August 2018
Your Monthly News & Updates

Hello friends-
My apologies for not getting this out at the first of the month. It did give me a chance to add information about the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in the "August is the month to..." section.
Summer ain't over yet! Enjoy!
-Trisha Smith
Home Horticulture Community Education Assistant, Piscataquis County

August is the month to...  
By Tori Lee Jackson, Associate Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties, and Trisha Smith, Community Education Assistant (Home Horticulture), Piscataquis County   
Stay ahead of sweet corn pests. Learn how to identify and prevent caterpillars from enjoying your long-awaited sweet corn crop with Bulletin #5101, Managing Insect Pests of Sweet Corn.
Save some of your larger garlic bulbs for replanting this fall. For more information about growing garlic, see Bulletin #2063, Growing Hardneck Garlic in Your Maine Garden. If you haven't grown it before (or you just want to eat all you grew), you can find certified seed on the Maine Seed Garlic Directory
Go to the Fair! There are 25 licensed agricultural fairs in Maine. Check out fair dates and make plans!  
Attend a workshop and learn how to extend your growing season, safely cook for crowds, make blueberry jam, and more. To see what's happening in your area, check out the UMaine events calendar for August
Shop at farmers' markets! Maine has a vibrant farmers' market scene in many communities throughout the state. Find one near you.
Check your trees for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), a destructive invasive pest that kills trees. The Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America's hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash and poplar trees. Infested trees need to be removed to keep the beetle from spreading to nearby trees; ALB-afflicted trees will eventually die. To learn more about ALB, and to report an infestation, visit the USDA APHIS (Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service) website.
Keep an eye out for invasive species. In addition to some nasty insect pests, we are also seeing an influx of invasive plants in our landscapes. (Cow parsnip, anyone?) If you see something unfamiliar or concerning, get it identified at your local UMaine Extension county office and learn how to safely eradicate it before it has a chance to spread. Plant samples or photos of plants for identification should include as much information as possible: leaf shape, how the leaves are arranged on the stem, flowers or fruits, growth habit, site conditions (sun, shade, sandy, wet, dry, etc.), and other unique characteristics. Please do not collect a physical sample if the plant is growing singly or you suspect it to be poisonous (photos only). The Maine Natural Areas Program has a list of Maine Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for reference as well. 
  Fix your lawn. Have some trouble spots or interested in reseeding your entire lawn? Mid-August through September is the best time of year to establish new grass. Check out Bulletin #2367,   Establishing a Home Lawn in Maine, Bulletin #2243, Maintaining a Home Lawn in Maine, and Bulletin #2166, Steps to a Low-Input, Healthy Lawn for tips and step-by-step instructions. Consider converting part of your lawn to meadow to attract and support biodiversity. 

Start Monitoring for Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) if you have summer-ripening fruits. Late season raspberries and elderberries are favorites of this invasive fruit fly. Learn how to make simple Spotted Wing Drosophila Traps. To see SWD counts in our traps, you can find weekly updates from Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist, David Handley on this Highmoor Farm blog.

Work smarter. Consider looking into adaptive tools to help you become more efficient in the garden. A simple switch to a lightweight hose, movable seat, or ergonomic hand tool can be a real game changer.  
Keep planting vegetables like beets, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, turnip, and more for a fall crop. There's a handy chart in our Master Gardener Volunteers Manual to help you plan. 
Upcoming Events and Activities-
Do you know of a class, activity, or event that may interest gardeners in Piscataquis, Penobscot, or Somerset Counties? Please forward information to for possible inclusion in our next newsletter.
Check UMaine Extension's calendar for educational opportunities all over the state  

