The University of Maine's Apple, Small Fruit, and Vegetable Research Facility
Highmoor Farm is a Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station. It encompasses 278 acres on Route 202 in Monmouth, Maine, with 17 acres in orchards and five acres of vegetables and small fruits. The facilities consist of two large barns, one laboratory, a shop, ten storages, two hoop houses, and a greenhouse. In addition to these facilities, the farm houses the offices of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s tree fruit, small fruit, and vegetable specialists.
Research and Extension Activities
Highmoor Farm is ideally suited to provide research-based information for the apple industry, but it is also home to active vegetable and small fruit variety trials and integrated pest management programs. Currently, the farm is the site of apple and plum variety evaluations; studies to find better ways to store apples, and assessments of pre-plant soil amendments to improve tree growth.
The farm is the site of vegetable and small fruit variety trials. Recent trials have included tomatoes, pumpkins, green peppers, onions, sweet corn, and strawberries. Researchers at the farm are also trying to improve the transplant quality of muskmelons and to develop new ways to manage corn earworm on sweet corn and powdery mildew on pumpkins.
In addition to these projects, Highmoor Farm serves as the base for UMaine Extension’s apple, strawberry, and sweet corn IPM scouting and nutrient management programs. A recent agreement between the University of Maine and the Maine Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation sets aside some land at the farm to be used for a breeding orchard of American chestnut trees.
The Maine Compost School is offered at Highmoor Farm. The farm is home to a state-of-the-art composting facility where research on agricultural waste management and soil building are being pursued. Participants receive classroom instruction, laboratory experience and hands-on project exercises in this setting.