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2015 Rural Living Day

21st Annual Rural Living Day

Saturday, March 21, 2015
8:30am – 3:00pm

Sorry, registration is closed.

PDF 2015 RLD brochure for printing

Pre-registration is required!  Deadline to register is Friday, March 13

Mt View High School, 577 Mt View Rd (Rt 220),  Thorndike, ME

Come early and enjoy coffee and tea in the cafeteria!


Rural Living Day Sessions:

Early Morning Session A:     9:00 am – 10:30 am


 1. How to Start a Home-based Food Business in Maine

Explore the food products that can be produced with a home food license, with a focus on the steps necessary to produce and sell canned food products. Please note: This workshop will not cover food products that would require a commercial food processor’s license, i.e. meat and poultry products.   - Beth Calder


2. Straw Bale GardeningTHIS CLASS IS FULL & CLOSED

Straw makes great mulch but did you know that you could also plant directly into straw bales? Straw bales retain moisture, heat up quickly which gives a jump on the season in northern climates and as they decompose provide nutrients to growing plants. Join us for a hands-on demo to learn about the benefits and challenges to this growing method.   - Jen VanLarken


3. Introduction to BeekeepingTHIS CLASS IS FULL & CLOSED

Would you like to produce your own delicious honey at home? This workshop will cover the benefits of having honeybees and the tools and skills needed to build a happy, healthy hive.   - Doug Calhoun



Are you ready to become a cheesemaker? Making your own cheese couldn’t be easier in this fun, hands on workshop, where Local cheese maker Eric Rector, President of Maine Cheese Guild and Monroe Cheese Studio will show you how to make quick fresh cheese.   - Eric Rector


5. Farming with Horses

Wondering if farming with horses is the right choice for you? Not sure where to begin? This workshop will help you answer those questions, introducing you to their experiences operating a horse-powered farm. From assessing your farming operation, to equipment needs, and choosing, training, and caring for your horses.   - Lauren & Bill Errickson


6. Building Farm Ponds

Have you ever thought of adding a pond to your farm? This workshop will cover the ideal timing, location, types of soil, construction tips and the benefits of having a farm pond.   - Clayton Larrabee


7. Managing the Health of Your Backyard Flock

Wondering what you can do when your poultry are sick? We’ll discuss how you can avoid problems and how to troubleshoot them if they arise. We’ll also work with some real scenarios and invite you to contribute your own experiences and ideas.   - Anne Lichtenwalner


8. Make Insulating Window InsertsTHIS CLASS IS FULL & CLOSED

Learn how to build low cost, reusable interior window inserts to take home with John McIntire from Unity Barn Raisers. This is a hands-on workshop. Tools and materials will be provided. The window units are easy to install, save energy and heating costs, and reduce outside noise. Please note: Take measurement of the INSIDE dimensions of your window at the trim next to the window sash, and bring the height and width with you.  - John McIntire


Late Morning Session: B     10:45 am – 12:15 pm


9. Seed Starting and Soil Blocks  

Starting seedlings indoors for later transplanting can give gardeners a critical head-start on Maine’s short growing season. This workshop outlines a variety of seed-starting techniques; from breaking seed dormancy and mixing your own growing media to starting container free seedlings using soil blocks and tips for reducing transplanting losses.   - Natalie Murphy & Ryan Martin


10. Beyond Soil Tests: More than just chemistry

Soil biology is a dynamic ecosystem. Basic soil tests provide a snapshot, but there is more we can use to improve our farming and gardening practices. Using weed indicators and crop symptoms as marker of soil health, amendment recipes and method changes become much more effective and rewarding.  - Mark Fulford


11. The Benefits of Bees 

In this presentation you will learn why bees are such important pollinators, why we need them and how we can welcome them to our backyards by using specific flowers and shrubs in different configurations. Joe will also present an introduction of his research and how you can get involved.   - Rebecca Jacobs & Joe DeStefano


12. Gardening with HügelKultureTHIS CLASS IS FULL & CLOSED

If you have access to decomposing wood, you can build a mound, which over time will provide nutrients and a moisture retaining core, that will assist plant growth. In this fun workshop you will learn of the benefits and challenges of using HügelKulture. Weather permitting; we will build a pile on the school grounds.   - Jack Kertez


13. Preserving the Harvest Using Lacto-fermentation

Roy & Ana Antaki from Weeping Duck Farm will present the rediscovered ancient form of preservation that requires no energy & preserves the nutritional value of food while adding health-promoting beneficial probiotics.   – Roy & Ana Antaki


14. Homestead Yogurt Production

Have you ever wanted to know how to make your own yogurt? Making yogurt in your kitchen is simple and easy. We’ll talk about different methods of making various types of yogurt, and touch on the health benefits of incorporating yogurt into your diet. There will also be a yogurt tasting of Milkhouse Farm yogurt.   – Cait Frame & Andy Smith


15. Making Mozzarella  -THIS CLASS IS FULL & CLOSED

Learn how to quickly transform milk into mouthwatering mozzarella cheese:  no aging or special equipment required.  You will leave this hands-on class with the confidence to try making cheese in your own home kitchen.    - Brittany Gill


16. Solar Basics

Thinking about investing in solar energy? Come see if DIY solar is for right for you. Join Soni Biehl, member of the Maine Solar Energy Association, for an open discussion of basic solar concepts. She’ll bring electric and hot water panels for you to explore and demonstrate briefly how they’re made.   – Soni Biehl


17. Backyard Pigs

Learn about raising your own pigs and their feed, shelter and fencing needs. Bring your questions, experiences, and excitement and we’ll talk PIG!   - Hanne Tierney


Locally Sourced Lunch!  12:15 – 1:15 pm

Take a break and enjoy a filling lunch! Warm soup (vegan), tossed salad, fresh bread rolls, traditional meat lasagna and a vegetarian lasagna, homemade dessert and beverages! Many of the ingredients are locally produced!


