March 2024 Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter

In this issue…

From the President…

Welcome to March:

March is known as the month that comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. I will be interested to see if that is true in 2024.  If I remember correctly last year, we had cold and snow in late March.

Your board held their February meeting on the 12th. The most important item discussed during the meeting was about the Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting will be held on April 3rd, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at Wolfe’s Neck Center. Wolfe’s Neck Center is located at 184 Burnett Road in Freeport. This event will be a potluck meal. Read more about it below!

What is your town or community doing about invasive plants? Many towns in Cumberland County are starting citizen-led committees to tackle the issue. I hope to assist with such a committee in the town of Cumberland.  I feel it is not the responsibility of committee members to dig out the invasives but to work with concerned landowners in education and mentoring.  If you wish to know more, I recommend that you visit the recorded webinars HERE.

While waiting to plant, on occasion, I have watched YouTube Presentations on British Gardens.  Recently I watched the Great Dixter Garden.  It gave ideas on experimenting.  Remember the UK has a different climate than ours.

Wishing you all all the best with your seed starting.

David Elliott

Cumberland County Master Gardener Volunteer Annual Meeting

Save The Date: Wednesday, April 3rd 5:30 – 7:30 pm

Master Gardener Annual Meeting and Potluck Supper at the Smith Center for Education & Research at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport Maine. Start the 2024 gardening season with friends, delicious cuisine, stimulating conversation, and extension updates.

CLICK HERE to access the the sign up sheet and detailed map.

Volunteer Opportunity: Master Gardener Plant Sale 2024 

A friendly reminder that the Master Gardener Plant Sale Committee is seeking volunteers to join our dynamic planning team. We are offering mentorship opportunities on key committees with the goal of moving into a leadership role. Key Committees include:

  • Seedlings
  • DIG Team
  • Marketing
  • Gently Used
  • Tidewater Raffle
  • General Coordinator

Fulfill your dreams of being in the Room Where It Happens! Send Plant Sale Coordinator, Bonnie Barthmaier, an email at if you’re interested in joining any of the planning committees.

Gardening Webinar Series

Join the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for our gardening webinar series! These webinars will include a 1-hour presentation, followed by Q&A and discussion.

Registration is required, with a sliding scale program fee ($0 – $15) for each webinar. Participants will receive the Zoom information after registering for a webinar.

All sessions will be recorded and shared with participants in about a week following the event. If you are unable to attend the live session, please register to receive a copy of the recording and a resource list.

For more information, please visit our website.

Starting Seeds Indoors

Tomato seedlings growing under grow lights
Tomato seedlings growing under the lights indoors.

Join us for a Workshop, Starting Seeds Indoors, on Wednesday, March 20th from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. The location will be at the UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Dr, Ste 104, Falmouth.

Designed to provide participants with the best practices for growing seedlings indoors, this workshop will feature hands-on learning with the opportunity to sow a pot of seeds to take home. Space is limited and registration is required. The workshop fee is offered on a sliding scale, $5-$15. This workshop is being offered in collaboration with the Falmouth Wellness Committee.

For more information and to register, please visit our website.

2024 Cumberland County Master Gardener Speaker Series

Mar. 21: The Problem with Peat w/ Tom Witwicki and Bonnie Barthmaier/MGVs  (Zoom) 5 – 6:30 pm

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

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

Upcoming Events

Sat., March 2: Pruning Instructions and Tips with Brinton Leinung | 10:30 am, Skillins, Falmouth
Tue., March 5: Coastal Resilience : Using Native Plants to Protect Maine’s Shoreline l 5:00 – 6:30 pm, online
Wed., March 13: Small “Backyard” Farm Workshop l 4:00 – 5:30 pm, China
Wed., March 13, 20, 27: Botany in Winter l 6:30 – 8:00 pm, online
Thurs, March 14: Cultural Dimensions of Plant Biodiversity l 5:00 – 7:00 pm, online
Sun., March 17: Bringing Back An Old Orchard l 10:00 – 12:30 pm, Cumberland
Wed., March 20: Savory Jellies and Jam l 5:30 – 8:00 pm, Scarborough, $25
Sun., March 24: Seed and Swap and Scion Exchange l 12-4pm, Unity
Tues., March 26: Gardening Webinar Series Home Grown Cranberries | 6:00 – 7:15 pm
Wed., March 27: Holistic Apple Pest Management l 7:00 – 8:30 pm, online
Tues., April 2: Webinar Practical Insights for Growing Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes | 6:00 – 7:15 pm
Wed., April 3: Fermenting Vegetables | 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Waterboro, ME) $20

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

We are looking for some feedback from our Master Gardener Volunteers. If there are any topics that you would like to see covered in this monthly newsletter, we are all ears! Let us know your thoughts and desires by filling out THIS SURVEY FORM.

Reporting MGV Hours and Produce Donations

Because we are still working on the new process for reporting hours, please hold off on reporting any 2024 volunteer hours for now. This new reporting process will allow you to see your year-to-date hours total so you can see what you’ve already reported for the year.

Thank you for all your volunteering. If you have any questions: email or call 207.356.1348


Do you need more CLYNK bags? CLYNK bags can be picked up at the office Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. 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, Kerry Frazier, and Annika Schmidt.Event listings are compiled by Stephanie Karakantas. If you would like to submit an article or help with any aspect of the Newsletter contact AJ Cornell, the newsletter coordinator.