Maine Vegetable and Fruit School 2015

January 7th, 2015 10:16 AM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Highmoor FarmMaine Vegetable and Fruit School 2015

The day-long school is offered on two dates at two locations: March 10 in Portland or March 11 in Bangor. Preregistration is required. 

Cost for registration is $40.00 per person and includes lunch.
Please register by February 27, 2015.
Checks are to be made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension.

Register online or click on the link below for our registration form to mail in your form with payment.

Print a registration form (PDF)

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School is hosted by

  • University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association

Tuesday, March 10, 2015
178 Warren Avenue, Portland, Maine 04103
Tel. 207.797.3550

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

701 Hogan Road, Bangor, Maine 04401
Tel. 207.947.0355 or 1.800.244.0355


AGENDA – March 10 and March 11, 2015

9:00 AM Legislative Update from the Maine Board of Pesticides Control: Pesticide Application, Certification and More…
— Gary Fish
9:30 AM Asparagus Variety and Production Tips
— Dr. Mark Hutton
10:30 AM BREAK
10:45 AM BioChar: Myth and Reality for Soil Conditioning
— Andrew Carpenter
11:15 AM Compost for Seedlings and Transplants – Comparing Products and Rates
— Jennifer Stiles
11:45 AM Growing Vegetables Undercover – Production Techniques in Spain
Dr. Eric Sideman and Dr. Becky Sideman
12:15 PM LUNCH
1:00 PM Using Grains and Legumes in Vegetable Crop Rotations at Fairwinds Farm
— Pete and Cathy Karonis
1:30 PM Weed Management Update for Berries
— Dr. David Handley
2:15 PM Sweet Corn Varieties and Growing Ideas
— Lauchlin Titus
2:45 PM Integrated Pest Management for Sweet Corn – Putting the Pieces Together
— Dr. David Handley
3:15 PM Crop Insurance: New Policies, New Options for Small Growers
— Lani Carlson
3:30 PM Nutrient Deficiencies in Your Crops – Do You Know What to Look For?
– Dr. Mark Hutton


Andrew Carpenter - Northern Tilth, Belfast, Maine
Gary Fish – Manager of Pesticides Programs, Maine Board of Pesticides Control
Dr. David Handley – Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Dr. Mark Hutton – Vegetable Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Tori Lee Jackson – Maine Crop Insurance Education Program Co-Director, UMaine Cooperative Extension
Pete and Cathy Karonis - Fairwinds Farm, Topsham, Maine
Dr. Becky Sideman – Sustainable Horticulture Specialist, University of New Hampshire Extension
Dr. Eric Sideman – Organic Crop Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Jennifer Stiles – Graduate Student, University of Maine
Lauchlin Titus – Certified Professional Agronomist and Crop Advisor, AgMatters
Ralph Turner – Laughingstock Farm, Durham, Maine


Participants may receive 2.0 Pesticide Applicator recertification credits for attending.
5.0 Certified Crop Advisor recertification credits, pending approval.

For more information about this or other workshops, please contact:

Mark Hutchinson, Extension Educator
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Knox – Lincoln Counties
377 Manktown Road
Waldoboro, ME 04572-5815
Tel. 207.832.0343 or 1.800.244.2104 (in Maine).

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Mark Hutchinson at 1.800.244.2104, or 1.800.287.8957 (TDD) to discuss any needed arrangements. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request; however, all requests will be considered.



UMaine Extension Videos Cited in Caledonian-Record Article on Fruit Pruning Season

January 7th, 2015 9:15 AM

Videos created by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension were mentioned in a Caledonian-Record article about pruning fruit trees. The best time to prune tree fruit and small fruit, such as berries, is late winter to early spring while the plants are dormant, according to the article. The article stated UMaine Extension “has a couple of great videos for pruning blueberries and apples,” and included a link to the videos.

Yarborough Speaks with Media About State’s Large Blueberry Crop

January 5th, 2015 2:04 PM

David Yarborough, a blueberry specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with news organizations, including The Ellsworth American and WLBZ (Channel 2), about the 2014 blueberry harvest. Yarborough said although the federal figures for the harvest won’t come out until the end of the month, the crop will exceed 100 million pounds, making it the second largest blueberry harvest in Maine’s history, according to the article. The largest wild blueberry crop was 110.6 million pounds in 2000, the article states. The Associated Press also reported on Yarborough’s figures. The Boston Globe, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Portland Press Herald and Daily Reporter carried the AP report. Mainebiz cited the Ellsworth American article.

Harvest for Hunger Donates 240,937 Pounds of Produce

December 15th, 2014 2:44 PM

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Maine Harvest for Hunger program had its most successful year in 2014, as more than 300 volunteers donated 240,937 pounds of fresh produce to 104 organizations from York County to Piscataquis County.

Since the program’s inception in 1999, volunteers have provided more than 1.8 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to people, food pantries and soup kitchens statewide.

