Kathryn Hopkins, a maple syrup expert and University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, spoke with the Maine Public Broadcasting Network for the report “Harsh winter expected to harm spring maple syrup harvest.” Hopkins said an ideal sugaring season consists of a long period of cold nights and sunny, warm days. Such weather hasn’t happened in Maine yet this year, but she predicts it will occur from late March into April.
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Kathryn Hopkins, a maple syrup expert and University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, was a guest on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Maine Calling” radio show. The show focused on tree tapping and maple syrup making in Maine.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension insect diagnostician Clay Kirby told the Bangor Daily News that the long, cold winter may not have made a dent in the local tick population.
“I hope I’m wrong,” he said. “But I can’t foresee much of a decrease [in the tick population] just because we’ve had so much snow cover, which acts as insulation. Some years, we’ve had ticks brought into the lab as early as the last two weeks of March.”
Kirby also saw one during a hike in December 2013 in the Orono area. “It was 43 degrees when I stepped out of the woods, and I did an instinctive tick check and I was wearing khakis and found a deer tick crawling up my leg.”
For more information on ticks, visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension Tick ID Lab’s website.
Growing hops in the garden at home is the focus of a workshop Tuesday, April 1, 5:30-7:30 p.m., at Nokomis Regional High School, 266 Williams Road, Newport.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and RSU 19 Adult Education are sponsoring the workshop, which will cover the history of hops production in New England, what is needed for hops to thrive in Penobscot County, basics of planting and care, pests that can affect hops and harvesting.
Donna Coffin, Extension educator in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties and statewide resource for the Maine beef and equine industries, will lead the workshop. Cost is $10 for those who register by March 24, $15 for those who register after. To register, call 207.368.3290 or visit the website. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.564.3301, 800.287.1491 (in Maine).
Portland Press Herald columnist Meredith Goad wrote about University of Maine economist Todd Gabe’s study on the maple industry’s financial impact in the state. The industry, he found, generates a direct contribution to the state’s economy of $27.7 million, 567 full- and part-time jobs, and $17.3 million in labor income.
Kathryn Hopkins, a maple products specialist with University of Maine Cooperative Extension, said in a Bangor Daily News story that Mainers could increase the state’s maple syrup production and profile. “We have the trees,” said Hopkins. “If we decide to get organized, get more young people and develop the market … Maine could do anything it wants.”
Last year, Maine’s licensed producers generated 450,000 gallons of syrup worth $24 million. Maine ranks third in the country in syrup production behind Vermont and New York. Hopkins said the maple syrup industry has recently been growing in Maine; three years ago, there were about 380 licensed maple producers and this year there are 452.
Morning Sentinel reported that University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a six-session course that covers moving a specialty food product to market. The class will take place Tuesdays, April 8–29 in Skowhegan and Dover-Foxcroft. Two May class sessions are scheduled to include individual business consultations and a tour of the Dr. Matthew Highlands Pilot Plant — UMaine’s state-of-the-art facility that assists food processors, entrepreneurs, farmers, researchers and students in the food industry.
Penobscot Bay Pilot reported that University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine will a conduct a free citizen science training session 1–3:30 p.m. March 25, at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast. The program, “Signs of the Seasons,” focuses on the history and science of phenology (study of seasonal changes in plants and animals).
The Morning Sentinel reported that University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s tractor and farm machinery safety course will be start April 15 at Ingraham’s Equipment in Knox. The course, designed for youth ages 14–16, will continue for the next four consecutive Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sea Grant College Program at the University of Maine are offering a five-session spring workshop in Saco for people interested in strengthening their facilitation skills.
Sessions for Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills, Level 1 will be held 4–8 p.m. April 17, May 1, May 15, May 29 and June 12 at City Hall, 300 Main St., Saco.
The workshop features experiential learning, including a chance to practice facilitation skills and receive feedback in a safe environment. The $120 fee covers instruction, a resource notebook and light meals. Kristen Grant, who enjoys creating programs that build skills of individuals and capacities of groups, will lead the workshop. Grant has a background in providing interactive, educational programs and works extensively in team settings.
Enrollment is limited to the first 18 people who register. Registration is required and is open. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, contact UMaine Extension at 207.324.2814. For more information, contact Grant at 207.646.1555, ext. 115, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit umaine.edu/ext-community/strengthening-your-facilitation-skills/level-1.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative (PVAEC) explore what it takes to be a farmer in Maine on Wednesday, March 26, 5:30–7:30 p.m., at UMaine Extension, 165 East Main St., Dover-Foxcroft.
“Is Farming for ME?” will instruct attendees how to assess all assets that can contribute to a successful farm and where they can go for more information on starting a farm business plan. The program is part of the YOU CAN series of workshops developed to teach self-sufficiency skills to Maine families.
Donna Coffin, UMaine Extension educator for Piscataquis and Penobscot counties and statewide resource for the Maine beef and equine industry, will lead the workshop. Cost is $5; preregistration is required. To register, call 207.564.6525 or visit bit.ly/pyoucan. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.564.3301 or 800.287.1491 (in Maine).