Master Gardener Volunteers Newsletter – January 2023

Table of Contents


Upcoming Dates to Remember!

January 19th – Book Club Meeting
January 20th –   Onion Orders Due
February 20th – President’s Day – Office Closed

Almost Time for Re-Enrollment for the 2023 MGV Season!

Be watching your emails in the next week or so for the 2023 Enrollment online form to soon be released.  MGV Projects are in the process of being reviewed at this time, and updated for 2023 on the Hancock/Washington County project list to select from.  Hold off on enrolling until you see the announcement in the very near future.  We don’t want you to miss an opportunity!   Looking forward to a 2023 MGV Season!

Project Leadership Opportunity for Experienced Master Gardener Volunteers

The Extension Office Gardens and Hoop House in Ellsworth has long been an extraordinary project site both for new MGV interns and for experienced MGVs because it offers comprehensive hands-on learning in vegetable production and landscape maintenance.  We are seeking an experienced MGV individual or small team to lead this project in 2023. The right volunteer(s) will enjoy teaching new gardeners, and coordinating with the core group of stellar MGVs who return to this project year in and year out.  Are you intrigued with trying out project leadership?  Then consider this opportunity where you know your efforts will be appreciated. You might also consider asking a fellow MGV to join you in this teaching and coordination role.  Project work days are Fridays, May through September.  Your core group will appreciate you continuing a schedule of separate morning and afternoon sessions.

For more information contact:
Lisa DePasqual
Community Education Assistant for Master Gardener Volunteers

MGV project liaisons’ accounts of 2 of their visits in 2022 are summarized and offered as salutes to all involved.  Watch for reports of other site visits to be printed in subsequent newsletters.  Before long we’ll not only have good reason but also good weather to actually visit and/or volunteer in the gardens.

Camp Discovery Organic Garden (CDOG) on Webb Pond in Eastbrook

Plans in the spring of 2017 opened the way for speedy development of this impressively productive garden which is part of the YMCA’s summer day camp.  Young campers and their counselors join veteran MGV’s in tending the sections of open beds, raised beds, pollinator beds, and high tunnels.  All aspects of gardening are engaging educational efforts, and accomplishments verify that a grade of A+ is warranted!

The 400 pounds of veggies harvested in 2018 was overshadowed by 800 pounds grown in 2019 and all was consumed with delight by campers as well as those at regional food security programs.  MGVs Rose  Ann Schultz, Jim Bradley, Mary Doherty and their MGV team continue growing green beans, helping to grow human “beans”, and they welcome other MGVs to join them in great growing again this year.


St. Dunstan’s Creation Garden in Ellsworth

Inspired by Marjorie Peronto and Reeser Manley in 2017, MGVs, church members, and Ellsworth Garden Club have contributed to the development and continued flourishing of this effort to educate the community about biodiversity.  Native perennials abound as does produce in a small vegetable garden which is part of the Ellsworth Historical Walk.  Produce is conveniently donated to Everybody Eats located in the lower level of the church, and thus, the garden is both a visual and culinary feast.

Longtime MGV, Dan Delong remains as invested in the garden’s continuation as he was in its creation.  An experienced gardener who enjoys coaching as well as learning with colleagues, Dan and other MGVs on the team will be delighted to learn of additional MGVs who wish to join them in this special garden.

Fedco Order Update

FedCo no longer offers the same Group Order process, so I won’t be doing a full MGV Group Order offer again. You can still get together with some friends to do it yourself to try to get some volume discounts. If interested, check out Volume Discount Ordering on FedCo’s website, and/or contact me to find out more information.

It was a good run while it lasted, and I’m happy to have helped save some fellow MGV’s money. Happy seed catalog perusing and dreaming – Wendy!

UMaine Cooperative Extension Onion Order – Reminder

Check your emails for a message from Rebecca Gray on 1/6/23, with information about a great offer to be part of a bulk onion order which offers us a great deal, and supports Harvest for Hunger Projects. You can order for yourself, friends, and family (not for a business), and all orders are due by January 20.

Continuing Education Grand Garden Ride

MGVs have been everywhere, man, and after a 2+ year hiatus due to the virus, we’re set to resume the journey.  Your Continuing Education Committee invites you to help set up the itinerary and then climb aboard for a grand garden ride.  We’ve several places in mind and hope to offer 6 field trips and 6 workshops in 2023.  Please contact us at with your suggestions for gardening related field trips and workshops.  We could repeat some of the trips and topics from the past 10 years if you are interested.

Let’s get back on the road to everywhere, man!  MGVs need to breathe some garden air, man.  We’ve been to Triple Chic and Bright Berry farms; Horsepower, 4 Seasons, and Garland farms; Rockefeller, Asticou, and Skyland gardens; shore paths, bog walks, and greenhouses too.  We’ve seen the Good Life Center, pest management lab, apple orchards, and vineyards as well; toured Johnny’s Seeds, ME Botanical Garden, and even Lunaform.  We’ve been to Rogers’ Farm, MOFGA, Rhoades Park Butterfly Garden; the McIntyre’s garden and Correa’s orchard; Northport, Nobleboro, and Deer Isle; Thuya Garden, Heritage Garden, and don’t forget Incredible Edible Milbridge!  The list goes on and so will we as we sing out our sites in tune with Hank Snow and the USPS.

