Mark Hutton, a vegetable specialist and associate professor of vegetable crops with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke about Maine’s pumpkin crop in the latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources.” Hutton said overall it was a pretty good year for pumpkin production in Maine despite excessive rainfall.
A free panel discussion about genetically modified foods will be held Wednesday, November 13, 2013 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., at Kimball Hall at the University of Maine at Machias (UMM).
Genetically modified foods have had genes from other plants or animals inserted into their genetic codes. Alterations done in a laboratory are to improve certain traits, such as increased resistance to pests, herbicides and drought.
Panelists include Jim Gerritsen, an Aroostook County farmer and president of Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association; John Jemison, water quality and soil specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension; Eric Jones, assistant professor of plant biology at UMM; and Andrei Alyokhin, professor and graduate coordinator with UMaine’s School of Biology and Ecology. 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 the Internet and archived for future viewing at www.machias.edu/umm-live.
This is the second panel in the Food and Community Series sponsored by Psychology and Community Studies at UMM, UMaine Extension and the Libra Foundation. The third panel discussion, slated for the night of December 11, will be about the Washington County food system. For more information, contact Alan Majka at 207.255.3345 or Meghan Duff at 207.255.1227. To request a disability accommodation, call Jo Ellen Scribner at 207.255.1228.
David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, spoke with The Ellsworth American about the demand for blueberries. Yarborough said frost early in the growing season in Quebec reduced by half the province’s blueberry harvest. He said a smaller harvest in Canada will result in more demand for Maine’s wild blueberries; estimates predict a higher than average crop of 90 million pounds.
David Yarborough, a wild blueberry specialist and horticulture professor at the University of Maine, spoke with the Associated Press about this year’s blueberry crop. Yarborough said Maine’s wild blueberry fields for the most part escaped widespread damage from a harmful new fruit fly during the summer harvest, resulting in what is expected to be an above-average crop. Boston Herald, The Bellingham Herald, Brattleboro Reformer, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2) and Boston.com were among several news organizations to carry the AP report.
Rick Kersbergen, sustainable dairy and forage systems educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, was quoted in a Bangor Daily News article on the variety of Maine farm shares. Kersbergen said popular farmers markets, such as those in Belfast and Orono, are “just about impossible to get into,” and diversifying farm shares is one way farmers can continue to directly sell products to consumers.
The October/November issue of Farm Scoop is now available: Farm Scoop – October/November 2013. Read about the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) Farmer to Farmer Conference, Free Work Safety Stickers, Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton Webinar Series, Maine Hay and Straw Directories, Cornell Online Berry Production Course, and the Annual Maine Beef Conference.
The latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources” cites several University of Maine projects related to Maine’s potato harvest and quotes Andrew Plant, an educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Aroostook County. Plant said The County’s nutrient-rich Caribou soil and climate — warm days and cool nights — offer ideal growing conditions for potatoes. The blog also states UMaine’s Potato Breeding Program is close to releasing seeds for new potato varieties to the public; and researchers at the USDA’s New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Lab at UMaine have been evaluating how cover crops, rotation schedules, soil amendments and irrigation affect potato crop production and yield.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension invites sheep producers to participate in a free, four-part webinar series designed to help them explore the feasibility of marketing lamb and mutton to ethnic consumers.
“Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton – An Educational Program for U.S. Sheep Producers” will be broadcast live on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. on November 19 and 26, and December 3 and 10. Presentations will be archived for later viewing.
Sheep marketing experts will be featured in each 60- to 90-minute presentation. Readings, self-driven activities, assignments and group discussions will supplement the sessions; which will also be useful for goat producers.
November 19 – Ethnic Market Background
November 26 – Understanding the Ethnic Consumer
December 3 – Understanding and Evaluating Your Market Options
December 10 – Your Marketing Plan
Richard Brzozowski of UMaine Cooperative Extension, Susan Schoenian of the University of Maryland Extension, and Roger High of the Ohio State University designed the educational outreach series.
Please visit the UMaine Sheep and Goats website for more information and to register online. For disability accommodations, contact Richard Brzozowski at email@example.com or 207.781.6099 (TDD 1.800.287.8957).
The latest entry of the Portland Press Herald blog, “The Root: Dispatches from Maine’s food sources,” previewed a two-night honeybee disease and pest management workshop at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s office in Falmouth on November 5 and 12, 2013. Master Beekeeper Erin MacGregor-Forbes will teach the workshop.
WABI (Channel 5) spoke with Donna Coffin, extension educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, about the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) that awards grants to farmers. Coffin said the program allows farmers to test out ideas that could improve their business to help them determine if the idea could be profitable.