UMaine Extension Preps Public to Safely Cook for Crowds

July 15th, 2014 9:45 AM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a Cooking for Crowds workshop 12–4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, at the UMaine Extension Penobscot County office, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor.

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling and serving food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers. The workshop meets Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements. It covers the following food safety guidelines: planning and purchasing; storing food supplies; preparing food; transporting, storing and serving cooked foods; and handling leftovers.

Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available. Register online or bring a check to class. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call Viña Lindley at 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 (in Maine).

Maine Harvest for Hunger Featured on WVII

July 15th, 2014 9:44 AM

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Maine Harvest for Hunger program was the focus of the latest installment of the “Backyard Gardener” series on WVII (Channel 7). John Jemison, a soil and water quality specialist with UMaine Extension, spoke about the importance of the program that provides produce and recipes for those in need. This week, Master Gardener Volunteers at the Orono Community Garden will harvest greens for about 50 local senior citizens. Since Maine Harvest for Hunger began about 15 years ago, it has provided more than 1.6 million pounds of food for community members, according to the report.

Master Gardener Training Offered in Skowhegan

July 14th, 2014 1:16 PM

Master Gardener Training Offered in SkowheganUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers training will be held Mondays, Sept. 8 through Nov. 17, 2014, and Mondays, Jan. 19 through Feb. 9, 2015. Classes will meet 6–9 p.m. at the UMaine Extension Somerset County Office, County Drive, Skowhegan.

UMaine and state specialists will present 15 three-hour gardening sessions focused on vegetables, fruit and volunteerism. Participants are expected to attend all sessions and, following the course, work on educationally based, volunteer projects. Projects may include assisting people taking part in community vegetable gardens and/or school gardens, designing and creating displays for fairs and other public functions and answering public calls and requests.

Cost is $220; scholarships are available. The course features an online manual and requires an Internet connection. For more information, to request an application or disability accommodation, or if interested and do not have reliable Internet access, call Pete Bastien, 207.474.9622, 800.287.1495 (in Maine). Completed applications are due by Aug. 22, 2014.

Learn to Cook for Crowds with UMaine Extension

July 10th, 2014 9:50 AM

Extension expert demonstrates cooking for crowds; photo by Edwin RemsbergUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a Cooking for Crowds workshop from 12pm-4pm on Thursday, August 7, at the UMaine Extension Penobscot County office, 307 Maine Avenue, Bangor.

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling and serving food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers. The class meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements. The workshop covers the following food safety guidelines: planning and purchasing; storing food supplies; preparing food; transporting, storing and serving cooked foods; and handling leftovers.

Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available. Register online at umaine.edu/food-health/food-safety/cooking-for-crowds/ or bring a check to class. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call Viña Lindley at 207.342.5971 or 800.287.1426 (in Maine).

UMaine Extension Offers Master Gardener Training

July 9th, 2014 8:34 AM

Man weeding garden; photo by Edwin RemsbergUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers training will be held Mondays, Sept. 8 through Nov. 17, 2014, and Mondays, Jan. 19through Feb. 9, 2015. Classes will meet 6-9 p.m. at the UMaine Extension Somerset County Office, Norridgewock Avenue, Skowhegan.

UMaine and state specialists will present 15 three-hour gardening sessions focused on vegetables, fruit, and volunteerism. Participants are expected to attend all sessions and, following the course, work on educationally based, volunteer projects. Projects may include assisting people taking part in community vegetable gardens and/or school gardens, designing and creating displays for fairs and other public functions, and answering public calls and requests.

Cost is $220; scholarships are available. The course features an online manual and requires an Internet connection. For more information, to request an application or disability accommodation, or if interested and do not have reliable Internet access, call Pete Bastien, 207.474.9622 or 800.287.1495 (in Maine). Completed applications are due by Aug. 22, 2014.

UMaine Extension Offers Backyard Locavore Day

July 1st, 2014 9:37 AM
The 6th Annual Backyard Locavore Day, sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in six gardens in Brunswick and Freeport. This self-guided tour will be held independent of the weather.

