Hancock and Washington County Master Gardener Volunteers News – April 2021


Plant Sale| Class of 2021 | MGV Enrollment |Spring Gardening SeriesLunch & Learn | Continuing Education |Monthly Project Highlight  |MGV Book Club | Current Year’s Books | Suggested Reference Books | Seasonal Help Wanted | Message from Task Force


Rhoades Butterfly Park
Rhoades Butterfly Park – Southwest Harbor

April 6                         Building Soil for Crop Nutrient Density with MGV Kaelen Doughty
April 8                         Maine MGV Lunch & Learn Series: Certify Your Pollinator Garden
April 14                       Fiddleheads: A Spring Tradition
April 15                       MGV Book Club – see details
April 28                       Weed Management:  for the Perennial and Ornamental Landscapes
May 4                          Hugelkultur with MGV Betsy Armstrong
May 12                        Preparing Your Garden Site:  Getting Ahead of Weeds
May 30 – June 1         Plant Sale /Plugs  – Pick-up Days

Plant Sale Update ~ Native plants (plugs) and seafood compost ~for sale NOW

After much deliberation, I (Marjorie) have decided to postpone our spring plant sale until 2022 when we can (presumably) do it LIVE rather than online. I am grateful to all of you who volunteered to help or volunteered to donate plants this year! We have a terrific team that has done a lot of legwork already, paving the way for next year’s in-person event.

For this year, we found, that setting up a sales website with the limited software at our disposal just posed too many challenges. That said, I had a shipment of 250 native plants (plugs), and a pile of seafood compost delivered prior to my decision to postpone the sale. If you’d like to buy some of these well-rooted plugs or some seafood compost for your own garden this spring, I’ll be happy to sell them TO MGVs only:

  • bare-root plugs at $4 each (to be picked up at the Extension Office by appointment in the next two weeks), OR
  • potted plants, (plugs grown on for 7 additional weeks) in 1-gallon pots for $10 each (ready for you to pick up, by appointment, on Sunday afternoon May 30 or Tuesday June 1)
  • seafood compost, $5 per 5-gallon bucket (bring your own bucket(s), I’ll meet you and help you fill them)

    False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)

These are the native plant species I have available   (ALL great pollinator plants!):

Allium cernuum (nodding onion)  (I have 32)

Aster novi-belgii (New York aster)  (I have 42)

Heliopsis helianthoides (false sunflower)  (I have 42)

Pycnanthemum muticum (mountain mint)  (I have 36)

Veronicastrum virginicum (culvers root)  (I have 36)

Lobelia cardinalis*(cardinal flower) (*only available in 1-gallon pots on May 30, no plugs)  (I have 25)

If you would like to purchase some of these plants or seafood compost (first ordered, first served til they run out)  please email your order to Heidi Welch: hwelch444@gmail.com

In your email, please provide your first and last name, email address AND phone number, as well as your order (which species, plugs or 1-gallon pots, and how many 5 gallon buckets of seafood compost you want).
Payment will be due when you pick up your plants.

Class of 2021 News

Welcome new Hancock and Washington County Master Gardener Volunteers! The 2021 training is well underway. Twenty-six students from our two counties have joined 150 others from around the state in this virtual learning experience. They are all working through self-paced online modules, and participating in weekly live Zoom Q & A sessions with Extension staff and industry specialists. The students are now devising summer internship plans, where they’ll dive in to one or more of our MGV community projects. We are all looking forward to working together and feeling fresh earth under our fingernails!

MGV Enrollment – one more reminder

Thank you to all who enrolled for the MGV program this year.  After the very strange year we have all had, 2021 has got to be something to look forward to!

If you missed the deadline and have not enrolled yet for the 2021 season, please be in touch with Sue Baez  or visit the site (below) directly, taking care to follow all the steps required for 2021.

2021 RE-ENROLLMENT FORM   Be sure to select Hancock/Washington under “county where you report your hours”

(For insurance reasons, if you do not reenroll, we are required to remove you from our mailing list. We DON’T want that to happen. We don’t want you to miss out on our continuing education opportunities, new online MGV newsletter, and volunteer recognition events!)

