May 2023 Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter

In this issue…

From the President…

After the annual meeting on April 12, 2023, the board elected the following to be officers of the board.

President: David Elliott, Vice President: Gary Hoyt
Secretary: Lucretia Bagley, Treasurer: Jim Casey

Members at large:
Bonnie Barthmaier, Barbara Dee, Sheri Fistal, Leigh Mundhenk, and Tom Witwicki.

In this first letter to the CCMGVs, I wish to give you information about myself as a Master Gardener.

I was accepted to the Master Gardener training program in 2012. A few years earlier my wife had the training, and I was then hooked on education in horticulture and the opportunity to volunteer. The 2012 class had their first Master Gardener workday in late spring. I volunteered at Wolfe’s Neck Farm. Greatly enjoyed working alongside other Master Gardeners and was hooked to help where I could. That turned to working at the newly designated Tidewater Farm.

The first summer’s work at Tidewater was to dig up old tin cans, plastic and any other trash we could mine. This had been the family dump of the previous owner. Oh, lucky us early workers. Ever since this experience I have donated most of my time to Tidewater. If you haven’t visited Tidewater recently, I encourage you to do so. Just look how the “old dump” has been transformed by the Extension Service professionals and the effort of many Master Gardeners.

Tidewater now has an outstanding and varied demonstration garden to assist local Cumberland County residents in their garden planning and production. We now offer many tours each growing season plus offering education to local garden clubs. On site, I will be conducting a No Peat training session and a tour for a club in May.

The involvement in training individuals interested in gardening gives me the opportunity to teach others in sustainable practices. Be it at the Brunswick Public Library, at garden clubs in Cumberland County, ad hoc garden tours while working at Tidewater, or at Skillin’s, this is how I enjoy educating the public. Looking forward, I hope to continue with more opportunities to teach non-master gardeners.

The upcoming plant sale and raffle is a great opportunity for all Master Gardener Volunteers to help. These sales are the financial engine that allows for Tidewater and all Master Gardener activities to expand. Please join me working for the plant sale. Let’s make it the best.

Looking forward to meeting other Tidewater volunteers at the Master Gardener Volunteer Work Day on May 6th.

Please enjoy the No Mow month of May,

David Elliot

A sign reading "No Mow May" in a field of wildflowers
A No Mow May sign marks an unmowed area of grass

2023 Master Gardener Plant Sale, Memorial Day Weekend: 8am – Noon

Saturday May 27th, Tidewater Farm: 200 Presumpscot Point Rd, Falmouth, Maine.

Volunteer Signup is available. The Plant Sale is a great opportunity to meet your volunteer hour requirements – work under the tent with flowers and vegetables, on the field with perennials and natives, or, more importantly, choose to volunteer in sales and customer service. Remember, this is our biggest fundraising event of the year, and we rely on every Cumberland County Master Gardener to volunteer their time and talents.

Click here to SIGN UP!

The dig team has started to show up at gardens near you. If you would like to join the team in the room where it happens – learning best practice transplanting techniques from the experts – or if you have a garden with perennials begging to be donated to the 2023 MG Plant Sale, please email Lucretia Bagley at

And please remember, as you start your spring clean up – think about recycling your unused garden tools, gadgets, and other bits and bobs cluttering your shed/garage. Your clutter may be someone’s next treasure. The Gently Used committee would love to hear from you – they are especially looking for unusual containers and unique hand tools that are begging for a new home or a new purpose.
Contact Leigh Mundhenk or Sandi Dunham

See you all At Tidewater Farm May 27th!

Bonnie Barthmaier

Plants available for sale under a tent at Tidewater Garden
A selection of plants available for purchase at a past plant sale.

2023 Calendar Raffle

The Cumberland County Master Gardeners’ Calendar Raffle has been launched and tickets are on sale now! We can’t sell tickets on-line but you can use THIS LINK to see the calendar and download an entry form that can be sent in to the Extension office to buy tickets. Don’t miss this fabulous opportunity!

Send the link and the attachments to your email contacts; post the link on Facebook (including any group you follow); post the link on NextDoor, Twitter, or Instagram! Encourage people to share the link and forward the email! Text the link to friends, relatives and neighbors! Too many !!! ? Yes, we are excited and hope you are as well!

The 2023 Calendar Raffle
The 2023 Raffle Calendar

Speaker Series

Saturday, May 13: Ornamentals for All Seasons with Nicki Griffin | 2 – 3:30 p.m. (In person)
Cumberland County Cooperative Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth

Techniques to make your Ornamental Garden even BETTER.
We will discuss methods to improve the visual effect of your perennial gardens, including blooming time and colors, fertilizing needs, soil PH and light requirements of various groups of plants and when to divide.

Nicki Griffin became a Master Gardener Volunteer in 2009. Through trial and error in her own gardens for 25+ years, plus helping others create and maintain gardens of their own, and working on the Plant Sale over the years, her interest in ornamental gardens has grown. Use of more native plants in the landscape will be emphasized, but she’ll tell you she will never give up her peonies!

Click here to register

Save the Date: 2023 Speaker Series

  • Saturday, June 17: Yoga for Gardeners | 10 – 11:30 a.m. (In person) Rain date: June 24

Discount Cards for Master Gardener Volunteers

The 2023 MGV Discount Cards are ready! These cards are provided as a benefit for, and in recognition of active MGVs for your timely reporting of at least 20 volunteer hours in 2022. Only those MGVs who have REPORTED at least 20 hours of volunteer time for 2022 will receive a card.

Discounts are offered for 10% off at 5 local nurseries. Additionally, Skillins is donating a $10 gift card to eligible MGVs who receive a Discount Card.

Your card can be picked up at the Reception Desk in the Falmouth Extension Office.

Upcoming Events

Reminder: MGV Work Day is Saturday, May 6th

Have you signed up for this year’s Master Gardener Volunteer Work Day? It takes place on Saturday, May 6th, from 9:00 to Noon (rain or shine!). There are 5 different projects located around Cumberland County that you can sign up for.

Here is the LINK to the MGV Work Day sign up form.

Reporting MGV Hours and Produce Donations

Thank you to everyone who has been reporting their hours so far this year. This is a friendly reminder to report your volunteer hours here: Reporting Master Gardener Volunteer Hours (bookmark this page!). MGVs have until the end of the year (December 31, 2023) to complete their annual requirement of 20 hours or 40 hours if you are currently working on your certification.

If you are donating produce this season, please report the number of pounds donated here: Cumberland County Maine Harvest for Hunger Donation Report Form.


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 and Annika Schmidt.
If you would like to submit an article or help with any aspect of the Newsletter contact AJ Cornell, the newsletter coordinator, at