Become a Community Resource For Food Preservation, Safety

February 18th, 2014 11:16 AM

Preparing for canningUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a 10-session Master Food Preserver training program starting June 19 and ending Sept. 25.

Lectures, discussions and hands-on kitchen lab education will be conducted 10 Thursdays, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road, Gorham, and at the UMaine Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Falmouth.

A Master Food Preserver is a UMaine Extension volunteer who has successfully completed the practical, research-based program on food safety and preservation. Volunteers agree to give back 20 hours of time for community-based projects within a year. Projects could include hands-on food preservation workshops, staffing educational displays and demonstrations and providing information at farmers’ markets, county fairs, and other food-related events.

May 2 is the deadline to apply. Fees are on a sliding scale, from $125 to $330, based on household income. For more information or to request an application or disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099 or 1.800.287.1471 (in Maine). Or, for additional information, contact Kathleen Savoie, Extension Educator, 207.781.6099,

Online applications will be available March 31 at

Are you dreaming about growing blueberries, strawberries, or asparagus?

February 12th, 2014 8:18 AM


Highbush blueberry plants, strawberry plants and asparagus crowns for spring planting are now being sold by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension to benefit the statewide Master Gardener Volunteers program.

Orders are now being taken in the”Grow It Right!” plant sale for highbush blueberry plants — three young plants, two varieties per pack for $35.95; or strawberries – a pack of 25 young dormant plants for $15, or asparagus — a pack of 10 crowns for $15. Plants must be ordered by April 30, 2014 and will be available for pickup at selected University of Maine Cooperative Extension county offices and at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

For more information and to place an order, go to

This is more than a plant sale. It is an educational experience. Online resources (fact sheets, checklists and “how to” videos) from UMaine Extension are available throughout the growing season for these three home garden crops. FMI go to

Money raised will help establish and strengthen Master Gardener Volunteer community-based projects across the state and provide scholarships for participants in need.

Please feel free to pass this message onto your circle of friends.

Thank you for considering this opportunity.


Seed Exchange

February 6th, 2014 8:22 AM

Little Free Seed Library March 2014

Little Free Seed Library Kickoff Event

Seed Exchange & Ask a Master Gardener

Saturday, March 1, 2104

Drop-in 11:00am – 1:00PM

(snow date- Sunday, March 2, 2014)

23 Pleasant St, Brunswick


  • Donate seeds (if you have them)

  • Take seeds home!

  • Ask a Master Gardener for advice!

  • Learn about sowing seeds & starting plants!

Sponsors: Community Health Information Partnership, Cornerstones of Science, 
and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension



Poultry Keepers School

January 28th, 2014 3:07 PM

Little Ridge Farm in Lisbon, Keena Tracey101 Gould Rd, Lisbon Falls, ME 04252 MPGA Image








The University of Maine Cooperative Extension is partnering with the Maine Poultry Growers Association in presenting a day-long school for poultry producers scheduled for Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield from 9:00Am to 3:00PM. Additional co-sponsors for the school include the Maine Farm Bureau and the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association.

The purpose of the school is to equip Maine producers of poultry meat or eggs with practical knowledge and skills to improve their production and quality of their products. The school is designed for full or part-time farmers with a poultry enterprise. However, the information presented will also be suitable for backyard keepers, bird fanciers and 4-H teens.

A team of instructors from the Umaine Extension, MOFGA and the agricultural community will cover topics of poultry nutrition, efficient production, poultry health, best management practices, organic production considerations, labor saving tips and poultry meat quality.

The fee for participating in this school is $25 per person. A discounted fee of $10 is available to memebers of the Maine Poultry Growers Association (MPGA). Each participant will receive a reference notebook, a poultry breakeven calculator and refreshments. (participants should bring their own lunch)

To enroll:

To join the MPGA, see:


Food Safety Training for Volunteers offered

January 27th, 2014 8:00 AM

remsberg_11081030746Cooking for Crowds: Food Safety Training for Volunteers

March 25, 2014

This workshop is  taught by Kathy Savoie, UMaine Extension Educator.  The workshop offers up-to-date information on how to handle, transport, store and prepare  foods safely for large group functions such as soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers.  This class meets the Good Shepherd Food-Bank food safety training requirements.