Statewide Spring Gardening Series – Wednesdays from 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Join the University of Maine Cooperative Extension for a three-part gardening webinar series this spring. These 1-hour webinars will include a 40-minute presentation, following by Q&A and discussion.  Please note the new time – Wednesday evenings from 6:00 – 7:00 pm.

Upcoming Webinars Topics:

April 14:  Fiddleheads: A Spring TraditionA bag full of Fiddleheads

Fiddlehead picking is a springtime tradition in New England. In this webinar, we’ll cover how to properly identify, sustainably harvest and safely cook New England’s iconic ostrich fern fiddleheads.

April 28:  Weed Management:  for the Perennial and Ornamental Landscapes

Get ahead of weeds in your garden this season by learning how to identify, prevent and manage them in existing gardens. This webinar will focus on many of the most common weeds in Maine and New Hampshire gardens, and will detail effective control strategies for each.

May 12:  Preparing Your Garden Site:  Getting Ahead of Weeds

Learn about the many approaches to preparing your garden site, and considerations for choosing which method is suitable for your next garden expansion effort.

Registration is required with a $5 suggested donation for each webinar.

Participants will receive the Zoom information after registering for a webinar. All webinars will be recorded and shared with participants following the event. If you can’t attend the session live, register to receive the link to the webinar recording.



Maine Master Gardener Volunteer Lunch and Learn Series: Certify Your Pollinator Garden
*Special Only for Master Gardener Volunteers!*

We are all a-buzz to announce that the MGV Lunch and Learn Series continues through early Spring!!

In April and May, we will have two Lunch and Learns on the topics of Native Plants, Pollinators, and Pollinator-Friendly Gardens. Just “bee-cause” this is the time of year you are planning and planting your gardens it makes sense to share how to make them more hospitable to pollinators.

As Master Gardener Volunteers you get background and inside information early in the spring and then we will finish May with a webinar on Wednesday, May 26 as part of our collaboration with UNH on Supporting Pollinators in your Landscape that is open to the public.

Thursday, April 8, 2021, Noon – 1pm
Presenter: Allan Amioka
Moderator: Lynne Holland
Topic: Why Native?
Allan, a coordinator of the Native Garden at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Farm, in Wells, Maine, will cover the basics of why it’s important to incorporate plants native to our ecoregion into our landscapes. Allan will use content he has shared in the past from his work with the Yardscaping program as well.

For those interested in this topic, see a recording of Ginger’s talk on sowing native seeds from last Fall to whet your appetite.
Join us: We will be using the same Zoom link as the previous Lunch and Learns.

Thursday, May 6, 2021
The inside scoop on how to get your garden certified as pollinator-friendly. The Pollinator-Friendly Garden Certification was launched late last year. Get a head start this spring with this Lunch and Learn that is being done by MGVs on the Program Review Committee. They will share resources on how people can make their garden more pollinator-friendly and have their spaces certified through our program. This program will be presented in 3 parts:

  • Web page tour of the educational resources available
  • Application tips/helpful hints presented by an MGV from the review committee;
  • How to best capture your garden in photos and sketches (Allan Amioka)
  • Q&A period

Having trouble with the links? They all lead to the Master Gardener Volunteer Tool Kit (password “ladybug”)

We will use the same Zoom link for each session, and you don’t have to preregister for this series.

join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://maine.zoom.us/j/92592076278?pwd=bDYzMitpdHNZL2RTSWVtS0VaVEdHdz09
Password: ladybug

Or Telephone: US: +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 (Phone password: 1555591)
Meeting ID: 925 9207 6278

Wondering how to use Zoom? Download the Zoom App (free to sign up!) on your desktop or mobile device and then visit the Joining a Meeting page on Zoom Help Center website for instructions.

Continuing Education workshops offered for and by Hancock and Washington County MGV’s

Save the dates!

