WVII (Channel 7) previewed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s upcoming five-part workshop series, “Eat Well Nutrition.” The workshops start October 30, 2013 and will be held at the Old Town Public Library. The hands-on classes will teach participants how to save money on groceries, prepare healthy meals and keep food safe to eat.
The latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog “Maine a la Carte: Dishing on food and drink news” previewed the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s fermentation workshop slated October 6 in Yarmouth. Kate McCarty, a food preservation community education assistant with UMaine Cooperative Extension, will teach the hands-on workshop.
WABI (Channel 5) reported on a Hancock County gleaning initiative — the act of harvesting extra crops and sharing with those in need — put on by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Healthy Acadia. Food collected at farms throughout the county are collected by volunteers and redistributed to food pantries throughout Hancock County.
Do your friends and family rave about your homemade chowder, blueberry jam, ice cream, fudge or other special food product? They say you should sell it and make a fortune. You wonder if they’re right, and if you have the drive and personality to run a business.
Participants of the Recipe to Market 6-part workshop will learn about licensing, how to prepare and package their food product safely, to access potential profits, and discover some of the resources available to support them in business development.
This program is for individuals currently operating a value-added business or those seriously considering one.
Dates/Times/Subject: Sessions to be held at the UMaine Regional Learning Center, 75 Clearwater Dr., Falmouth, Maine
- October 3 (5:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Are You an Entrepreneur? What Is Involved?
- October 10 (5:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Developing Your Product and Process.
- October 24 (5:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Business Realities.
- November 7 (5:30 – 9:00 p.m.), Resource Panel.
- November 14 (9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) Individual Business Counseling.
- November 21 (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) Pilot Plant Tours, Hitchner Hall, Orono, Maine.
Jason Bolton, assistant extension professor and food safety specialist at the University of Maine, was interviewed for the Bangor Daily News article “Local food ‘incubators’ could ease burden of regulation on Maine farmers, food producers.” Bolton said food production incubators such as Coastal Farms and Food Inc. in Belfast, which offers cold and freezer storage space, kitchen and equipment rentals and food processing services, could easily be applied to other agricultural operations such as dairy or slaughtering. He said he expects to see more food incubators open in Maine as farmers and food producers seek larger markets.
The latest column in the Portland Press Herald’s Maine Gardener series mentions jams as an easy way to make berries last longer. The article cites a new low-sugar recipe recommended by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be offering a workshop series on Starting a Specialty Food Business. This workshop series is presented free of charge at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension office located at 28 Center Street in Machias. Pre-registration is required. Please register by Friday, September 20th by contacting Tara Wood at 207.255.3345 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The workshops in the series is as follows:
Starting a Specialty Food Business: Planning for Success
September 25, 2013
9:00 AM – 12 PM
Business planning is key to owning a successful business. Participants will learn the key questions that need to be addressed about yourself, the business, the customers and the competition before you move ahead. These and other planning issues will be discussed in the context of the business plan with a focus on developing a specialty food business.
Panel of Specialty Food Businesses
October 16, 2013
10:00 AM – 12 PM
A panel discussion by and insurance agency, banker, lawyer, and food business entrepreneur will give advice and answer questions.
Regulations/Licensing for Specialty Food Producers
November 12, 2013
9:00 AM – 12 PM
The workshop will provide participants with information on food safety labeling packaging and product development. n addition, we will discuss food regulations and licenses.
Individual Business Counseling for Specialty Food Producers
November 19, 2013
Individuals taking the workshop series are encouraged to make 1 hr 15 minute appointments with Louis, Jim, and Beth for help and advice on business plans or questions about next steps.
Option: Tour the Pilot Plant
Date and time to be announced
Participants will tour the tour the University of Maine to view the resources available to assist with food product development and research.
The latest post on the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources,” mentions the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s hands-on food preservation workshops and includes a link to the full class schedule. Experts will teach class participants the basics of canning and freezing, including how to use pressure canners and water bath canners to preserve pickles, jam and vegetables. Produce and canning jars are provided at the classes.
The latest post on the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources” focuses on the upgrades to the Portland Public Schools’ food program and centralized kitchen. The new kitchen will service the district’s 10 elementary schools, providing 2,500 breakfasts and 2,000 lunches daily. Jason Bolton, assistant extension professor and food safety specialist at the University of Maine, assisted with the design, layout, equipment and regulatory aspects of the new facility.