Learn to make cheese, produce maple syrup at Rural Living Day

February 20th, 2014 11:28 AM

Maple sap buckets on trees.University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Waldo County Extension Association are offering more than 20 workshops and seminars at the 20th Rural Living Day on Saturday, March 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Mount View High School in Thorndike.

Attendees can learn to make cheese, brew beer, produce maple syrup, and attract native pollinators to farms and gardens. Activities for youth ages 6-12 have been added and include gardening, cooking, and outdoors exploration. Presenters include: UMaine Extension specialists; John Bunker, author and apple expert; and Jim Merkel, author and director of the Global Living Project in Belfast, Maine.

A suggested donation of $20 for adults and $5 for youth covers three workshops and lunch made from local food. Rural Living Day proceeds fund a scholarship that Waldo County Extension Association presents annually to a Waldo County student pursuing higher education.

For more information, contact sonia.antunes@maine.edu. To register, visit http://umaine.edu/waldo/rld. To request a disability accommodation, call 1.800.287.1426.

Become a Community Resource For Food Preservation, Safety

February 18th, 2014 10:59 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, ksavoie@maine.edu

Online applications will be available March 31 at http://umaine.edu/food-health/food-preservation/master-food-preservers/.

YOU CAN Make Maple Syrup

February 11th, 2014 9:56 AM

Maple sap buckets on trees.Learn to safely tap maple trees and make maple syrup in a YOU CAN workshop 1-3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Piscataquis County Office, 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft.

UMaine Extension and Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative (PVAEC) sponsor the YOU CAN program, which was developed to teach self-sufficiency skills to Maine families.

Kathy Hopkins, Extension Educator for Somerset County and statewide resource for the Maine maple syrup industry, will lead the workshop; cost is $5. To register, stop in or write to 48 Morton Ave., Suite M, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426, call 207.564.6525 or visit http://bit.ly/pyoucan. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.564.3301 or 800.287.1491 (in Maine).

Press Herald Article Focuses on Maine FoodCorps Program

February 7th, 2014 1:45 PM

The Portland Press Herald reported on the Maine FoodCorps program, the state branch of a national program that teaches healthful eating, expands school-based gardens and increases locally grown food in school cafeterias. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension oversees the Maine program that is funded by the Maine Commission for Community Service, with 20 percent of the funding coming from the federal AmeriCorps program. The article states Maine was chosen as one of the original FoodCorps sites because of the state’s interest in and support of the farm-to-school movement.

Cooperative Extension’s Recipe to Market Course Cited in Morning Sentinel Article

February 7th, 2014 11:32 AM

The Morning Sentinel published an article about Katie Quinn, a bartender at  Bullwinkle’s restaurant on Sugarloaf Mountain, who created a Bloody Mary mix to help reduce overhead. Quinn cites Recipe to Market, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension course, with helping her meet necessary guidelines, such as seeking her commercial kitchen license and label registration from the state Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

UMaine Extension Offering Sanitation, Meat & Poultry Workshops

January 27th, 2014 8:00 AM

scrubbing stainless steel counterUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension will hold a sanitation workshop from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, in Room 203, Hitchner Hall at UMaine in Orono. Registration is $65 and includes a notebook and lunch.

On Wednesday, March 12, and Thursday, March 13, a meat and poultry HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) workshop will take place in 203 Hitchner Hall, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Registration is $150 and includes the sanitation workshop, notebook and lunches.

For more information, to register or to request special accommodations, contact Theresa Tilton at 207.942.7396, 800.287.1485 (toll free in Maine) or theresa.tilton@maine.edu. Registration also can be done online through the Extension website at: http://umaine.edu/food-health/food-safety/sanitation-and-haccp-workshops/.

UMaine Extension programs are open and accessible to all in accordance with program goals. To provide adequate time to respond to special requests, please provide as much notice as possible.

UMaine Extension’s 4-H Science Saturday All About Spuds

December 6th, 2013 12:14 PM

The science of cooking and consuming spuds is the theme of a University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H Science Saturday on Jan. 25 at Hitchner Hall on the UMaine campus in Orono.

Dr. Jason Bolton, assistant extension professor and food safety specialist, and Kate Yerxa, Extension educator, will lead the program for as many as 25 youth in grades 6-8. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bolton and Yerxa will address storage conditions, processing and healthy consumption of Maine potatoes. Participants will also bake potatoes, prepare a potato bar with toppings for lunch and discuss MyPlate recommendations and how spuds can be part of a healthy diet. Youth also will be introduced to kitchen basics and safety.
The $12 program fee includes lunch. Pre-registration is required and may be done on online at http://umaine.edu/4h/home/science-saturday/. Or, to register, for more information or to request a disability accommodation. contact Jessica Brainerd at 207.581.3877. After the program, participating youth, if accompanied by a parent, may swim at UMaine’s New Balance Student Recreation Center pool for an additional $3 per person.

KJ Interviews McConnon about Benefits of Buying Local

November 25th, 2013 10:17 AM

The Kennebec Journal interviewed Jim McConnon, University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist and professor of economics, about the city of Gardiner’s plan to develop a food policy that brands the city as a local food hub and encourages people and groups to purchase locally grown and raised food products.

McConnon said more of the money that is spent on products from local growers remains in the community. He cited a 2005 Iowa State University study that indicated each dollar spent at farmers’ markets in that state had generated an additional 58 cents in direct sales for the economy.

Panel to Discuss Washington County Food System

November 22nd, 2013 11:58 AM

A free panel discussion about the Washington County food system will be held Wednesday, December 11, 6-7:30 p.m., at Kimball Hall at the University of Maine at Machias.  

Much of the food we consume is imported into the area from other counties, states and countries. This has impacts on local land use, the environment, employment and economics.

Panelists include Kevin Athearn, associate professor of environmental and community economics at the University of Maine at Machias; Carly DelSignore, co-owner and operator of Tide Mill Farm in Edmunds; Inez Lombardo, founder and coordinator of Machias Marketplace online farmers market; and David Thompson, store manager of the Machias Hannaford.

Following each panelist’s presentation, audience members will have an opportunity to ask questions. The event, which is open to the public, will be streamed live over theInternet and archived online for future (machias.edu/umm-live).

This is the third panel in the Food and Community Series sponsored by Psychology and Community Studies at UMM, UMaine Extension and the Libra Foundation. For more information, contact UMaine Extension Educator Alan Majka, 207.255.3345 or University of Maine at Machias Professor Meghan Duff, 207.255.1227. To request a disability accommodation, call Jo Ellen Scribner at the University of Maine at Machias, 207.255.1228.

Weekly Advances Food Summit in December

November 22nd, 2013 7:41 AM

The Weekly previewed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s 2013 Maine Food Summit to be held 8:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Friday, December 6, in Wells Conference Center at the University of Maine.

To register or to request a disability accommodation for the summit, call Meghan Dill at 207-581-3878.