According to Feeding America, a national umbrella organization for food banks, 206,000 Maine citizens — 15.5 percent of the population — experienced food insecurity in 2012, a 50 percent increase since 2004. Also according to Feeding America, 36 percent of food insecure Mainers did not qualify for government food assistance programs. Food insecurity and obesity can co-exist for individuals and families, and a goal is to replace high-calorie, nutrient-poor food donated to food pantries with fresh fruits and vegetables.

For more information on Maine Harvest for Hunger and how to participate, visit or contact Barbara Murphy, 207.743.6329,

Sun Journal Promotes Master Gardeners Volunteer Training

December 9th, 2014 8:22 AM

The Sun Journal carried the University of Maine Cooperative Extension release about upcoming Master Gardener Volunteer programs in Androscoggin, Sagadahoc and Oxford counties.

Pesticide Training Offered for Growers

December 1st, 2014 12:29 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering growers a training session for the Bureau of Pesticide Control (BPC) private pesticide applicator core exam. Training will be 3–6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15, at the UMaine Extension Oxford County office, 9 Olson Road, South Paris. Participants also have the option of taking the exam 6–7:30 p.m.

Effective April 1, 2015, a new Maine state law requires a pesticide license for fruit, vegetable and grain growers who use only general-use (over-the-counter) pesticides, and annually sell more than $1,000 of plants or plant products intended for human consumption. Each operation must have at least one licensed owner or employee on the farm. To qualify for the license, the candidate must pass the private pesticide applicator core exam.

Cost for training is $10. For more information, to register for the training or request a disability accommodation, contact Barbara Murphy, 207.743.6329,

Highbush Blueberry School – January 15, 2015

November 14th, 2014 8:22 AM

Blueberries on bushHighbush Blueberry School 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015
10:00 AM to 3:30 PM
Arnold/Howard Rooms, Augusta Civic Center, 76 Community Drive, Augusta, Maine 04330
Registration Fee: $15.00

Preregistration is strongly encouraged. Please preregister by January 9, 2015.

Contact Pam St. Peter at or 207.933.2100 to preregister.

Cost for registration is $15.00 per person. Checks are to be made payable to UMaine Cooperative Extension.

Are you interested in growing highbush blueberries? Would this crop work well on your land? Would blueberries give a bump to your bottom line?

The Highbush Blueberry School is for people who are interested in growing highbush blueberries as a commercial enterprise. Which varieties to grow, care of young plants, nutrient management, pruning, pest management and marketing will be discussed with Dr. David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Participants may receive 2 Pesticide Applicator recertification credits.

The school will be held at the Augusta Civic Center during the Maine Agricultural Trades Show, which runs January 13-15, so participants will have an opportunity to come early and spend some time looking at the supplies, equipment and services on exhibit that are available to help them with blueberry growing and other agricultural enterprises. Admission to the Trades Show is free.

A registration fee of $15.00 will be charged for participation in the Highbush Blueberry School and space is limited, so preregistration is strongly advised. Please register by January 9, 2015.

Recommended text: Highbush Blueberry Production Guide, published by the Natural Resource and Agricultural Engineering Service. Cost: $42.00 at the door (cash and checks will be accepted at the registration table; checks should be made out to “UMaine Cooperative Extension”); or purchased in advance by ordering online from the Cooperative Extension Publications Catalog.


10:00 AM Introductions

10:15 AM The Highbush Blueberry: Morphology and History
David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, UMaine Extension
11:00 AM Blueberry Variety Characteristics
David Handley
11:30 AM Pre-plant Considerations and Preparation
Mark Hutchinson, Extension Professor, UMaine Extension
12:00 PM LUNCH BREAK (on your own)
1:00 PM Planting and Early Care
David Handley
1:30 PM Blueberry Plant Nutrition Done Right
David Handley
2:00 PM Pruning Blueberry Bushes, Young and Old
David Handley
2:30 PM Pest Identification
David Handley
3:00 PM Bottom Line: Costs and Expectations
David Handley
3:15 PM Questions and Discussion
3:30 PM Adjourn

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations to participate in this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or TDD 1.800.287.8957. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 10 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.



UMaine Extension Presents Cranberry Preservation Tips

November 10th, 2014 2:16 PM

Colorful cranberries are a sign of the holiday season and University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering preservation tips to enjoy the flavorful fruit throughout the coming months.

In a new bulletin, Kathleen Savoie, UMaine Extension associate professor, explains how to choose, prepare, store, freeze and can fresh cranberries. The bulletin also has several recipes, including for cranberry sauce and spicy cranberry salsa. Copies of bulletin 4045, “Let’s Preserve: Cranberries” may be ordered for $1 each or downloaded for free online.

For more information, contact 207.581.3792 or

Vegetable Growers Twilight Meeting – November 12, 2014

November 7th, 2014 8:24 AM


woman transplanting seedlings into garden

Transplanting Seedlings, photo by David Handley

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
3:00 PM
Laughingstock Farm, 79 Wardtown Road, Freeport, Maine 04032
Farm Tel. 207.865.3743
Cost: Free
No registration is required.

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Association will hold an afternoon meeting at Laughingstock Farm in Freeport on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 3:00 p.m.

