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Perspectives - 2013 June



Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days

June 7th                                    10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bahner Farm                            Belmont, Maine

Fridays from June 7th thru September 8th . For more Information:


Celebrating 100 years of 40H in Maine

June 15th                                      6 p.m.

Union Fairgrounds                    Union, Maine

The Knox-Lincoln 4-H Leaders’ Association requests your presence at their Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser and Celebration at Union Fairgrounds. 4-H alumni are especially encouraged to attend and possibly share memories of their time as 4-H members or leaders! Cost for dinner is your choice of donation.

FMI: Cindy Rogers 207.832.0343,


MOFGA Farm & Homestead Day

June 15th                                     9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

MOFGA                                         Unity, Maine        

Free event, offering hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground Education Center on Crosby Brook Road in Unity. For more information or to volunteer: or 207.568.4142 or


Maine Grass Farmers Pasture Walk

June 23rd                                     3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Old Crow Ranch                          Durham, Maine

Come join other MGFN members and learn about Steve’s efforts to raise his livestock using well-managed pastures. Old Crow Ranch is located at 427 Davis Road, Durham, Maine.


Developing Compost Management plans for Farm Operations

June 25th

Highmoor Farm                        Monmouth, Maine

Learn how to write plans, develop compost recipes and solve problems with farm composting operations.  Pre-registration required $25 Contact Jeanne at or call 1.800.244.2104 (in Maine)


UMaine Sustainable Agriculture Field Day

June 26th                                    4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

UMaine Rogers Farm                Stillwater, Maine

To feature research trials on winter and spring wheat varieties, in-season diagnostic tests for winter grains, planting date effects on winter canola and winter wheat, and organic feed grain crops.


2013 Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair

July 25th – 27th                           Skowhegan, Maine

The Maine Grain Alliance, with support from King Arthur Flour, proudly presents the 2013 Kneading Conference and Artisan Bread Fair. For registration information contact or vist


The Artisan Bread Fair

July 27th                                          Skowhegan, Maine

A free festival celebrating local grains, artisan breads, and delicious Maine Foods. Building on the success of previous years, 2013 will offer more bakers, more demos, more artisans, and more live music!





Changes in the Waldo County Office

In July last year, Jane Haskell was offered a position working for Extension out of the University of Maine Extension office in Orono. Starting in late fall, Jane moved to that position and is conducting her facilitation work on a more statewide basis.

Thank you Jane for your 20 plus years of service in Waldo County! You will be missed, but we know where you are!  Jane can be reached by email at

We are lucky to have been able to establish a new position in our office as a result of Jane’s departure. Our Extension Executive Committee created a new job description for a food/systems and youth development professional and we have recently hired Viña Lindley to fill that role. We are excited about the possibilities this position brings and the talents and enthusiasm that Viña has for her new role.

Please welcome Viña to our Extension office. She can be contacted by calling the office at 207.342.5971 or by email at



Freshwater Fish – Safe Eating Guidelines

Warning: Mercury in Maine freshwater fish may harm the babies of pregnant and nursing mothers, and young children.

Safe Eating Guidelines - Pregnant and nursing women, women who may get pregnant, and children under age 8 SHOULD NOT EAT any freshwater fish from Maine’s inland waters. Except, for brook trout and landlocked salmon, 1 meal per month is safe.

All other adults and children older than 8 CAN EAT 2 freshwater fish meals per month. For brook trout and landlocked salmon, the limit is 1 meal per week.

It’s hard to believe that fish that looks, smells, and tastes fine may not be safe to eat. But the truth is that fish in Maine lakes, ponds, and rivers have mercury in them. Other states have this problem too. Mercury in the air settles into the waters. It then builds up in fish. For this reason, older fish have higher levels of mercury than younger fish. Fish (like pickerel and bass) that eat other fish have the highest mercury levels.

Small amounts of mercury can harm a brain starting to form or grow. That is why unborn and nursing babies, and young children are most at risk. Too much mercury can affect behavior and learning. Mercury can harm older children and adults, but it takes larger amounts. It may cause numbness in hands and feet or changes in vision. The Safe Eating Guidelines identify limits to protect everyone.

Warning: Some Maine waters are polluted, requiring additional limits to eating fish.

