Fruit Tree Class at Highmoor Farm – April 11, 2015

February 20th, 2015 10:21 AM

Fruit Tree Class

pruning a fruit treeSaturday, April 11, 2015
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Highmoor Farm, UMaine Agricultural Experiment Station
52 US Route 202, Monmouth, Maine 04259

Registration cost is $10.00. Please call 207.933.2100 to register, since class size is limited.

The Fruit Tree Class will cover basic pruning techniques, variety selection, pests and diseases, and cross pollination. The class will be taught by Renae Moran, Tree Fruit Specialist for the University of Maine. If weather permits, the class will be taught outdoors in the orchard. Students should meet in the parking lot behind the barn.

Please contact Renae Moran for more information about the class at 207.933.2100 or

Visit the Highmoor Farm website for directions.


UMaine Extension Taking Orders for Asparagus, Rhubarb, Berry Plants

January 30th, 2015 10:49 AM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking orders for its “Grow It Right!” plant sale, which is a fundraiser for the Master Gardener Volunteers program.

Available plants are a highbush blueberry three-pack, two varieties per pack, $35.95; 10-pack of asparagus crowns, $15; 25 young dormant strawberry plants, $15; five raspberry canes, $18; three blackberry canes, $25; and rhubarb crowns, $12 each. All are suitable for Maine’s climate and will be ready for spring planting.

Graduates of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program have been active for more than 30 years, doing demonstrations, creating community gardens, organizing educational events, growing food for Maine Harvest for Hunger and leading community-based volunteer efforts. Sale proceeds will support these projects and provide need-based program scholarships.

Orders must be placed by May 1. Plants will be available for pickup at Extension county offices Saturday, May 16 or Monday, May 18, depending on location. Purchase plants and get more information, including video clips on site selection and soil testing online.

To place a mail order, call Andrea Herr, 207.781.6099. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Richard Brzozowski, 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine),; or Marjorie Peronto, 207.667.8212, 800.287.1479 (in Maine),

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. Online registration is still open.

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
10:00 AM “I have to pay overtime for that?” Recent Trends in Department of Labor Enforcement of Federal Wage and Hour Laws
– Attorneys Laurel McClead and Tom Trenholm
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
— Leilani Carlson and Donovan Todd
3:30 PM Nutrient Deficiencies in Your Crops – Do You Know What to Look For?
– Dr. Mark Hutton


Leilani Carlson - Maine Crop Insurance Education Program Manager, UMaine Cooperative Extension
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
Pete and Cathy Karonis - Fairwinds Farm, Topsham, Maine
Laurel McClead – Attorney, Drummond Woodsum, Labor and Employment Group, Portland, 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
Donovan Todd – Executive Director, Maine Farm Service Agency
Tom Trenholm – Attorney, Drummond Woodsum, Labor and Employment Group, Portland, Maine
Ralph Turner – Laughingstock Farm, Durham, Maine

Thank you to our sponsor, Nourse Farms, Inc.

Participants may receive 2.0 Pesticide Applicator recertification credits for attending.
Certified Crop Advisors may earn 5 recertification credits for participation.

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