Our hosts, Ralph and Lisa Turner grow vegetables on about 15 acres and specialize in offseason production in their 15,000 square feet of greenhouse space. They market their produce through a large CSA and local restaurants. Lisa is the author of a cookbook emphasizing local produce, and Ralph has engineered some unique energy saving technology for the greenhouses. We’ll get a chance to see the greenhouses and learn about heating, growing schedules, irrigation and fertility for late season and winter vegetables. Hold the date!

Laughingstock Farm is located at 79 Wardtown Road (Route 125) in Freeport. The farm phone number is 207.865.3743 and the website address is Cost for the meeting is free and no registration is required. For more information, please contact Mark Hutton at 207.933.2100 or We hope to see you there!

Upcoming Event
Also, please mark your calendars for the Maine Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Annual Meeting on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show at the Augusta Civic Center. We’ll be sending out a full program in the coming weeks.

Directions to Laughingstock Farm
Take Exit 22 from I-295. If coming from the north, turn left off the exit. If coming from the south, turn right off the exit. Routes 126 and 136 curve to the right in about 200 yards. Follow Routes 125 and 136 for about another ½ mile. Take a right onto Route 125 (Griffin Road). Follow Route 125 for about 2.3 miles (Griffin Road turns into Wardtown Road.) You’ll see the greenhouses and sign on the left side of Route 125, just before you get to Florida Lake Conservation and Recreation Area.

Any person with a disability who needs accommodations for this program should contact Pam St. Peter at 207.933.2100 or TDD 1.800.287.8957 to discuss their needs as soon as possible.

Spotted Wing Drosophila Update: 10/17/2014

October 17th, 2014 11:21 AM


Click on photo to enlarge.

David Handley, Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist; James Dill, Pest Management Specialist; Frank Drummond, Professor of Insect Ecology/Entomology

Male and Female Spotted Wing Drosophila Flies

Male (left) and Female (right) Spotted Wing Drosophila, photo by Griffin Dill. Actual size: 2-3 mm.

We have been anticipating a rapid increase in spotted wing drosophila trap captures since late August, based on our experience over the past two seasons, and it appears that we are now seeing it in at least some locations. The highest fly counts of the season occurred this week at sites where we have been seeing numbers rising over the past several weeks, including Wells, Cape Elizabeth, Dresden and, most notably, Warren. It should be noted, however, that the trap in Warren was placed close to a waste pile of rotten fruit where flies were abundant; although, until this week, most of the fruit flies caught at that site were species other than spotted wing drosophila. Not all trap sites have been experiencing a significant rise in fly counts, and some have remained at surprisingly low and stable levels. This is probably due to a combination of localized conditions, such as availability of food and lack of moisture, which could limit their ability to reproduce. At sites where drosophila populations are high, they will probably continue to increase until we have several hard frosts, and/or available food is depleted. Most farms have called an end to their berry season and have stopped spraying. There are still a few that are taking advantage of this warm fall and continue to harvest fall raspberries and late blueberries. These crops will need to continue to be sprayed until harvest is complete to protect against drosophila infestation.

This is our last regularly scheduled update for spotted wing drosophila for the 2014 season. We will update our website with any new information on spotted wing drosophila and management as it becomes available. I’d like to thank all of the farms that helped us with trapping this year, and express my appreciation to the people who helped maintain the traps and count all those flies, including Ben Woodman, Christina Hillier, Kara Rowley, Tammy Cushman and Pat McManus. We hope to monitor spotted wing drosophila populations around the state again next year to keep growers informed about this threat and to better understand how to manage it.

Town Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/17/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/10/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 10/3/14 Spotted Wing Drosophila weekly trap catch 9/26/14
Limington 128 127 48 6
Limerick 859 346 141 195
Wells 18,928 6,064 558 523
Cape Elizabeth 1,722 684 417 401
Bowdoinham 181 106 46 25
Dresden 6,872 3,075 739 599
Warren 50,848 620 211 128
Farmington 10 17 29 23
Livermore Falls 16 12 28 5
Mechanic Falls 70 15 33 20
Poland Spring 544 1,171 2,118 604
Monmouth 329 66 24 23
Wales 200 123 215 67
Old Town * 29 13
Levant * 43 31 30

*We’ll update the information for this site as soon as we have finished counting the trap catch.

Based on what we know so far about this pest, here again are our six rules for managing spotted wing drosophila.

  1. Monitor for the flies with traps, and for the larvae in fruit.
  2. Spray regularly and often once flies have been found in the field (1-2/week).
  3. Harvest fruit regularly and often; do not leave any ripe/rotten fruit in the field.
  4. Sort fruit at harvest; do not leave any soft fruit in the container to be sold.
  5. Chill all fruit immediately after harvest to 38ºF (or as close as you can) for at least 12 hours to slow development of any eggs or larvae.
  6. Prune the planting to open up the canopy and create dry, light conditions.

David T. Handley
Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist

Highmoor Farm                       Pest Management Office
P.O. Box 179                             491 College Avenue
Monmouth, ME 04259          Orono, ME 04473
207.933.2100                           1.800.287.0279

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