Yes, we’ve been everywhere, man, in workshops galore to learn about horticulture, vermiculture, permaculture, Hugelkultur; compost, edible flowers, and growing greens indoors.  Workshops featured Bonsai, shiitake mushrooms, dividing perennials, botanical art, and more.  All about allium, honey bees, bee boxes, and self-watering systems; native plants, pollinators, forcing bulbs, seed swaps, and drip irrigation;  yoga in the garden, invasive tree insects, steering clear of herbicides.  What else have we studied, man?  Container gardens, moss gardens, square foot gardens, rain gardens, native gardens, and, of course, soil improvements.  So many workshops and yet still more to take us everywhere.

2023 continuing education committee:  Nancy Adams, Betsy Armstrong, Rita Buddemeyer, Camilla Cochrane, Mary Hartley, Helen Koch, Jan Migneault, Heidi Welch.

MGV Book Group – Open to all!

There is a group of Master Gardeners who meet monthly at the Moore Center at 125 State St. in Ellsworth to discuss books of interest to Gardeners.  If you’re like me, this is the time of year when I catch up on all the reading I didn’t have time for in the busy gardening season.  The group is welcoming whether you’ve read the whole book or not.  The Book Group meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month through April at 9:00AM.  Below, is a list of the books for this year.  Contact person for the book group is Karen Johnson, email:

September 15, 2022 White Pine: American History and the Tree That Made a Nation by Andrew Vietze, 2018, 164 pages.

A compelling and surprising page-turner. The history of the ubiquitous pine tree is wrapped up with the history of early America-and in the hands of a gifted storyteller becomes a compelling read, almost an adventure story.

October 20, 2022 Entangled Life: How fungi make our worlds, change our minds and shape our future by Merlin Sheldrake, 2020.

“Another book” on the interesting world of fungi and the relevance to all of life. This is well written and clearly indicates the author’s personal interest in and observations of the world. Easy to read and enjoy.

November 17, 2022 Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto 2017 by Leslie Buck, 277 pages.

At thirty-five, Leslie Buck made an impulsive decision to put her personal life on hold to pursue her passion. Leaving behind a full life of friends, love, and professional security, she became the first American woman to learn pruning from one of the most storied landscaping companies in Kyoto. Cutting Back recounts Buck’s bold journey.

January 19, 2023 Horizon by Barry Lopez ,2019, 572 pages.

From pole to pole and across decades of lived experience, National Book Award-winning author Barry Lopez delivers his most far-ranging, yet personal, work to date. Horizon moves indelibly, immersively, through the author’s travels to six regions of the world: from Western Oregon to the High Arctic; from the Galápagos to the Kenyan desert; from Botany Bay in Australia to finally, unforgettably, the ice shelves of Antarctica. Along the way, Lopez probes the long history of humanity’s thirst for exploration, including the prehistoric peoples who trekked across Skraeling Island in northern Canada, the colonialists who plundered Central Africa, an enlightenment-era Englishman who sailed the Pacific, a Native American emissary who found his way into isolationist Japan, and today’s ecotourists in the tropics. And always, throughout his journeys to some of the hottest, coldest, and most desolate places on the globe, Lopez searches for meaning and purpose in a broken world.

February 16, 2023 The President’s Salmon: Restoring the King of Fish and its Home Waters. By Catherine Schmitt, 2015, 240 pages.

The salmon is said to be as old as time and to know all the past and future. Twenty-two thousand years ago, someone carved a life-sized image of Atlantic salmon in the floor of a cave in southern France. Salmon were painted on rocks in Norway and Sweden. The salmon’s effortless leaping and ability to survive in both river and sea led the Celts to mythologize the salmon as holder of all mysterious knowledge, gained by consuming the nine hazelnuts of wisdom that fell into the Well of Segais. For 80 years, salmon anglers on Maine’s Penobscot River presented the first salmon caught each year to the President of the United States. This tradition forms the framework of The President’s Salmon, presenting a rich cultural and natural history of the Atlantic salmon and the Penobscot River, the last bastion

March 16, 2023 Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey by James Rebanks, 304 pages.

A small-holding farmer in England’s Lake District shares memories learning to farm with his grandfather, then confronts the devastating industrial farming that develops around him. On his own farm he tries using the pesticides and fertilizers that predominate but knows something is terribly wrong about them. He studies, comes to understand the critical ecology of sustainable farming and endeavors to use what he’s learned. His is a very personal, readable account.

April 20, 2023 The Earth in Her Hands: 75 Extraordinary Women Working in the World of Plants Hardcover – Illustrated, 2020 by Jennifer Jewell, 312 pages.

In this beautiful and empowering book, Jennifer Jewell introduces 75 inspiring women. Working in wide-reaching fields that include botany, floral design, landscape architecture, farming, herbalism, and food justice, these influencers are creating change from the ground up.

This month’s newsletter sent by Sue includes articles from our new “Communicate with MGV’s” task force.  We’d like the next edition to feature your suggestions and articles about gardeners and gardens.  MGV’s, please contact us at with your ideas as we work on ways for us to stay in touch with all our gardening friends while following virus-safe guidelines.

Thank you from
Holly, Jane, Wendy, Linda, Mary D., Mary H., and Rita