Perspectives Newsletter - 2013 January
January 2013 For the people of Waldo County Volume 31
University of Maine Cooperative Extension
992 Waterville Rd, Waldo ME 04915
1-800-287-1426 • www.extension.umaine.edu/waldo
Scaling Up for Small Farm Profitability: Marketing Your Farm Products.
February 28th 9am to 3pm
UMCE Office Lisbon Falls, ME
Register at least 10 days before class.
Maine Grain Conference
Friday March 1st Bangor, ME
Sourcing, producing and certifying seed; designing
organic cash grain rotations; managing weeds; organic fertility strategies and more. Contact Ellen Mallory from the University of Maine, Orono. at 581-2942 or Ellen.Mallory@maine.edu
Beginning School Gardening
Saturday March 9th 9am to 3:30 pm
UMCE Somerset County Office Skowhegan, ME
The registration fee to cover course materials is $15 and registration is due by March 1, 2013. Call 474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495
MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference
March 9th 9am to 4pm
MOFGA Unity, ME
Scaling Up for Small Farm Profitability: Livestock Regulations & Production Practices
March 12th UMCE office, Lisbon Falls
Register at least 10 days before class. www.androscogginswcd.org/2036.html
Maine Vegetable & Fruit School
Seasons Conference Center Portland, ME
Motor Inn Bangor, ME
More information will be available later from UMaine Cooperative Extension.
Rural Living Day!
Mt View School Thorndike, ME
Waldo County’s premier home and Garden program sponsored by the Waldo County Extension Association featuring over 20 different home and garden workshops.
Seed Swap and Scion Exchange
March 24th 8am to 4pm
MOFGA’s Common Ground
Education Center Unity, ME
A special all-day event this year! Bring seeds, scionwood and cuttings to share. Participate in educational workshops.
Sheep Shearing Schools
April 5-6 8am
Sabbath Day Lake Shaker Village New Gloucester, ME
Participants are expected to attend both days of school. School is limited to 10 students. Fee is $85 per student. Lunch and manual included in the course fee. Spectotors welcome!
April 20th Freeport, ME
May 4th Littleton,ME
Beginner Level school, $35 per student. Contact Andrea Herr at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-781-6099.
New regulation changes method for allowing access to property
AUGUSTA ─ Property owners and outdoor recreationists need to be aware of a new regulation that changes one of the methods for posting a piece of property “Access by Permission Only.”
The new rule allows property owners to post their property “Access by Permission Only” by painting one purple vertical stripe at least one inch in width and at least 8 inches in length placed on trees, posts or stones between three and five feet off the ground. These stripes should be no more than 100 feet apart and the paint markings must be maintained so as to be conspicuous at all times.
This new regulation became effective on April 9, 2012.
Currently, “Access by Permission Only” can be designated with two horizontal paint stripes. This method will remain in place until it expires on September 12, 2012.
The use of paint stripes is one method of posting “Access by Permission Only.”
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife offers landowners a variety of signs, including “Access by Permission Only” on the department’s online store at www.mainefishwildlife.com or by stopping in at the department’s headquarters at 284 State Street.
Most of the signs are available free of charge. The “Access by Permission Only” and the “Hunting by Permission Only” are available for $.50 each.
Beginning School Gardening
Beginning School Gardening is a course for school staff (teachers, aides, cooks, health coordinators, etc.) that wish to create a school garden and tie it to class- rooms and the cafeteria. Participants learn basic gardening skills, think through and document a school garden plan, and initiate their school garden. This course focuses on gardening subjects (composting, soil health, growing seedlings, garden planning, insects/ diseases) and provides time and tools to network with others. This course will be taught at the UMaine Extension Somerset County Office on Saturday, March 9, 2013 from 9am to 3:30 pm in Skowhegan. The registration fee to cover course materials is $15 and registration is due by March 1, 2013. Call 474-9622 or 1-800-287-1495.
Soil Test Discounts!
From January 1 to March 1 the Maine Soil Testing Service will offer a discount for soil tests – $12 per soil test rather than $15. Call your local Extension Office to find out how to have your soil tested.
