BELFAST — Caleb Goossen, crop specialist for Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will discuss preventing plant disease in the garden Tuesday, Feb. 15, as part of Belfast Garden Club’s speaker series. The presentation will be available through Zoom from noon to 1 p.m.

Goossen said his talk will focus on understanding the conditions that make plants in a home garden susceptible to disease and what to do to prevent those conditions from taking hold. Starting with strategies used to minimize the presence of disease from the outset, Goossen will speak about the disease triangle theory composed of a conducive environment, a susceptible host and a pathogen.

“We will look at ways a home gardener can remove one of these elements” from the equation, he said. He will also talk about issues “beyond our control.”

Despite our best efforts, he said, sometimes diseases show up anyway, during particularly challenging growing seasons. Goossen will talk about what can be done when diseases emerge and discuss some of the most common diseases found in vegetable gardens in Maine.

Caleb Goossen, pictured here in his vegetable garden, will discuss preventing plant disease Feb. 15. Courtesy of Belfast Garden Club

Goossen holds a bachelor’s degree in plant biology and sustainable agriculture from Hampshire College and recently completed his Ph.D. at the University of Vermont, where he studied the fatty acid content of storage crops. He farmed organic vegetables in Vermont for nine years before graduate school. He also has experience with organic heirloom seed production and organic orchard maintenance on farms in New Zealand.

All Belfast Garden Club programs presented on Zoom are hosted by the Belfast Free Library. The Garden Club is grateful for their support and technical expertise in bringing these important events to the community. To register, visit BelfastGardenClub.org.