A Gal From Texas Comes To Maine

Howdy from Texas! My name is Anna Guillory and I’m a WWOOF volunteer (what’s WWOOF? Check that out here!) who has spent the last ten days at Fernwood Nursery with my lovely, lovely hosts, Denise and Rick. I recently graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Art Education. I wanted to take the time to WWOOF the summer before starting a job teaching high school art and I decided that Fernwood was the right fit. I first heard about WWOOFing from my cousin at the disinterested age of 14 and never thought I’d be doing it now. Through school, I became interested in learning about sustainable living and organic gardening and I was making artwork centered around these ideas. I thought WWOOFing would be a good way for me to inform myself as an artist, as well as bringing back some insights to my future classroom and students. Increasing one’s knowledge of gardening, the biology of plants, and how things grow, etc. can often give us a much better understanding of how we look at things in the world. My WWOOF experience has helped accomplish this and being here at Fernwood has inspired me to look at things in the natural world more closely. I found Fernwood Nursery back in March when their WWOOF site had posted that they were looking for volunteers. Being an artist, I was really interested in how Denise works with her sheep. Fibers and textiles are something I have always wanted to learn more about, and I was equally interested in the farm and nursery aspect. It was a win-win! I’ve heard beautiful things about Maine, and wanted to see another part of the States. All that being said, it has blown me away! Aside from my interests in coming to learn and experience farming, it has been an incredibly healing place for me to be before beginning a new season of life after college. Working with Denise and Rick and learning from them, as well as just being on their property, has grounded me and been a rejuvenating experience. I had almost thought I wasn’t going to be able to come to Maine but Denise and Rick were flexible with my change in dates, and have proven to be ever too generous with my needs. I’m glad to know they will always be people I can count on and available to me. Denise asked if I would write 10 things I’ve learned during my stay. If you do the math right, that’s one thing a day, but I know there are many more things I could list and I am certain I will only continue to build upon them after returning to my life in Texas.There are also some photos included of some great outings and projects, so enjoy!

Ten things:

1.Ephemeral plants bloom in early spring and often go dormant in the late summer months ( this I did not know!!)

2.How to make a hyper-tufa vessel ( I’ll be carrying a mini hyper-tufa vessel home with me, yee ha!)

3.Weeds can be edible ( like purslane and lamb’s quarters and chickweed!!) and super good for you!!

4.How to make Beet and Fruit Kvass ( yum, yum, thank you, wise woman, Liz!!)

5.How to make lemon balm pesto with freshly picked garlic scapes

6.Felting with wool from Denise’s Blue Face Leicester sheep

7.Skirting a fleece

8.The importance of seed saving ! (oh my, how very, very important! I watched this while at Fernwood, SEED: The Untold Story)

9.What a hula-hoe is and how to use it ( and boy did I use it!)

10.Not all flying things ( bugs) are harmful, only some. (and only if you develop a phobia and run like the dickens to escape them)<

In addition, while here in Maine, I also traveled to Rogues Bluff with a Teardrop trailer, hiked a local trail (Haystack mountain) and picked wild blueberries, learned to shingle an outbuilding on the farm, learned some plant propagation techniques, harvested vegetables and herbs, and had the pleasure of mingling with some of the local community and to discover how welcoming and friendly Maine people are!
Now back to Texas where I’ll be certainly pondering all the wonderful experiences and things I learned during my time in Maine. My wish is to call upon all of the valuable lessons learned from my WWOOF experience and to apply them as best and often as I can in my life back in Texas. Have a great summer, my Maine friends!

A trip Downeast for a picnic with the teardrop trailer!

A super yummy picnic, that is!!

A hike up Haystack just a mile from Fernwood!

Build A Planter!!

Build A Hypertufa Planter
Sunday,July 9th, 2017 , 1:00-3:00 Cost: $45.00, materials included

Join us here at Fernwood Nursery for a class on designing and constructing your own hypertufa vessel. Hypertufa is a lightweight medium often used in molding pots, troughs, and planters. Learn the basic ingredients for a hypertufa mix and about the various forms that can be used to create unique and natural looking outdoor planters.
Come build your own, then take it home for planting!
Tea and freshly baked scones will be served.
Class limit 10 and preregistration required. Please call us at (207) 589-4726 or email us at fernwoodnursery@fairpoint.net. You may also contact us here.

Hypertufa…A Little More Advanced

Picture 2628We’re offering another hypertufa building class here at Fernwood on Sunday, June 12th, from 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon. This time, we’ll be learning to construct a vessel using a mold. Instead of the free-form method we have taught many times in the past, we’ll be providing the mold for you to make a medium side rectangular planter. The mold and the materials will be included in the class…and you get to take home your mold to use over and over again!Picture 2609 Come join us for an afternoon of learning and building! And of course, scones and tea will be served. If you’d like to know more about hypertufa you can check out this post. All information regarding this upcoming class can be found on our ‘classes and more’page.
Happy Spring to everyone!!