Tuesday, April 6, 12-1 pm  Building Soil for Crop Nutrient Density with MGV Kaelen Doughty- register now by emailing sue.baez@maine.edu
Tuesday, May 4, 12-1 pm y Hugelkultur with MGV Betsy Armstronghugelkultur

What Is Hugelkultur and Why Would I Want One?

If you have heard or seen the name but have no idea of the purpose of this “hot” permaculture grow structure, join MGV Betsy Armstrong on Zoom at noon on Tuesday, May 4.  Hugelkultur is a technique that can expand your growing area, reduce watering needs, use scrap wood and sad soil effectively, provide an inexpensive landscaping feature, and perhaps jazz up your gardening experience.  In the one hour session, you will follow Betsy’s experiment, get links for how-to’s, and have some of your questions answered.

Registration for this session will be announced via email later in April

Wa Academy Gardens

MGV Project Highlight  ~ Hancock and Washington County

Each monthly newsletter will highlight a MGV Project.  For April we are pleased to introduce:

Washington Academy Garden  –  written by Linda Dunn, MGV

Did you know that Marjorie Peronto is the MGV project leader for a large vegetable garden at Washington Academy in East Machias, Maine? She is, and I had the privilege of observing her in action in October of 2019. Fellow MGV, Jeff Milliken, and I drove past brilliant red blueberry fields to Washington Academy as project liaison committee members.

The Washington Academy life skills teacher, Brian Campbell, brought 2 consecutive classes to the garden to harvest carrots, kale, and lettuce under Marjorie’s supervision. Then the students planted garlic in 2 raised beds and followed this with measuring and laying the outlines for several new raised beds that they planned to build. Other students worked on building a hoop house. The student enthusiasm was inspiring.

Carrots at Washington Academy

This project started with a grant to Washington County Extension from the National 4-H Council and Microsoft.  The goal was to equip young people with the digital skills and resources they need to make a positive impact in their communities. The students at Washington Academy chose to grow food for the hungry, and develop a website to catalog and make available to the community an easily accessible list of food resources. There are 10 food pantries in Washington County. According the Regina Grabrovac from Healthy Acadia, the need is still not met. Marjorie and Regina worked with the students and MGVs at Washington Academy to rejuvenate an old garden.  Sadly, in 2020, the students and MGVs were unable to garden due to pandemic restrictions. Marjorie and Regina tended the garden themselves, growing 1000 pounds of food for distribution.  Marjorie is such a dedicated leader!


Learning and Laughter  ~ the Hancock/Washington County Master Gardener Book Club

Everyone attending our MGV’s meetings find being in touch with other Master Gardeners energizing and learning together rewarding.  Currently our lively meetings occur via “a zoom room”; we hope one day soon to get back to our “standard togetherness” at the Moore Community Center (Friends in Action Area) in Ellsworth.

There are NO assignments other than to enjoy books and be ready to share your perceptions.  Meetings are held Sept, Oct, Nov, Jan, Feb, Mar and Apr so seven books are discussed the third Thursday of the month starting at 9 a.m. 

We all experience great learning on diverse subjects from gardens, gardening history, natural history, environmental movements, and biodiversity to specific plant/animal biology and plant/animal life. Book club motivates us to read (and often enjoy) books we might not otherwise read.  A few favorites from recent years include: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World by Andrea Wulf; Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nicolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine by Gary Paul Nabham; Lab Girl by Hope Jahren; and just about any book by Bernd Heinrich.  We bring our own experiences in gardening and nature.  Everyone contributes, no one overpowers others in the group and we certainly have a lot of laughs, even about our increasing frailties from aging.

