Interest in home gardening growing

2 mins read

WEST FARMINGTON – The first annual Franklin Scion and Seed Swap held at the Farmington Grange today was a big hit. Experienced gardeners and orchardists arrived in droves with last year’s new growth twig cuttings from fruits trees, along with carefully labeled seeds saved from their gardens to trade. Novice gardeners also arrived with lots of how-to questions and to pick up locally-grown seeds and scion wood. Grangers with Dave Fuller of the University of Maine Extension, pictured above, at center, with Wes and Richard Marble of the Marble Family Farm in Farmington,  gave grafting demonstrations and answered all the many questions. Grafting scions is a way to have many different varieties of fruit on the same tree. 

Fuller said the biggest crowd of more than 35 arrived at the 10 a.m. swap opening to get their choice of scion. Organizers Fuller and Bonnie Clark had been to the annual scion and seed swap held in Unity by MOFGA and thought a similar event should be held here.

Overall, there has been a renewed interest in home gardening, Fuller said. Questions coming in to the Extension on how to get a started or trouble-shooting what went wrong have increased tenfold. A five-part series of classes on gardening held in Rangeley, Kingfield, Phillips and Farmington last month, had 55 people attending class while many more had to be turned away to keep the class size manageable.

The downturn in the economy, food price increases and interest in knowing where the family’s food comes from is thought to have sparked the big interest.

“People are asking a lot of questions because there is a need to make their garden work,” Fuller said. All this returning to the garden, he added, is a very healthy thing to see.      


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