  • August 18-Slice It, Salt It, Stomp It! Learn to preserve food with lacto-fermentation. Ripley Farm, 62 Merrill's Mills Rd., Dover-Foxcroft. Free.
  • August 18, 25- Frogs, Fish, and Flies! interactive program for kids and families. Daicey Pond Campground, Baxter State Park, Millinocket. 10-11 am.
    August 19, 26-Walk With a Ranger Exploring the Forest Floor interactive program for kids and others. Niagara Falls trail, Baxter State Park, Millinocket, 10-11am.
  • August 20-Grow it Green: Preserving Your Garden Produce, 5 pm, MOFGA Education Center, Unity. By donation, space is limited. Please RSVP to
  • August 23-26-Piscataquis Valley Fair, Dover-Foxcroft.
  • September 8-Fall Field Day at Rogers Farm, Bennoch Rd., Old Town. 10-1. Free.
  • September 8-Wild Edibles Plant Walk with David Spahr. Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden. $20 Audubon members/$30 non-members.
  • September 21-23-Common Ground Country Fair, Unity, ME.
  • September 22-Mushroom Foray with Maine State Mycologist Seanna Annis. Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Old Town. Adults $15/$12 members. $5/kids 12 and under. Register by Sept. 21
  • October 6-7-Maine Forest and Logging Museum Living History Days, Bradley. 10-4 both days. $10 adults/$5 kids 12 and under.
Now is a Great Time to Take Stem Cuttings
Adapted by Kate Garland, Horticulturist, UMaine Extension Penobscot County, from "Propagating Plants by Cuttings" by Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT),
Gardens are in full swing, plants have a lot of lush new growth, and you may have a little extra potting soil kicking around. Therefore, now is a great time to experiment with taking stem cuttings to create new plants. Stem cuttings are a fun way to propagate many of your garden favorites to enjoy indoors over the winter, save yourself a little money on purchasing plants next season, or give to others as gifts.
Propagating plants from cuttings is one of the easiest and most used methods of propagation. Many plants will root from just a section of a plant. Some plants will root in water, but cuttings will develop a better root system when rooted in a soilless potting mix. Sand or perlite can also be used, especially for cuttings that need good drainage and may rot if kept too wet. Many easy-to-root plants, such as those in the mint family (coleus, oregano, basil, etc.), will not require the use of a rooting hormone. Some plants may root very slowly or not at all without the use of a rooting hormone. Numerous books and online resources are available with information on best propagation methods for specific plants, or you can call your local Extension office to discuss your propagation project. 
Plant Profile: Anemone 'Honorine Jobert'
By Liz Stanley, Horticulture Community Education Assistant, UMaine Extension Knox and Lincoln Counties
Photo courtesy of Liz Stanley
This is a plant to look forward to in late summer as it blossoms profusely into the shortening days of fall. Anenome 'Honorine Jobert' has elegant white flowers on tall, delicate stems, which move gracefully in the slightest breeze. Also called "Windflower," the genus name is probably derived from the Greek word anemos, meaning wind.

  Volunteering with UMaine Cooperative Extension

Contact your County Extension office to ask how you can help.
Volunteers are essential to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension achieving its mission to bring University research to people in our communities. Master Gardener Volunteers, 4-H Leaders and advisors, and County Extension Associations are some ways to get involved. Orientation and required trainings are available online. Explore the Cooperative Extension Volunteers page and/or contact your County office to indicate your interest.
Penobscot County
307 Maine Avenue
Bangor, ME 04401-4331
Phone: 207.942.7396 or 800.287.1485 (in Maine)
Piscataquis County
165 East Main Street
Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426
Phone: 207.564.3301 or 800.287.1491 (in Maine)
Somerset County
7 County Drive
Skowhegan, ME 04976-4209
Phone: 207.474.9622 or 800.287.1495 (in Maine)


Rogers Farm Master Gardener Demonstration Garden sign

Master Gardener Volunteers: It's important that our county, state, and federal funders know about your efforts and impact in our communities. Choose the link to the online form for the county where you were trained (unless you have made other arrangements):


