Hancock and Washington County Master Gardener Volunteers News – March 2021

Table of Contents

Enrollment | Welcome class 2021 | Plant Sale | MG Self-care |Garden WebinarsLunch & Learn | Continuing Education | Cooking Maine Harvest  | Maine Home Garden News|Monthly Project Highlight

Thank You to Each and Every Master Gardener Volunteer!

Saying 2020 was a challenging year feels like an incredible understatement!  On behalf of the staff of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program, thank you to our volunteers for all the work you do and thank you to David Mallett for this special performance of Garden Song.

2021 Re-enrollment for MGV’s

It’s time to re-enroll as a Master Gardener Volunteer!   UMaine Cooperative Extension is gradually restarting in-person volunteer programs and projects, with new COVID-19 protocols and modifications in place.   Master Gardener Volunteer re-enrollment is a MULTI- STEP PROCESS this year.  It’s a tiny bit cumbersome, but it is for everyone’s safety:

(Password: ladybug)     

Are you ready for in-person COVID-19 volunteering? Please review this checklist to be sure!

graphic of a checkmark in a box for check listHere is a list of all Hancock and Washington County in-person projects that are approved for COVID-19 volunteering.

graphic of a checkmark in a box for check listBefore volunteering on any of the approved projects, you must complete this volunteer approval form.

graphic of a checkmark in a box for check listComplete UNH COVID-19 training (forward certificate of completion to sue.baez@maine.edu ).

graphic of a checkmark in a box for check listParticipate in any project-specific training as needed.

graphic of a checkmark in a box for check listAll volunteers must report their hours within a week for contact tracing purposes.

Once you review and complete steps above, it’s time to complete the

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. You won’t want to miss out on our continuing education opportunities, new online MGV newsletter, and volunteer recognition events!)

Please complete your re-enrollment form by March 15, 2021.

Welcome Class of 2021!

A warm welcome to the 27 students enrolled in the 2021 Hancock/Washington County MGV training!  They hail from Bass Harbor, Blue Hill, Brooklin, Bucksport, Cherryfield, Cutler, Dennysville, Ellsworth, Hancock, Jonesboro, Lamoine, Machias, Mount Desert, Northeast Harbor, Stonington, Surry, Sunset, Trescott, Waltham and West Tremont, The course officially starts on Wednesday, March 10, and boy has it undergone a transformation.  This year’s class will learn from newly developed online, self-paced modules and weekly virtual Zoom sessions with Extension experts.  The course is spread over the spring and fall semester, with COVID-compliant volunteer internships at MGV project sites occurring over the summer.  Welcome aboard everyone!

Hancock County MGV Plant Sale

New Format… New Time Frame… our 2021 Master Gardener Plant Sale continues to evolve!

Our 2021 plant sale will feature:

– an illustrated on-line catalog and order form containing a selection of herbaceous perennials (many natives and pollinator magnets).

– We MAY have an additional selection of perennials and annuals (in limited numbers) for sale on-site at the time you pick up your online order.  You will be able to browse safely at that time, and they will be sold on a first come first served basis.

Our Bumblebee – MG Plant Sale 2019

– an opportunity to purchase seafood compost in five gallon increments

– a scheduled COVID compliant pick up time at the Extension Office in Ellsworth

*Timeline for plant ordering and pick up:

Online catalog preview opens Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9th through Friday May 14 – get your list ready!

Online plant ordering opens Saturday May 15th through Friday May 28

Pre-ordered plant pick-up by appointment will occur between Saturday May 29 through Wednesday June 2

*If you have perennials from your garden that you can donate, please contact Kathy Burgess kathyburgess@myfairpoint.net

*If you haven’t signed up to help with the plant sale yet, there are many opportunities!  Here is a snapshot of the teams and the work entailed.  Please contact Sue Baez sue.baez@maine.edu if you’d like to join a team, and we will follow up with you.

1.   Marketing Team

Team Lead: Zabet NeuCollins      Team work will start in February.

This team works closely with the Extension office staff, and is responsible for the publicity planning for MGV Plant Sale and managing the website to draw as many customers as possible.

Team A – contacting media and community regarding the plant sale

Team B – Webpage designing and managing contents of the website (prior experience in website building is desirable)

2.  Inventory and Signage Team

Team Lead: Helen Koch.    Team work will be in April and May

This team is responsible for maintaining the inventory and preparing the various signs for the sale. Excellent knowledge of plants, scientific name and habitat is desirable. Being online sales, the number of signs to be made will be minimal.

3.  Plant Collection and Preparation team – aka digging dividing and potting

Team Lead: Kathy Burgess      Team work will be in April and May

The team is responsible for the collection of plants and preparation of plants for the sale. The success of the sale depends on the quality and variety of plants. The team will be given training on soil mixing and potting.  Some intense physical exertion can be expected for those who are volunteering for the digging of plants(including Extension and from donor sites). If you are volunteering to collect plants from donors, be prepared to use all your detective skills to get the most details of the plant you are collecting.

