Flowers are finally beginning to appear in the flower beds and the forsythia are starting to bloom. Planting the vegetable garden can’t be far behind. I know some of you have already started planting things like peas, spinach, and other cold tolerant crops, and then some are still waiting for their soil to warm and dry out enough to be able to plant. If you have questions on gardening, please ask an expert for help.
The Northeast Livestock Exposition
Raised Bed Gardening Series
Northern New England Home, Garden, and Flower Show
Somerset County Soil & Water Conservation District
Discover Gorgeous Gardens!
If you’re a Maine resident, stop by (with ID) for free admission during Maine Days at the Gardens, 9:00-5:00 throughout Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is open daily year-round. The Gardens Gift Shop is now open for the season, and the Kitchen Garden Cafe opens May 1.
Emerald Ash Borer
Farm to School Meeting
2013-2014 New England Small Fruit Management Guide
Forest Hills School Second Grade Receives Grant to Grow!
Mrs. Achey has been active in the 5, 2, 1, 0 (five or more fresh fruits and vegetables, two hours or less of recreational screen time, one or more hour of physical activity, and zero sugary drinks) for over a year, bringing lots of healthy learning activities into her classroom. “Farmer Joe” (Joe Bergeron) has adopted the classroom and the students have enjoyed cooking lessons and lots of fresh produce grown in the library’s window.
To learn more about this project and farmer Joe, visit thelazyjway.com.
A big heart felt Thank You Goes out to Master Gardener Mark Sheriff and Wendy Sheriff, owners of Avalon Acres Farm & Orchard for hosting this years’ Apple Pruning Field Day. This event has become an annual right of spring held at their orchard in St. Albans. This year we had a great turnout for the event with 75 people attending, representing 5 counties (Somerset, Kennebec, Piscataquis, Penobscot, and Waldo). Information was shared on pruning, planting, grafting, and growing, along with a tour of the farm and fresh bake goodies and hot drinks on a very windy, cold, information-filled day. If you’re in the area, stop at Avalon Acres Farm and pick up some farm fresh fruits and vegetables.
Image Description: Farmer Joe with second graders at Forest Hill School
Image Description: Mark Sheriff demonstrating grafting process
Finally April is here! I’m hoping that the old saying, April showers bring the flowers that bloom in May, is going to apply. It would be really nice to see stable weather conditions without the extremes of unseasonable highs and lows. This is the time that gardeners are wondering when will the soil dry and become warm enough to work. Also now is the time most people are starting seeds or transplanting those that they started earlier. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has many great gardening publications on our website, along with gardening videos, to help you with your up coming gardening adventures.
April is usually the month that gardeners and gardens start getting into full swing! Have fun and have a great gardening season!
While we are waiting for things to dry out, you may want to take in some of the upcoming gardening programs put on by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension or other gardening groups in the area. For more information on what’s going on from the University of Maine and others please visit the links below.
Master Gardener Alumni, Mark Sheriff and Family in collaboration with UMaine Extension, will be hosting an Apple Tree pruning and grafting field day at their Avalon Acres Orchard & Farm in St. Albans, ME, on Saturday April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Homeowners who are growing apple trees or who are planning on planting apple trees this spring are strongly encouraged to attend. The day will start with information about general planting and management practices for apple trees and then move into the orchard for a pruning and grafting demonstration. To register for this event, please call Tom Goodspeed at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474.9622 or toll free in Maine at 1.800.287.1495. There is no cost to attend this event.
Directions to Avalon Acres Farm: From Newport, take Route 7 West toward Nokomis High School. Turn left on Williams Road. Go past High School, follow to end (5 miles). Turn left on Route 43 toward St. Albans. Go 3 miles, turn right onto Dexter Road. The farm is 1 1/2 miles on left.
From Skowhegan take Route 2 east to Route 23 (Hartland Road) into Hartland. Then turn right onto Route 43 east/ Corinna Road. Turn left onto Dexter Road. Farm is about 1 1/2 miles on left.
Learn more about Avalon Acres Farm & Orchards.
We invite you to experience Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ spectacular 250-acre landscape. The gardens and wild spaces are uniquely beautiful and always full of surprises, including 11,000 tulips in the spring!
If you’re a Maine resident, stop by (with ID) for free admission during Maine Days at the Gardens, 9:00-5:00 throughout Memorial Day weekend, May 25-27. Check out their calendar for more information and a look at their “GROW” Program.