Production Practices for High Tunnels in Maine
A recent study of 52 high tunnels on 31 Maine farms identified areas where additional or continued education with high tunnels for farmers is needed. Comparisons of harvest season length, pests, income and yield between tunnel- and field-grown tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers were also made.
The most-cited advantages to tunnel production over open- field production were improved quality, timing (including early-season, late-season, and winter production), labor use in poor weather, and yield. Sixty-one percent of farmers reported that they plan to add another high tunnel or other protected structure, and an additional 17% are considering doing so.
High tunnels can provide important production and marketing improvements for farmers, thereby potentially increasing farm profit. Through farmer surveys, this study identified five particular areas where additional education is needed. Site selection and preparation, compost and manure use, soil testing, and awareness of increased labor needs are topics that would be applicable to farmers and Extension programs in all areas of the country. In areas with limited use of trickle irrigation in the field (as in Maine), programs about this particular technology would also be useful for high tunnel farmers. This study’s benchmark data about structure type, management, and yield benefits should be applicable in other northern areas.
Source: Fitzgerald, C. B., & M. Hutton, Production Practices and Challenges with High Tunnel Systems in Maine, Journal of the NACAA, Vol. 5, Issue 2, 2012, http://www.nacaa.com/journal/index.php?jid=170Â
Maine Youth Wilderness Program
Join other Maine high school sophomores and juniors on the backpacking adventure of a lifetime through the finest wild country in Maine. As you explore the area on and around the state’s highest peak, Katahdin, you will hear from experts in a variety of fields, including geology, biology, writing, photography, and more. You will see why preserving wilderness is essential to so many people as well as for all the other species that rely upon this land.
In April, the ten selected participants receive required reading materials and other assignments, and submit a project proposal in May. The field experience in Baxter State Park is August 3 through August 11, 2013. Participants present final projects in a follow-up session after their stay in the Park.
Thanks to the support of generous donors and collaboration with Baxter State Park and the Chewonki Foundation, Friends of Baxter State Park is able to offer this program at no direct cost to the student.
Applications are due February 8, 2013. Participants will be notified in March.
To apply: Contact Friends of Baxter State Park at: email@example.com Download a form at: www.friendsofbaxter.org Write to: Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program Friends of Baxter State Park PO Box 609 Union, ME 04862
Winter Care of Hens – Free Webinar Scheduled
Most poultry can handle cold weather very well as long as they are sheltered from wind and kept dry. To keep hens laying, however, requires light supplementation. A free webinar on the Winter Care of Small & Backyard Poultry Flocks is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 7:00 PM. In the January 15, 2013 webinar we will be discussing what is involved in keeping poultry productive through the cold weather of winter. This 60-minute webinar is coordinated by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension as an outreach to poultry producers around New England. Dr. Jacquie Jacob, Extension Poultry Specialist from the University of Kentucky will be the lead instructor. To connect to the webinar go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/poultry just before 7pm (Eastern) on January 15, 2013. Farmers are finding these interactive webinars very useful. All you need is an Internet connection. FYI – More poultry-related webinars are planned this winter.
Sheep Shearing Schools
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Maine Sheep Breeders Association in planning three sheep shearing schools for Spring 2013. The first school is a two-day blade shearing school using non-electric hand shears and will feature renowned blade shearer Kevin Ford of Massachusetts. The school will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 5-6 at the Sabbath day Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine starting at 8:00 AM. Participants are expected to attend both days of the school. This school is limited to ten students. The fee for this school is $85 per student. Lunch for each day and a shearing manual are included in the course fee. Spectators are welcome.
The two other sheep shearing schools are beginner level schools. These day-long schools are planned for Saturday, April 20 in Freeport, Maine and Saturday, May 4 in Littleton, Maine and will feature teams of shearing instructors. These schools are limited to 15 participants each, with a fee of $35 each per student. Lunch and a shearing manual are included in the course fee. For more information or to register, contact UMaine Extension at 207-781-6099 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“Grow It Right!” Master Gardener Volunteers Plant Sale
The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener Volunteers are offering a special “Grow It Right!” plant sale to raise funds for its statewide Master Gardener Volunteers program.