Learn do-it-yourself strategies for becoming a locavore — a person who eats food locally grown and produced. Demonstrations and talk topics include vegetable and square-foot gardening, backyard composting, greenhouses, beekeeping, and backyard poultry. Each garden session will feature food-preservation methods, including drying, hot water bath canning, and making herbal vinegars and jam. Complimentary food samples will be provided. UMaine Extension Master Gardner and Master Food Preserver Volunteers, as well as homeowners, will answer questions.

Cost is $15 for those who register in advance, $20 the day of event and free for children younger than 12. Registrants will receive a booklet with a map and descriptions of each site. Proceeds benefit UMaine Extension’s Cumberland County Food Preservation Program. Online registration and information are available at umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/locavore/. Also, for more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine), or email lois.elwell@maine.edu.

Learn Yardscaping Basics at Cooperative Extension Workshop

June 27th, 2014 9:17 AM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will offer a hands-on yardscaping workshop, including how to incorporate native Maine plants in the yard, 2–4 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Wells Reserve, 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells.

UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Allan Amioka and Ginger Laurits will cover basics of yardscaping — an ornamental gardening strategy that minimizes or eliminates the use of pesticides and fertilizers, thereby reducing harmful downstream effects. Learn about choosing the right place with the right plants that have low-pest profiles and are well adapted to the area. There also will be a tour of the Native Plant Garden at Wells Reserve, as well as a segment on identifying invasive species.

The $7 workshop fee ($5 for Laudholm Trust members) is payable at the event. Participants will meet at the All Seasons Garden behind the lab/science building, and should dress for the outdoors and be prepared for hands-on learning.

To preregister, call UMaine Extension in York County at 207.324.2814 or email rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call Frank Wertheim at 207.324.2814 or 800.287.1535 (in state).

The program is part of the Four Season Gardening series brought to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm by UMaine Extension’s York County Master Gardener Volunteers. The next workshop — Hoop Bending and Extending the Gardening Season in Maine — is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Learn to Cook for Crowds

June 25th, 2014 1:25 PM

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a Cooking for Crowds workshop 1–5 p.m. Monday, July 7, at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan.

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling and serving food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers. The class meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements. The workshop covers the following food safety guidelines: planning and purchasing; storing food supplies; preparing food; transporting, storing and serving cooked foods; and handling leftovers. Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available.

For more information, to register or to request a disability accommodation, call Crystal Hamilton at 207.622.7546 or 800.287.1481 (in Maine). Details about future workshops are online.

Maine 4-H Days Participants to Pack Meals for Food Bank

June 6th, 2014 9:00 AM

Maine 4-H Days begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, at Windsor Fairgrounds, 82 Ridge Road, Windsor, with volunteers packing 16,000 meals to be donated to Good Shepherd Food Bank.

At least 100 volunteers registered for Maine 4-H Days are needed to pack the meals, which will be distributed to youth from Kittery to Fort Kent. Outreach Northeast is coordinating the volunteer opportunity.

Maine 4-H Days, an annual event sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine 4-H Foundation, runs through Sunday, June 22. Enrichment workshops include archery, chess, country line dancing, yoga, Lego robotics and numerous animal topics. An ice cream social and a law enforcement K-9 demonstration also will be held.

Weekend registration is $7 per person, $20 per family. For information about the food-packaging event, contact Sarah Sparks, 207.353.5550 or sarah.sparks@maine.edu. For information about Maine 4-H Days, to register or to request a disability accommodation, contact Jessy Brainerd at 207.581.3877, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or jessica.brainerd@maine.edu. Registration materials and more information are available online.

Phenology Program Coordinator Writes Op-Ed on Climate Change for BDN

June 2nd, 2014 2:08 PM

Elissa Koskela, an assistant coordinator of the Signs of the Seasons program coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sea Grant, wrote an opinion piece for the Bangor Daily News titled “Wondering how climate change is affecting us now? Citizen scientists have a role to play.” Signs of the Seasons is a phenology program that helps scientists document the local effects of global climate change through the work of volunteer citizen scientists who are trained to record the seasonal changes of common plants and animals in their communities.