Afternoon Session: C     1:30 pm – 3 pm

18. Vegetable Garden Planning and Design – THIS CLASS IS FULL & CLOSED

This workshop will discuss the basics of planning a productive vegetable garden, from sowing seeds to saving them. This will include an introduction to crop rotations, succession planting, and intercropping. In addition, you will learn to plan for isolation distances and population sizes for self-pollinating and cross-pollinating crops from which to save seeds. The session will also contain a tutorial of garden planning software – so attendees are encouraged to bring a laptop if possible..   - Ryan Martin and Myra Manning


19. Preserving the Harvest Using Dehydration

Dehydrated foods take up less space and properly handled, can retain the nutritional value over a long period of time. We will also cover cooking with dehydrated foods. This talk focuses exclusively on plant foods.   – Roy & Ana Antaki


20. Adventures in Alternative Energy

Come for an interactive discussion with renowned alternative energy expert Tom Gocze, host of the home improvement television and radio program Hot and Cold and owner of American Solartechnics, who will focus on energy conservation, insulation techniques, alternative energy heat sources, innovative and cutting edge ways to conserve and use non-fossil fuels to live a more sustainable life in Maine.   - Tom Gocze


21. Improving Your Soil with Biochar

Biochar is an ancient agricultural technology that has the potential to improve soil fertility and resiliency. This session will describe a method developed at our farm to produce biochar. We will describe how participants can transfer these methods to their own farming operation.   - Dave McDaniel


22. Choosing Heritage Livestock

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve tried conventional livestock and are looking for something new; deciding what breeds of livestock to use on your homestead can be a challenge. This session will focus on heritage livestock varieties best suited for New England’s harsh climate that will bring value-added products and ease of husbandry to your barnyard.   - Meg Anderson


23. Avoiding Common Problems in Goats and Sheep

Raising goats and sheep can be enjoyable, but frustrating problems can easily occur. Learn how to avoid and address problems such as parasites, lameness, plant poisoning, overeating disease, difficulties in lambing/kidding, predator attacks and more.   - Dick Brzozowski


24. Preserving and Using Your Home Grown Food

Explore food preservation techniques including canning, pickling, freezing and root cellaring all your garden produce. We will also talk about ideas about how to use your home preserved food.   - Sandy Oliver


25. Root Cellar Pies

Are you curious to learn more about Maine-grown grains and how to use them? Join us to learn how to make a flaky piecrust using Maine whole grains and over wintered goodies.   - Ladleah Dunn



~   Kid’s Tracks!   ~

This year we will be offering TWO Kid’s Tracks aimed at different age ranges!  We request a donation of $15 for each child or adult registering for Kid’s Track.

Kid’s Track 1: for children 4-7 yrs old

(This Kid’s Track age range ONLY  – a parent or guardian is required to sign up with them)

Taste the Rainbow
Join us try fruits and vegetables in every color – a guessing game for all your senses!


Rocks to Butter          
In this session, we will explore the connection between soil and our food.

Veggie Stamp Art      
Have you ever used a pepper instead of a paintbrush? Use paint and various vegetables to create a work of art.

What’s In a Seed?      
Come discover seeds need to grow and to get your hands a little dirty while we make some seed balls.

Seed Paper
Create beautiful, living paper in awesome shapes. You’ll learn a bit about seeds and take home your seed paper to plant!

Kid’s Track 2: for children 8-12 yrs old

Rockets To The Rescue        
A fun hands-on activity that gives youth an opportunity to become scientists. Materials will be supplied to make simple rockets to launch.

Healthy Snacks: Dips and Spreads 
We’ll make and taste test kid-friendly recipes that incorporate lots of veggies.

What plant part are you eating?     
Learn about the different parts of the plant, play games and plant seeds.

Bread in a Bag           
Make homemade bread dough and explore where the ingredients come from.  This is a make, take, and bake (at home) activity.

Build Your Own Nest Box   
Let’s talk about blue birds and build a home just for them. (double session)


Registration info:

Rural Living Day’s regular sessions: we request a donation of $20

Kid’s Track: we request a donation of $15 for each child or adult registering

All registrations include morning coffee/tea and a delicious lunch!


Your registration will not be complete until we receive payment.

Send immediately to ensure registration as we expect waiting lists for many of the workshops.


·    Make check or money order payable to WCEA

·    Send with check or money order to:

UMaine Extension – RLD
992 Waterville Rd
Waldo ME 04915

A big thanks to our financial supporters!

Belfast CoopBelfast, Maine
(207) 338-2532

Ingrahams EquipmentKnox, Maine
(207) 568-3245


Waterville, Maine
(207) 426-9900

Mac’s Hardware

Mac's True ValueUnity, Maine

Fiddlehead Artisan Supply

Belfast, Maine
(207) 338-8422

Sundog Solar Store

Searsport, Maine
(207) 548-1100