The mission of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is to protect, preserve, and enhance the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of coastal Maine for people of all ages through horticulture, education, and research.
The Somerset County Soil & Water District is now taking orders for their annual Trout Sale! The updated order form for 2013 is available on the Trout Sale section of their website or call 474-8324 x 3 with questions or for more information. Deadline for orders is May 10. Pickup day is Wednesday May 14. See order form for prices and more details.
A traditional rite of spring returns with a new name and a new look this year. Scheduled to take place from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., April 5-6 and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., April 7, the garden show will be held at the Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center. Admission is $5; children under 12 are admitted free. Now known as the BDN Maine Bangor Garden Show and Spring Fling, the show will be presented by New England Home Health. Organizers promise there will be something for everyone. For more information visit Bangor Daily News website.
A day-long extravaganza of gardening workshops, food, along with a trade show. Over 30 workshops on topics ranging from permaculture, growing great tomatoes, and managing soil organic matter to increasing curb appeal with native plants. Pre-registration is required by visiting the website or calling the UMaine Extension Oxford County office at 743.6329 to request a paper registration brochure.
This half-day workshop on growing fruit trees in Maine will focus on pruning and dealing with diseases and insect pests. It’s open to the general public — anyone who would like to learn more about the cultural requirements of fruit trees. The class will be taught by Renae Moran, UMaine Extension tree fruit specialist. The class will begin in the meeting room behind the barn. If weather permits, we will have a pruning demonstration in the orchard and a tour of the fruit tree research orchard. The workshop is free of charge, but please pre-register by calling Renae Moran at 207.933.2100 or e-mail email@example.com. For more information on fruit trees, visit Cooperative Extension’s Tree Fruits website.
Image Description: 2012 Apple Tree Pruning Field Day.
Mainebiz interviewed Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Jenny Shrum, a doctoral biology and ecology student at the University of Maine, for the March 18 article “Maine syrup makers brace for widespread variability.” Hopkins spoke about the unusually warm seasons producers have been seeing in the past few years. She said despite the variability of the seasons, syrup production has been booming and state licenses for commercial production have increased. Shrum spoke about her research into how to better define what temperature rises and weather variability will mean for sap flow, as well as possible steps that could safeguard the state’s industry.
Marching into spring! Well, here we go! March 20th is, by the calendar, the official start of spring. We’ll have to wait to see what Mother Nature has to say about that! Mother Nature always seems to be the deciding factor when it comes to what and when we gardeners do. Hopefully, we will have one of those rare springs where the weather is ideal and we can get into the garden to implement all our long awaited plans.
So You Want to Farm in Maine is a farm business course for people who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby to a profitable business. This course will be offered in a series of eight webinars, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., starting Thursday, March 7. Classes will be held on the Internet live and with an archived version that will be available shortly after the live session.
Topics will include selecting and evaluating a farm enterprise, writing a business plan, record keeping, market research, and much more. Cost of the webinar is free. Course texts can be purchased through the UMaine Extension publications online store:
For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call 564.3301 or 1.800.287.1491 (in Maine), or contact:
Donna Coffin, Extension Educator
165 East Main St.
207.564.3301 or 1.800.287.1491 (in Maine)
Master Gardener Alumni Mark Sheriff and family, in collaboration with UMaine Extension, will be hosting an apple tree pruning and grafting field day at Avalon Acres in St. Albans (234 Dexter Road) on Saturday, April 6 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Homeowners who are growing apple trees or who are planning on planting apple trees this spring are encouraged to attend. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, as we will be walking on uneven terrain. Registration is not required but would be appreciated so that we will have enough handouts. There is no charge for this program.
For more information and/or to let us know that you plan to attend, please contact Tom Goodspeed at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474.9622 or toll free in Maine at 1.800.287.1945.
Directions to Avalon Acres Farm: From Newport, takes Rt. 7 West toward Nokomis High School. Turn left on Williams Road. Go past the high school, follow to end (5 miles). Turn left on Rt. 43 toward St. Albans. Go 3 miles, turn right onto Dexter Road. The farm is 1 ½ miles on left. Form Skowhegan, take Rt. 2 east to Rt. 150 (Hartland Road) into Hartland. Take right onto Rt. 23 to Dexter Road. Turn left onto Dexter Road. Farm is about 1 ½ miles on left.
