Workshop will explore climate change’s effect on gardening

ELLSWORTH — The University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Hancock and Washington counties are hosting a Gear Up for Gardening event on Saturday, April 4, from 12:30-4 p.m. at the Moore Community Center in Ellsworth. The event is open to the public.

Organizers say the event grew out of a desire to share how climate change has affected gardening in the area so that local gardeners can adapt their practices in order to build a sustainable, resilient and adaptable local food supply.

The afternoon will start with a panel discussion at 12:30 called “Gardening in a Shifting Climate.” The four panelists are leaders in their areas, from local, organic food production to research around small fruits and berries, to protecting the “forest garden” that is Acadia National Park. They will discuss their observations and experience in how climate change has affected their gardening, research and practices. Topics will include growing season length, water variations, plant varieties that work and old ones that no longer do, new insect challenges and other facets of our biosphere that have been affected by a changing climate.

The panel discussion will be followed by one-hour workshops. Participants can sign up for two out of the six offered. Topics include the Incredible Edible Milbridge program, growing your best veggies or raspberries, biodiversity in local gardens, seed dispersal and organic practices to deal with climate change.

Information stations, including an “Ask a Master Gardener Volunteer” table, will be set up in the building’s atrium. A slideshow will highlight the work Master Gardener Volunteers do throughout Hancock and Washington counties. There will be an extensive display of bonsai trees and Greg Mekras will talk to guests about how to grow bonsai.

There are currently 140 Master Gardener Volunteers in Washington and Hancock counties.

Admission to the Gear Up for Gardening event is $15 for adults and $10 for students. Pre-register (required) at For more information, call 667-8212 or (800) 287-1479.

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