Monday, November 19, 2012

Wreath and Tree Shippers Should Be Aware of Out-of-State Plant Regulations

Monday, November 19, 2012
AUGUSTA, Maine - As part of its commitment to supporting the state's farm- and forest-based businesses, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) has established a website outlining other states' restrictions on importing cut trees and wreaths. Maine decorative-plant shippers who are sending Christmas trees and wreaths around the country for the holiday season can save money and lost products by noting important regulations enforced by other states.

States such as California are impounding and destroying shipments to prevent infestation by invasive insects and the spread of plant diseases, said Ann Gibbs, Maine state horticulturist.
"Import requirements for cut trees and wreaths with ornamental nuts and fruit arrangements exist to protect regional agriculture or other commodities from the risk of plant pests," Gibbs explained. "Unfortunately, some Maine shippers have learned about these regulations the hard way and have had shipments impounded and destroyed. We want to prevent any losses by getting the word out now.

Our best advice is to check out-of-state orders in advance, especially those headed to California, and to make sure they are free of scale on the needles."

Distributors also should identify their products clearly through labeling, beginning with the statement, "Grown in Maine," followed by the county of origin and the name and address of the shipper. Labels should indicate the contents of packages, including the different types of greenery, nuts, fruits and cones used to decorate wreaths.
"This information benefits the shipper by speeding along deliveries," Gibbs said. "That is very important in this time-sensitive industry."
An informational sheet, "Know State Regulations When Shipping Wreaths and Trees," is available on the ACF website at or by contacting Sarah Scally at (207)287-3891 or
For more information about the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, go to:

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fossa General Store completion is underway

Dexter Regional Development Corporation is pleased to announce the contract with the General Contractor was signed on Wednesday, October 31st and construction is beginning immediately. The low bid General Contractor is J. Wilbur Construction of Dexter and he has enlisted several local subcontractors to help complete the Fossa General Store in about 3 months. DRDC & J. Wilbur Construction is working closely with Plymouth Engineering, Inc. of Plymouth, Maine.

Last week week Contracts were signed and there is ‘hammering of the nail’ now taking place, but you will be seeing more and more activity at 4 Main Street in Dexter.

Dexter Regional Development Corporation (DRDC) has been working on the Dexter Community Farm Project idea since June 2009. Along the way, they have received 2 CDBG Federal Grants to help in the rehab of the old Fossa Store, which was generously donated to DRDC from the Fossa Family in 2007 after running the Fossa Store for 3 generations.

DRDC has spent over $50,000 from their own coffers, as well as 100’s of hours of volunteer work from Dexter’s Aspire Volunteers & Workfare Program, the Charleston Correctional Facility, DRDC & community members.

DRDC is developing the Fossa General Store that will support local farmers by creating a year round mercantile space, a commercial kitchen (for use by the store, to rent to farmers and for educational purposes) and to act as a wholesale agent for Farm to School, Farm to Institutions and Farm to Table.

DRDC is creating a market for their products year round, creating jobs both in the store and on the farm; providing education to farmer, the consumer and to the education community.
This week piles of paperwork has been scanned and emailed to appropriate people, dozen of phone calls coordinated, Maine Revenue & Maine Labor paperwork done, Contractor is framing inside the store, furnace is waiting to be installed, subcontractors notified, building materials delivered by Dexter Lumber, volunteers to be organized, grant to be finished... okay, it is a great week! FINALLY moving forward....

If you would like more information on the Dexter Community Farm Project, email