Maine Home Garden Newsletter August available

August 4th, 2014 12:22 PM

The August 2014 issue of Maine Home Garden News is now available at:

Maine Home Garden News

In this issue…

August Is the Month to . . .
Native Perennials for Late Season Bee Gardens
Cover Crops for the Home Gardener
Tomatoes: Maine Foods for August

UMExtension in Cumberland County announces August events

July 31st, 2014 2:12 PM

Please share these links with your friends and family.     Have a great August!

UMaine Extension Cumberland County News

August 9th   Join in the fun of a great day outdoors at the 6th Annual Backyard Locavore Day scheduled for August 9th Rain or Shine  -Unique one day educational event. Gain knowledge on food preservation and gardening from UMaine Extension’s Master Food Preservers and Master Volunteers.  Learn more at:  Backyard Locavore Day

Meet author Marisa McClellan 7–9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21,  Falmouth. Cost is $15 per person. Registration is online.

Preserving the Harvest July Workshops Announced  -Ever wonder about preserving your garden produce?  Learn how at a University of Maine Preserving the Harvest class. For a listing of current workshops:  Preserving the Harvest

Maine Home Garden News August Issue Announced   -Gardening advise  by the month throughout the growing season!  Sign up for  gardening information, timely tips and research-based articles written by UMaine Extension staff and Master Gardener Volunteers at  Maine Home Garden News

The Cumberland County Extension Association is looking for new members

Maine Harvest for Hunger

July 31st, 2014 12:12 PM

wayside photos 01

“Yesterday, over 80% of the produce used in our meal was donated through the harvest for hunger program.”- Don Morrison, Operations Manager of Wayside Food Programs. 7-31-14 

It’s not too late!!! Every home gardener in Maine can still participate. Will you consider making a difference? 14.9% of Maine  households, representing approximately 200,000 individuals, are “food  insecure” and 24%, or nearly 1 in every 4 children, are food insecure. For more information on how you can participate in Maine Harvest for Hunger, visit:

Tri-Town Weekly Publishes Q&A with McCarty

July 31st, 2014 9:14 AM

Tri-Town Weekly interviewed Kate McCarty, a food preservation community education assistant with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, in advance of UMaine Extension’s sixth annual Backyard Locavore Day on Aug. 9. McCarty will be one of several experts on hand for guided tours of backyards in Freeport and Brunswick for the event. During McCarty’s tour in Freeport, she will demonstrate how to increase self-sufficiency to meet food needs through backyard gardening techniques and food preservation methods. “I love Maine and believe it produces incredible food. I take every opportunity to support our local food producers, and it’s easy to do so with so many talented chefs, farmers, bakers, cheese makers and brewers,” McCarty said.

Fuller Talks to Press Herald About Growing Garlic in Maine

July 29th, 2014 9:32 AM

David Fuller, an agricultural and non-timber forest products professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed by the Portland Press Herald for an article about the increase of garlic in Maine gardens. According to UMaine Extension, about 100 farmers around the state grow garlic and that number is on the rise, Fuller said. He added Mainers are now growing about 70 different varieties. Fuller also spoke about the Maine Garlic Project, a research study he started in 2010 with crops specialist Steven Johnson. The study, which concluded last year, was intended to encourage more garlic production in the state among both farmers and home gardeners. “You start talking garlic with some people, and they just don’t stop,” Fuller said of the passionate farmers he has met.

Eat Nutritiously, Save Money with UMaine Extension

July 25th, 2014 2:49 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Eat Well Nutrition Program will be offered 9:30–11 a.m. Tuesdays from Sept. 16 through Nov. 4 at the UMaine Extension office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

This program is free for income-eligible adults with dependent children. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the program, which includes hands-on food preparation, budgeting information and tips on how to shop at farmers markets and grocery stores. Eat Well Program graduates save an average of $36 per month on food bills, according to UMaine Extension.

To register, call 207.781.6099 or email For more information or to request a disability accommodation or an interpreter, call 207.781.6099 or 800.287.1471 (in Maine)

4-H Science at Summer Food Sites

July 25th, 2014 12:37 PM

by Mitch Mason, 4-H Youth Educator
other project staff: Kristy Ouellette, Sarah Sparks, Trent Schrieffer, Laura Wilson

4-H Teen Leaders in Portland, Maine experiment with the principles of flight by constructing  and testing their own airplanes. These 4-H Teens will teach at Summer Food Sites in Portland.

