Hancock and Washington Counties Master Gardener Volunteers News – June – July 2022

Table of Contents


Upcoming Dates to Remember!

June 20 – Juneteenth, Office Closed

June 27th –  Flash in the Pans Street Dance – to Benefit MGV Program

July 4th – Holiday, Office Closed


I want to let you know that this was one of the most successful plant sales we have ever had in my three decades with Extension.  My hat goes off to the dozens of volunteers who worked so hard preparing for and conducting the sale. Here’s the summary:

– The first 45 minutes of the event was sheer insanity, but we all kept calm and managed our customers quite smoothly!  Even in the rain.

– We had about 40 MGVs helping on the day of the sale, directing parking, assisting customers, managing sales, filling bags and buckets with compost, and loading vehicles.

Lisa DePasqual, decked in bumblebee regalia,  cheerfully greeted our customers upon arrival.  I do believe we are going to see her picture in the next Ellsworth American!  

Zabet NeuCollins ran a kids activity table, engaging six youth in fun, educational pursuits while their adults shopped. 

– The plants flew out of the parking lot! We sold just short of 1,000 potted perennials, and donated the 70 leftover plants to the Bangor Women’s Shelter.

– We sold at least 50 bags of seafood compost and two handmade wreaths (that were donated by MGV Kathy Burgess).

– We sold 165 raffle tickets (for 1 yard of compost). RAFFLE WINNER: Sharon Keeton of Bar Harbor.

– After expenses ($2,100), we netted approximately $8,500.  That will go a monstrously long way (years) in providing support to MGV projects and scholarships to MGV students.

Congratulations and my deepest thanks to all!

Marjorie Peronto


MGV Profile

Commune, Connect, and Communi-KATEKate Morse

Kate Morse’s investment in these 3 C’s ranges from quieter times of silent repose in walks near her forest home to garden interests and on to melodic outbursts as this Maine Master Naturalist (MMN), Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV), and Flash! In the Pans (FIP) performer engages in life.

In 2015 and 2017, Kate completed the two tiers of the Maine Master Naturalist Program.  Nearing her retirement from the fields of mental health and teaching, she was so grateful to begin exploration of the natural world in a way she’d long wanted to do.  Kate has a particular interest in the interconnectedness of the natural world, from the seemingly lowliest forms of life like mycorrhizae (think lowly fungi in a plant’s root system) up through the plant world and the animal world in its most complex forms.  Each time researchers look closely at any life form, it seems they realize how elegantly it connects and even communicates with its own species in order to find food and provide protection to itself and its community.  Ask Kate a leading question, and you will see how passionate she is about this subject!

Much like the MGV program, the Maine Master Naturalist program asks its graduates to give volunteer time teaching others about what they’ve learned.  Her special love is teaching K-4th grade children about nature…as Covid allows.  She also once volunteered to join with our MGV continuing education committee’s workshop at Woodlawn to the cheers of children and parents after communing and exploring in the woods with Kate.

Kate took her Master Gardener Volunteer class in 2020.  As Covid cut back some volunteer opportunities, she mentored an eager neighbor in developing her first garden.  Kate was also one of the many helpers at the gardens of Cooperative Extension.  Whether it’s tending plants or connecting with colleagues in the gardens, Kate provides a special touch as she learns alongside others.  Because of her background in human development, she’s sure to be a fine asset in a future year as she begins volunteering in the Eat Well program.  Kate is looking forward to the training and then to welcoming participants as they arrive at the food pantries for shopping and food prep ideas.  Neat that she is ready to connect with potential gardeners and stir them with stories of the richness of the soil and its potential as they stir up healthy recipes.

In truly stark contrast to Kate’s soft-spoken, subtle ways of communing and connecting is her exuberant communication as a steel drum player with Flash! in the Pans.  On June 27 from 7:30-9:00 PM at Blue Hill town park, that famous group will conduct a benefit performance with proceeds to aid our MGV program.  As we join in for the steel drum music, Kate encourages us to note the thrice warmed sensation of a lively performance that heats up the band, enlivens the audience, and raises funds for non-profit

Kate and Tony
Kate and Tony!

organizations.  Just as Kate has become ingrained in the group, the band has become an extension of her family and as such enriches her life as certainly as it offers sparkle to the lives of others.

