do not have enough food to eat on a regular basis. Educational programs at Tidewater Farm are part of UMaine Extension’s statewide Harvest for Hunger program that collects and distributes more than 209,000 pounds of fresh produce annually. A portion of that annual harvest is distributed to area food pantries and through the Good Shepherd Food Bank, one of UMaine Extension’s key partners in addressing hunger in Maine.

To become involved as a donor or volunteer at Tidewater Farm, contact the UMaine Cooperative Extension Office in Cumberland County, 207.781.6099. More information is online (

Cooperative Extension Program Cited in Press Herald Column

April 26th, 2013 7:53 AM

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger program was mentioned in a recent “Food and Dining Dispatches” column for the Portland Press Herald. The program is seeking gardeners willing to plant an extra row of produce this year to donate to local soup kitchens and food pantries.

Newspaper Garden Feature Cites UMaine Extension Education Classes

October 25th, 2012 8:56 AM

A Lewiston Sun Journal feature article about a Jay middle school community gardening project to benefit a local food bank noted that a seventh-grader leading the project learned about gardening methods through University of Maine Cooperative Extension classes. The students donated more than 100 pounds of cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans and carrots from their school garden.

Maine Harvest for Hunger Conserves Resources – Helping Maine People and the Environment!

October 17th, 2012 11:36 AM

Maine Harvest for Hunger conserves resources - helping Maine people and the environment! Harvest for Hunger volunteers gather surplus produce  that would otherwise be fed to livestock, tilled in or  thrown out. This helps feed hungry Mainers and utilizes the nitrogen and water that was used to grow the food (numbers based on 2011 totals): 1,700 lbs nitrogen fertilizer; 244,000 lbs gleaned and surplus food; 2.3 million gallons H2O.