Please Welcome Our New Home Horticulture Coordinator

University of Maine Cooperative Extension recently announced that Craig Anthony has joined the Piscataquis County Office as the new Home Horticulture Coordinator.  Craig will be managing the Master Gardener Program in Piscataquis County, teaching home gardening programs, and answering horticultural and agricultural questions.

Anthony came to the area from Boylston, Massachusetts, where

Donna Coffin and Craig Anthony working on the Demonstration Garden raised bed at the office.—photo by Walter Boomsma
Donna Coffin and Craig Anthony working on the Demonstration Garden raised bed at the office.—photo by Walter Boomsma

he was the education director at Tower Hill Botanic Garden operated by the Worcester County Horticulture Society. He earned his Master of Education degree at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire and possesses an undergraduate degree in environmental science from Unity College here in Maine.

A lifelong gardener, Anthony spent many years operating his own landscaping business specializing in historic landscape management, including care of several properties in the Kingston Historic Management District in Rhode Island. Having recently returned to northern New England, Anthony commented, “One thing I do not miss is the plethora of invasive plants.”

Over the years, Anthony assisted his mother in her perennial shade plant business, where he learned the fine arts of dividing plants, weeding and mixing soil. “Anyone can garden, that’s why it is so fun. It is an ongoing learning process that stimulates your mind. And the rewards are significant. The only requirement is that you get your hands dirty,” Anthony said.

Extension Educator Donna Coffin noted that local residents will have an opportunity to meet Anthony and other UMaine Extension staff members at an upcoming “mini-fair” in conjunction with the Valley Grange Wicked Huge Yard and Bake Sale on Saturday, June 16th. Displays will be open from 8 AM until 1 PM and will feature container gardening tips. Nutrition Associate Felicia Dumont will also be there with her huggable vegetables and nutrition Jeopardy Game.

“Extension brings so many resources right to our homes and backyards,” noted Walter Boomsma, president of the Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee. “The very name ‘extension’ says that an important part of our mission is to extend the knowledge base and assets of the University of Maine to a very local level. Extension is about the Maine Food System—from farm to fork! While Craig will be focused on farming and gardening, we have a lot to offer.”

Anthony looks forward to assisting gardeners throughout the Piscataquis County region and answering their gardening questions. To explore the many resources of the Piscataquis County Extension program, stop in to say hello or call the local office at 564-3301 in Maine or 1-800-287-1491.