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4-H News in Washington County ~ November 2013

Volume 8, Issue 11

Dates to Remember

November 11- Veteran’s Day – Extension Office Closed

November 27- Reenrollment Forms Due

November 28 – Thanksgiving Day – Extension Office Closed

November 29 – Extension Office Closed

January 11- Public Speaking Clinic 1-3 p.m.

February 19- Public Speaking club delegates due to the Extension Office, no exceptions

Perry Harvest Fair Club Exhibits

The Dennys River Manure Movers entered a brilliant exhibit of “Celebrating 4-H – 100 Years of 4-H in Maine.” They tied in the history of the horse, displaying details of horse evolution with historic 4-H horse curricula and an heirloom 4-H ribbon. This won the club not only the first place ribbon for club exhibits, but also the Best in Show ribbon awarded at this year’s fair. The Horse Power 4-H club entered a festive exhibit of 4-H Birthday cheer that certainly set a happy tone at the Perry Harvest Fair 4-H hall.

Perry Harvest Fair Member Exhibits

Kudos to Schylar Dempsey, Katie Bitar and Libby Bitar for winning Best in Project ribbons! Schylar completed a three-page report on his several tested models of a wind turbine, exhibiting in 3-D what he found to be the most energy-producing design. The Bitars showed great imagination in the fairy house they designed from items found in nature. Some of the other spectacular exhibits included: homemade dog treats, a horseshoe picture frame, flower arranging, and a decorative glass decoration.

Perry Harvest Fair Cloverbud Exhibits

Our Cloverbuds (4-Her’s with 4-H ages 5-8) proved that they, too, know how to impress! From a detailed display about forestry to a handmade survival bracelet to a fun-loving horse toy, our Cloverbuds are certainly a talented group. Cloverbuds receive a green ribbon for participation and a $1 coin honorarium. We know these youth have many blue ribbons in their future!

Perry Harvest Fair Animal Demonstrations

John Johnson, a member of the Dennys River Manure Movers, set up a detailed showing of his chickens, facts about his birds, and even their eggs! For an hour he showed his chickens, answered questions from the public and made 4-H in Washington County proud! Way to go, John!

If you are reading this newsletter and are in an animal project or are just starting one, you might just be able to demonstrate your work with your animal at the next Perry Harvest Fair in 2014. Keep up the great work!

Reenrollment for 2014

All reenrollment packets have been sent out. Please contact the office if you do not have yours already. All forms are due to the office on Wednesday, November 27th.


There is still a month left to find the 4-H geocaches hidden here in Washington County! The Quoddy Kids and the 4-H Machines worked hard to place their geocaches this spring. Have you found them yet? Below is a picture from one 4-Her who has! Just let me know if you need me to email you the coordinates! Have fun!

Perry Harvest Fair Contributors

A HUGE thank-you to Ellen Brown and the Perry Recreation Committee. Every year they invite Washington County 4-H to their fair, provide display space and tables at no cost to the 4-H program, and even supply the funds for the premiums, honorariums and ribbons the youth are awarded. Another great thank-you to Caroline Maher, a dedicated 4-H volunteer and exhibit judge! Thank-you also to youth volunteer, Madelyn Willey, for spending her day assisting youth through the 4-H Sounds of Science experiment held at the fair this year. Thanks to all of the dedicated club volunteers and parents who came together to support the youth of our community. Your endless hours of commitment are very apparent in the quality of exhibits at the Perry Harvest Fair.

Horse Power 4-H club holds 100 Year Birthday Party and Awards Meeting

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, the Horse Power 4-H club had cake, ice cream and even presents to celebrate 100 Years of 4-H in Maine! One present was shared by the club in a fun, turn-taking activity. The remaining presents were those that the club members provided, donating gifts of pet food to the local animal shelter. Enrollment and re-enrollment forms were distributed and collected, and annual awards were given. Way to enjoy our Birthday, Horse Power 4-H!

