The Maine Edge published a University of Maine news release about an upcoming 4-H Science Saturday workshop on campus. Youth in grades 6–8 will design a container to assist a UMaine Climate Change Institute professor with research on Feb. 14 at the Edward T. Bryand Global Sciences Center. Participants will build a canister to keep ice core samples gleaned from the Peruvian Andes frozen and intact for research. Children also will tour the Sawyer Environmental Research Center, eat lunch, and have the option to swim at the pool in the New Balance Student Recreation Center.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking orders for its “Grow It Right!” plant sale, which is a fundraiser for the Master Gardener Volunteers program.
Available plants are a highbush blueberry three-pack, two varieties per pack, $35.95; 10-pack of asparagus crowns, $15; 25 young dormant strawberry plants, $15; five raspberry canes, $18; three blackberry canes, $25; and rhubarb crowns, $12 each. All are suitable for Maine’s climate and will be ready for spring planting.
Graduates of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program have been active for more than 30 years, doing demonstrations, creating community gardens, organizing educational events, growing food for Maine Harvest for Hunger and leading community-based volunteer efforts. Sale proceeds will support these projects and provide need-based program scholarships.
Orders must be placed by May 1. Plants will be available for pickup at Extension county offices Saturday, May 16 or Monday, May 18, depending on location. Purchase plants and get more information, including video clips on site selection and soil testing online.
To place a mail order, call Andrea Herr, 207.781.6099. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Richard Brzozowski, 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine), email@example.com; or Marjorie Peronto, 207.667.8212, 800.287.1479 (in Maine), firstname.lastname@example.org.
Designing a container to assist a University of Maine Climate Change Institute professor with research is the focus of a UMaine 4-H Science Saturday workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14 at Edward T. Bryand Global Sciences Center on campus.
Youth in grades 6–8 will build a canister to keep ice core samples gleaned from the Peruvian Andes frozen and intact for research. Participants also will tour the Sawyer Environmental Research Center. And, after lunch, youth will have the option to swim at the pool in the New Balance Student Recreation Center.
The $15 fee includes the science program and lunch; the optional swim is $3. Registration materials are available online. Maximum enrollment is 20; Feb. 6 is the deadline to register. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Jessica Brainerd, 581.3877.
WVII (Channel 7) reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is hosting a workshop in Dover-Foxcroft that will offer tips and techniques on how to reach out to potential customers of agricultural products. Extension educator Donna Coffin will lead the workshop from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 11.
University of Maine aquaculture facilities and research were quoted in articles by The Free Press titled “Farming the Blue Frontier.” One of the articles focused on the growth of Maine sea farms and mentioned the diverse products in the state. The article cited Sea & Reef Aquaculture, a company that is housed at UMaine’s Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research (CCAR) and provides tropical marine fishes to the saltwater aquarium trade. CCAR in Franklin, UMaine’s Darling Marine Center in Walpole and the Aquaculture Research Institute in Orono were mentioned as some of the best aquaculture research facilities in North America. Maine Sea Grant, UMaine’s outreach marine education program, was cited in a related article on oysters and mussels. Maine Sea Grant is researching growing mussels and kelp together, with the kelp acting as a filter for the waste produced by the mussels, according to the article. UMaine’s aquaculture facilities and efforts also were mentioned in an Ellsworth American article on the industry.
The Sun Journal reported the Bethel Chamber of Commerce and the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond will host the Bethel Maine Moose Festival from June 12 to 14. The annual Maine Moose Permit Lottery will be held June 13 in Bethel, according to the article.
The Kennebec Journal covered an online marketing session for farmers led by Tori Jackson at the 74th Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta. Jackson, an associate professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke about the importance of marketing a farm like any other business. “The first thing you want to do is sell things your customers want. Sometimes that’s not going to match what you think you want to do initially,” Jackson said. The presentation targeted startup farmers or those seeking to change or grow their business, according to the article. Jackson stressed the importance of building a brand and creating an online presence.
Richard Kersbergen, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator on sustainable dairy and forage systems, was interviewed by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report, “Organic milk scarce on Maine store shelves as demand outstrips supply.” The shortage is caused by basic supply and demand, according to the report. “Organic milk production has been relatively flat in terms of the amount of milk being produced, but the demand is obviously going up,” Kersbergen said. He added that transitioning from being a conventional dairy farmer to an organic dairy farmer could take up to three years.
Programs and services offered by the University of Maine and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension were mentioned in articles about the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta. The Kennebec Journal reported on a talk given by a state inspector who described how to obtain a home food processing license in order to sell homemade jellies, jams and baked goods. The inspector said acidified foods, such as salsa, pickles, dilly beans and relishes, need to have the process approved by UMaine’s Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, the article states. The Sun Journal article included quotes from Alexandra Tomaso, a business assistant at Pietree Orchard in Sweden, Maine, who is on the board of Maine AgrAbility, a program that assists farmers, loggers and fishermen with disabilities and chronic illnesses so they can remain active in production agriculture. AgrAbility is a nonprofit partnership between UMaine Extension, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England and Alpha One. “The coolest thing, I think, is [AgrAbility will] come to the farms and they do free assessments,” Tomaso said. “There are so many options that people don’t know are there. We just want to get the word out on how to stay safe and farm as long as you can.”
Maine youth are invited to describe their “Growing the Taste of Maine” garden in the Portland Flower Show student essay contest.
Three prizes ($50, $30 and $20) will be awarded in each of three age categories (6–9, 10–13 and 14–18). Essays will be judged on creativity, focus and passion in describing the garden and what grows in it. Winning essays will be announced at the opening night preview Wednesday, March 4; selected essays will be posted for viewing during the show, which runs March 5–8, 2015, at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland.
Wednesday, Feb. 11 is the deadline to enter the ninth annual contest, which is co-sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension. For an application and rules, call 800.287.1471 or email email@example.com. Applications and information also are available at portlandcomapny.com and umaine.edu.