FYI: Article About Compost Facility

By MOLLY WALSH  7 Days reporter

The stink at the compost facility on Redmond Road, the largest in the state, emerged last summer as it received increasing amounts of organic waste because of an expansive recycling law passed in 2012.

Click here for the complete 7 Days article.

Posted in Uncategorized

Across the Fence

Tuesday, October 13th
Wrapping up the Gardening and Landscaping Season
–Leonard Perry, UVM Extension Horticulturist and Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Plant Diagnostic Clinic Director  Watch all our shows online shortly after they air at:

Posted in Uncategorized

The Office “Dirt”……behind the scenes

Heather – 

Happy Leaf-Peeping, Master Gardeners!

The gardening season really flew by this year! We will be finishing off the 2015 Master Composter class this Thursday evening, and moving right into preparations for the 2016 Extension Master Gardener class. I’ve been traveling to meet with local Chapters to discuss ways we can engage the students in face-to-face interactions now that we will be using an online course format. I appreciate all of your ideas and enthusiasm for taking advantage of this transition to streamline and improve the program. Each Chapter truly has an opportunity to take ownership for how to make the new format work given local preferences and conditions, which can be vastly different across the state. Thank you for your commitment to building the Master Gardener community!

In other exciting news, we have an undergraduate Food Systems Intern this year. Aidan Wahl will be working in the state office all year, for about 10 hours per week, earning UVM credits. Aidan will be primarily working on VT Master Composter activities, and has really hit the ground running. I’ve asked her to write her own “Office Dirt,” so I’ll let her introduce herself. We are thrilled to welcome Aidan to the team!

Aidan – 

Hello! My name is Aidan Wahl and I am the first undergraduate Food Systems Intern this year! As an environmental studies major, with a food systems minor I am passionate about dedicating my time at the University of Vermont to creating a sustainable future. Through this internship I intend to incorporate my passion for food justice and environmental education with building a greater skill base working on the complexities of our food system on a local level. Food recovery holds a great deal of importance within our food system in Vermont, as well as throughout the world. As I enter my internship I would like to use my knowledge of the food cycle to bring more awareness to the Master Composter program. In order to build resilience within a community where there are people hungry, and resources being wasted there must be knowledge built around the food cycle. Creating a cyclical system is crucial to initiate a food system that is beneficial for all living things. In my first few weeks in the Master Composter office I have been dedicating my time to recreating the Master Composter brochures to make them a more accessible guide for the public. I am extremely excited to be working with the Master Composter team and to see what this year has in store for us! Happy composting!


Lisa –

The past two months went by way too fast! July and August included the following list of accomplishments:

*Composter Course – preparing the website with course registration information, promoting the course, tracking course registrations, preparing and circulation of student and site facilitator materials, setting up student and site facilitator listservs, preparing the student page syllabus on the website, assisting students with questions, weekly updates to the course student page with lecture recordings, etc.

*Preparing display boards and materials for several EMG Info table events at fairs, farmers’ markets, special events, etc.

*Daily monitoring and circulation of emails from volunteers, students, general public, etc.

*Assist helpline and plant diagnostic clinic with specimen submissions, etc.

*Other routine office procedures.

*Vacation – 2 weeks in August!!


Trish –

I will soon be emailing project leaders a link to a survey about your projects.  The survey results are shared with the Steering Team for your chapter and is a valuable tool for them to update the list of EMG projects.  The survey does not have a lot of questions and is very easy to navigate, so if you are a project leader, please respond.  It is very helpful to your fellow EMGs.

The Advisory Board meeting is October 20th.  It is the one time of year when representatives from all the chapters convene and discuss topics related to VT EMG.  Generally there are 2 slots for each chapter and not all chapters have had a presence in the past.  If you would like to become involved, contact the representatives from your chapter and ask if there is an opening.  If this does happen, please notify Lisa and she can add you to the advisory list.  You are welcome to attend even if you are not a board member and may be able to carpool with those who are attending.  If there are any issues you’d like to address, please email me or your advisory board rep.  The email addresses and names can all be found on our website as well as complete information on the function of advisory board.

One last note:  If you are working on fulfilling your continuing education requirement and access the webinars on our website and are having difficulty getting them to play – you need to have the correct program or app on your device.  There is nothing wrong with the content.  It requires a simple click and play as long as your device is compatible.


Posted in Uncategorized

Vermont Forest Health Insect and Disease Observations—September 2015

The following is an excerpt from the report generated by the VT Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation.  Click here for much more information and photos.

