Learn about cultivating strawberries in University of Maryland Extension webinar May 8.

PRINCESS ANNE — University of Maryland Eastern Shore Extension is offering a free webinar series aimed at helping local growers hone skills necessary to successfully cultivate fruit in the Mid-Atlantic.

When he talks about the once thriving fruit industry on the Eastern Shore and the prospect of rejuvenating it, Dr. Naveen Kumar Dixit becomes animated. The assistant professor, Extension specialist and horticulturist with UMES’ School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences, readily shares that Eastern Shore growers once produced six million pounds of fruit per year according to a 1925 USDA census. Through his Extension efforts and a grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Kumar hopes to help lead the local industry in gaining ground toward making a comeback.

“This is the beginning,” Dixit said. “Together, we can bring back our fruit industry.”

Dixit will share his knowledge gained through research and extension activities on Budding and Grafting Apple Trees, April 17; Cultivating Strawberries, May 8; The Basics of Growing Grapes, June 12; and Establishing an Apple Orchard, July 3. All webinars begin at 10 a.m. and are open to the public. The virtual presentations are free, but pre-registration is required by visiting

For more information, call 410-621-3650.

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