2020 Maine Garden Day

Maine Garden Day: Redesigning the FutureMaine Garden Day originally scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at Lewiston High School is now canceled.

We ask for your patience as we begin to process refunds for participants. Thank you for your cooperation and please do not hesitate to reach out to Pamela Hargest at pamela.hargest@maine.edu or 207.781.6099 if you have any questions.

March 14, 2020
8:15 AM – 4:00 PM

We are pleased to announce that we are bringing back Maine Garden Day (after a five-year hiatus). This information-rich gardening conference will be held on Saturday, March 14, 2020, at Lewiston High School.

General Admission: $60/person
Student Admission: $30/person

Eight young adults (ages 15 to 21) will be awarded full financial assistance to attend Maine Garden Day. Young adults may apply by submitting this online application or a paper application (PDF) by February 20, 2020. 

Limited partial financial assistance is also available for adults. Please contact Pamela Hargest at pamela.hargest@maine.edu or 207.781.6099 for more information. Financial assistance for young adults and adults will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

Keynote Speaker: Dan Jaffe
Topic: Native Plants in Maine Gardens

Dan Jaffe, Horticulturist and Propagator, Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, is an author (Native Plants for New England Gardens), photographer, botanist, horticulturist, and native plant propagator.

Dan JaffeJaffe has over ten years’ experience with ecological horticulture. He is a propagator of native species, the photographer and author of Native Plants for New England Gardens and a lecturer on numerous topics including pollinators, sustainable landscape practices, foraging and cultivation of edible species, low-maintenance horticulture, and others. He has developed a native plant horticultural database, and has years of nursery management experience. He earned a degree in botany from the University of Maine, Orono, and an advanced certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from Native Plant Trust (formally New England Wild Flower Society). He is the Horticulturalist and Propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary in Wales, MA and is currently building his own home-scale homestead, growing and foraging numerous edible species, preserving and cooking whenever possible, and raising small animals.

Schedule (Tentative)

7:15 –  8:15:  Registration

8:15 – 8:30:  Welcome

8:30 – 9:15:  Keynote

9:30 – 12:15:  Morning Half-Day Sessions

HD 1: Pollinators and the Gardens that Feed Them
Jean Vose, Horticulturist, Beekeeper
Join Jean, beekeeper, for tips on how to create an eco-friendly environment that pollinators will find irresistible. Learn how to identify them, how they work, and ways to help them overwinter in your garden.

HD 2: Fruit Tree Grafting, $55/person materials fee (hands-on). Each participant will receive a knife, grafting tape, wood paint, and will take home two grafted trees.
Tom Hoerth, Arborist, Educator, Owner of Winter Greens in Gray, ME
Bark-Cleft or Whip-n-tongue? Each grafting technique will be reviewed and demonstrated in this hands-on workshop.

HD 3: Abenaki Traditional Gardening (FULL)
Barry Dana, former Chief of the Penobscot Nation, Barry Dana’s Penobscot Cultural Programs, Solon, ME
Discover insights into traditional Abenaki gardening with Barry Dana, former Chief of the Penobscot Nation.

9:30 – 10:45:  1st Morning Quarter-Day Sessions

QD 4: Growing a Gardening Business: Keys to Success
Jim McConnon, UMaine Extension Business and Economics Specialist and Professor of Economics
Turn your gardening hobby into a business! Join Jim McConnon to learn the key elements of a successful home-based business: creating a business plan, pricing your products, and developing innovative marketing techniques.

QD 5: How to Grow Raspberries and Blackberries
David Handley, UMaine Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist
Thinking about growing raspberries and blackberries? This session covers everything from variety selection to planting, pruning, trellising, and pest management to help you have a successful harvest of these wonderful fruits.

QD 6: Vegetable Gardening Trends as the Climate Changes
Barb Murphy, Wake Robin Nursery, West Paris, ME
What does adapting to climate change mean for Maine’s vegetable gardeners? How will some of the anticipated changes affect Maine’s growing season? Barb will discuss what to expect and techniques for ensuring a successful harvest.