Team A – responsible for perennials

Team B – responsible for annuals

4.      Plant Care Team

Team Lead: Mary Doherty.    Team work will be in April and May

The team is responsible for the maintenance and care of the plants that are potted for sale. The volunteers can expect to be onsite every three days in May unless the weather is very hot day or very wet.

5.     Yard Prep Team

Team Lead: Heidi Welch       Team work will be in May and early June

This team is responsible for sprucing up the Extension garden and preparing the plant pick up area (including setting up tents) and cleaning up after the sale.

6.     Sales Team

Team Lead: Holly Bixby.    Team work will be in late May and first week of June

This team is responsible for managing the sales during the sales week. Customers purchase their items in advance and collect them at pre-assigned times at the Extension Office.

As we are still in the midst of the pandemic, the number of volunteers that can come onsite at the Extension office is restricted..  Hence, all visits must be pre-authorized. Wearing masks at all times and social distancing are mandatory. Together we can make this a safe and successful sale!

For specific questions on any team activity/responsibility, you can contact Malini Kizhatil at malini.kizhatil@gmail.com or (207)-664-9546

Looking forward to hearing from you.


March Self-Care Month for Maine’s Master Gardener Volunteers!

https://extension.umaine.edu/gardening/toolkit/march-self-care-month/    (password: ladybug)

Join us for a 6-part Program to Help Maine Master Gardener Volunteers Prep for the Season and Build Your Resiliency!

In the spirit of building resiliency in our MGVs as we start to gear up for another busy growing season in 2021, please join this six-part program begun by the Hancock and Washington County MGVs in 2020. Self-Care classes are offered via Zoom at no cost to current MGVs and are taught by fellow MGVs or other skilled/trained/certified local self-care experts. Take advantage of this chance to explore new knowledge of what and how we can maintain and strengthen ourselves — especially important during this pandemic!

We will use the same Zoom link for each session, and you don’t have to preregister.  Just join us.  Please mark your calendar:

Click on the links below for session details.

Gardening Webinar Series – Wednesdays from 6:00 – 7:00pm

Join the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) for a six-part gardening webinar series this fall.  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 – 7:00pm.

Upcoming Webinars Topics:

closeup pruning fruit tree with prunersMarch 10: Ornamental Garden Design
March 24:  Protecting Fruit Trees from Insects and Diseases

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.

For more information, including speaker lists and to register for each webinar, visit the Gardening Webinar Series site.


Maine Master Gardener Volunteer Lunch and Learn Series
*Special Only to Master Gardener Volunteers!*

First Thursday of the month, 12:00 to 1:00 PM via Zoom – through March 2021

Beat the winter blues by tuning in for special monthly presentations by fellow Master Gardener Volunteers from across the state.

Growing Melons in Maine, March 4, 2021, at 12:00 PM

Join Penobscot County Master Gardener Volunteer, John Hwalek (MG Class of 2017) for a presentation on How to Grow Melons in Maine!

Have you ever had the pleasure of eating a sweet, fragrant, juicy melon fresh from the vine? There is nothing quite so delicious!  Several years ago, John wondered if it was possible to grow melons in Maine. As he discovered through trial and error, the answer is yes, but some varieties are more successful than others. John will share his experiences growing melons in Maine to encourage you to give it a try.

Meet John! John has been trying to grow veggies and flowers since he planted his first cucumber seeds at the age of 10.  His passion for gardening pairs well with his love of cooking. In 2017, John completed the Master Gardener program and has been volunteering at the demonstration garden at Rogers Farm ever since. John dedicates his time working in the Maine made melons and the hops gardens at Rogers Farm.

For more information or questions, please contact Pamela Hargest at pamela.hargest@maine.edu.

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

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 March 16, 12 – 1 pm Growing Mushrooms with Dominika DelMastro  (New Date!) 
Tuesday April 6, 12-1 pm  Building Soil for Crop Nutrient Density with MGV Kaelen Doughty
Tuesday May 4, 12-1 pm y Hugelkultur with MGV Betsy Armstrong
Webinar details and registration info will be announced

Cooking the Maine Harvest Series – March

Join the UMaine Cooperative Extension food preservation staff for a lively discussion and demonstration on how to cook with Maine
foods in the winter.

Registration Required

Maine Home Garden News


What’s new? Maine Home Garden News is going to a year-round format.

Would You Like to Subscribe to MHGN?

You can receive notification emails when the most recent issue of Maine Home Garden News is posted online.

Hancock and Washington County Project Highlight

Coming soon!