Avena Botanicals herbalist and owner Deb Soule is hosting four talks about herbs to honor and raise funds in memory of Russell Libby. The speakers are donating their time, and all proceeds go directly to the Russell Libby Memorial Fund. Classes are by donation only, with suggested donations of $5 to $500. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. For information and registration, call Avena Botanicals at 207.594.0694. For more information on upcoming events, see Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association.
The date for the 20th Annual Maine Garden Day is April 6 at Lewiston High School. This event is a day filled with gardening workshops, educational displays, and a trade show. To register for this event, visit 20th Annual Maine Garden Day.
Join Maine’s maple producers to celebrate Maine Maple Sunday on March 24. This is the day when sugar makers around the state open the doors of their sugar-houses for the public to join them in their rites of spring: making maple syrup.
Most sugar-houses offer free tasting and live demonstrations of how syrup is produced from tap to table. Many offer a variety of other treats and activities, including syrup on pancakes or ice cream, sugar bush tours, sleigh or wagon rides, live music, and lots more. For more information and a map of sugar-house locations, please visit Maine Maple Producers.
Image Description: Apple pruning field day
So You Want to Farm in Maine is a farm business course for people who want to start a profitable farm or expand their farm hobby into a profitable business. This course will be offered in eight (8) evening webinars, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., starting Thursday, March 7. Classes will be held on the Internet, live and with an archived version that will be available shortly after the live session.
Topics will include selecting and evaluating a farm enterprise, writing a business plan, record keeping, market research, and much more. The webinar is free. Course texts can be purchased from the UMaine Extension Publications Store.
Image Description: small red barn
February is the time when gardeners will be finalizing plans for their 2013 gardens and ordering seeds if they haven’t already done so. If you’re planning on starting onions or leeks from seed, you should be starting them soon. For other seedlings, follow the packet directions on when to start each variety indoors. Here at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office, things are picking up with gardening questions already coming in. We are also getting ready for the Master Gardener Class of 2013 that will be starting on March 4th and it looks like we are going to have a good group.
The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) has put an organic seed finder on their website. The purpose is to bring together organic seed vendors and persons looking for organic seeds. They have a very diverse listing of field crop, fruits, and vegetable seeds, along with other organic seeds. To view the seed finder, go to the AOSCA website.
If you are working with a group or organization for your Master Gardener project, the following may be of interest to you. This year, projects may apply for up to $500 towards their Master Gardener Volunteer project. Applications are due March 1, 2013. The MGDB will review applications shortly after March 1 to make their decisions, so please be aware of the deadline. For an application, please contact Tom Goodspeed or Kathy Hopkins at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office. Phone: 207-474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495.
The public can support Master Gardener Volunteer projects by ordering a set of highbush blueberry plants, consisting of three young plants, two varieties per pack, for $35.95, and/or a pack of 10 asparagus crowns ready for planting in the spring for $15. Plants must be ordered by April 30 and will be available for pick up at UMaine Extension offices and at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth on Saturday, May 18th.
Purchasers will receive expert advice on growing blueberries and asparagus. “This is more than a plant sale. It is an educational experience with positive results,” says Richard Brzozowski, UMaine Extension educator in Cumberland County.
For more information, or to place an order, go to the Master Gardeners “Grow It Right! Benefit Plant Sale website.
Master Gardener Alumni Mark Sheriff and family, in collaboration with UMaine Extension, will be hosting an apple tree pruning and grafting field day at Avalon Acres in St. Albans (234 Dexter Rd.) on Saturday April 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Homeowners who are growing apple trees or who are planning on planting apple trees this spring are encouraged to attend. Please wear appropriate footwear as we will be walking on uneven terrain. Registration is not required, but would be appreciated so that we will have enough handouts. There is no charge for this program.
For more information and/or to let us know you plan on attending, please contact Tom Goodspeed at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474-9622 or toll free in Maine at 1-800-287-1945.
The University of Maine Cooperative in Somerset County is pleased to again offer its popular Master Gardener program in the Spring and Fall of 2013. This year the course will be run in a split session format with the first session starting on March 4 through May 6. The second session will begin on September 9 and continue until October 7. The course will feature an online manual that requires a reliable internet connection. Please contact the extension office if you do not have reliable internet access. Participants in the Master Gardener program will receive fifteen 3-hour training sessions on gardening. The 2013 program will focus on ornamental horticulture, ecological landscaping, and volunteerism. The program will be held on Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., beginning March 4 at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office on Norridgewock Avenue in Skowhegan. For more information or to request an application, please call the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495 (toll free in Maine). Applications are due on February 15, 2013.
