Archive for the ‘Master Gardener’ Category

Blueberries for sale

March 13, 2013

Don’t forget to order your highbush blueberry plants before April 30!  The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is selling blueberry bushes IMG_4288and asparagus crowns to raise funds for its statewide Master Gardener Volunteers program.  Money raised will assist Master Gardener Volunteer community gardening projects and also will provide scholarships to those who cannot afford the Master Gardener course fee.

A high-bush blueberry plant pack consists of three young plants, two varieties per pack, for $35.95 or a pack of 10 asparagus crowns ready for planting in the spring for $15.00. Plants will be available for pickup only at specific University of Maine Cooperative Extension county offices on Saturday, May 18, 2013.  Specific information on pickup is available at the website.  In addition to the plants, buyers will receive expert advice on growing blueberries and growing asparagus at every stage and a take-home package of instructions from Extension staff and Master Gardener Volunteers.

For more information or to place an order, visit the sale website.  The Extension recommends a soil test prior to planting to get the most out of their garden site.

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Longfellow’s links

March 11, 2013

I had a great time chatting with my fellow gardeners on Saturday at my seed starting workshop at Longfellow’s Greenhouses. If you went to the workshop and are stopping by Henbogle to check out some of the webpages I mentioned, here are links to the ones I recall talking about.

Tips on lighting for seed starting at Mike’s Bean Patch.

How much to grow from Ed Hume Seeds

A seed viability chart from Hill Gardens of Maine and another from Iowa State University Extension

An online seed starting calendar tool from Skippy’s Vegetable Garden

One of the best resources for Maine gardeners is available in your own county:  The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service.  These folks are pros and their mission is to help people grow food.

You will find these links and more on my page Resources for Maine Gardeners and Eaters

Good luck with your seed starting and gardening, and don’t forget to have fun!

Gardening wisdom, available now

March 4, 2013

One of the fun parts about being a Master Gardener is being asked to spout off deliver workshops for less experienced gardeners.  I’ve got a couple of gigs on the horizon, and I’d love to meet my Maine readers, so if you are in the area, stop in and say hello!  The first up is a talk on seed starting this Saturday at Longfellow’s Greenhouses in Manchester.   Dave Handley of the U Maine Cooperative Extension Service is speaking in the morning at 10 about growing blueberries.  Dave is the Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist at the Extension’s nearby research facility, Highmoor Farm in Monmouth.  My talk will be in the afternoon at 1 pm.  Please do say hello if you happen by.

On Saturday March 16 I’ll be speaking at Rural Living Day.  The event is sponsored by the Waldo County Office of the U Maine Extension, and is a fundraiser for scholarships for a scholarship for a graduating Senior from Waldo County.  The workshops cover a variety of topics of interest to those of us living the good life in rural Maine, including cheesemaking, composting, permaculture, seed-saving/open-pollinated seed, growing great garlic and more.  I’ll be talking more about my ongoing project of tracking the economic value of my garden.  There is more than 1 workshop in each session I want to attend, so clearly the day is packed with great learning opportunities, and there will be a locally sourced lunch!  I hope to see some of my Maine readers there, it should be a good day.

I’m doing one more session at Waterville Adult Education with my MG professor, Caragh Fitzgerald on extending the seasons on April 9.  I’m not sure how to register for that but if you are interested leave me a comment and I’ll get the scoop.

 

Blueberries for Sal ( or Julie, or Billy, Andi, Fran, Casey etc.)*

January 24, 2013

Blueberries for Salby Robert McCloskeyBlueberries are a natural for Maine gardeners; they are well adapted to Maine’s climate, highbush varieties offer a long harvest window and large juicy berries that are easy to pick.  Now you can try blueberries and or asparagus and support other Maine gardeners and garden projects.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is selling blueberry bushes and asparagus crowns to raise funds for its statewide Master Gardener Volunteers program.  Money raised will assist Master Gardener Volunteer projects and also will provide scholarships to those who cannot afford the Master Gardener course fee. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program has assisted in dozens of community horticultural projects across the state, including Maine Harvest for Hunger, youth gardening and other community-based volunteer efforts.

A high-bush blueberry plant pack consists of three young plants, two varieties per pack, for $35.95 or a pack of 10 asparagus crowns ready for planting in the spring for $15.00. Plants will be available for pickup only at specific University of Maine Cooperative Extension county offices on Saturday, May 18, 2013.  Specific information on pickup is available at the IMG_1068website.  In addition to the plants, buyers will receive expert advice on growing blueberries and growing asparagus at every stage and a take-home package of instructions from Extension staff and Master Gardener Volunteers.

For more information or to place an order, visit the sale website.  The Extension recommends a soil test prior to planting to get the most out of their garden site.

We started with just 9 plants here at Henbogle, and over the years have expanded to a few more.  In 2011, we picked over 20 pounds of delicious berries.  We use most of these berries for fresh eating, and they are tasty!

*Blueberries for Sal is a Caldecott-honored picture book that tells the story of Sal and her mother, who meet up with a bear and bear cub while picking blueberries in Maine.  Many Maine children of a certain age are familiar with this and Make Way For Ducklings, another fabulous Robert McCloskey picture book.

On the upswing

December 21, 2010

At last, the first day of winter arrives….  Merry Solstice, everyone!

Why am I so happy?  I’m not a an ardent fan of winter, but as of today, the days grow longer and in just 45 ish days, around about February 4, the sun will shine upon my garden for 10 hours a day.  I love that day.  Groundhog Day, my birthday, and the magic day, all in a row, 2,3,4.  February is a good month!

In the meantime, I am making do with Christmas tree lights and candles in the windows of Henbogle house,  making holiday cookies, wrapping gifts and planning parties.  We still have some greens alive in the hoophouse, I hope we will be eating a few of them at one of our upcoming dinners.  Otherwise, I just want them to live through the winter for early spring salads.

Although I am busy with holiday preparations, I am thinking a lot about my garden, and I hope write a summary of the year over the holiday vacation.  In addition to a garden summary, I am also planning with some other Master Gardeners a seed swap for early February.  More on that soon, but if you have ever participated in a seed swap and would be willing to share some advice, let me know.

Happy Holidays!!

Halfway there

May 6, 2010

I had my last Master Gardener class on Tuesday — I am halfway to becoming an official Master Gardener!  What’s left, you say? The next phase is to complete 40 hours of community service.  My plan at this point is to volunteer for the MG program, improving communications systems among the Master Gardeners themselves, and to do some work in the community through volunteering, probably at a community garden site such as Caring Community Gardens or a public garden like the Viles Arboretum or Maine’s Governor’s Mansion, the Blaine House, which has an English cottage style garden designed for the site by the Olmstead Brothers in 1920.

In Maine the program is organized by the Cooperative Extension Service’s county offices.  I  took the class out of my county, so will have to do a bit of travel to complete my hours in the county in which I trained, but that’s OK, it was well worth it.  I learned a lot in the MG program, and really enjoyed the opportunity to meet other gardeners, many of whom are almost as obsessed as I am about gardening.  It is so nice to find you are not alone!