PSE at UMaine Legislative Day

March 15th, 2010 9:40 AM

Greg Porter, Lauren Kolb, and Kate Garland represented the department at the Maine Legislature.  They were part an outreach effort by the NSFA college to demonstrate the diversity of areas of involvement that units in the college have in the state.  Greg, Lauren, and Kate explained the activities in ecology, agriculture, and horticulture that our department conducts which are important to the state.

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Lauren Kolb (left), Kate Garland

Eric Gallandt named to the Editorial Board of Organic Agriculture

March 8th, 2010 8:52 AM

The official journal of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research or “ISOFAR,” and published by Springer Netherlands, Organic Agriculture was launched in 2009 with the aim to facilitate global cooperation in research, methods development, education, and knowledge exchange.

Organic Agriculture

Black Bear Beauties Plant Sale

February 24th, 2010 9:12 PM

Black Bear Beauties are rugged, often native plants that are suitable for Maine gardens.  These plants are grown by UMaine students and faculty in the greenhouses in Orono.  Funds raised from this sale will benefit the UMaine Environmental Horticulture Program by supporting internships and infrastructure for the program and the historic Littlefield Garden.  We’ll also have native plant refreshments available. 

When:  May 20th, 21st, and 22nd

Time:  10 am - 6:30 pm Th and F and 8 am - 5 pm S

Where:  Lyle E. Littlefield Gardens, University of Maine, Orono

Contact Stephanie Burnett (sburnett@maine.edu) for more information

Black Bear Beauties available include trillium, butterfly weed, and hardy inkberry

USDA Grant to Study Wild Blueberry Production

February 22nd, 2010 10:58 AM

Systems approach to improving the sustainability of wild blueberry production

Project Director: Dr. David Yarborough
Other PSE Investigators: Jack Smagula, Ellen Mallory, and Tsutomu Ohno

A four year competitive grant for $1,023,805 has been awarded to the wild blueberry research team by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. This grant was matched by the University of Maine and wild blueberry Commission of Maine for a total budget of $2,047,610.

The wild blueberry is native plant but it managed to improve production.  The wild blueberry crop in Maine comprises 15% of the total wild and cultivated blueberry crop and 37% of the total processed blueberry crop that is commercially produced in 37 U.S. states and 8 Canadian provinces. The goal of the systems approach to improving the sustainability of wild blueberry production project is to provide growers with information on how different management systems affect the crop, and the environmental and economic sustainability of production.  A critical issue is determining how increasingly expensive inputs may be optimized to achieve economically and environmentally sustainable yields.  A multi-disciplinary large-scale study of four cropping systems along gradients of capital inputs and hypothesized environmental effects will be evaluated. This approach will involve quantifying system effects on yield, fruit quality, pest communities, the environment, and economic outcomes. In addition, a suite of intra-disciplinary experiments focused on issues of critical importance to growers: sensors for food-borne pathogens, value of soil amendments, reduced-risk pest control, identification of new pathogens, and recovery of blueberries from disturbance, and the economics and conservation of native pollinators will be conducted. A Grower Survey that addresses social changes will also be a part of our outreach program

Horticulture students present their designs

February 21st, 2010 11:56 AM

Three Horticulture students presented their top-rated landscape designs for Braeside, the historic home of Dr. Edith Patch on February 20th at a monthly meeting of the Friends of Dr. Edith Marion Patch.  Dr. Patch was an early University of Maine faculty member and an internationally renown educator and environmentalist.  Her home, adjacent to the University of Maine campus, is currently being restored.  The students, who developed their designs and presentations as assignments for classes in Landscape Design, taught by local professional and instructor Bob Bangs, and Landscape Management, taught by faculty member Micah Lipscomb, are pictured next to their designs. Steve Rodrigue (left, of Augusta, ME) is interested in integrating landscape design and sustainable agriculture and has a particular interest in landscaping for wildlife.  Michael Scott (center, of Cape Elizabeth, ME) has been employed for nine years in the field, primarily in landscape installation and construction. Jonathan Mackay (right, of Brewer, ME)  has been employed by Windswept Gardents (owner Bob Bangs) of Bangor for the past three years.