The school will be held on Tuesday, March 12 at Seasons Conference Center in Portland and on Wednesday, March 13 at the Bangor Motor Inn.
- Storage Crops and Post Harvest Considerations
- Determining Your Storage Needs and Designing a Solution
- Produce Cooling and Storage by Design at Laughingstock Farm
- Storing Vegetables at Checkerberry Farm
- Marketing Winter Crops at Six River Farm
- Spotted Wing Drosophila Quiz
- A Virtual Visit to Jordan’s Farm
- Marketing to Your Community at Jordan’s Farm
- Should Strawberries be on Your Menu?
- Using Compost: The Good, Bad and Ugly
- New Pest Update: Spotted Wing Drosophila, Stink Bugs, Cutworms, Borers, and Moths
More information is posted on the Highmoor Farm website.
Please, register by February 25. The cost is $35.00 and includes lunch. Participants may receive 1 Pesticide Applicator recertification credit, and Certified Crop Advisors may earn 5 recertification credits.
Looking for garden-related activities to attend this time of year? The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay has something to interest gardeners of all ages. A schedule of planned events for 2013 is now listed on Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens website. This year’s theme of “Trees, Timbers and Traditions” encompasses the many facets of trees and their multitude of uses. Look for the simple tree icon that will mark theme-related programs, events, exhibits, and activities. Learn more.
Kathy and I wish to say thank you to all of you who attended the Master Gardener potluck dinner held on January the 28. We are in hopes of making this an annual event. We had approximately 16 people in attendance with some great homemade dishes for dinner. We gave out 1-year pins to all those in attendance who had reached their 20 hours of volunteer time, need for re-certification as Master Gardeners, and new name tags for those who were in the 2012 class that had completed their 40 hours of volunteering. A presentation on pollinators was given by Master Gardener & Somerset County Bee Keeper President Samantha Burns. A good time was had by all!
Below are seven of our Master Gardeners who earned their re-certification and were in attendance to receive pins for volunteer efforts in 2012. Thank you all!
Image Description: Master Gardener Volunteers
Hi, Everyone, and Happy New Year! The year 2013 holds tons of promise for those of us who are to thumbing through the stacks of new seed catalogs that have found their way into our mailboxes. At this time of year my garden always looks the best with the least amount of effort, as I look at the pictures in the seed catalog and decide where on my garden plan I can put my new selections for my 2013 garden. It is only after having my better half check out the plan that I am brought back to reality and the fact that we don’t really have the space to grow an extra 20 tomato plants or another 30 feet for the latest onions. Oh! Where am I going to put another variety of sweet corn? It’s fun to dream. But after the dreaming is done, the real planning begins. If this is going to be your first garden, you may be wondering where to start. The following items may hold some answers to your questions.
Choosing the right varieties of vegetables to grow is an important part of successful gardening. Decide on vegetables that you enjoy eating and then on how much space you can devote to each. For information on which vegetables grow in Maine, check out Vegetable Varieties for Maine Gardens.
If you’re having trouble understanding the soil test you received back from your sample you sent in, then visit the Maine Soil Testing Service website and check out “Interpreting Soil Test Results for Gardens & Grounds.”
If you haven’t done a soil test yet, Bulletin #2286 Testing Your Soil will explain the benefits of testing your soil. Now through March 31, 2013 you can have your soil tested at a reduced price of $12.00 for the basic test!
Learn what to do in Bulletin #2751, Starting Seeds at Home.
If you recently decided to scale back your garden or just want to try something new, raised beds may be an option you should look into. You may also want to try making a square foot garden. In combination, both methods have many advantages and more information can be found in Bulletin #2761, Gardening in Small Spaces.
The Maine Forest Service has posted their latest conditions report. They have issued an alert on the invasive geometrid winter moth (Operophtera brumata), which has been found in the two coastal Maine communities of Harpswell and Vinalhaven. In addition, reports have come in of moths in flight in Cape Elizabeth on December 2-3. Please send reports of moths flying: in unusual numbers, in other communities, in December or January. If you can also catch some of the moths, put them in a zip-lock bag and mail them to:
Charlene Donahue Forest Entomologist
Insect & Disease Laboratory
168 State House Station -50 Hospital St.
David T. Handley, UMaine Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, and the folks at Highmoor Farm have released the Spotted Wing Drosophila 2012 Season Summary for Maine Berry Growers. This pest should be of concern to all who grow soft fruits in Maine.
