March 2019 Master Gardener Volunteers Newsletter

From Our President…

It’s Maine Flower Show time!  I hope you’ll attend and stop by the Master Gardener Booth. It is always fun to see what the garden exhibitors have coaxed into bloom!  It’s also time to really gear up for the Plant Sale on May 18th. One of the first “to do” things for the plant sale committee is  putting together the annual Calendar Raffle.  Last year, the raffle raised over $2,000 to support our community outreach projects and each day’s winner received TWO prizes.  Filling all the slots means asking a LOT of people to help us out. If you have a service you can donate, or can obtain a gift card from a business (it does not have to be garden related ) would you kindly contact  Nancy Bogg ASAP to let her know what you can provide –  We do appreciate your help.

On an entirely different note, I just saw a message that said “Please don’t spray or pull the Spring dandelions. They are one of the first sources of food for bees”. If all of us do this, and convince our neighbors to do the same, we can make an impact. I think I’ll hide my neighbors dandelion digger early in April and also tell him that mine got lost!

Nicki Griffin

Just remember, mud season does not last forever!

CCMGA Board President

Eliminate Browntail Moth Caterpillars Now!

Helpful Tips from State of Maine Entomologists

browntail moth web in a treeAUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry remind you that now is the time to remove browntail caterpillars from trees that are accessible. Browntail caterpillars cause a poison ivy-like rash and they are impacting a broad swath of Maine. Contact with this caterpillar’s hairs can cause severe reactions for some individuals.

Browntail caterpillars spend the winter webbed in silken-wrapped leaves on the tips of branches of oak and apple trees. NOW is the time to look for the bright white silk tying a few leaves to the TIPS of your apple and other fruit trees and oak tree branches. If you see a web CLIP IT OUT and destroy the web by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water and soaking it overnight, do not just leave it on the ground. The caterpillars are ready to go once warmer weather arrives, so do this task as soon as possible!

Learn how to recognize browntail moth webs by visiting the websites below, then go out and check your trees for their presence. If you find them and can reach them, clip and destroy them.  If you can’t reach them and plan to treat them, now is the time to line up professional help for this spring

If you think you’ve found webs, but are not sure, contact the forest service for help, please complete the What is wrong with my tree/shrub/forest report form on’s Maine Forest Service website.

Background information, a video showing how to clip the webs, a list of arborists who could prune webs out of your reach and a list of licensed pesticide applicators that can treat the webs can be found on the Browntail Moth Euproctis chrysorrhoea (L.) page on’s Maine Forest Service website.

For More Information: Contact the Maine Forest Service at 207.827.1813 or your local University of Maine Cooperative Extension office, which can be found on the Contact Information for All UMaine Extension County Offices page of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension website.

Browntail moth nest removal work day at the Tidewater Gardens is March 13th, noon.

Master Gardener Speaker Series Eventstrawberries in a crate in a strawberry field

Small Fruits & Grapes with Dave Handley – David T. Handley is a Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist and a Cooperating Professor of Horticulture for the University of Maine. He has been based at Highmoor Farm, the Maine Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station in Monmouth, Maine, since 1983, where he carries out applied research regarding berry and vegetable variety evaluation, production techniques and pest management strategies. He coordinates statewide integrated pest management (IPM) programs for strawberries and sweet corn. Dr. Handley is the author of numerous Extension fact sheets, articles and newsletters, and co-editor of two regional small fruit production guides.

Come join us for this informative talk on growing small fruit and grapes!

Date: Wednesday April 3, 3-4:30

Location: Cumberland County Cooperative Extension, 75 Clearwater Dr., Falmouth

RSVP by March 27th at or 781-6099/limit 25

Master Gardeners enjoying a gathering

Save the Date

2019 MG Spring Potluck Flier(1)

Cumberland County Master Gardener Spring Potluck and Annual Meeting

  • Date: Saturday, April 20, 2019
  • Time: 11:00 a.m.
  • Location: Maine Audubon Gisland Farm Rd. Falmouth


  • 11:00 a.m.: Gather and Socialize
  • 11:30 a.m.: Welcome/Announcements, Pot Luck Luncheon
  • 12:15 p.m.: Board Nominations/Announcements
  • 12:30 p.m.: Guest Speaker, Ali Mediate – Maine Foodscapes

Potluck Assignments: See Flyer

Please remember your set ups (plate, bowl, silverware and cup) plus a serving spoon for your potluck dish to help us cut down on waste, and car pool if possible! Thank you.

R.S.V.P.: 207.781.6099 or by April 12th.

Universities Fighting World Hunger Summit to be Hosted by UMaine

UFWH and PUSH logos

Fighting Hunger in a World of Plenty: Shifting Power and Taking Action

PUSH: March 14-15, 2019
UFWH Summit: March 15-16, 2019
Abromson Community Education Center
University of Southern Maine
Portland Campus

Please join us for this very important conference; FMI:Universities Fighting World Hunger

Job Opportunities

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Oxford County Office in South Paris invites applications for a Community Education Assistant CL1 in Horticulture, with the position to work 24 hours/week. Working under general instruction, this position performs varied work involved with presenting home horticulture training to a wide variety of audiences.  A primary focus of this position is to provide education for the general public on home horticulture topics as well as to coordinate and build the Master Gardener Volunteer program in Oxford County.  Applicants should have a general knowledge and skill in instruction, instruction methods, and recruitment strategies.  Reappointment is contingent upon funding and satisfactory performance.  This position pays $12.94/hour.