Fish caught in some Maine waters have high levels of PCBs, Dioxins or DDT in them. These chemicals can cause cancer and other health effects. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends additional fish consumption limits on the waters listed below. Remember to check the mercury guidelines. If the water you are fishing is listed below, check the mercury guideline above and follow the most limiting guidelines.

Safe Eating Guidelines

Area                                                                                                                          Guidelines

Androscoggin River Gilead to Merrymeeting Bay:                                       6-12 fish meals a year

Dennys River Meddybemps Lake to Dead Stream:                                      1-2 fish meals a month

Green Pond, Chapman Pit, & Greenlaw Brook(Limestone):                    Do not eat any fish from these waters

Little Madawaska River & tributaries

(Madawaska Dam to Grimes Mill Road):                                                       Do not eat any fish from these waters

Kennebec River Augusta to the Chops:                                                            Do not eat any fish from these waters

Shawmut Dam in Fairfield to Augusta:                                                            5 trout meals/yr, 1-2 bass meals/mo.

Madison to Fairfield:                                                                                             1-2 fish meals a month

Meduxnekeag River:                                                                                              2 fish meals a month

North Branch Presque Isle River                                                                        2 fish meals a month

Penobscot River below Lincoln:                                                                         1-2 fish meals a month

Prestile Stream:                                                                                                       1 fish meal a month

Red Brook in Scarborough:                                                                                  6 fish meals a year

Salmon Falls River below Berwick:                                                                   6-12 fish meals a year

Sebasticook River (East Branch, West Branch & Main Stem)

(Corinna/Hartland to Winslow):                                                                    2 fish meals a month

For more information go to:

For more details, including warnings on striped bass, bluefish and lobster tomalley call toll free 1.866.292.3474 or visit our web site at



Gardening in Small Spaces (Taken From) Bulletin #2761

Developed by Extension Specialists Richard E. Durham and Deborah B. Hill, University of Kentucky. Adapted for Maine by Associate Extension Professors Donna Coffin, Kathy Hopkins, and Frank Wertheim, and Extension Agriculture Coordinator Casey Bowie, The University of Maine. Reviewed by Associate Extension Professor Marjorie Peronto, The University of Maine. 

For more on this topic go to: or contact your local Extension Office for a copy of this - Bulletin #2761.

Gardening, in one form or another, is often described as one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, and rightly so. Involvement by people in gardening activities helps promote healthy habits. At a time when Americans are overweight and under-exercised more than ever before, con- sider that a 150-pound person working in the garden will burn approximately 350 calories per hour. That’s roughly equivalent to doing low-impact aerobics, playing softball, pulling a cart while playing golf, walking at a very brisk pace, or playing vigorously with children. Of course, consuming homegrown vegetables is good for your health as well. Fresh vegetables are loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which play a role in cancer prevention and general good health. And when you grow your own vegetables, you know exactly how they were grown and where they originated—issues of food safety and security that are becoming more and more important to our society.

Our modern landscapes have little enough room for outdoor leisure in general, not to mention gardening. Nevertheless, you would be surprised at the amount of vegetables that can be produced in a very small area. When gardening in a small space, there is little need for spacing plants in rows, so planting can be more efficient. Also, placing plants in a bed or container reduces the need to walk in or closely around your plants. This reduces the chance that soils will become compacted and need frequent tilling. And with a little planning, even residents of apartments and condominiums can grow vegetables on their patios. Raised-bed and container gardening may also allow those with limited mobility to garden.

Raised Bed Gardening - Raised-bed gardening has several advantages. Soils in raised beds are usually better drained than the surrounding area so installing raised beds offers a solution for poorly drained sites. Better root growth from improved soils usually results in higher yields from plants grown in raised beds. Raised beds require less stooping during weeding, watering, and other activities. Raised beds can also be installed in areas that are difficult to garden conventionally such as sites with shallow soil (over rock), steep slopes, or poor soil quality.

