Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will offer a wide selection of workshops for beginning and aspiring orchardists this season, beginning in early March.

These hands-on workshops take place in orchards around the state and are led by experienced professionals. They offer an opportunity to learn a new skill and practice immediately under the direction of an instructor, and can be helpful to those who have pruned or grafted before but need a refresher on how to do so most effectively. Registration is open on the association’s website for these 15-plus workshops, according to a news release from the association.

The series will kick off on Saturday, March 7, with four hands-on pruning workshops in Saco, Unity, Palmyra and Bar Harbor, and a fifth on March 14 in Patten. Next, on March 15 and 21, three workshops called Bringing Back an Old Orchard will focus on renovating older, more overgrown trees.

April workshops include Bench Grafting (at three locations) as well as a wide-ranging, introductory Orcharding 101 workshop with Michael Phillips of Lost Nation Farm and author of “The Apple Grower.” Two Top Working (grafting) workshops will be offered in May, a followed by a Pests and Diseases of the Summer Orchard workshop in June.

The series finishes with Growing Nursery Stock and Bud Grafting in early August. Most workshops will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Several new partnerships are bringing orcharding workshops to new locations this year. The association is partnering with The Ecology School to offer four workshops at the River Bend Farm in Saco, and a new collaboration with Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust will allow the association to offer a tree renovation workshop — Bringing Back an Old Orchard — at the Denny Education Center and Whaleback Preserve orchards in Damariscotta.

Workshops are small to foster plenty of direct interaction with the instructor, and some workshops are almost full.

To register, or for more information, visit

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