From Maine to Mumbai, Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) works with a wide variety of partner groups that share an interest in and commitment to helping more people grow more of their own healthy food. These groups include school gardens, community gardens, garden clubs, organic farming associations, food pantries, churches, and other groups interested in achieving greater levels of health and food security in their communities via kitchen gardens. A message from KGI:
Thanks to a windfall of generosity on the part of garden companies, we find ourselves up to our ears in seeds and supplies looking for a good home. We are currently accepting grant applications via a new program called “Sow it forward!” to insure that they fall into worthy hands. As part of this program, we’re offering grants of seeds, supplies, online garden planners, books, small grants, and solidarity to nonprofit causes launching new garden projects or scaling up existing programs. At KGI, we see seeds and kitchen gardens as the gifts that keep giving and as part of the partnership; grantees will be asked to “sow forward” their grants within their communities so that others might share the benefits of healthy, homegrown foods. For more information or to apply, please go to the Kitchen Gardeners International.
If you’re handy, like watching wildlife, and would like something relaxing to do this winter while at the same time providing a home for wildlife, then the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife website has some very easy plans for the homeowner to build items to entice birds and such to their yards. For the plans, visit Living with Wildlife.
UMaine Extension and the Maine Poultry Growers Association are inviting Maine poultry keepers to submit photos and descriptions of their poultry coops for consideration in the contest. For details on the contest, see Statewide Photo Contest Will Highlight the Finest Poultry Coops.
The 72nd Agricultural Trade Show will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on January 8-10, 2013. Admission is FREE! This show provides an atmosphere to walk through, observe, and educate the public about different areas of agriculture.
Tuesday, January 8, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
For more information, visit the 2013 Maine Agricultural Trade Show website.
If you’re always interested in learning about gardening, but can’t get out to take a class or course, this webinar series may be just what you’re looking for. The USDA promotes growing healthy food, people, and communities. It encourages USDA employees and communities to plant gardens because the simple act of planting a garden can make a neighborhood a healthier place to live, work, and play, while addressing issues such as hunger and the environment. USDA is excited to offer their Fall Webinar Series for a second time. This year’s sessions will provide practical gardening advice on such topics as seed saving, gardening with native plants, composting, volunteers, and school gardens. For more information, please visit The Peoples Garden Initiative.
If you’ve thought about how much fun it would be to raise your own bees for their honey or to pollinate your flower garden, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens, but just didn’t know how to get started, then this event is for you!
Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (registration will take place between 6:00 and 6:30 on February 19), starting February 19 to March 19 with a (snow date of March 26).
Where: Somerset County Extension Office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976
Cost: The course fee is $40 per person/couple and includes a 1 year membership with the Somerset Beekeepers, as well as the course manual, Beekeeping Basics.
Preregistration is preferred so that adequate course materials may be provided. A postponement notice will be announced by 3:00 p.m. on the day of the session if needed.
Instructor: Samantha Burns
Contact: Questions about the course may be addressed to Samantha Burns, firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-696-4906.
Let me first Thank Master Gardener Mel Croft for his time and effort in taking the pictures and compiling the information on the trees. I would also like to apologize for the lateness of the information being posted.
As we enter year 3 of our fruit tree trial we are beginning to see some of the answers to the questions of growing different types of fruits in our area. We are seeing successes on most fronts with only slight disappointment in a couple of plantings. Let’s start with the disappointments in our trial. After having very poor results with the two plantings of Goji Berries we have decided to forgo any further plantings of this fruit. The plants that we received were very small and did not survive the winter in our area. Perhaps if we had started with a larger stock, the success rate might have been better. The Paw Paw that we have planted is still growing, but is very slow to attain any size. It could be that our growing season is just too short in this area for them to develop properly. They get a very late start in the spring and seem to only regain the growth of the previous season. The Elderberries, Cherries, and Native Plums are all doing great! As you can see by the following pictures, their progress is very encouraging for the upcoming fall and winter. The Elderberries are both producing fruit in good quantity and quality this season.
