University of Maine Cooperative Extension experts around the state are available to discuss several seasonal story ideas for news reporters, ranging from putting the garden to bed for the winter, buttoning up and weatherizing the house, whether to bother raking leaves and Halloween food safety precautions and safe, fun and creative activities for children.
Gardening and Lawn Care
Barbara Murphy, University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator in South Paris who oversees the growing Maine Harvest for Hunger program, can report on the status of this year’s yield for food banks and shelters. Murphy, also a gardening expert, can advise how to put the garden to bed for the winter. She discusses the topic in an online video, and in a YouTube video, she discusses whether raking leaves in the fall makes sense. She can be reached at (207) 743-6329. In the Bangor area, UMaine Extension educator and horticulturist Kate Garland (942-7396) also can discuss late-season yard care. UMaine Extension educator and fruit tree specialist Renae Moran (933-2100) in Monmouth can discuss proper seasonal fruit tree pruning.
Halloween Activities for Kids
Lisbon Falls-based Kristy Ouellette, UMaine Extension educator for 4-H Youth and Family Development, is available to offer creative, safe and novel Halloween activities ideas for children. Orono-based Kate Yerxa (324-3109), a UMaine Extension educator for nutrition and physical activity, can discuss the subject as well.
Economics of Halloween
Jim McConnon, UMaine Extension educator, small business specialist and professor of economics, is available to discuss the importance of Halloween sales to the Maine economy. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Halloween is one of the biggest holidays from an economic perspective. Consumers nationally plan to spend almost $80 apiece this year on Halloween, totaling some $8 billion, according to the NRF. McConnon can be reached in Orono at 581-3165.
Buttoning Up for Winter
Kathy Hopkins, UMaine Extension educator in Skowhegan, discusses in a video saving energy with inexpensive solutions for insulating windows. She can be reached at (207) 474-9622. In addition, as outdoor pests and insects look to find a warm place to winter over, UMaine Extension educator and pest management specialist Jim Dill is available in Orono at 581-3879 to discuss methods of discouraging or preventing bugs from getting inside the house.
Fall and Halloween Food Safety
UMaine Extension educators Beth Calder, a food science specialist, and Jason Bolton, UMaine Extension’s food safety state educator, in the Bangor-Orono areas can discuss consumer food safety concerns, from treats collected on Halloween to harvest suppers. They discuss holiday food safety tips for consumers in a YouTube video.
Storing the Pumpkin Harvest
UMaine Extension educator and vegetable specialist Mark Hutton is available at 933-2100 at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth to explain the best ways to harvest and preserve pumpkins, which if cured correctly can be kept for a year after picking, he says in a YouTube video.
Contact: George Manlove, (207) 581-3756