The garden beds are usually raised off the ground surface to a height of at least 6 to 8 inches. A frame to support the soil may be constructed from wood, stone, concrete block or brick, or the gardener may prefer to simply mound the soil without a rigid structure. The bed size will vary according to the gardener’s needs and the space available. Beds are typically constructed no more than 4 feet wide since this width allows for an easy reach into the bed from either side. Maintain an aisle of 2 to 4 feet between beds to allow easy access with tools and equipment (wheelbarrows, hose reels, chairs or stools, wheelchairs).

Preparing the soil - One of the reasons that raised bed gardening is so productive is that the gardener has control over the soil used in the bed. In traditional gardens, soil becomes compacted from tractors, tillers, or people moving across the surface. Adding components such as organic matter and porous material to raised beds will improve soil structure.

Soil compaction is also avoided by not walking in the beds. An ideal soil for raised beds would consist of equal volumes of garden soil, organic matter (compost, peat moss, composted manure), and porous material (vermiculite or perlite). If good quality garden soil is not available, substitute additional organic matter. Add lime and fertilizer, as recommended by a soil test of the finished soil mix. In the absence of a soil test, 1 to 2 pounds of a complete fertilizer such as 10-10-10 per 100 square feet is usually adequate.

Planting - There are several ways to plant your bed. You may also choose to plant in rows within the bed, or simply group similar plants together by maturation time or height. When choosing what to plant keep in mind that diversity in plants will promote a more stable ecosystem. Plant diversity tends to encourage more beneficial insects and microorganisms in the planting area. Monoculture, or grouping together of the same or closely related crops, may encourage more pest and disease issues. You may even want to include a few flowers in your vegetable garden to increase the diversity of plants being grown.



Garden Professors Blog and Facebook Page

How the Garden Professors Blog Began

The Garden Professors blog was originally the brain-child of Dr. Jeff Gillman, Associate Professor of Horticulture at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, Associate Professor of Horticulture and Extension 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’.

Science of Gardening Explored through Humor, Debate…

Since July 2009, the four professors have taken turns writing daily (more or less) posts for the blog. Topics range from the serious (invasive species, appropriate use of pesticides, compost tea) to the less serious (colored poinsettias, pee bales, beer preferences of slugs). Often the posts have been controversial, generating rather -ahem- spirited discussion among the professors and their readers.

The unique mix of science, horticulture, debate and humor has proved to be a winning combination and readership of the blog has grown steadily; currently averaging about 10,000 visits a month.

Visit the Garden Professors Blog. Follow them on Facebook. Submit your comments and join the conversation. The Garden Professors don’t always see to eye to eye – either with each other or their readers – but work to perfect the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.


Belfast Garden Club Features Open Garden Days

Fridays from June 7th thru September 8th from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

The first one on June 7 is Bahner Farm  In 3½ years Christa and Michael Bahner have transformed their 37 acre property from overgrown fields into a thriving farm business. Beautiful view! Five acres full of salad mix, fresh herbs, head lettuce, radishes, summer turnips, kale, chard, many other members of the brassica family, as well as a ½ acre of raspberries and strawberries; hoop houses full of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. Seedlings are grown in a partially heated greenhouse. Farm stands with fresh vegetables as well as local cheese, sweets and other treats for sale. Some areas are handicap accessible.

Directions: 153 Augusta Road (Rte. 3), Belmont. Rte. 3 West, go about 5.4 miles. On the right hand side immediately before the Belmont Boatworks. For more information:



How can I attract cardinals to my property?

Cardinals are one of the most popular of all songbirds. The male cardinals are famous for their brilliant red feathers and crested heads. Female cardinals are also quite striking, but in a more subtle way, as their feathers have a rosy color.

Cardinals are not shy about taking food from a feeder. They’re usually the first birds at the feeder in the morning and the last ones to feed at dusk. Because cardinals eat so early in the morning and so late at dusk, they seem to have plenty of time for singing during the midday while other birds are feeding.

At the feeder, male cardinals will often fight other birds for the seed; they’ll even fight their own mates. But the possessive male will eventually relent and allow other birds to feed. It is interesting that as the breeding season approaches in March, the domineering mood of the male cardinal changes toward its mate as far as feeding goes. In fact, you may see the male cardinal in the late winter shuck seeds out of sunflower shells for the female and then feed her as she lowers her head back to receive the seed, much like baby birds do when they are fed by their parents.

