The University of Maine Cooperative Extension was mentioned in a Prevention magazine article on tick-borne illnesses and what can be done to avoid them. Dr. Daniel A. Kinderlehrer who practices in Boulder, Colorado, suggested using a natural, chemical-free insect repellent that’s derived from black pepper plants. According to UMaine Extension, the natural repellent helps keep ticks away for four to eight hours, the article states.
WABI (Channel 5), the Bangor Daily News, Sun Journal, Daily Bulldog and The Maine Edge reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a free tick identification service. Maine’s tick population has been growing steadily since the late 1980s, along with tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, according to the reports. UMaine Extension also provides information on tick removal and a photo gallery. Information on how to get a tick identified is available online or by calling 581.3880.
John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, gave early season gardening advice on WVII (Channel 7) over Memorial Day weekend. Jemison warned it may still be too soon for some crops. “The first thing that I would say that you don’t want to do is to try and go out and buy some transplants like tomatoes or peppers at this time of the year, bring them right out of the greenhouses and try to think you’re going to go put them in the ground. That’s going to be bad,” Jemison said, adding while some plants can withstand cooler temperatures, others may not bounce back from a cold night. He said plants such as carrots, leafy greens and anything from seed could probably be planted now.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension offers a free tick identification service for Maine residents.
The announcement of the service is timely: May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and ticks are being reported statewide. In fact, the tick population in Maine has been steadily increasing since the late 1980s, along with the emergence of tick-borne diseases.
In addition to tick identification, UMaine Extension resources include information on the biology and management of 14 tick species in Maine, tick submission instructions, tick removal guidelines, a tick photo gallery, and links to information on tick-borne diseases transmitted in Maine.
More information, including how to submit a tick for identification, is available online or by calling UMaine Extension at 581.3880.
WLBZ (Channel 2) spoke with Eric Venturini, a graduate student at the University of Maine who works for Johnny’s Selected Seeds, for the report “Easy ways to boost bee populations.” “They need food the entire season. And what you want to do as a grower is make sure you are providing that if you’re trying to manage and maintain a healthy population of wild pollinators,” Venturini said. The report also cited advice from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension that states you should plant colorful flowers to attract bees, avoid using chemicals in the garden or field, build nesting houses, let dandelions grow in the spring, and mow at night when bees are less active.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Tick ID Lab was mentioned in the Bangor Daily News article, “How many Maine ticks carry Powassan? We’re one step closer to finding out.” The article focused on a Maine Medical Center Research Institute study that will conduct a statewide survey for Powassan virus, which is transmitted by ticks. More state labs are working to test for the virus, according to the article. UMaine Extension’s Tick ID Lab will soon be equipped, after being awarded funding through a referendum last fall, the article states.
David Fuller, an agricultural and non-timber forest products professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article about “Fiddlemainia: Maine’s Organic Edible Fern,” a recently published book by Monty Barrett and Lin Diket that includes 125 recipes using fiddleheads. Fuller said fiddleheads have been a part of Maine cuisine for as long as people have lived here. “Fiddleheads herald spring. This is the earliest green, and it’s a big part of our culture,” he said. The article also included tips by Fuller on how to pick and safely prepare the plant to avoid food-borne illnesses. “You have to remember that this is a wild food, but that’s also what is so cool about it,” he said.
Gary Anderson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension professor and and animal and bio-sciences specialist, spoke with the Portland Press Herald for an article about an increase in Maine residents raising rabbits for meat. Anderson said that during the World War II and Depression era, rabbits were frequently eaten in Maine and around the nation. Through the 1990s, rabbit breeders in Maine mostly catered to ethnic markets in Boston and Rhode Island, he said. Increasing interest in raising rabbits for meat prompted UMaine Extension to write a bulletin that includes instructions on how to dress a rabbit, as well as recipes, according to the article. Anderson says raising rabbits is affordable and relatively easy, and the meat is healthier than beef and chicken, the article states.
Jim Dill, a pest management specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was a recent guest on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio program. The show focused on the predicted prevalence of ticks this season and what can be done to prevent bites.
Enjoy the taste of summer fruits and vegetables all throughout the year by taking the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Preserving the Harvest workshop 5:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23 at UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.
The workshop, led by UMaine Extension staff members, includes hands-on, USDA-recommended food preservation methods. Participants will preserve low-sugar strawberry jam and learn basics of hot water bath canning and freezing to preserve pickles, jam and vegetables. Fresh produce, canning jars and other equipment will be provided. Participants should bring a pot holder.
Cost is $20 per person; partial scholarships are available. Register online by June 19. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 781.6099, 800.287.1471 (toll-free in Maine).