4-H Teen Leaders in Portland, Maine experiment with the principles of flight by constructing and testing their own airplanes. These 4-H Teens will teach at Summer Food Sites in Portland.

What makes an airplane fly? How do rockets get into space? These are questions being asked of hundreds of young people in southern Maine this summer. The young people are part of a 4-H aerospace project called 4-H Summer of Science:Flight Command which takes place at 15 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites in southern Maine. The goals of the program are to increase science literacy, decrease summer learning loss and to encourage youth to eat healthy meals during the summer.
There are six weekly lessons in the 4-H Summer of Science:Flight Command project. Even though it is summer time, it is really important for students to keep learning. Many students forget their school lessons during the long summer days. It is documented that 4-H participation during elementary school increases the likelihood of taking elective science classes in high school so involving youth in 4-H science at an early age is important. In Maine, only 50% of 8th grade students and 51% of 5th graders were proficient in science in 2012.

The science lessons are quick (25-30 minutes) and are conducted at SFSP sites so that children can do a simple, fun science lesson after lunch. The SFSP program is a national USDA program and provides children ages 18 and under a healthy meal five days a week during summer. In Maine, community partners (such as schools and non-profits) prepare and deliver the healthy meals. The number of youth at each SFSP site can range from 8-75 (the teens usually work with small groups of 8-12 youth).

4-H’ers get ready to test their hand made gliders as part of 4-H Summer of Science. They are led by 4-H Teen Leader Zimzim, 17 (facing camera).

4-H’ers get ready to test their hand made gliders as part of 4-H Summer of Science. They are led by 4-H Teen Leader Zimzim, 17 (facing camera).

One unique aspect of the 4-H Summer of Science is that the lessons are given by 15 4-H Teen Leaders, who attended 1 ½ days of training given by 4-H staff and who receive a small stipend for their work. Teens often relate better to younger students than adult staff and they know that science is important. Sahra, 17, says, “science is a part of everything we do on a daily basis” and Naumu, 15, states that “science is important for kids to learn because it help them to understand about the environment and oceans.” The teens also appreciate that they are part of a healthy lifestyle for young kids; “People often take the habits they learn in childhood with them to adulthood. If we can teach children to eat well and to exercise then they are more likely to continue to do those things as they grow older”, says Brad, 16.

Fadumo, a 4-H Teen Leader in  Maine, teaches youth at an SFSP site how aerodynamics works with hand made gliders.

Fadumo, a 4-H Teen Leader in Maine, teaches youth at an SFSP site how aerodynamics works with hand made gliders.

Since 2011, more than 1,400 kids have participated in a 4-H Summer of Science weekly series. Past themes have included Bubble Science, Properties, and Food Science. The program has also led to new partnerships; in 2014 UMaine 4-H helped to recruit and train three 4-H teens to assist with a summer reading program at SFSP sites conducted by the city of Portland. The program is paid for by funding from Maine 4-H Foundation, the John T. Gorman Foundation and the 4-H Youth Voices, Youth Choices program.









UMaine Cooperative Extension Lab Bond Selected as Question 2, WABI Reports

July 24th, 2014 1:36 PM

WABI (Channel 5) reported the order of bond questions for the November ballot was determined by a drawing in Augusta. A bond referring to funds for an animal and plant disease and insect control lab administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension was selected as Question 2. The question reads, “Do you favor an $8,000,000 bond issue to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resources-based industries and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes and bedbugs through the creation of an animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service?”

Press Herald Interviews Coffin About Free Tomato Plants

July 21st, 2014 3:03 PM

The Portland Press Herald spoke with Extension educator Donna Coffin about the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Piscataquis County handing out free tomato plants. In June, staff members and volunteers handed out 220 cherry tomato plants and donated 50 to prisoners at the Charleston Correctional Facility, hoping to inspire new vegetable gardeners, the article states. “The idea is if they start with one tomato, it is not as intimidating,” Coffin said.

Brzozowski Quoted in Press Herald Maine Gardener Colum

July 21st, 2014 2:44 PM

Richard Brzozowski, a small ruminant and poultry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was interviewed about large garden pests for the latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series. Brzozowski said once gardeners notice damage, the first step is figuring out who is responsible. If tracks aren’t visible, he suggests spreading flour on the ground to identify the animal. He adds the two best solutions, no matter what kind of animal is causing damage, are getting a dog that can roam the grounds or putting up a fence.