As for feeding strategies, cardinals prefer to be fed from feeders that are about 4 to 6 feet high. They prefer the more steady stationary feeders rather than hanging-type feeders. However, be sure you protect your bird feeder from free-ranging cats that will hunt the birds.

Cardinals love sunflower seeds, especially the solid black, oil-type ones. They will sometimes scratch their way through an entire seed mix to get every sunflower seed before eating the other seeds. Cardinals will also eat safflower seeds and white proso millet when sunflower seeds are not available.

Cardinals do not migrate. Although they tend to wander in the winter, seldom do they fly more than a few miles from their nest. Since cardinals do not migrate, if you establish a home landscape that is attractive to these birds, you could have a cardinal family live in your yard for many years.

Cardinals, like most birds, prefer their home surroundings to have a mixture of evergreen and deciduous trees in the area. They’ll often nest in shrubs or thickets that face an open lawn. Recommended plants for nesting include viburnum, raspberry, elderberry, hackberry, sour cherry, dogwood, grape, and hawthorn.



Cooking for Crowds

Felicia Dumont, Community Education Assistant will hold a Food Safety Training Workshop for volunteer quantity cooks. On Wednesday, July 31st at 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension building, 7 County Dr. Skowhegan, Maine. The Cost is $15.00 per person (scholarships are available). Details on future workshops available at cooking for crowds: Contact: Tammy Bodge-Terry to register at or phone: 207.474.9622 or 1.800.287.1495 (In -state).



MOFGA Farm & Homestead Day 

On Saturday June 15th at 9:30 a.m. a free event, offering hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Common Ground Education Center on Crosby Brook Road in Unity. Learn how to weave, spin and nalbind (sometimes called “single needle knitting”), make sheets of felt for a yurt, operate a treadle sewing machine to make tomato bags from old tarps or to sew burlap bags, evaluate livestock that you might want to raise, milk a goat and take goats on a browse walk, harness and drive a draft horse, grow native herbs in Maine, make tinctures and use herbal first aid, prune and mulch orchard trees, grow container gardens, make paper pots, build raised beds for gardeners in wheelchairs, work smart, compensate for decreasing flexibility, use tools appropriately and care for your body, manage your woodlot, including identifying trees, using different woodlot species, using hand tools and human-powered equipment in small-scale forestry, felling trees safely, and identifying and managing invasive plants, heat air and cook with low-tech and alternative techniques, build a solar hot air exchanger and make a rocket stove for cooking with wood, build simple fences, such as jack and rider and a stump fence. Children of all ages are invited to learn how to build bluebird nesting boxes, make paper, create a “kids can grow” garden, make paper pots, sow seeds and transplant seedlings, select and care for chickens, at a junior poultry show run by kids. Participants are welcome to bring any extra transplants and seeds for a Plant and Seed Exchange.

For more information or to volunteer: or 207-568-4142,





Potato Salad

1 2/3 cups potatoes, cooked, peeled, diced

(2/3 pound, about 2 mediums)

3 tablespoons celery, chopped

1-tablespoon onion, chopped

potato2 tablespoons salad dressing, low-fat mayonnaise-type

1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard

1/8-teaspoon salt

Dash pepper



1Mix potatoes, celery, and onion.

2. Mix salad dressing, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir lightly into potato mixture.

3. Chill.

Makes two servings of about 3/4 cup each, 153 calories per serving



Watermelon Sorbet

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons Splenda no calorie sweetener

4 cups pureed watermelon (about ½ a seed-less watermelon)

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 cup 99% fat free vanilla yogurt



1.Cut the watermelon in half.

2. Remove the flesh and place in the bowl of a food processor or a blender. Process or blend until smooth.

3. Measure 4 cups and set watermelon puree aside.

4. Dissolve Splenda in water.

5. Pour watermelon puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove any pulp or seeds.

6. Add the sweetened water to the strained watermelon puree.

7.Pour mixture into a 9-inch metal baking dish and freeze overnight, or until firm.

8. Let the frozen watermelon sorbet soften at room temperature for 5 minutes.

9. Using a butter knife, break the frozen sorbet into 2-inch pieces.

10.Place frozen pieces in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Store the sorbet for up to 1 week.



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