Many people compost in their backyard but have little or no understanding of the biological principles of composting. The consequence is the use of inappropriate structures for composting.  The use of compost in gardens also will be discussed. This program will address many of the myths and how to get the best benefits for the compost created.

Mark Hutchinson is an Extension Professor with the University of Maine. His education and research programs focus on soil health, compost processes and animal mortality management. Professor Hutchinson is a member of the Maine Compost Team, a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Fellow and a Certified Crop Advisory. Currently, he is involved in numerous research projects funded through Organic Research and Extension Initiative funds.  Mark has been with the University for over 17 years.

The Belfast Garden Club has selected two scholarship recipients for 2017, with each receiving $1,000. They are Kaylen Ottman and Ethan Jacobs. Kaylen is a graduating senior at Belfast Area High School where she has been in the National Honor Society and co-captain of the Varsity Swim Team. Ethan successfully designed his own high school program. He is in the top 25 percent of seniors graduating with the American School of Correspondence. In 2016-17 he captained the Mount View Soccer Team.

Kaylen plans to major in biology at the University of Maine and minor in Environmental Studies & Sustainability and Climate Sciences. Ethan has been accepted to the University of Maine’s Forestry Resources Program, where he plans to study the interconnection between the economy and forest ecology. Both have been active in civic and volunteer programs.

Belfast Garden Club scholarships are awarded to students who are pursuing a degree in a field related to the Club’s objectives: stimulating knowledge and love of gardening, protecting native flora and fauna and promoting civic beautification.

On behalf of the Belfast Garden Club, Sally Shure, chair of the club's Book Committee, presents a donation of gardening and horticultural related books to Steve Norman, director of the Belfast Free Library.
On behalf of the Belfast Garden Club, Sally Shure, chair of the club's Book Committee, presents a donation of gardening and horticultural related books to Steve Norman, director of the Belfast Free Library.

In 2016, the Belfast Garden Club donated the following new garden and horticulture books to the Belfast Free Library. The books were purchased with funds raised at the Green Thumb Plant Sale held in May.

Adult Books
Adams, George.  2013.  Gardening for the Birds:  How to Create a Bird-friendly Backyard.  Portland OR, Timber Press.  444pp.
Baldwin, Debra Lee.  2013.  Succulents Simplified:  Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-care Varieties.  Portland OR, Timber Press.  272pp.
Darke, Rick and Doug Tallamy.  2014.  The Living Landscape:  Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden.  Portland OR. Timber Press. 392 pp.
Gracie, Carol.  2012.  Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast:  A Natural History. Princeton Univ. Press.  272pp.
Keys, Andrew and Kerry Michaels.  2015.  Growing the Northeast Garden.  Portland OR, Timber Press.
McDowell, Marta.  2016.  All the Presidents'Gardens:  Madison's Cabbages to Kennedy's Roses--How the White House Grounds have grown with America.  Portland OR Timberpress.  336 pp.
Soule, Deb.  2013.  How to Move Like a Gardner:  Planting and Preparing Medicines from Plants.  Steiner Books. 256pp.
William, Thomas R.  2015. The Art of Gardening:  Design, Inspiration, and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer.  Timber Press.  Portland OR. 338pp.

Books for Children
Aalto, Catherine. 2015.  The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh.  Timberpress. 308 pp.
Worth, Bernie & Aristedes Ruiz.  2001. O Say Can You Seed?  All About Flowering Plants.  

The library displays the new books for public perusal before placing them on the shelves for circulation.

The Belfast Garden Club fosters the acquisition of knowledge of gardening and protection of native flora and fauna. The club has promoted civic beautification since 1929. The club welcomes new members and volunteers year round and extends a warm welcome to all.

(left to right):
Troy Howard May 27, 2016 005

Back - Westley Dyer, Maury Hepner (Garden Club member and community volunteer), Corliss Davis (Garden Club President), David Wessels (Troy Howard Garden Coordinator)

Front - Gracie Coombs (with Hoohah the bunny), Haley Wood, Kaydee Pearse, Mason Paul, Eiyah Jackson, and Alex Gerrish.

On Thursday, May 27 the Belfast Garden Club was delighted to present a check for $500 to David Wessels for the "Get Growing!" program at Troy Howard Middle School. The check will be used for scholarships to support 15-20 summer student interns. Mostly 6th to 8th graders, they will work from June 20 to July 28.

There is a new way to enjoy "Our Town Belfast." Have you heard about the Belfast in-town nature trail? Co-sponsored by the Belfast Garden Club, members of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition mapped out and created the five mile walking trail. To download a copy of the trail map and guide, go to www.belfastbaywatershed.org and click on Learn More About Us, then Belfast In-Town Nature Trail Map and Guide.

Donna Busch from the Belfast Garden Club presents gardening books for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Project to Bill Browning, Community Resource Coordinator. Photo by Martha Laitin
Donna Busch from the Belfast Garden Club presents gardening books for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Project to Bill Browning, Community Resource Coordinator. Photo by Martha Laitin

Belfast Garden Club members showed support for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Program by donating instructive books to the Reentry Center’s library on growing vegetables and preparing nutritious meals after harvesting the bountiful food.  Club members gave books from their personal collections and purchased new books for the project.  The books will be available to residents at the Reentry Center’s library in Belfast to assist them in learning gardening techniques for northern climate gardens, general good gardening principles, and using the produce in the kitchen to make healthy meals.