Volunteer Spotlight: Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum   
By Julie Clark, UMaine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum, located at the intersection of Route 2 and Annis Road in Hermon, is home to abundant flowers, shrubs, trees and wildlife, the result of many years of care, nurturing and protection by Ruth and Howard Crosby. The name "Ecotat" was formed by combining portions of the words "ecological" and "habitat" to describe the land developed by the Crosbys. Approximately eight acres are home to hundreds of perennials, including daylily beds, peonies and roses, a garden bridge, a fairy garden maintained by the local Girl Scout troop, irises, flowering shrubs, and numerous other plants. The woodland trail includes well-labeled Maine native trees.
View of Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum

The project began in 1980 as Crosby Gardens, when Howard retired and he and Ruth developed their labor of love by clearing old fields, planting trees, and starting flower beds.

    Learn more about Ecotat Gardens and Arboretum

Food & Nutrition: Preserving Tomatillos
Photo by Edwin Remsberg  
By Kathy Savoie, MS, RD, Associate Extension Professor, UMaine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County
Too many tomatillos (or green tomatoes) on hand? You may want to consider preserving one of my favorite green salsa recipes found below. Enjoy!

Tomatillo Green Salsa

  • 5 cups chopped tomatillos
  • 1-½ cups seeded, chopped long green chiles
  • ½ cup seeded, finely chopped jalapeño peppers
  • 4 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup bottled lemon or lime juice
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano leaves (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Volunteer and Employment Opportunities 

There is always a need for quality activities for kids. 4-H is a great way to share your interests and skills with the younger generation. If you're interested in working with youth, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer leader. Learn more about 4-H here, and find out what it takes to be a volunteer.
It's Fair season! There are many opportunities for volunteering with your county's UMaine Extension: help set up or clean up the exhibit hall, evaluate 4-H exhibits, greet and chat with folks interested in Extension's programs. Contact 4-H staff in your county office.        

County Extension Association Executive Committees are crucial to the success of Extension in our communities. In partnership with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension staff, the Executive Committee of each County Extension Association assists with providing input on local educational programming needs, helps hire staff, and oversees the county budget appropriations that support educational Extension programs for county residents. Read more here, and contact your county's UMaine Cooperative Extension office.

Shared Earthly Blessings on Route 23 in Dexter (the Ripley Road) is a volunteer run garden producing free fruit and vegetables for seniors. Stop by and check us out the next time you are driving by the gazebo on the hill. See our new permaculture layout and what community gardening can do! Regular work days are Tuesdays and Fridays at 9 am. For more information call John Gornall at 207.924.5232.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension has employment opportunities across the state. Find the list here.

The Maine Food System, What's That?
University of Maine Cooperative Extension helps support, sustain, and grow the $3.9 billion food-based economy in Maine. We are the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. Read more here.

Map graphic of elements of Maine Food System
Graphic by Michael Mendoza
If you eat, you are part of the Maine Food System!

You may also be growing food for yourself and/or others, supporting farmers' markets and CSAs, volunteering at food cupboards, community meals, or soup kitchens. If you aren't, we're trying to make it easier for you to get involved.
Organizations that address food insecurity with distributions of free food and meals exist in most communities. Many welcome volunteers as well as donations of food, including fresh garden produce in season. Access to refrigeration and timing of food distributions can limit an organization's ability to accept donations. It is best to contact them first. With this in mind, we aim to provide a comprehensive list of these organizations. Please do not hesitate to email with additional or corrected information.

The Maine Food Atlas is an interactive mapping project created by the Maine Network of Community Food Councils and the Center for Community GIS. Explore or even contribute-The Maine Food Atlas relies on individuals to submit and update listings.

Click here to see a list of organizations tackling food insecurity in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Somerset Counties.    
orgs Organizations of Interest
Click the links to learn more, find a chapter near you, and get involved.