QD 7: The Inspired Perennial Gardeners (FULL)
Mike Murphy, Wake Robin Nursery, West Paris, ME
Add new dimensions to your sunny and shady perennial gardens with unusual plants from around the world, plants for pollinators, and heirloom annuals and bulbs.

QD 8: Grow Great Garlic
Dave Fuller, UMaine Extension, Agriculture and Non-Timber Forest Products Professional
Whether you’re growing garlic for the first time or looking for tips to improve your technique, this session is for you. Everything about growing, from choice of planting stock to managing pests to harvest, will be covered.

QD 9: Essential Oils for Better Gardening
Melinda Baxter, Holistic Health Coach, Pathways to Health, Woolwich
Melinda offers a deeper look at specific uses and applications of essential oils and how they can protect and nurture your plants, as well as you.

11:00 – 12:15:  2nd Morning Quarter-Day Sessions

QD 10: Wild Edibles of Maine (FULL)
Dan Jaffe, Horticulturist and Propagator for Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary, Wales, MA
Discover some of Maine’s native and perennial edible species both in terms of wild foraging and cultivation. In addition to the plants themselves, this session covers growing conditions, preparation, and conservation.

QD 11: How to Grow Highbush Blueberries
David Handley, UMaine Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist
Whether you are planting 3 bushes or 30, you will benefit from this session on growing one of Maine’s most delightful crops. Learn about everything from site preparation, to varieties, planting tips, pruning, and pest management.

QD 12: Introduction to Composting
Don Morrison, Master Gardener Volunteer and Operations Manager, Wayside Food Program, Portland, ME
Don will cover backyard composting from A to Z including techniques, methods, base science, types of bins, benefits, and troubleshooting.

QD 13: The Manageable Family Garden
Kate Garland, Horticultural Professional, UMaine Extension Penobscot County
Horticulturist and mother of two, Kate Garland shares tips on making the family garden FUN and productive! Learn how to optimize your time and be creative with garden “chores” to engage the whole family.

QD 14: Maine’s Climate Future Impacts on Agriculture
Dr. Sonja K. Birthisel, Postdoctoral Research Associate UMaine School of Forest Resources
Explore historic and anticipated climate changes in Maine and the effects on our farms and gardens. Discover the resources and strategies that can support climate change adaptation and mitigation.

QD 15: Growing Mushrooms in Your Garden
Rachael Martin and Mary Berecka, North Spore, Westbrook, ME
Discover the world of fungi with Rachael Martin and Mary Berecka. Get detailed instructions on different methods of growing mushrooms outdoors. The presentation will include a demonstration of how to inoculate a log.

12:15 – 1:10:  Lunch

1:15 – 4:00:  Afternoon Half-Day Sessions

HD 16: Felting Flora, $5.50/person, fee includes materials and tools (hands-on) Maximum Number: 12
Lonie Laffely Ellis, Artist
Create a piece of felted garden flora to use as a garden hat pin, hair clip, bookmark or embellish a basket — the possibilities are endless! Learn the basics of needle felting, tools materials, and simple felting techniques in this introductory workshop.

HD 17: Rewilding Your Landscape, Rewilding Your Life (FULL)
Jennifer Comeau, Engineer, singer-songwriter, beehost, and ally of the earth.
Discover what can happen when we restore our sacred partnership with the natural world. Jennifer, who attended the 2019 Climate Change & Consciousness Conference in Findhorn Scotland, shares nine ways to infuse our landscapes with what renowned landscape designer Mary Reynolds calls “the healing, magical energy of the earth.”

HD 18: Pest Management Panel
Clay Kirby, Associate Scientist/Insect Diagnostician, UMaine Extension; Alicyn Smart, Assistant Extension Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist, UMaine Extension; and Colleen Teerling, Forest Entomologist, Maine Forest Service
Can parasitoids help save Maine’s ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer? What other insects and diseases imperil Maine’s trees and plants? Find out about the Maine Forest Service and Pest Management Lab’s strategies for combating these threats to the Maine landscape.

