WABI (Channel 5) reported the order of bond questions for the November ballot was determined by a drawing in Augusta. A bond referring to funds for an animal and plant disease and insect control lab administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension was selected as Question 2. The question reads, “Do you favor an $8,000,000 bond issue to support Maine agriculture, facilitate economic growth in natural resources-based industries and monitor human health threats related to ticks, mosquitoes and bedbugs through the creation of an animal and plant disease and insect control laboratory administered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Service?”
Current reported the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is seeking six to eight volunteers to collect beach profile data for Pine Point in Scarborough in an effort to monitor monthly changes in sand erosion. No prior scientific knowledge is needed. The collected data will be submitted to the Maine Geological Survey and will be used by state geologists who will review and analyze the information to produce reports every two years regarding the effect of climate change on Maine’s beaches, according to the article. The Southern Maine Volunteer Beach Profile Monitoring Program is a project of Maine Sea Grant.
The Associated Press reported officials with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association say late blight symptoms have been found in a potato field in Buxton. According to officials, late blight is a nontreatable disease that affects potatoes and tomatoes and spreads rapidly in warm and wet conditions. UMaine Extension and MOFGA ask growers and gardeners to take precautions to prevent infections and spread of the disease, according to the article. Maine Public Broadcasting Network, The Republic, Portland Press Herald, WLBZ (Channel 2) and WABI (Channel 5) carried the AP report.
Keri Kaczor, of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and coordinator of Maine Healthy Beaches, spoke with SeacoastOnline about the health of Maine’s beaches following the release of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s annual report on the water quality at beaches throughout the nation. Maine Healthy Beaches is a partnership between the UMaine Extension/Sea Grant, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and local municipalities. The statewide organization is dedicated to monitoring and keeping beaches clean. Kaczor said despite Maine’s low rank in the NRDC report, there are plenty of beaches in the state with nearly spotless records, and most of those beaches are in state or national parks where there is little to no developmen
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.
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 email@example.com. 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.
Kathryn Hopkins, a maple syrup expert and University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator and professor, was mentioned in a Sanford News article about Hilltop Boilers of Newfield being named “top boilers” for the state at the Southern Maine Maple Sugar Makers Association’s annual maple syrup contest. About 60 participants from York, Cumberland and Oxford counties attended. Hopkins, who also is host of the Maple Grading School, has made the program and contest possible for Maine’s syrup producers, according to the article.
We had an amazing field trip to Berry Best Farm in Lebanon with a wildflower and forest tree ID workshop using Newcomb’s Wildflower and Forest Trees of Maine books.
This week’s class is on the Yardscaping program and Pesticide Safety with Gary Fish of the Maine Board of Pesticide Control. This is always a great session.
Homework for this week’s upcoming class
Review the Pesticide Safety chapter and then click on and review both the Got Pests? and the Master Gardener Educational Materials sections. You do not need to read everything, but just familiarize yourself with this excellent resource.
Also review the YardScaping web page — there are a number of great links and publications from it.
Review this Fact Sheet on Low Input Healthy Lawns
Open Book Review # 3
Yesterday I also handed out Open Book Review # 3 which is due on the last class – June 5 .
Here it is as an electronic document for those who prefer that to the hard copy:
See you Thursday!
The Weekly Observer spoke with Trent Schriefer, a 4-H youth development professional with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, about the 4-H Safety Saturday to be held in Springvale on May 31. The free program will cover ATV, bicycle, tractor and fire safety, as well as offer CPR instruction. Schriefer said organizers view the event as a way to kick off the summer and serve the 4-H and Sanford communities. “It’s important that kids, especially young kids, get to know community service providers at this type of event, which can then grow into a positive relationship,” Schriefer added.
University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are offering a hands-on workshop on basics of home composting and soil management 6–8 p.m. Thursday, June 5, 2014, at Wells Reserve at Laudholm, 342 Laudholm Farm Road, Wells 04090.
Best practices for home composting, including proper materials, pile management for optimum efficiency and bin options will be covered. Mulching, lasagna gardening, hugelkultur, cover cropping and soil testing will also be discussed and demonstrated. Glenn MacWilliams, a Master Gardener volunteer, and Frank Wertheim, an Extension professor, will lead the program. Meet at All Seasons Garden behind the lab/science building, dressed for the outdoors, and prepared for hands-on learning.
A $7 fee ($5 for members of Laudholm Trust) may be paid at the event. To register, contact UMaine Extension in York County, 207.324.2814 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, call Wertheim at 207.324.2814 or 800.287.1535 (in state).