Archive for the ‘Cooperative Extension’ Category

Haskell Facilitates Facilitation

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Professor Jane Haskell specializes in strengthening skills of group facilitators so meetings can be conducted effectively and efficiently. Fishermen and graduate students are among her more than 400 clients.

This summer, Haskell, who has authored a national facilitation-training curriculum, is working with members of Wabanaki Nations.

She’s also researching how to buoy skills of facilitators who assist refugees. Specifically, she’s studying how American-born, English-speaking facilitators and group leaders ask for feedback from refugees who have recently arrived in the United States.

Refugees, she says, may not have positive experience with regard to giving comments in a formal group setting and may not understand the concept from a Western perspective or framework.

Haskell and a colleague who specializes in immigration and refugees issues are exploring how to best partner with refugees so that their perspectives are heard and understood in Maine.

Learn to Be a Locavore

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The 6th Annual Backyard Locavore Day, sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, in six gardens in Brunswick and Freeport. This self-guided tour will be held independent of the weather.

Learn do-it-yourself strategies for becoming a locavore — a person who eats food locally grown and produced. Demonstrations and talk topics include vegetable and square-foot gardening, backyard composting, greenhouses, beekeeping and backyard poultry. Each garden session will feature food-preservation methods, including drying, hot water bath canning and making herbal vinegars and jam. Complimentary food samples will be provided. UMaine Extension Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver Volunteers, as well as homeowners, will answer questions.

Cost is $15 for those who register in advance, $20 the day of event and free for children younger than 12. Registrants will receive a booklet with a map and descriptions of each site. Proceeds benefit UMaine Extension’s Cumberland County Food Preservation Program. Online registration and information are available at umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/locavore. Also, for more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine), or email lois.elwell@maine.edu.

Kersbergen Cited in Articles About Organic Dairy Farms

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Articles by Mainebiz, The Forecaster and the Portland Press Herald on a $1.7 million training program launched by Wolfe’s Neck Farm and Stonyfield to invigorate the local and regional organic dairy industry and jumpstart the next generation of organic dairy farmers included statistics from University of Maine Cooperative Extension Professor Rick Kersbergen. WLBZ (Channel 2) reported Wolfe’s Neck is working with UMaine Extension to develop the training program. There are currently 285 dairy farms in Maine, compared to 597 in 1995, Kersbergen says. Within the same time frame, Kersbergen says the number of organic dairies has increased from one to 60.

Sentinel Preps Readers to ‘Cook for Crowds’

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The Morning Sentinel advanced a University of Maine Cooperative Extension Cooking for Crowds workshop 1–5 p.m. Monday, July 7, at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office. Topics include safely preparing, handling and serving food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers. Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available. To register, visit umaine.edu/food-health/food-safety/cooking-for-crowds or bring a check to class.

 

Maine Sea Grant Updates Guide to Managing Hurricane Hazards

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Hurricane hazards come in many forms, including storm surge, heavy rainfall, flooding, high winds and rip currents. All of these can affect people who live on shorefront land. To help property owners take steps now to make their homes more resilient and less damage-prone over the long run, Maine Sea Grant has updated the Maine Property Owner’s Guide to Managing Flooding, Erosion & Other Coastal Hazards.

The online resource contains detailed information on navigating state and federal regulatory and permitting processes associated with actions such as elevating a house, moving a house back away from the water, restoring dunes, creating buffers and stabilizing coastal bluffs. Normandeau Associates Environmental Consultants worked in partnership with Sea Grant and University of Maine Cooperative Extension to make this new information available. Now, not only can coastal property owners learn more about the hazards they face and what can be done to protect their property, they also can access step-by-step recommendations and permitting guidance.

Examples of property owners who have taken some of these steps are highlighted in case studies from across southern Maine. Information about a tour of resilient properties to be offered in September will be online.

Property owners in Maine’s coastal communities are encouraged to review this updated guidance document as soon as possible. By taking action now to prevent hurricane damage, public and private property owners can greatly reduce their risk of damage and avoid significant costs and delays associated with repairs and restoration.

