April 2024 Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter

In this issue…

From the President…

Welcome to April!

Hopefully, you have started some seeds. If you have not, fear not, as you can obtain plants at the Annual Master Gardener plant sale on June 1st at Tidewater Farm!

This year the plant sale is taking place the first Saturday after Memorial Day weekend.  We are hoping the non-holiday weekend will bring a larger turn out!  We will need many Master Gardeners to assist at the sale.

At the last meeting of your Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association Board, we discussed and approved the following statement to begin the meetings:

We would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional land of the first people of Wabanaki or Dawnland. The Passamaquoddy, Micmac, Penobscot, Abenaki and Maliseet collectively represent the Wabanaki Confederacy. We acknowledge their ancestors- past, present and future. We honor with gratitude the land itself and this calls us to commit to learning to be better stewards of the land we inhabit and invite all people to share in the work.

We also discussed making Master Gardener hats available for purchase later this year. Don’t ask why this has taken so long to accomplish, as I surely don’t know the answer!

Remember that the annual meeting is in person this year at  Wolf’s Neck Farm on April 3rd 5:30-7:30. Hope you can make it.

As of April 3rd, I will have been on the board for six years, thus reaching my term limit, so I will be turned out.  Therefore, this is the last letter you will receive from me as president.

David Elliott

Cumberland County Master Gardener Volunteer Annual Meeting

Due to the anticipated snow storm the annual meeting has been cancelled.  We are hopeful to reschedule.


Photo of Jenni Cappello in her garden
Welcome Jenni Cappello-Ruggiero!

Welcome Jenni! 

We’re excited to introduce Jenni Cappello-Ruggiero, our new Agriculture/Horticulture Administrative Specialist, at the Cumberland County Extension Office! Jenni lives in Gray, Maine with her dog Kwoli, and they enjoy gardening and hiking together. In Jenni’s free time, she spends her time kayaking. Jenni comes to UMaine Extension from New York where she worked as an educator at the Clark Botanical Gardens, Cornell Cooperative Extension and Bronx Botanic Garden. Jenni is looking forward to meeting the Master Gardener Volunteers both at Extension and at Yarmouth Community Gardens where she will be tending her own plot this season. Jenni is very happy to be with Cumberland County Extension and the wonderful staff here, and we’re excited to have her as part of our team!

Person holding hand prunersGarden Tool Care and Maintenance Workshop
Wednesday, April 10, 5:00 – 6:30 pm at Tidewater Farm

Proper tool care is an important step for enhancing the longevity and safety of garden tools. In this workshop, we’ll demonstrate best practices for maintaining and caring for your garden tools throughout the gardening season. Participants will gain hands-on experience cleaning and sharpening tools of their own, and will learn how to store their tools when not in use.

Registration is required and the program fee is offered on a sliding scale, $5-$15. Register online here.

Master Gardener Plant Sale 2024
New Date – New Time! Saturday June 1st, Tidewater Farm, Falmouth ME. 9:00 – till 1:00 p.m.

The Plant Sale is a great opportunity to meet your volunteer hour requirements – work under the tent with annual seedlings, flowers and vegetables, on the field with perennials and natives, or more importantly choose to volunteer in sales and customer service.  The Plant Sale is our biggest fundraising event of the year and we rely on every Cumberland County Master Gardener volunteering their time and talents. More Details and the Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet will be available online soon.

2024 Cumberland County Master Gardener Speaker Series

April 11: No-Till Garden Practices w/ Caleb Goossen/MOFGA (Zoom) 5:00 – 6:30 pm

May 24: Ornamentals w/ Nicki Griffin and Lucretia Bagley/MGVs (Zoom) 5:00 – 6:30 pm

June 6: Small Fruits w/ Joel Leak/MGV (Zoom) 5:30 – 7:00 pm    

Survey Question: What Would You Like to Read About in the Newsletter? 

Thank you to those MGV’s who have already sent in some great recommendations for topics to cover in the monthly newsletter. If you have not sent in your suggestions, it’s not too late, let us know your thoughts and desires by filling out THIS SURVEY FORM

Upcoming Events

Tue.,  April 2:   Practical Insights for Growing Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes | 6:00 – 7:15 PM (Online)  $15
Wed., April 3:   Fermenting Vegetables | 6:00 – 8:00 PM (Waterboro, ME) $20
Sat.,   April 6:   Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop | 10:00 – 12:30 PM (Bethel, ME) $80
Tue.,  April 9:   Backyard Blueberry Growing Tips from UMaine Experts | 6:00 – 7:15 PM (Online) $15
Wed., April 10: Garden Tool Care and Maintenance Workshop | 5:00 – 6:30 PM (Falmouth, ME) $15
Thu.,  April 11: Fermenting Kimchi | 5:30-7:30 PM (Portland, ME) $25
Tue.,  April 16: Pollinator Specialists and Host Plant Relationships | 5:00- 6:30 PM (Online) Free
Sat.,   April 20: Mushroom Log Inoculation | 10:00 – 1:00 PM (Unity, ME) $75
Tue.,  April 23: Preserving The Harvest | 6:00 – 9:00 PM (Skowhegan, ME) $25
Tue.,  April 23: Yardscaping: From Lawns to Landscape Workshop | 6:00-8:00 PM (Scarborough, ME) Free
Wed., April 24: Preserving The Harvest: Jams and Jellies | 5:30 – 8:30 PM (Kittery, ME) $40
Tue.,  April 30: Preserving Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate | 5:30 – 8:00 PM (Lewiston, ME) $34

Reporting MGV Hours and Produce Donations

Please be sure to report your hours through the new Master Gardener Volunteer Portal.
If you have any questions, please email Extension.mastergardeners@maine.edu so we can help you.


Do you need more CLYNK bags? CLYNK bags can be picked up at the office Monday thru Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. Our account grows steadily and the money supports Cumberland County Master Gardener projects. Collect your returnables in one of our designated CLYNK bags, drop off at your local Hannaford and help us grow our Seed Money.

The Cumberland County Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter is edited by Clarissa Brown, Kerri Frazier, and Annika Schmidt. Event listings are compiled by Kerri Frazier. If you would like to submit an article or help with any aspect of the Newsletter contact AJ Cornell, the newsletter coordinator.