Among the many other wonders that might be included in this month’s focus on Kate Morse is the fact that she is married to the man who recruited her into our MGV team.  Tony Aman is not only a longterm MGV but also an arborist and teacher who merits his own feature article in our newsletter.

If you’ll continue reading, we’ll keep writing about those of you who humbly agree to be our stars in print.  It’s not quite like being Queen/King for a Day ‘cause there are no free Maytags to be given away, but isn’t it great to get acquainted with the many MGV stars in Hancock and Washington County!

MG Project Profile

UMaine Cooperative Extension Office / Gardens

We all know the beautiful gardens that surround the UMaine Cooperative Extension Office on Boggy Brook Road — some of us know them weed by weed or plant by plant or pound by pound of harvested produce (1,000 pounds in 2021). The gardens have evolved over the years from landfill around a newly occupied building (1983), to a lawn of grass to beautifully landscaped and productive areas complete with hardscaping, hoop house, rain garden, raised beds, and support structures for various fruits. Thanks to Marjorie Peronto who was hired as Extension Educator in 1991, all of the garden areas are sustained with organic methods, no pesticides, and pollinator welcoming. Enjoy this pictorial journey from the original purchase of the building in 1983, to the breaking of garden grounds in 1991, and now. Thank you Marjorie for the Gardens and Sue for the pictures!

Save the Date!

Flash in Pans Logo

Flash in the Pans Steel Drum Band – To Benefit the MGV Program

Fortunate MGV’s are that our program is one of the non-profits selected by Peninsula Pan to be honored with a benefit performance by Flash! in the Pans this summer.  Please help promote and then attend the steel band concert at Blue Hill town park on Monday, June 27 from 7:30-9:00 PM.

Kate suggests arrival by 6:30 to secure a space for your lawn chair and to enjoy the work of the well-oiled team as it sets up its tent and array of instruments.  You are welcome to bring your supper as well, as the park is a lovely place to picnic with your pod.  This is a family event, and you will see a range of ages from toddler through teens, adults, and elders.  Flash! carefully observes all CDC guidelines.  Suggested donation is $5 per person or $10 per family.

Be prepared for an energizing experience which draws most all to their feet as the rhythm stirs.  Even those on crutches and folks in wheelchairs have been compelled by the music to “dance”.

More than 40 years ago, Carl Chase traveled Trinidad and was captivated by the music of “pans” which were made from discarded steel drums.  He learned how to make the pans and taught others in New England how to play when he returned.  Carl also composed and arranged music which captivated musicians and audiences.  Today there are perhaps 25 steel drum bands in New England!

Locally, budding musicians are taught at the high school.  The performing group of Flash! In the Pans ranges in age from teens to those in their 70’s and up.  Flash! typically performs concerts on Monday evenings from Memorial Day through Labor Day as benefits for non-profit groups.  Let’s believe Kate who says it’s a blast and then keep an eye on her as her more quiet, reflective nature is overtaken by a buoyant, outwardly joyful dimension when the music starts.

Carl Chase now rests in peace while his efforts to transport the joy of Trinidad to the our region enliven all within hearing range.  And in Trinidad where steel drums originated, there are many bands with the best of them competing in a music festival at Carnival.  Recycling is at it’s finest as those 1940’s waste products at a US naval base in Trinidad were turned into drums finely tuned today for band performances around the world!

Shout out to all MGVs!

Know an MGV who’s done or is doing something intriguing or inspiring? Send in their name to MGVnewsletterinput@gmail.com; someone on the Newsletter team can follow up for a future newsletter spot.  We know there are so many neat stories out there or MGVs finding ways to apply our training and experience.

Please be reminded to REPORT your Master Gardener Volunteer hours monthly
Volunteer Hours are due NOW  – REPORT HERE

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.  Please contact us at MGVnewsletterinput@gmail.com 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