Handley Talks About Maine Strawberry Crop for Press Herald Article

Friday, June 27th, 2014

David Handley, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension specialist of vegetables and small fruits at UMaine’s Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, was interviewed for a Portland Press Herald article about this year’s strawberry season. Handley said conditions have been ideal starting last fall and continuing through this week, when many farms in the Augusta area are opening for picking. He said the last two years the crop has come in early, but this year is a more normal ripening schedule. He said he expects the best strawberry crop Maine has had in three or four years.

UMaine Extension Publishes Bulletin on Raising Rabbits for Meat

Friday, June 27th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension has released a bulletin to inform people interested in becoming backyard producers of meat rabbits.

Gary Anderson, a UMaine Extension animal and bio-sciences specialist, authored Backyard Production of Meat Rabbits in Maine. Topics in the 15-page bulletin include the Maine environment, breeds and selection, reproduction, health management, predator control, market outlets and promotions, dressing out a rabbit fryer and recipes.

The popularity of raising domestic meat rabbits is growing in Maine, Anderson says, adding that benefits include nutritious food at a relatively low cost, potential for extra income and an educational experience for the family.

More information, bulletin copies for $1.50 each and free downloads are available from the UMaine Extension Publication Catalog or by contacting the UMaine Extension Publications Office at 207.581.3792 or extension.orders@maine.edu.

Learn Yardscaping Basics at Cooperative Extension Workshop

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will offer a hands-on yardscaping workshop, including how to incorporate native Maine plants in the yard, 2–4 p.m. Sunday, July 20, at Wells Reserve, 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells.

UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Allan Amioka and Ginger Laurits will cover basics of yardscaping — an ornamental gardening strategy that minimizes or eliminates the use of pesticides and fertilizers, thereby reducing harmful downstream effects. Learn about choosing the right place with the right plants that have low-pest profiles and are well adapted to the area. There also will be a tour of the Native Plant Garden at Wells Reserve, as well as a segment on identifying invasive species.

The $7 workshop fee ($5 for Laudholm Trust members) is payable at the event. Participants will meet at the All Seasons Garden behind the lab/science building, and should dress for the outdoors and be prepared for hands-on learning.

To preregister, call UMaine Extension in York County at 207.324.2814 or email rebecca.gowdy@maine.edu. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, call Frank Wertheim at 207.324.2814 or 800.287.1535 (in state).

The program is part of the Four Season Gardening series brought to the Wells Reserve at Laudholm by UMaine Extension’s York County Master Gardener Volunteers. The next workshop — Hoop Bending and Extending the Gardening Season in Maine — is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13.

Maine Edge Publishes Sustainable Agriculture Field Day Advance

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

The Maine Edge published an advance of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s annual Sustainable Agriculture Field Day to be held Thursday, June 26, at Rogers Farm in Old Town. The free event is designed for farmers, crop advisers and others interested in agricultural production. UMaine agricultural researchers and Extension faculty will present field research highlighting current applied agricultural research projects, including alternative weed management strategies in vegetable production, opportunities and challenges with winter grains and evaluating plants to support native pollinators.

Learn to Cook for Crowds

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a Cooking for Crowds workshop 1–5 p.m. Monday, July 7, at the UMaine Extension Somerset County office, 7 County Drive, Skowhegan.

Learn up-to-date methods for safely preparing, handling and serving food for large groups, including at soup kitchens, church functions, food pantries and community fundraisers. The class meets the Good Shepherd Food Bank food safety training requirements. The workshop covers the following food safety guidelines: planning and purchasing; storing food supplies; preparing food; transporting, storing and serving cooked foods; and handling leftovers. Cost is $15 per person; scholarships are available.

For more information, to register or to request a disability accommodation, call Crystal Hamilton at 207.622.7546 or 800.287.1481 (in Maine). Details about future workshops are online.