Money raised will assist Master Gardener Volunteer projects and also will provide scholarships to those who cannot afford the Master Gardener course fee. Since its inception more than 30 years ago, the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program has assisted in dozens of community horticultural projects across the state, including Maine Harvest for Hunger, youth gardening and other community-based volunteer efforts.
You can support the project by ordering a high-bush blueberry plant pack, consisting of three young plants, two varieties per pack, for $35.95 or a pack of 10 asparagus crowns ready for planting in the spring for $15.00. Plants will be available for pickup at specific University of Maine Cooperative Extension county offices on Saturday, May 18, 2013. The office locations include; Hancock County in Ellsworth; Penobscot County in Bangor; York County in Springvale, Cumberland County in Falmouth, Knox-Lincoln counties in Waldoboro, Oxford County in South Paris, Washington County in Machias and Highmoor Farm in Monmouth.
You will receive expert advice on growing blueberries and growing asparagus at every stage and a take-home package of instructions from Extension staff and Master Gardener Volunteers.
Cooperative Extension will provide the gardeners with applied research information as the plants mature and reach harvest. “This is more than a plant sale. It is an educational experience with positive results,” says Richard Brzozowski, UMaine Extension educator in the Cumberland County office.
To place an order, go to the following website http://umaine.edu/gardening/master-gardeners/benefit/.
A soil test is recommended prior to planting to help gardeners get the most out of their garden site.
For more information about “Grow It Right!” contact Richard Brzozowski, 207.781.6099 or (toll-free in Maine, 800.287.1471), or Marjorie Peronto, 207.667.8212 (toll-free in Maine,800.287.1479), or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How the Garden Professors Blog Began
Garden Professors Blog and Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/TheGardenProfessors
The Garden Professors blog was originally the brain-child of Dr. Jeff Gill- man, Associate Professor of Horticulture at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, Associate Professor of Horticulture and Exten- sion Specialist at Washington State University.
Both Jeff and Linda have become famous – at least as famous as anyone in Horticulture can become – by lecturing and writing about myths that have become entrenched in gardening and landscape horticulture. They have each published books including Jeff’s The Truth About Organic Gardening and Decoding Gardening Advice (co-authored with Meleah Maynard) and Linda’s The Informed Gardener and The Informed Gardener Blooms Again.
In the summer of 2009, Jeff and Linda decided to launch a blog to provide an entertaining and interactive forum to engage gardeners, landscapers, nursery people, educators and others on the science behind gardening and landscaping. In order to provide some broader perspectives (or to just lighten the workload for themselves, we’re not sure which) they enlisted the help of Dr. Holly Scoggins, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Virginia Tech and Dr. Bert Cregg, Associate Professor of Horticulture and Forestry at Michigan State University. Holly teaches several classes at Va Tech, conducts research on herbaceous perennials and directs the Hahn Horticulture Garden. Bert has a broad background including urban and community forestry, nursery production, and Christmas trees – just call him ‘the Tree guy’.
The USDA Census of Agriculture is conducted every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to make a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them. The Census tells the story of U.S. agriculture; that 3 million farmers in the United States, only one percent of our total population, provide feed, fuel, and fiber for the other 99 percent. Your answers to the Census help shape farm programs and boost services for you, your community and your industry. Census forms will be mailed out in late December. Responses are due by February 4, 2013. Producers also have the option to complete their forms online. The Ag Census is your voice, your future and your responsibility. For more information visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call 1-888-424-7828.
Are You Prepared? Start the New Year with a Focus on Emergency
By Maria DeLucia-Evans, Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County
Disasters can strike at anytime, anywhere. Depending on the circumstances, you may have very little time to leave your home, or you may find it necessary to shelter in place. In our area, we are most at risk for winter storms/ice storms, flooding, fires, extreme weather, power failures, and hazardous material incidents. The more we prepare in advance the better able we’ll be to stay safe during any type of disaster. Putting together an emergency plan and disaster “Go Kit” for your family are important first steps in emergency preparedness planning.