Place: University of Maine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Dr, Suite 104, Falmouth, ME 04105

Date:  Tuesday, March 25, 2014     Time:  1pm-5pm

Register online.

For more information call lois.elwell at 207-781-6099 or 1-800-287-1471 (in Maine)

Future Cooking for Crowds classes are being scheduled for:

Wednesday,  April  2, 1-5pm  or

Thursday, April  17, 1-5pm

Call  207-781-6099 or email to:  to be placed on an interest list.


Youth Invited to Enter Essay Contest with Garden, Forest Theme

January 16th, 2014 9:57 AM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension and organizers of the Portland Flower Show invite Maine youth ages 6-18 to write a garden or forest fairy tale for the flower show’s eighth annual student essay contest.

In 150 or fewer words, entrants are asked to create a fairy tale in a forest or garden setting that includes magical people, animals or plants. An original picture or illustration may be included with the essay. 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 for the topic.

Winning essayists will be invited to the Portland Flower Show opening night preview Wednesday, March 5. Selected essays will be posted for the public to read during the rest of the show, which will be March 6-9, at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St., Portland.

For more information, including contest rules and an application, contact the UMaine Extension office in Cumberland County at 800.287.1471 or or visit or

In-Kind Donation Drive

January 15th, 2014 3:02 PM

Got any winter gear that doesn’t fit anymore? Why not donate it?

The employees at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County are having an In-Kind donation drive, January 27th – 31st, 2014, for the Preble Street Resource Center in Portland. We’re collecting warm and durable clothing for those in need who are enduring the harsh winter weather. Socks, boots, sweatshirts, mittens, gloves, hats, jackets, scarves, anything warm!

Don’t have any spare winter gear but still want to contribute to the donation? That’s OK! Preble Street also has need for other various items including: backpacks, jeans, new underwear (for men, women, and teens), and personal hygiene products. (toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, etc.)

We’re collecting the donations at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension- Cumberland County Office during office hours: 8am – 4:30pm

University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Cumberland County

75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104

Falmouth, ME 04105

Donation Drive Information Hand Out

For any questions, please call 207-781-6099 or email

For more information on Preble Street, please visit:

 preble_street logo

Interested in food preservation techniques? Volunteering?

January 15th, 2014 12:39 PM

Are you looking for a new learning experience and a volunteer activity in 2014?

Anyone with produce looks for the best way to store and preserve for the long winter months.

Learn how to preserve foods in a safe and cost effective way.

remsberg_11081030653The University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County offers

the “Master Food Preserver”  program from mid-June to mid- September

via an application process starting in April of 2014.


Learn more at:  Master Food Preserver Info

To be added to the interest listing, please  email to:




Gorham Adult Education Courses for Winter/Spring 2014

January 13th, 2014 4:07 PM

1. Growing Great Berries

Instructor: Master Gardener Joel Leak

2 classes- Tuesdays, 2/11 & 2/25, 6:30-8:30pm at Gorham Middle School

2. Growing Your Own Fruit Trees

Instructor: Master Gardener Joel Leak

2 classes- Tuesdays, 3/4 & 3/11, 6:30-8:30pm at Gorham Middle School

3. Is a Root Cellar in Your Future?

Instructor: Professor Richard Brzozowski

Thursday, 5/22, 6:00-8:00pm at Gorham Middle School

Price: $10

For more information please visit the Gorham Adult Education Website:

Or call 222-1095 to Register

Maine Poultry Growers Association

January 13th, 2014 12:40 PM

MPGA ImageMaine Poultry Growers Association is looking for new members.

Do you raise poultry for profit, fun, or show? If so, then the MPGA is for you.

The MPGA provides strong and enlightened leadership to Maine poultry growers, poultry fanciers, and Game Bird Growers as well as strengthening sustainable poultry production. It also encourages environmental and animal care stewardship, the development and consolidation of specialty markets, and the production of unique and wholesome products.  The MPGA is also involved in teaching youth to acquire positive life skills by raising and caring for poultry, for fun and profit.

Members benefits include a MPGA newsletter, access to poultry experts, and much more!

For more information please visit

To become a member please visit