Maine Audubon will host its sixth Native Plants Festival and Sale at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center on Saturday, June 11, from 9 am to 3 pm. We are anticipating 90 or so species of Maine native plants, and past experience shows we can expect all you excited shoppers lining up for the 9 am opening bell and looking to get your hands on species you’ve coveted but can’t find for sale elsewhere. Have no fear, we’ll be here and ready for you!
If you are not able to join us in the first hour or two, we’ve got plans for you as well! You can take comfort in knowing two things:
- Maine Audubon is growing and sourcing plants for sale online with curbside pick-up at Gilsland Farm and Fields Pond through September. If we sell out of what you’re looking for on June 11, you’ll likely still be able to get it from us as we keep reloading inventory all summer.
- We could not be more thrilled and proud of the educational line-up and resources for this year’s festival. We’ll have plants, of course, but also gardening experts, resources, info tables, art, food trucks, plant tours, and a kids station. There will be information tables from Wild Seed Project, Xerces Society, artist Vanessa Nesvig, and BirdSafe Maine.
This year’s presentation schedule for the Native Plants Festival & Sale is below. All presentations are free and open to the public, and will take place on site at Gilsland Farm amongst the Plants Sale. Unfortunately, there will be no remote feed or public recordings of these presentations.
10 AM: Our friends and partners at Wild Seed Project—who will also be around all day promoting their work and selling merchandise—will present a short container-making demonstration by Anna Fialkoff to teach us about all things containers and share guidance on selecting prime native plant combinations of plants that we sell, many of which were grown from WSP seeds.
NOON: Maine’s State Horticulturist, Gary Fish, will share a beautiful slide presentation entitled “Gardening to Please Birds & Bees.” We’re delighted to have Maine’s top horticultural official here to encourage the planting of Maine native plants, and to answer our questions about what else we can do to help.
1 TO 3 PM: The Festival’s featured event will be an interactive presentation and demonstration from leaders of a multicultural, interdisciplinary effort to conserve Brown Ash, Fraxinus nigra, featuring Wabanaki University of Maine scholars Professor in the School of Forest Resources John Daigle (Penobscot) and three PhD students Suzanne Greenlaw (Maliseet), Tyler Everett (Mi’kmaq), and Emily Francis. There will also be a demonstration by renowned basketmaker Gabriel Frey (Passamaquoddy). Attendees will learn more about the cultural and ecological significance of Brown Ash; vulnerabilities from climate change, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), and poor forestry practices; and the alignment of ash resiliency and climate adaptation through science-based management for climate and EAB. This program will run several times between 1 and 3 pm.
3 PM: We welcome back our friend and hero, Bernd Heinrich. Bernd is a celebrated naturalist and author of too many incredible books to name. His last visit to Gilsland Farm was on March 12, 2020, the evening before COVID officially descended onto Maine. At the Native Plants Festival, Bernd will share some remarks, answer questions, and sign books.