Hardwoods Harboring Cryptic Caterpillars
We’ve already reported increasing populations of Maple leafcutter (especially in the Northeast Kingdom) and Maple trumpet skeletonizer (statewide) in earlier Forest Health Updates. They became increasingly noticeable as the growing caterpillars consumed more foliage. But even fully grown, these caterpillars are tiny, maxing out at 3/8” and 1/2”, respectively. They can still be found within their cases in early October. As late season defoliators, their impact on tree health is generally small. However maple leafcutter has been linked to sugar maple dieback in monocultures where high populations persisted for years.

Posted in Uncategorized

2015 Tree Stewards Conference 

Everything except the photography lecture can count for EMG education hours.

Saturday, October 10th
Holley Hall in Downtown Bristol

The registration fee for the 2015 Tree Stewards Conference will be $12.


Join us for the fourth annual Vermont Tree Stewards Conference at Holley Hall in downtown Bristol, VT.  This year’s theme is Healthy Trees, Healthy Communities.  We know that trees benefit communities;  countless research studies, anecdotes, and our own experiences guide us in understanding the environmental, economic, aesthetic, and social benefits of trees.  As the field of urban forestry grows, so do the ways that we are able to understand the vast suite of values provided by canopy cover, and the necessary resources, knowledge, and collaborations needed to grow healthy, long-lived trees in our most populated areas.  At this year’s Vermont Tree Stewards Conference, our diverse suite of speakers (biographies below) will explore the intersection between stewarding healthy trees and fostering vibrant communities.


8:30am-9:00am:     Check in and walk-in registration
9:00am-9:40am:     Welcome and UCF staff updates (Danielle Fitzko, Elise Schadler, Kate Forrer, & Gwen Kozlowski)
9:40am-10:00am:   Vermont Pest Updates (Mollie Klepack)

What’s the latest news on emerald ash borer, hemlock wooly adelgid, and Asian long-horned beetle?  Mollie Klepack, VT UCF’s Pest Outreach Coordinator, will give a brief overview of these pests and the threats they pose to Vermont communities.

10:00am-11:00am: Seeing the Trees for the (Urban) Forest:  Landscape, Streetscape, Sustainability, and Design (David Raphael)

David Raphael founded LandWorks (based in Middlebury) in 1986 after ten years of professional work as a Landscape Architect and Planner for the public and private sector.  LandWorks is a multi-disciplinary planning and design company with a focus in community planning and site design, parks, townscapes and streetscapes, aesthetics and environmental assessment, wayfinding and recreational and resort projects. The firm has a focus in ecological design and sustainability.  David will present to the group on the benefits that trees can bring to communities, from a planning perspective, pulling from his extensive experience working on design projects throughout the state.

11:00am-11:15am: Break
11:15am-12:00pm:  Part I: WhyBad Things Happen to Good Trees (Andy Hillman)

Andy Hillman, Senior Consulting Urban Forester with the Davey Resource Group, A Division of The Davey Tree Expert Company, will present our keynote presentation in two parts.  In Part I, he will discuss common reasons that trees planted in communities do not thrive. This talk will cover soil volume, root issues, species selection, weather, and infrastructure.

12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch (on your own; support a Bristol business and enjoy your lunch on the Bristol green!)

1:00pm-2:00pm: Part 2: Not Just Alive, the Tree Must Thrive (Andy Hillman)

In the second part of the keynote presentation, Andy Hillman will cover the ways that communities can support downtown trees in thriving and produce the ecosystem services we want and need.

2:00pm-2:15pm: Healthy Trees, Healthy Communities: Local Stories (Randy Durand and Dave Rosen)

Members of the Bristol Conservation Commission share local perspectives on projects on which they’re working on, or have worked on, for the health of their community’s trees.

2:30pm-4:00pm: Afternoon Breakout Sessions (participants will split up and rotate through):

1:    Seeing Trees: A Walk and Talk with a Tree Expert (VJ Comai)

VJ Comai, Arborist Representative with the Bartlett Tree Expert Company, once again lends his vast knowledge of and experience with trees to the VT UCF audience.  On Bristol’s Town Green VJ will walk participants through how he approaches a tree that he is assessing for health.  In this hands-on, outdoor session, VJ will cover root collar examination, how to read bud scars to determine tree growth, common insect and disease problems, proper planting depth, and much much more.

2:    Seeing Trees Through A Camera Lens (Elise Schadler and Lee Krohn)

VT UCF staff member Elise Schadler and VT UCF Advisory Council Member Lee Krohn both enjoy seeing the world through a camera’s lens.  While Lee sits on the Vermont Professional Photographer’s Association board and has taken award-winning photographs, Elise will be having her very first photography show in Shelburne this year; regardless, they are both happy to share their favorite tree photographs and to talk about how they approach seeing trees in this session.