Cooking With the Kids

Homemade Ice Cream in a Baggie adapted from “Always Look Up”

1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. rock salt
2 sandwich sized Ziploc baggie
1 gallon sized Ziploc baggie
Ice cubes

Fill the gallon sized bag 1/2 full of ice and add the rock salt. Put milk, vanilla and sugar into 1 small bag. Seal. Put that bag into the other sandwich bag. Seal. I do this so it won’t rip open with the ice. Shake vigorously until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5 to 10 minutes, depending how much it is shaken. Wipe off the top of the ice cream bag, then open it carefully. Pour into a bowl, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

School News

Ella Lewis School - Lots of exciting 4-H happenings are up at Ella Lewis this fall. To start with, the 1st graders finished up their seed exploration and germination unit with the Maine Ag in the Classroom “Seed, Soil & Sun” program. In what is becoming an annual tradition to enrich their science lessons, 4-H volunteer Farmer Carl and Lisa led the class in exploring the parts of plants, the food we eat, and the importance of taking care of the earth to make sure we can be healthy, too.

Meanwhile, the upper grades are busy planning their
new school garden, led by 4-H volunteer and Science teacher Danielle Wells and a very active group of volunteers from the community. Having received a Farm to School Grant last summer for $2000 to construct a hoop house for indoor classroom space for their garden-based science projects, construction on this has started and should be ready for planting by the end of November.

Finally, thanks to Art Teacher and 4-H volunteer Emily Hutchinson, the students will be incorporating 4-H into their classroom this year by completing their 4-H project record cards as they finish a project with the hopes of entering these in the Blue Hill Fair 4-H Exhibit Hall. Emily is excited about the opportunity to have the students use these cards to further reflect on the skills they learn and the life skills they used while working on their pieces.

Morning Song School Cooperative – Morning Song 7th graders are now taking Art with soon-to-be 4-H volunteer Jana Prosser. They will be preparing their 4-H project cards as they go, just like Ella Lewis students. Look for their works of art at this years Blue Hill Fair!

In Theatre, the Morning Song Players, led by 4-H volunteer Lisa Reilich, are working on honing their acting skills through intensive scene work, monologues, and extra work in improvisation. They will perform their pieces at the end of December.

Trenton Elementary School – Trenton Elementary School is in their 4th year as a 4-H school group, being our first 4-H school group in Hancock
County. Their afterschool program, led by 4-H
volunteer Nicole Holdsworth, was able to explore the
parts of the seed and what plants need to grow and
thrive through experiments with seed germination
activity features in this month’s newsletter (see this
month’s “Lisa’s Activity” on page 10). After planting
their seeds in jars, they watched their seeds
germinate and grow into bean and corn plants over
the next three weeks, recording what they saw in their
seed journals. There was lots of learning to be had, and some students even took their plants home to plant them in soil and see if they would keep on growing. It will be interesting to find out what happens with this experiment!

Lisa’s 4-H Activity Challenge of the Month

Winter is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun growing plants – in your class- room, club, or at home. Try this fun SEED GERMINATION experiment with your 4-H group or on your own and keep growing all year long!

Germinating Seeds

You Will Need:

Try It

1) Soak your seeds for 1 hour in a 10% bleach solution (1 tsp of bleach to one quart of water). Set aside once done soaking. This will help keep the seeds from growing mold.

2) In your glass jar or cup, line the sides with your paper towel or construction paper.

3) Fill the rest of the jar with tightly packed polyfill.

4) Add one inch of water to the bottom of the jar and allow the paper or towel to 
absorb the water.

5) Place four prepared seeds in between the paper and the jar or cup about a 
third of the way down. Use different kinds of seeds if possible.

6) Place the cups in a warm and sunny place and watch them grow! Be sure to 
keep about an inch of water in the bottom of your jar or cup.

7) Keep a log of how your seeds grow. Make a folding “book” for each seed in 
your jar to make it easy to write down what you see. Fold a long strip of 
paper so it looks like an accordion. Have 14 folded squares.

8) Label each folded square with a day number from 1 to 14. Each day, 
observe your seeds and draw a picture of what you see.

9) After the two weeks are up, unfold your “books” and look at the progress of 
your seeds.

Share & Process

What did you notice about how your seeds grew? Did one kind of seed grow faster than another or bigger? Where did the roots grow and from where did the stem and leaves grow? If some seeds grew and some did not, or some grew bigger than others, what conditions do you think affected how they grew? If you worked with a club or school group, how did each person’s jar differ from others? What environmental differences might have contributed – compare notes on location, warmth, light, water? Which factors do you think were the most important?


