Fern Identification Workshops Being Offered

Fern Identification Workshop Offered at Our Funny Farm


Maine is home to over fifty different types of ferns! These beautiful, often overlooked native plants come in a surprising variety of sizes and shapes, textures and forms. Some are tall and graceful and common on roadsides, some are small and hidden and don’t look like ferns at all! Though we see them everywhere, few people appreciate them or and fewer can identify them. Many types of ferns make  beautiful additions to a flower gardens, and can be used to fill in  shady spots in the yard or add interest to a woodland edge where other plants would struggle to survive.


As with many things, the more you learn about ferns the more interesting and amazing they become; that’s why Our Funny Farm here in Monmouth is offering a fern walk and workshop to teach people how to identify many of the fern species we have in Maine. The walk will be lead by Hollis Smith who, along with her husband Don, owns and operates Our Funny Farm. She gained experience with ferns during her volunteer work with the New England Flower Society and with Maine’s Natural Heritage project when she helped locate and document rare plants throughout the state. She has successfully raised ferns from spores, not an easy task, and is working to propagate several of Maine’s rarer species this way to offer for sale in the future.


The workshop focuses on learning how the life cycle of ferns is unique, identifying the key characteristics that distinguish species from one other, and the different types of habitats where they are usually found. Included in the cost is a free take-home fern guide that will allow participants to continue to learn on their own. With a little knowledge in hand, we will explore the woods and gardens on the farm to see how many species we can find and identify. 


This will be happening on Saturday mornings, July 21st and 28th, from 10:00 to noonish, at Our Funny Farm, located at 19 Anderson Road, in Monmouth. The cost is $15 per person and pre-registration is required. The group size will be limited to 10 people so everyone will be able to actively participate in finding and identifying ferns. Overflow workshops may be scheduled for August if there is enough interest. To register, please call 207-649-4700.