4:00pm: Safe Travels!

Conference Information

The conference is intended to be an opportunity for anyone who is interested and engaged in the stewardship and management of Vermont’s urban and community forests; citizens, professionals, and students are encouraged to attend and there will be ample time for networking built into the day’s agenda.

The Vermont Tree Stewards Conference has been approved for 5 International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) credits.

Since the conference will be held this year in downtown Bristol, we encourage participants to support a local business for lunch, or to bring their own and enjoy it on the Bristol green. Accordingly, morning refreshments will be provided, but lunch will not.

There will be an afternoon session outdoors, so please dress for the weather.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Elise Schadler at 802-656-2657 or 800-571-0668 by October 2nd so we may assist you.




Posted in Uncategorized

Across the Fence

Thursday, October 8th
UVM Extension Horticulturist Leonard Perry Explores the “Garden of Light” at the Montreal Botanical Gardens  Watch all our shows online shortly after they air at:

Posted in Uncategorized

UVM Catamount Educational Farm Apple & Vegetable Sales Underway


Apple sales have started at the UVM Horticulture Research and Education Center, 65 Green Mountain Drive, South Burlington, VT,  every Friday through early November from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

An on-campus farm stand with vegetables and a limited selection of apples is open every Tuesday from 2:00 to 5:00 PM between Bailey-Howe library and the Davis Center. Available apple varieties and vegetables will change each week as the ripening season commences.
The mission of Catamount Educational Farm is to model sustainable farming practices through a working vegetable and fruit farm that provides educational and research opportunities for the UVM community. Students are integral in carrying out all activities of the farm, and this experiential learning environment provides them with real and diverse sustainable farm management skills. The farm contributes to the local food system of the university by marketing the student-grown produce back to the UVM community through a campus farm stand, CSA shares and a wholesale account with University Dining Services. All revenue from produce sales supports the farm so that it may serve academic and research programs on sustainable crop production.

The Hort Farm is located behind GE Healthcare (former IDX) and the Heritage car dealerships off Shelburne Road in South Burlington.

Posted in Uncategorized

Bonsai Tree Returned

 Due to the widespread coverage of the theft of a Bonsai Tree from the Champlain Valley Fair last Thursday, the tree was returned to its original owner.


Posted in Uncategorized

Bonsai Stolen at Champlain Valley Fair

bonsaiOn Thursday evening, 9/3/15,  in the Bonsai exhibition at Champlain Valley Expo, someone took a  cherished juniper bonsai belonging to a member of the Green Mountain Bonsai Society. The GMBS is a local club, and the trees exhibited each year at CVE are the personal trees of club members who volunteer their trees to share with the public each year. The tree that was stolen is a miniature juniper in an unusual diamond-shaped unglazed terracotta pot; tree & pot together are about 12″ wide by 7″ tall. Junipers must live outdoors except during winter to be healthy, and require -40 degree cold-dormancy in the winter to stay alive – a bonsai like this is NOT a house plant. The club is  asking PLEASE that whoever took this tree, will find a way to return it to the owner [who is heartbroken]. If you have any knowledge about this tree, please contact Kristin Leavitt or the Essex Police.

Posted in Uncategorized

Gardener’s Supply Fall Workshops

These count for EMG continuing education hours.
sold out
Orchids 101 – Anita Nadeau
Sunday, September 13 • 3-4:30pm
Williston Garden Center
Learn the basics of orchid care with practical, easy to understand advice from our orchid expert, Anita. During this workshop you will learn all the basics of successful orchid growing plus have an opportunity to re-pot your orchid. $30 Fee Includes: workshop, one orchid and an orchid pot.
sold out Landscape Design for Homeowners – Silvia Jope
Wednesday, September 16, 23, 30 & October 7 • 6-8pm
Burlington Garden Center
Are you an avid gardener looking for new inspiration? Want a better understanding of selecting and placing plants? Have the perfect spot but need some help expressing your vision? This 4-part series (Wednesday Evenings, Sept 16, 23, 30 & Oct 7) led by professional landscape designer Silvia Jope, is the answer. Fee: $160.
Bonsai for Beginners – Anita Nadeau
Sunday, September 27 • 10am-12:30pm
Williston Garden Center
This Bonsai workshop is for beginners. Learn the basics with our in-house expert. This workshop covers all you need to get started with your bonsai. Call 658-2433 for more details. Class size limited to 10 participants. Fee: $85 includes a bonsai tree, pot, soil and wire.
Posted in Uncategorized