Maple Blossoms Blooming

There are signs of spring everywhere! The grass is green, maples and daffodils are in bloom, and garlic shoots have pushed through their straw blanket. Incredible Edible is emerging from our winter hibernation as well. Once again, the community can look forward to a bounty of pick-your-own vegetables and herbs growing at the IEM Garden at the Red Barn Motel and at the Milbridge Commons.

Gardener holding tool smiling at camera

Matt Walsh, gardener

We welcome Matt Walsh who is overseeing the pick-your-own garden at the Red Barn Motel this year. He comes to us with lots of experience in both gardening and education. He has cleaned up the garden, and many beds are already planted with peas, carrots, greens, onions, cilantro, parsley and dill. You’ll notice that many of the beds are covered with a lightweight cover to protect the seedlings from cold nights. Matt plans to feature some new herbs that typically grow in Mexico and Central America, as well as growing lots of people’s favorite vegetables like potatoes, beans and tomatoes.

At the Milbridge Commons, gardeners have been cleaning up the gardens and tearing out the last of the sod lining the lower end of the vegetable garden to plant flowers there. The bilingual Ed Flanagan Pollinator Garden educational panels have been installed. The finishing groundwork around the panels will be completed soon. The colorful butterfly fence created by local artist Maeve Perry, is back and ready for fun photo-ops. We expect the port-o-potty to be installed on April 30th for the season.

We’re in the midst of planning a handful of gardening related workshops this growing season. The first, Start Your Own Backyard Garden, will be taught by Janis Lesbines at the Milbridge Commons. In this time of COVID, we will continue to limit in-person attendance to fifteen people and we recommend masks and social distancing. We are looking forward to gathering safely together out in the gardens.

Our collaboration with Elin MacKinnon from the Community Caring Collaborative continues through the monthly gardening blog for families– Seeds and Sprouts— and the Downeast Family Gardens Project, which gives out seeds to families for starting their own gardens. We have given out almost 50 bags of vegetable seeds so far this spring. That’s a lot of gardens growing throughout Washington County!

Collaborating with individuals and groups throughout the downeast region, IEM has helped to launch the Incredible Edible Downeast Network (IEDN), and hosts a page on our website for this budding group. IEDN is a network of free pick-your-own community vegetable gardens, and offers support and resources to downeasters who want to create vegetable gardens for all in their own communities.