Attendance and preparation are purely voluntary and all are welcome. It’s not only an excellent way to continue your education; it’s a fine way to expand your mind and meet others who have similar passions to yours. ~ Adapted from an article by Lavon Bartel, MGV

If you are interested in joining, please email Karen Johnson at kaj810@gmail.com

If you haven’t been able to join the current year’s book club, and are curious about the books they’re reading:

  • American Eden by Victoria Johnson
  • The Botany Of Desire by Michael Pollan
  • The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell
  • The Essential Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter and Willow Rosenthal
  • Seeds, Sex, and Civilization by Peter Thompson and Stephen Harris
  • White Feathers by Bend Heinrich
  • The Story of More by Hope Jahren

Suggested Reference Book List

Native Plants for New England Gardens
By Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffe
Copyright 2018 Rowman and Littlefield

100 Plants to Feed the Bees, Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive
The Xerces Society
Story Publishing 2016

The Botany Coloring Book
By Paul Young, 1982

The Pruning Book
by Lee Reich
The Taunton Press, 2010

The Life in Your Garden, Gardening for Biodiversity
by Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto
Tilbury House Publishers, 2016

The New England Gardener’s Year, A Month-by-Month Guide for Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Upstate New York
by  Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto
Cadent Publishing, Tilbury House Publishers, 2013

Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide
by Lawrence Newcomb, Paperback Illustrated 1989

Rodale’s Garden Insect, Disease & Weed Identification Guide
by Miranda Smith and Anna Carr
January 1, 1988

Season Job Opportunities

Part-time, seasonal job openings at Hancock and Washington County Extension Offices:
Eat Well Volunteers Program Coordinator

Eat Well Volunteers conduct a food lesson
Eat Well Volunteers Nicole Gurreri and Elizabeth Byard conduct a food lesson at Loaves & Fishes food pantry.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension invites applications  for two part-time, temporary positions to support the Eat Well Volunteers Program from mid-May through mid-November, 2021. One position will be located in the Hancock County Cooperative Extension office in Ellsworth and the second position will be located in the Washington County Cooperative Extension office in Machias. This position will be responsible for coordinating trained volunteers who will provide interactive education and cooking demonstrations at food pantries in Hancock and Washington counties. This work requires extensive travel, time in the community communicating with food pantry coordinators and volunteers and maintaining community partnerships to sustain the program. Work requires judgment, initiative and commitment to confidentiality. Ability to travel in Maine and reliable transportation is required. For more information contact Marjorie Peronto, marjorie.peronto@maine.edu


Part-time garden work in West Tremont (MDI)   

MGV Heidi Welch and Pattie Tierney would like to hire a MGV to work 4-8 hours per week this season (flexible schedule) in their vegetable and flower (mostly perennials) gardens. Prepping, planting, weeding, mulching, watering, harvesting. They are finding it difficult to tend to all and are loath to give any of it up! It’s a beautiful place, bordered by woods, thickets and a field. If you have questions or might be interested, please pop them an email or give them a call. Feel free to forward this notice to others or post it on your social media.

Heidi and Pattie hwelch444@gmail.com, 244-5315

Part-time Garden Work – Brooklin

MGV Cindy Blake says – My friend Alice Hildebrand in Brooklin is looking for someone to help with her father’s flower gardens. I’ve been taking care of them for the past 5-6 years, but this year am pleading an uncooperative knee that’s slowing me down. Her father, Ernest Hildebrand, died late last year at the age of 100. The address is 11 River Road.
This would only be a couple of hours a week, mostly weeding and pruning an old quince and some overgrowing forsythia.  If you’re interested, send me an email, and I’ll tell you more about these old gardens.  For more info contact Cindy Blake   cloisby@gmail.com

Part -time garden work in Seal Harbor (MDI)

Looking for extra work? Part-time garden help needed in Seal Harbor for routine garden maintenance. 2 days a week, 4 hours each. Some heavy lifting required. Good pay and positive people. Email jen@jenharry.com for more information.

Landscape/Design help wanted

I have a design/build landscape construction and maintenance company (Down East Landscape) that is looking for one or two more people for this season.  If you know of anyone that is interested, please call Larry Maxim at 207 374 5445 or email at downeastlandscape@myfairpoint.net.  Larry Maxim Down East Landscape & Design, Inc.

(Please note – we do not endorse any employers of help wanted outside of UMaine Cooperative Extension.  The information provided is all that we are able to share)

Of, For, and By MGV’s

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., Rita

Did you know we have a Master Gardener Volunteers of Hancock County ~ FACEBOOK Page?