1:15 – 2:30:  1st Afternoon Quarter-Day Sessions

QD 19: Casting the Iron Gardens
Addy Smith Reiman, Executive Director at Portland Society for Architecture, and Josh Reiman, Assistant Professor of the MFA in Studio Art and Sculpture at The Maine College of Art
Addy and Josh share the story of a multi-disciplinary initiative to document the native and invasive plant species that were surviving and even thriving in the disturbed soils of the Carrie Furnace post-industrial site in Pittsburgh, PA.

QD 20: Growing Hemp in Your Garden: Key Considerations
John Jemison, UMaine Extension Professor, Soil and Water Quality
Curious about hemp? Find out what you need to know to grow hemp, from production and harvesting to curing and extraction.

QD 21: Gardening Forever: Adaptive Strategies (FULL)
Ellen Gibson, Maine AgrAbility
Simplify your garden work and learn how to lift and bend, along with other adaptive strategies to reduce pain and remain injury free.

QD 22: Flower Lab: Botany for Gardeners
Andrea Southworth, Ecology Project Manager, Friends of Fort Williams Park, Cape Elizabeth ME
Participants will use microscopes and other tools to learn about floral anatomy and morphology; floral characteristics that attract pollinators; and steps from flower to fruit. Flowers are amazing — come see for yourself!

QD 23: Home Garden Irrigation (FULL)
Rebecca Long, Agriculture and Food System Professional, UMaine Extension Oxford County, and Pamela Hargest, Horticulture Professional, UMaine Extension Cumberland County
In this “how to” session, the presenters will review the basics of drip irrigation components, from design to installation, maintenance, and management. Participants will leave with the information they need to install their own home system.

QD 24: Flora for Fauna: Engaging with Wild Plants (FULL)
Arthur Haines, Botanical Researcher, Director of the Delta Institute of Natural History, Canton, ME
Explore the human need to interact with wild plants to prevent their loss and concurrently promote human health. Discover fascinating facts about the nutritional superiority of wild plants and their role in protecting humans from chronic disease. Learn eco-conscientious harvesting practices and much more.

2:45 – 4:00:  2nd Afternoon Quarter-Day Sessions

QD 25: Fruit Tree Pruning/ Pest and Disease Management
Tom Hoerth, Arborist, Educator, Owner of Winter Greens in Gray, ME
Arborist Tom Hoerth cuts to the chase about all things pruning: when and why, tools, and timing. Tom will also cover care and management for fruit production, emphasizing organic production methods and materials.

QD 26: Gardening in the New World
Muhidin Libah, Program Manager, Community Farming Program, Somali Bantu Community Association of Maine, Lewiston, ME
This workshop will discuss issues facing refugees and immigrants farming and gardening in Maine.

QD 27: Gardening for YOUR Future (FULL)
Kathleen Carr Bailey, Finishing Touches Garden Design, Falmouth, ME
Whether you are downsizing, redesigning or starting from scratch, this workshop is for you! Learn how to assess your garden in terms of future maintenance and budget your financial resources as well as your time.

QD 28: Preserving the Harvest
Sarah Davenport, Master Food Preserver, UMaine Extension
Back to basics for canning, freezing, and drying. Learn the recommended methods for preserving foods, along with the latest and safest recipes. Find out how to ensure equipment safety and how to check for properly sealed jars. Bring your own pressure canner dial gauge to class for a free accuracy test!

QD 29: Hunger in Community — National Problem With Local Solutions
Lynne Holland, UMaine Extension Community Education Assistant (Home Horticulture) Androscoggin & Sagadahoc Counties, and Ali Mediate, Maine Foodscapes
Discover how some communities are connecting garden fresh produce with food insecure Mainers. Share the stories of how local initiatives in your communities have been successful in addressing this urgent need.

QD 30: Four Seasons Gardening in Maine (FULL)
Allan Amioka and Frank Wertheim, UMaine Extension Educator, Agriculture/Horticulture York County.
Keep gardening long after Maine’s traditional growing season ends with simple, portable greenhouse or low tunnel structures. This session includes building instructions, what to grow, and when and how to get crops started.


For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Pamela Hargest at pamela.hargest@maine.edu or 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine).

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Maine Garden Day Sponsors:

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