Make sure you identify everyone who will be included in your emergency plan. Identify any special needs they have (e.g. medications, eyeglasses, disabilities) along with any special skills (e.g. CPR, first aid). Be sure to share the details of the plan with everyone involved.
Your plan should also include family pets. As pets will not be allowed in shelters, be sure to have a plan in place for them if evacuation is required.
As you develop your emergency plan, be sure to create a family communication plan. Make sure you are able to access information during an emergency. Having a battery operated or crank, radio can be helpful to receive information and updates from the media during a power loss.
As part of your communication plan, your family should designate two meeting places. The first meeting place should be outside of your home, but a safe distance away. If there is a home fire, for example, your family will know where to meet upon exiting the home. The second meeting place should be outside of your neighborhood, but still in your community. If family members are separated during the day and prevented from returning home due to an emergency, everyone will know where to meet.
You should also designate an out-of-town contact person. Use this person as a point of contact during an emergency if you are unable to reach family members.
Your emergency plan should include creating a “Go Kit” for your family. This kit will consist of items you may need if you have to leave your home. It’s recommended that the following items are included in your kit:
- A three day water supply (one gallon per person recommended)
- A three day supply of non-perishable packaged or canned foods, snacks
- One change of seasonal clothing, raingear, sturdy footwear, sleeping bag/blanket (Mylar “space blanket”). You may prefer your own pillow and blanket at a shelter.
- First Aid Kit, prescription and non-prescription medicine, extra glasses
- Sanitation and hygiene supplies
- Emergency “tools” to include battery powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries; a manual can opener; Swiss army knife; whistle, cell phone charger
- Remember those with special needs – items for infants, elderly, and disabled. Don’t forget the pet’s needs
- Important Documents in a waterproof container
- Cash (in small bills), credit cards
- Books, games, toys.
Make sure to keep your “Go Kit” updated and in a convenient storage place.
In addition to these steps, the Albany County Sherriff’s office provides the following checklist to follow in your emergency preparedness planning:
- Post emergency telephone numbers (doctor, relatives, friends…) near your telephone.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1. Have one ‘hard wired’ phone – cordless home phones will not work in a power outage
- Keep important phone numbers in an alternate place besides your home, possibly your vehicle or cell phone.
- Learn how and when to turn off water, gas, and electricity to your home.
- Learn how to open your garage door without the electric opener.
- Purchase a generator, but use caution not to back feed the grid and do not operate near an open window, which could cause a carbon monoxide issues. Follow the owner’s manual and consult an electrician.
- Learn the proper use of an ABC fire extinguisher and keep one available.
- Learn basic safety, first aid and CPR measures.
- Determine the best escape routes from your home. Have two ways out of each room.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home.
- Remember friends and neighbors – check on them to make sure they are safe.
These are just the basics. To learn more about preparing for emergencies, visit the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.
The more you do now to prepare, the better able you’ll be able to face any type of emergency.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones.
For the first time, the map is available as an interactive GIS-based map, for which a broadband Internet connection is recommended, and as static images for those with slower Internet access. Users may also simply type in a ZIP Code and find the hardiness zone for that area.
No posters of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map have been printed. But state, regional, and national images of the map can be downloaded and printed in a variety of sizes and resolutions.
For more information go to: http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
Hearty Vegetable Beef Soup
Makes 4 servings 234 calories and 8 grams of fat per serving
2 cups broth
1 tsp. Thyme
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 bay leaf
2 cups mixed vegetables
1 can (16 oz. ) tomatoes, cut up
1 cup cooked beef, diced
2 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) noodles or macaroni, uncooked
- Heat broth.
- Add vegetables, meat, and seasonings.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat, and boil gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Add noodles. Cook 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.
- Remove bay leaf and serve.
Creamy Potato Soup
Makes 4 servings 211 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving
3 raw potatoes, diced
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter
3 cups low-fat milk
- Put potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions in a pot with just enough water to cover. Cook until tender.
- Add butter and milk and heat until very hot (but not boiling).
- Add salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste * For thicker soup add instant mashed potato flak
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