One last Time!

Picture 974One last hypertufa class will be offered for the season. For all those who didn’t get a chance to build their own hypertufa this summer, a class will be offered on Sunday, August 23rd, from 1:00 -3:00. Come learn the process of building a hypertufa and leave with your very own vessels to plant in. As usual, freshly baked scones and tea will be served. There are 10 spots available, please call or email us if you’d like to join in ( fernwoodnursery@fairpoint.net) and check out this posting for more information on hypertufa.

Picture 1142The next hypertufa building class will be happening on Sunday, June 28th from 1:00 to 3:00. If you’d like to learn how to build your very own hypertufa pot, enjoy conversation with other gardeners, and nibble on homemade scones, consider signing up. It’s a fun time and a great opportunity to learn a new skill.
Everyday we plant a little more in the vegetable garden. Out of the three gardens we use to raise vegetables, the front garden is always planted with a few flowers among the edibles. I’ve always done this. Herbs, flowers, and vegetables all mingle together in this particular site. It’s my favorite garden ( aside from the ornamental beds). The other two are strictly for vegetables. All in all we grow about a 1/2 an acre of vegetables. I thought this year we would scale down, our household has fewer eaters in it now, but the reduction hasn’t happened. Even though both kids have their own place, they still show up and ‘shop’ here. They know where to get really great organic food……cheap ( from mom!). Fine with me, otherwise I may not see them for weeks! When you’re hungry, go home, mom will always feed you.

Still Time!

There’s still time to sign up for this weekends hypertufa building class! We have two spots open. The class is on Saturday, May 23rd, from 1:00 -3:00 pm. It’s a great time to visit the nursery, to learn how to make hypertufa pots, and enjoy an afternoon of tea and scones!
Happy gardening to everyone!

Things Are Coming Along!

Picture 924

Corydalis solida

Corydalis solida

Here are a few things that are coming along in the gardens these days. We so enjoy working around the nursery and cleaning up the display beds, each day we are able to bear witness of any new growth or blooms. So exciting.
Rheum ' Red Herald'

Rheum ‘ Red Herald’

one of the ornamental larches we have growing in the garden

one of the ornamental larches we have growing in the garden

Remember, the nursery opens on the 9th of May. We’ll be looking forward to visitors and talking plants! Also, there are still a few spots open for the hypertufa class at the end of this month ( May 23rd). Enjoy the warmth and sunshine everyone!

Spring Hypertufa Class

Picture 896Fernwood will be offering it’s first hypertufa class of the season on Saturday, May 23rd from 1:00-3:00.Picture 890 This is a fun, hands-on class, and often fills up quickly. Participants will go home with their own hypertufa vessel to plant for the season. Check out our classes page for more information and to register for the class. Tea and scones will be served, come join us!Picture 906

More Vessels

Picture 1156This past Saturday we hosted another class on hypertufa building. A great bunch of folks came to learn the process, and then built their own vessel. It was great, and we were so lucky to have our dog Miller standing guard over the scones while we were busy building. He is so loyal about such things! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Classes! Still Some Spots Left!

Picture 974Just a reminder of some of the upcoming classes here at Fernwood Nursery. Our next hypertufa class is scheduled for Saturday, July 26th from 10:00 – 12:00. We had a grand time building hypertufa vessels back in June. We gathered around the teardrop trailer while enjoying homemade scones and tea, while Rick gave a brief introduction on hypertufa. Next we got busy building our vessels. Everyone went home with their own stone-like creation to plant with their favorite miniatures. Those interested in our hypertufa class should call or email us as soon as possible. (What’s hypertufa?…check out this post to find out). We still have a few spots left and preregistration is required. For more details, check out our Classes page. And of course, tea and scones will be served for your enjoyment.

Also, an adult Fairy Garden workshop will be offered Friday, August 1st from 10:00-12:00. Liza Gardner Walsh, author of Fairy House Handbook and Fairy Garden Handbook, will be joining us here at Fernwood Nursery to talk about the history of fairy gardens and lead a workshop building miniature fairy ‘accessories’. Come join Liza here in the gardens at Fernwood to make your own tiny trellis, garden bench, or miniature arbor to take home and put in your own fairy garden. Tea and lavender shortbread cookies will be served in the garden. For more information, visit our Classes page. Again, space is limited and preregistration is required. Contact us for more information. Hope to see you in the garden!