Both Native Plums are doing very well; after a spring pruning they have gained in height. One is now 77” tall and is very healthy with only slight Japanese Beetle damage. Earlier in the season both plum trees had a small infestation of leaf rollers that we were able to take care of through hand picking of affected foliage.
Native Plum#2 is also doing great, gaining in height and vigor this season. It has now reached 86” in height with only minor insect damage. Both plum trees had slight flowering this season, but have not set any fruit.
Once again both of the Elderberries are doing great and both produced fruit this year, which the birds promptly took care of. Nova has grown to a height of 82” and shows very little insect or disease damage.
Elderberry York is producing fruit again this year; along with its counterpart, Nova it seems to be producing a larger crop and, yes, the birds also took care of the fruit before we could. York has now reach a height of 86” and also shows no signs of adverse effects from any insect or disease issues.
The Paw Paw seems to be struggling to get established. This year neither plant had a good start. Paw Paw #5 is doing better then its counterpart, attaining a height of 25” since April. It does look very healthy with excellent leaf color and development.
Like its larger counterpart, #6 struggled getting started this spring and remains very small, attaining a height of only 8”. This plant, however small in stature, is showing off good foliage color and seems to have established itself for the winter.
The places where the Goji Berries were located will be replaced with other trial plants. After two tries, we have decided that the Goji Berries just are not hardy enough in this location. We will try again in the spring of 2013 with June Berries.
All our Native Plums are doing well. Number 9 has grown to 96” in height and has few problems. The Japanese Beetles did like this plant better then the others, however, it is doing very well after weathering the storm of beetles. It also has no fruit and flowered very little.
The Nanking Cherries all seem to have one thing in common in our trial: they all have yellowing leaves to some extent late in the season. All are growing in height. Number 10 is now 58” tall. We will have a soil test done to try and rule out a nutrient problem.
Note the leaves here are also yellowing and it has reached a height of 67″.
Is now 55” tall and is also showing leaf discoloration like the others.
Our last Native Plum is doing well and has started to gain on the other two, which are on the other side of the building. After struggling in its location the first years, it has now taken hold and is acclimated to this spot, which is not as protected as the others. The shrub is now 60” tall and doing well, with very little insect or disease damage.
Comparison between May measurement & September 2012
|1||55″ now 77’’||Native Plum. Healthy; very minor bug damage.|
|2||58″ now 86”||Native Plum. Healthy; very minor bug damage.|
|3||43” now 82”||Elderberry. Healthy; no bug damage|
|4||55″ now 80”||Elderberry. Healthy; no bug damage|
|5||9” now 25”||Paw Paw. Doing great after very slow start|
|6||4” now 8”||Paw Paw. Doing well after very slow start|
|7||NA||Goji Berry. No picture. Dead|
|8||NA||Goji Berry. No picture. Dead|
|9||68″ now 96”||Native Plum. Healthy; very minor bug damage|
|10||32″ now 58”||Nanking Cherry. Healthy, but some leaves are light green. Soil test needed.|
|11||33″ now 67”||Nanking Cherry. Healthy, but some leaves are light green. Soil test needed.|
|12||35″ now 55”||Nanking Cherry. Healthy, but some leaves are light green. Soil test needed.|
|13||37″ now 60”||Native Plum. Healthy; very minor bug damage|
Happy Holidays everyone! Well, the year 2012 is coming to a close and here in Somerset County things are slowing down for a long winter season. The gardens have all been tucked in for the winter and are waiting the spring planting season. The seed companies are all looking forward to flooding our mailboxes with their new catalogs at the earliest possible time and we are looking online to get a jump on the newest garden items or seeds we can find for that special person on our holiday shopping list. Our best wishes to you all and we hope you have a very Happy Holiday! We look forward to seeing you in 2013.
If you’ve thought about how much fun it would be to raise your own bees for their honey or to pollinate your flower garden, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens, but just didn’t know how to get started then this event is for you!
When: Starting February 19 to March 19, with a snow date of March 26; Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 PM (registration will take place between 6:00 and 6:30 on February 19).
Where: Somerset County Extension Office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan, ME 04976
Cost: The course fee is $40 per person/couple and includes a 1 year membership with the Somerset Beekeepers, as well as the course manual “Bee Keeping Basics.”
