Master Gardener Volunteers Newsletter – February 2023

Table of Contents


Upcoming Dates to Remember!

Feb 6th –  MG Advisory Meeting
Feb 20th – President’s Day – Office Closed
March 6th –  MG Advisory Meeting
March 12th – Day Light Saving Starts!
May 13th – Celebration of Life – Reeser Manley

Celebration of Life for ReeserReeser Manley w Marjorie

Join Marjorie, family and friends to remember Reeser Manley, who died suddenly last November.  There will be a celebration of life for Reeser in the downstairs of Saint Dunstan’s Episcopal Church (State Street, Ellsworth) on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 9 am.  All are welcome, please bring your favorite memories of Reeser.


It’s Re-Enrollment time for the 2023 MGV Season!

In case you haven’t seen it, an e-mail has been sent with a link to the 2023 (re) Enrollment online form   Enrollments are coming in quickly! Thank you wonderful MGV’s!   If you hear of anyone that didn’t get the invite to Re-enroll, let us know.  We don’t want you to miss an opportunity!   Looking forward to the 2023 MGV Season!

Project Leadership Opportunity for Experienced Master Gardener Volunteers

(Still Available) 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

New State-offered Training Programs

Did you know that the Maine Cooperative Extension now offers two new training programs? Both are sponsored by UMaine Extension on the state level, as opposed to MGV programs which are offered by the County Extension offices.

The new programs are Maine Horticulture Apprentice Training and Maine Gardener Training. (Notice the lack of “Master” and “Volunteer” in the latter title.)

The Maine Horticulture Apprentice Training is geared to those interested in exploring a career in horticulture as an entry level employee, a high school student, or those interested in changing their career path. The course is divided into three parts.

Part 1 is an introduction to horticulture employment in Maine. (Online)

Part 2 provides in-depth training in the foundations of horticulture; food and tree fruit production; garden pests and diseases; and Maine landscapes and designs (Online)

Part 3 consists of a 200-hour apprenticeship

After successful completion of the training and apprenticeship, the participant will receive the Maine Horticulture Apprentice Training micro-credential, and the title of Maine Horticulture Apprentice. Backed by the University of Maine System, this micro-credential verifies to potential employers that the apprentice has successfully completed a high-quality, rigorous training and demonstrated the skills necessary to be a valuable horticulture industry employee:

Maine Gardener Training is designed for home gardeners who desire a foundation in basic horticulture education and skills for personal use. It is recommended for those who would like to access the educational content of the Master Gardener Volunteer training program but do not plan to volunteer. Micro-credentials are not given for this program.

Either course costs $600.00, but sliding scale options with a discount of 50% to 75% are available. Classes begin in the late fall and are completed by mid-March. Applications for the present classes were due in September2022.

What the heck are micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials are a new professional development opportunity.
The University of Maine System (UMS) offers professional development opportunities that result in a verified micro-credential for those who want to update their skillset. Micro-credentials prove to your current or future employer that you have skills needed in today’s workplace. They are offered to those who complete Horticulture Apprentice training and MGV training. Micro-credentials may be shared on professional social media sites such as LinkedIn, or on your website or portfolio.  FMI Visit:

Know anyone who might be interested? Pass it on!

Continuing Education News!

Wait for it…

Field Trips to Greenhouse

In the March newsletter, MGVs will find details on their first chance in several years to make reservations for a spring field trip and a workshop too.  Chuck Weber, a Maine Organic Gardeners & Farmers Association grower,  has volunteered to host a small group of MGVs in his greenhouse at Lamoine in early April to learn of his process for successful seeding.  On Saturday morning of the same week, Dr. David Handley of the UMaine Cooperative Extension’s Highmoor Farm will visit the Ellsworth Extension office to coach us on growing our best raspberries. What a fine way to gear up for gardening!

Your continuing education committee is developing a schedule of monthly field trips and workshops for the entire 2023 growing season that’s sure to please all who enjoy touring nearby sites and hearing from experts to learn more about gardening.  The field trips are exclusively for MGVs; workshops are open to the public; hosts and presenters are volunteers; advance registration is necessary; and there is no charge for attending.  WeRaspberries appreciate the suggestions MGV’s have offered for events to consider as we develop the yearlong agenda and encourage all to continue sending ideas to us at: .  Thank you!

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:

Upcoming Book Reads:

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
Betsy Adams, Jan M. Jane, Wendy, Linda, Mary D., Mary H., and Rita