What did you learn about how seeds respond to outside influences? How do you think people who live with- out sunlight for several months react to darkness? Why? How do people you know react to having less day- light here in Maine in the winter? How do plants and animals react when they have less water or the days are cold? Think about your garden or gardens you have. When do the plants seem to grow the fastest? What happens to them as we move into the colder nights in the fall?


If you were to teach another group to do this activity, how would you go about making sure they experienced success? How can you gather more information to better understand why there were differences in how the seeds grew? How could you apply what you learned to growing plants in a garden? What information was on your seed packets that may help when you plant these seeds in your garden?

For more seed germination experiments, challenges, information and trivia around this activity, check out our 4-H Gardening: See Them Sprout and Down-to-Earth: Enriching Learning Through Gardening curriculums. Variations of this activity can be found on pages 16 through 18 of the 4-H Gardening: See Them Sprout curriculum and pages 27 through 30 of that curriculum and Down-to-Earth: Enriching Learning Through Gardening curriculum. Both are available to borrow from our lending library.

4-H News from the State

 1. Celebrating 100 Years of 4-H in Maine- 2013 marks the 100th birthday of 4-H in Maine, and we want YOU to celebrate with us! Check with your local county office to find activities in your neck of the woods. Please check out our special “Celebrating 100 Years” website – we are also encouraging all of you to consider giving financially to the 4-H Foundation as we work to raise $100,000 in 2013 to support the 4-H program.

Happy 100 years Maine 4-H, and here’s to many more!

2. Beef Heifer Project- The New England Galloway Group is announcing their annual Heifer Project, which places a Belted Galloway heifer calf with a deserving youth recipient to allow for a hands-on education in beef cattle rearing and showmanship and to develop a love of the breed. The youth selected to receive a heifer is expected to return the first heifer calf back to the program so it will continue each year. If you are interested in applying for this program, you can download the application; the application deadline is December 31, 2013.

3. 4-H Rabbit Show- There will be a 4-H Rabbit Showmanship class at the Eastern Maine Rabbit Breeders open and youth show on Saturday, November 9, 2013 in Newport, ME. 4-Hers and potential 4-H members are welcome to show. Rabbits will be scored according to the 4-H showmanship standards in the 4-H rabbit curriculum book “What’s Hoppening?”.

To learn more about the show, directions, and how to prepare your rabbit, check the 4-H Rabbit Show page on our website.

4. Beef Conference- University of Maine Cooperative Extension is co-sponsoring the 24th Annual Maine Beef Conference on Saturday, December 7, 2013 in Bangor. The topics will be on Keeping Your Herd Healthy. For more information and to register, go to the Cooperative Extension Livestock page.

5. Save the Date for 2014 Maine 4-H Days- Maine 4-H Days will take place June 20 – 22, 2014 at the Windsor Fairgrounds. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event, please contact Jessy Brainerd at or 581.3877.

6. Market Steers for Windsor and Fryeburg- 4-Hers raising a steer for the 2014 market steer shows at Windsor or Fryeburg Fairs need to send in an Intent to Participate Form (Word) by January 3, 2014. We appreciate you completing your paperwork early. Please enroll or re-enroll as a 4-H member early, and send your Intent to Participate form to your county office. The earlier we receive your paperwork, the earlier we can begin tagging animals, and avoiding tagging during the winter months.

Image Description: Dennys River Manure Movers Club Exhibit for the Perry Harvest Fair

Image Description: Horse Power Club Exhibit for Perry Harvest Fair

Image Description: Schylar Dempsey’s Exhibit

Image Description: Katie and Libby Bitar’s Exhibit

Image Description: Noodle Horse Project by Callie Chase

Image Description: Forestry Project by Alex Harris

Image Description: A 4-H member displays his animals during the fair.

Image Description: Geocache

Image Description: A 4-H youth volunteer shows her love and excitement of science.

Image Description: Members and volunteers celebrate 100 years of 4-H!

Image Description: A blue ribbon brings a bright smile to hard-working 4-H youth.

Image Description: Students expolore growing seeds.

Image Description: A youth proudly displays the plant she grew.


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University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension in Washington County
28 Center Street
Machias, Maine 04654
Phone: 207.255.3345 or 1.800.287.1542 (in Maine)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System