For a full job description and to apply:

Garden Assistants – Master Gardener Ellen Klain is seeking 1 or 2 gardening assistants this garden season 1-2 days/wk to help me out on gardens I have maintained for many years. One in particular is a pretty large estate with spectacular gardens that have sun and shade gardens.  She is looking for someone with a good work ethic, a good attitude, some gardening knowledge and experience but I’m happy to teach a willing student, perennial secrets. Pay would be $15/hr to start with and if things work out $18/hr. I would begin late April and go till mid Nov.  Prospective workers can contact email Ellen at or call at 233-8641.

Upcoming Workshops and Events

Maine Greenhouse “Best Practices” Workshop

March 20 @ 7:30 am3:30 pm

O’Donal’s Nursery and Garden Center, 6 County Rd
Gorham, ME 04038 United States
+ Google Map

Workshop Fee: $25


O’Donal’s Nurseries, Inc. is a wholesale and retail dealer of plants, trees, shrubs and perennials, and offers landscaping design services. They have a garden center with sunroom. In 1960, Royce and Selma O’Donal  purchased what had been known previously as the Jackson Nursery; a four-generation nursery that originated in 1850. Jeff O’Donal is the second generation owner of this thriving business. In 2018 they built a new geo-thermal greenhouse. Come learn how this family-owned business uses their own set of…

Find out more »

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School

March 25 @ 8:30 am4:00 pm

Seasons Event & Conference Center, 155 Riverside Street
Portland, ME 04103 United States
+ Google Map

Fee: $55

vegetables growing in hoop house

Maine Vegetable and Fruit School is hosted by University of Maine Cooperative Extension Maine Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers Association Speakers Sam Blackstone – Circle B Farms, Caribou Dr. David Handley – Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist, UMaine Cooperative Extension Mark Hutchinson – Extension Professor, UMaine Cooperative Extension Dr. Mark Hutton – Associate Dean for Research, UMaine College of Natural Sciences, Forestry & Agriculture, and Vegetable Specialist and Associate Professor of Vegetable Crops, UMaine Cooperative Extension Tori Lee Jackson – Extension Educator and Associate Professor…

Find out more »

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop

March 30 @ 9:00 am12:00 pm

UMaine Extension Androscoggin & Sagadahoc, 24 Main Street
Lisbon Falls, ME 04252 United States
+ Google Map

Workshop Fee: $55

a pear

Presenter/Educator Thomas Hoerth, an Adjunct Instructor with Southern Maine Community College, will lead the group in a fun, hands-on workshop where he will demonstrate proper techniques for grafting fruit trees. Each participant will be given the tools and supplies they need to graft their own pear tree (to take home) and will develop the skills to graft fruit trees on their own.

Find out more »

March 31 – Seed Swap and Scion Exchange. Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, Unity. Gardeners and orchardists are invited to participate in educational workshops and to bring their seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share. Free!

Sebago Noreasters, 4H group, at a maple syrup eventMarch 24: Maine Maple Sunday. Participating Maine Maple producers (including some organic producers) offer demonstrations, sugarbush tours, activities and samplings of maple products.

Cooking for Crowds:

Date: Thursday, April 4, 2019
Location: UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Dr, Suite 104, Falmouth, ME
Time: 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Price: $15
To register: register online

Date: Monday, April 8, 2019
Location: UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive Suite 104, Falmouth, ME 04105
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Price: $15
To register: register online

Master Gardener Plant Sale

May 18, 2019, 8 :00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Barron Center, Brighton Ave., Portland

Please save cardboard boxes for plant sale patrons to carry their goodies.  Best choices are copier paper boxes and Amato tomato boxes.

Donations of bare root plants are welcome.  Here is a list of plants not commonly donated: Plants That are Seldom Donated to the Sale (PDF)

Help is needed with the following projects:

  1. Starting veggie and herb seedlings.
  2. Digging plants from existing gardens, as well as potting up and labeling the donated plants.
  3. Transporting the potted plants to the Barron Center on Friday, May 17.
  4. Sorting and pricing the plants at the Barron Center on Friday, May 17.
  5. Volunteering at the Plant sale itself.
  6. Helping with clean up after the plant sale ends


a group of master gardeners out in a garden

Save the Dates!

April 20: 11:00 a.m. Master Gardener Annual Meeting, Maine Audubon, 20 Gilsland Farm Rd. Falmouth – car pooling is incouraged.

May 4: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Master Gardener Work Day

Upcoming Master Food Preserver Course

preparing green beans and preparing a fish and salsa dish
Donated produce being put to use.

2019 Master Food Preserver Course

Applications for the class will be available in mid-March 2019. To receive notification when applications become available, email Marvin Tala at or call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471


UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County, 75 Clearwater Dr, Falmouth, ME 04105
Brunswick High School, 116 Maquoit Rd, Brunswick, ME 04011

March is National Nutrition Month!

a bowl full of vegetablesHow, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat.

Develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods.

If you are looking for more ways to savor the flavor of more Maine produce, consider using the recipes and information in our Vegetables and Fruits for Health & Entire Series or the Maine vegetable recipes found on the Food and Health page.

Did you make resolutions in January? Are you looking for new ways to stay motivated… at no cost? If so, consider visiting the USDA’s website which has great tools and information about changing and/or sustaining healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Happy Nutrition Month!

Cumberland County Master Gardener
Emeritus Status Application

a group of master gardeners on a work dayMaster Gardener Emeritus: Master Gardener Emeritus is an honorary title conferred upon an active Cumberland County Master Gardener who has made a voluntary contribution over a period of at least 5 years, and is no longer able to actively participate due to poor health, physical limitations, or other circumstances.

If you would like to apply for Emeritus status, please contact Kookie McNerney at or 207.781.6099 at the Extension office.


Do you need more CLYNK bags?  They are available at the office.  Our account grows steadily and the money go towards Cumberland County Master Gardener projects, a SEED PROJECTS. Collect your returnables in one of our designated CLYNK bags, drop off at your local Hannaford and help us grow our Seed Money.