May 2024 Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter

In this issue…

From the President…

While many of us are still cleaning up from our most recent storms in Southwestern Maine, we are inspired by the signs of Spring and a new growing season appearing. From the popping up of garlic, indoor seedlings, tulips, and daffodils to the sounds of new birds returning to our yards, we are rediscovering the yearly hope of all gardeners for a good growing season.

While April is always a transitional month for gardeners, it is also a transitional month for our Association. 

Two long standing Master Gardeners are terming out of their Board service. Tom Witwicki and David Elliot, while leaving the Board, have assured me that they will continue to be active in many and various ways to our collective efforts. We thank both Tom and David for their past contributions and for their willingness to continue to contribute.

We welcome two new Board members who many of you may know: Sally Wright and Bob Fowler. We are looking forward to your new energy and contributions to our Board! Please consider joining the Board as we will have several positions to fill next year.

April is also the month of our annual meeting. For the past several years, due to circumstances well beyond our control, our annual meeting has been virtual. This year, through the extraordinary efforts of Lucretia Bagley, Tom Witwicki, Bonnie Barthmaier, Leigh Mundhenk and Pamela Hargest, we returned to an in-person pot-luck meeting at Wolfe’s Neck Farm on April 17th. Despite the storm postponement of our original date, we had nearly forty people attend and enjoyed the company of fellow Master Gardeners.

We would like to thank the aforementioned annual meeting committee members, Wolfe’s Neck Farm, and the Maine Flower Collective (they provided beautiful arrangements) for making the Annual Meeting special!

In addition to camaraderie of the Annual Meeting there are few business items of note to mention:

  • Yearly Financial Report from Jim Casey (we are in a good financial position)
  • Abi Griffith was introduced as a new full-time Cooperative Extension Staff member. Welcome Abi!
  • Barbara Dee was approved for a second term. Sally Wright and Bob Fowler were approved for first terms on the Board.
  • Pamela Hargest recognized Nancy Sarnacki who received her Master Gardener Emeritus Award. Congratulations Nancy!
  • Bonnie Barthmaier shared important changes to our Annual Plant Sale now scheduled for June 1st at Tidewater. I am sure Bonnie and her Plant Sale Committee will be sharing more details in the coming days. Get ready to roll up your sleeves and contribute to the Annual Plant Sale!

Enjoy the beginning of the growing season. May it yield us not only a bountiful harvest, but as importantly, tranquility.

Gary Hoyt
CCMGA President

Emeritus Award for Nancy Sarnacki

Nancy Sarnacki with her award and flowers
Nancy Sarnacki with her Emeritus Award

During the Master Gardener Volunteer Annual Meeting on April 17, we had the pleasure of celebrating Nancy Sarnacki, who received her Emeritus Award. In 1995, Nancy became a certified Master Gardener Volunteer in Massachusetts, and has been volunteering ever since! While living in Massachusetts, she worked on a variety of projects, including the Fenway Victory Gardens, for which she is very proud of. When Nancy moved to Portland in 2012, she connected with the Cumberland County program, where she has been involved with growing food for donation at the North St Community Garden, leading the holding area for the annual Plant Sale, assisting with kids activities at various events, and much more. 

Master Gardener Plant Sale 2024

Saturday June 1, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Tidewater Farm, Falmouth ME

Volunteer Signup will be available soon. A great way to catch up with old friends and meet new Master Gardeners. Plenty of opportunities to meet volunteer hour requirements – work under the tent with flowers and vegetables, on the field with perennials and natives or choose to volunteer in sales and customer service.  Remember this is our biggest fundraising event and we rely on every Cumberland County Master Gardener volunteering.

The dig team is sharpening their shovels and tossing their potting mix – ready to show up at a garden near you very soon. If you would like to join the team and learn best practice transplanting techniques from the experts please email Lucretia Bagley at And if you have a garden with perennials begging to be donated to the 2024 MG Plant Sale, again please email Lucretia.

Rows of potted plants

The 2024 Plant Sale Raffle 

A new look for 2024: no longer a Calendar Raffle! 

Instead, it’s a fabulous onsite Plant Sale Day Sweepstakes with great garden-related prizes. For more information please contact Barbara Dee at Don’t miss the opportunity to be a winner! 