Preregistration is preferred so that adequate course materials may be provided. A postponement notice will be announced by 3:00 p.m. on the day of the session as necessary.
Instructor: Samantha Burns
Contact: Questions about the course may be addressed to Samantha Burns, email@example.com or Phone 207-696-4906.
The Maine Beef Producers Association (MBPA) will hold its 23rd Annual Beef Conference, titled “Becoming a More Successful Marketer,” Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bangor, ME, with registration open at 8:00 a.m.
This year, MBPA has joined forces with the Maine Grass Farmers Network (MGFN) to host the conference with sponsors University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Industry sponsors include Cargill Animal Nutrition, makers of Nutrena & Agway Feeds, Cold Spring Ranch, Pineland Farms, and the Maine Beef Industry Council.
Keynote speaker is Dr. Jim Ochterski, Cornell Extension marketing specialist. Other speakers include Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Dr. Henrettia Beaufait, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Regulations Division, and Gabe Clark, beef producer, Cold Spring Ranch.
Non-member registration, including lunch, is $60 for the first person from the farm and $40 for all others from that farm. Discounts for MGFN and MBPA association members are available, as well as a student rate. For registration details, contact Melissa Libby at 1-800-287-7170 in Maine or 207-581-2788. Registration details will be available on the UMaine Extension beef website .
Admission is FREE! This show provides an atmosphere to walk through, observe, and educate the public about different areas of agriculture. Show hours:
- Tuesday, January 8, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, January 9, 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Somerset County is pleased to again offer its popular Master Gardener program in the Spring and Fall of 2013. This year the course will be run in a split session format with the first session starting March 4 through May 6. The second session will begin on September 9 and continue until October 7. The course will feature an online manual that requires a reliable internet connection. Please contact the extension office if you do not have reliable internet access. Participants in the Master Gardener program will receive fifteen 3-hour training sessions on gardening starting March 4. The 2013 program will focus on ornamental horticulture, ecological landscaping, and volunteerism, therefore we expect each participant to attend all of the training sessions and work actively on volunteer projects during and following the course. The fee is on a sliding scale determined by household income. Scholarships are available. The program will be held on Monday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. beginning March 4 at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office on Norridgewock Avenue in Skowhegan. For more information or to request an application, please call the UMaine Extension Somerset County office at 207-474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495 (in Maine). Applications are due on February 2, 2013.
Somerset County Master Gardeners!
As the gardening season comes to an end, we would like to take time to thank you for your participation in the Master Gardener program and congratulate you on your success with your volunteer projects. As a group, we have accomplished some great things.
Some of the highlights of the volunteer projects:
- You helped start community gardens in the towns of Starks and Mercer.
- You worked on and maintained raised beds here at the UMaine Extension office, to grow food for the Senior Companion Program and the food pantry in Skowhegan.
- You helped educate the public about raised bed and container gardening through programs in the county and at the Extension office.
- You went out into the schools and clinics to help children and adults learn the benefits of growing their own food along with the proper ways to garden.
- You gave talks and presentations throughout the county and your communities on gardening topics, along with answering numerous gardening questions from friends, neighbors, and family.
- You donated a combined total of 634 pounds of food for the Senior Companion Program and the food cupboards in Somerset County, valued at $1,585.00.
- Your volunteer efforts generated a total of 1,407 hours worth of time in assorted projects around the area, worth approximately $22,512.00.
The list goes on and we haven’t stopped recording your hours as you turn them in. Please take home this message: You and your accomplishments are truly appreciated. The Master Gardener Volunteers Newsletter will continue to include upcoming events and new volunteer opportunities. One of the opportunities coming up would be to join our “Mentor Program.” You could help the new Master Gardener Volunteers with their project planning and execution. Please call or e-mail us if you are interested in the opportunity. We look forward to working with you in the future. Congratulations and thank you for your participation.
Have a Great & Happy Holiday Season!
Kathy Hopkins & Tom Goodspeed
Somerset County Extension Homemakers – Schedule of Educational Programs
November 16, 2012 to November 30, 2012
Program Title, Group Location, and Date
Tenerife Embroidery – Named after one of the Canary Islands, is a method of embellishing items with particular designs using embroidery floss.
For more information please contact:
Somerset County Extension Homemakers [SCEH]
Phone: (207) 474-9622 or
800-287-1495 (in Maine)
FAX: (207) 474-0374
or E-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office hours weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.