May was cold and dry, but we were happy to see rain finally falling at the end of the month! Cold weather has meant that we have held off planting many seedlings that like the warmer weather or that could be killed by a frost. June is bringing us temperatures in the seventies and moderate night-time temperatures, which will make it possible to get those seedlings in — so stay tuned!
At the IEM Garden at the Red Barn Motel, many beds are still covered with light weight row cover; however, if you look carefully, you can see the greenery of seedlings growing inside that protective tunnel. You’ll notice the peas (which don’t need any cover) are several inches tall. Rhubarb is producing and people have been coming to cut a few stalks. Radishes are ready to pick! Hopefully some visitors to this garden are having a chance to chat with Matt as he tends seedlings and plants new beds. Do stop by!
Things are hopping at the Milbridge Commons. Beds are prepared, soil has been enriched with compost and amendments, and a beautiful spiral bed has been created in the lower garden next to the Children’s Garden. Janis and her team have the garden in great shape and have been waiting for warmer weather to transplant the hundreds of seedlings that Janis has tended at her home for the Commons. In response to the presence of deer at the Commons, and thanks to generous donors, we have installed an electric fence around part of the far perimeter of the property. The fence is solar powered and is set to be on at night when the deer roam and off during the day when people visit. (A HUGE shout out to Brian Dyer Stewart who helped us install the fence!)
A magical new feature at the Commons is the Little Free Library that sits next to the Children’s Garden. We thank community member, Aaron Dvorkin, for his artistry and skill in crafting what looks like a quaint tree house growing by the garden. Open the glass door and you’ll find a delightful display of books for kids related to gardening and nature. Take a book, leave a book! Peas and onions are starting to come up in the children’s garden, along with a handful of sunflowers that self-sowed from last year.
Jen Raineville has been preparing and planting the pocket gardens around the downtown. Because of COVID, Narraguagus Bay Health Care Facility declined having IEM beds last year, but they have welcomed us back this yea! Keep an eye out for greenery in the containers and raised bed gardens in front of the nursing home. These beds are for the pleasure of the residents.
We had our first free IEM workshop of the season on May 29th, led bt Janis Lesbines. A small group of stalwart participants gathered to learn all they could from Janis’ decades of gardening experience – even though it was cold and a little wet
We have had a lot of community support for Incredible Edible. This month, we were especially grateful for Wyman’s of Maine and the Maine Community Foundation. We couldn’t do what we do without the help of foundations, local business support, generous donors and the many volunteers in our community.
- Thanks to a generous donation from Wyman’s, WHRL purchased a greenhouse last fall, and in the past couple weeks, a crew from Wyman’s has completed construction of the greenhouse which lives behind our building at 87 Main St. Deep thanks to Wyman’s for the financial and worker support for this project. It will expand our educational opportunities and extend our growing season.
- We are grateful to the Maine Community Foundation for awarding Incredible Edible Milbridge a $10,000 grant this spring to support our work. Read the full press release here.
And finally, thank you to all the volunteer harvesters, who come to the IEM Gardens to pick-your-own vegetables for dinner. You are an important part of this team! Though you may only find rhubarb, radishes and some herbs to harvest right now, keep stopping by both gardens, watch them change and grow, and be ready to harvest for your dinner as vegetables come ripe. Remember — “If you eat, you’re in!”