Donate Your Gently Used Garden Tools

A final Plant Sale request: 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. Please contact Leigh Mundhenk  or Sandi Dunham

Looking for Skilled Marketing/ Sales Help 

If you possess marketing or sales skills or are just an outgoing individual looking for a challenge please consider joining Nancy Morris our Plant Sale Marketing genius. We are looking for a creative person with some time in May to help Nancy with our marketing and sales needs. If interested please email me Bonnie Barthmaier at or Nancy Morris at

See you all At Tidewater Farm  Saturday June 1st,

Bonnie Barthmaier

2024 Cumberland County Master Gardener Speaker Series

Thursday, May 23: Ornamentals with Nicki Griffin and Lucretia Bagley/MGV’s (Zoom) 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Master Gardener Volunteers, Lucretia Bagley and Nicki Griffin, will present ideas for ways to plant and maintain ornamentals, with a special emphasis on native plants. “Right Plant – Right place” is an important practice for selecting plants that will thrive in your garden space. In this presentation, Lucretia and Nicki will discuss the light, soil pH and moisture requirements for several plants with the goal of having a stunning array of blooms throughout the season!

Registration is required. The program fee is offered on a sliding scale, $0 – $10 and is FREE to enrolled Master Gardener Volunteers. This session will be recorded and shared with those who register for this webinar. 

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

What exactly is a small fruit? Technically, a low growing plant (shrub, bush, bramble, herb) that produces berries. These little flavor morsels are often small, round, and packed with antioxidants. Examples include strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Join Master Gardener Volunteer, Joel Leak, to explore the many different small fruits you can grow in any sized yard. Fruits are delicious and nutritious, and many are easy to grow. Joel will cover over 20 different kinds of fruit, both native and cultivated, some you are already familiar with and some you may not have thought of growing before. By the end of this presentation, you will understand the growth habits of different kinds of small fruits, how to select cultivars, the basic requirements of small fruits and how to diagnose problems.

Registration is required. The program fee is offered on a sliding scale, $0 – $10 and is FREE to enrolled Master Gardener Volunteers. This session will be recorded and shared with those who register for this webinar.  

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Newsletter

The Cumberland County Master Gardener Volunteer Newsletter is seeking help with the monthly email. All roles are great, flexible opportunities for those who have schedules that are tricky to align with daytime field work hours. In addition to volunteers helping with compilation, editing, and distribution of the monthly newsletter, we’re looking for volunteer writers. Are you a trellis construction expert, garden design connoisseur, or have subject matter expertise in another area of gardening? Want to get to know fellow volunteers with unusual home gardens and/or projects? Want to learn more about projects across the county? Please get in touch with AJ ( Newsletter commitments can be as large or as small as you want them to be.

Upcoming Events

Tue.,   May 7:     Gardening Q&A   |  7:00-8:00 PM (Online)  Free
Wed.,  May 8:     Fermenting Vegetables  |  6:00 – 8:00 PM  (Waterboro, ME)  $20
Thu.,   May 9:     Yardscaping  |  6:00 – 8:00 PM (Old Orchard, ME)  $9
Wed.,  May 15:   Invasive Species  |  7:00 – 8:30 PM  (Online)  $25
Thu.,   May 16:   Browntail Moth Management  |  6:00 – 7:00 PM (Online)  Free
Fri.,     May 17:   Grow Your Own Apothecary  |  3:00 – 4:30 PM  (Falmouth, ME)  Free
Wed.,  May 22:   Maine’s Magnificent Trees  |  5:00 – 6:30 PM  (Online)  Free
Thu.,   May 23:   Yardscaping  |  6:30-8:30 PM (Cape Elizabeth, ME)  Free
Thu.,   May 30:   Culture and Climate Justice  |  5:00 – 6:30 PM  (Online)  Free
Sat.,   June 1:     Summer Pruning Workshop  |  10:00 – 12:30 PM  (Bar Harbor, ME)  $60

New PIN Numbers for MGV Portal

Thanks to your feedback, we have worked with our techs for the Master Gardener Volunteer Portal and Dashboard to improve the login experience. 

We are happy to announce that beginning June 1st, you will no longer need to receive an email with a temporary pin number. Instead, each Master Gardener Volunteer will be assigned a unique number to log into the MGV Portal and access the Master Gardener Volunteer Dashboard. 

Please watch your email for your new PIN number! Beginning June 1st, you will log in by entering your email address and your assigned PIN number. If you would like to choose your own 6-digit number, please use this Google form to submit a personal PIN by May 14, 2024. 

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email

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 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, Annika Schmidt, and Kerri Frazier. 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.