The Garden Club Federation of Maine  National Garden Clubs, Inc. provides education, resources and national networking opportunities for its members, to promote the love of gardening, floral design, civic and environmental responsibility.
  Good Shepherd Food Bank In addition to distributing food to Mainers in need, the Food Bank is leading a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships. Good Shepherd welcomes you to join in this effort.
Hirundo Wildlife Refuge is a 2,400 acre nature preserve spanning Pushaw and Dead Streams, Lac d'Or, vast wetlands (including a gently raised bog), Silver Maple Floodplain Forest, mixed hardwood and evergreen forests. Accessible by canoe and trails.

Maine Audubon is a member-based organization that engages people in conservation, education and advocacy to advance wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine.

Maine Federation of Farmers' Markets' mission is to cultivate a vibrant, sustainable farmers' market community as a vital part of Maine's local food network. The Federation works with farmers, consumers, and communities to make wholesome, locally-grown foods available to all residents, to educate consumers about food resources, and to support farm viability.

Maine Gleaning Network A collaborative farm surplus rescue effort gathering crops from Maine's fields and engaging communities in resourceful and equitable food system activities . 
Maine Mycological Association  is devoted to a better understanding of mushrooms and our environment.  MMA is also affiliated with the North American Mycological Association (NAMA).
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) The purpose of the Association is to help farmers and gardeners: grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.

Maine State Beekeepers Association
Northern Penobscot County Beekepers Association
The Grange provides opportunities for individuals and families to develop to their highest potential in order to build stronger communities and states, as well as a stronger nation. To inquire about finding a nearby Grange, contact Walter Boomsma at 

Transition Towns
The Transition Movement is comprised of vibrant, grassroots community initiatives that seek to build community resilience in the face of such challenges as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis. Transition Initiatives differentiate themselves from other sustainability and "environmental" groups by seeking to mitigate these converging global crises by engaging their communities in home-grown, citizen-led education, action, and multi-stakeholder planning to increase local self reliance and resilience.  
Transition Skowhegan meets every 1st Thursday at 6 pm, Skowhegan Public Library.
Contact Iver Lofving 474-7370 or Jason Tessier 474-4380
Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition (DDATT) meets every first Friday at 6 pm, Abbott Memorial Library, Dexter. Contact Sam Brown 277-4221 or email 

Wild Seed Project works to increase the use of [Maine] native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaption in the face of climate change, safeguard wildlife habitat, and create pollination and migration corridors for insects and birds. Check out their Native Plant Blog.

Maine Agriculture in the Classroom promotes the understanding of agriculture and natural resources among students, educators, and the general public. Curricula and resources for educators and others working with young people. Check out newsletters and/or subscribe here.

Maine Farm to School Network supports the rapidly spreading farm to school movement in Maine. This network knits together a wide diversity of students, teachers, school nutritionists, parents, farmers and groups who support child nutrition and Maine agriculture. Search their resource database, join the network.  

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is the major educational outreach program of the University of Maine with offices statewide. UMaine Extension provides Maine people with research-based educational programs to help them live fuller, more productive lives.
Quick Links

Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other suitable products or firms.
Donna Coffin, Extension Educator

Kate Garland, Horticulturist 

Kathy Hopkins, Extension Educator

Trisha Smith, Community Education Assistant

The goal of the Central Maine Gardening Newsletter is to connect gardeners with resources and events that encourage and inform.
T he University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.

 Click on one of these icons to follow our posts.

Like us on Facebook Piscataquis County         Like us on Facebook Penobscot County       Like us on Facebook Somerset County        
Penobscot Office - website 
Open Monday - Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm
307 Maine Ave. Bangor, ME  04401  207-942-7396 or 800-287-1485
Piscataquis Office  - website 
Open Monday, Thursday, Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm,
Open By-chance on Wednesday , Closed Tuesday 
165 East Main St. Dover-Foxcroft, ME  04426  207-564-3301 or 800-287-1491 
Somerset Office  - website 
Open Monday - Friday
8 am to 4:30 pm 
7 County Drive Skowhegan, ME  04976-3117 Phone: 207.474.9622 or 800.287.1495 (in Maine)