UMaine Extension offers hayfield, pasture management workshops

March 19th, 2014 10:16 AM
Baling hayUniversity of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering free workshops on hayfield and pasture management this spring around the state.

Rick Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator in Waldo County, will lead the “Got Hayfields?” workshops, which focus on how to best manage hayfields and pastures to produce high-quality feed for livestock. Topics include weed control, managing soil fertility, hay and pasture renovation techniques, grazing management and basics of forage quality.

Workshops are scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:

  • March 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 992 Waterville Road, Waldo
  • April 3, 6-8 p.m., Farmington Grange, 124 Bridge St., West Farmington
  • April 10, 7-9 p.m., UMaine Extension, 307 Maine Ave., Bangor
  • April 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Vassalboro Grange, Route 32, East Vassalboro
  • April 30, 2-4 p.m., UMaine Extension, 57 Houlton Road, Presque Isle
  • May 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m., UMaine Extension, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls
  • June 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Noon Family Sheep Farm, 78 Sunset Road, Springvale

Pre-registration is requested. To register, or to request a disability accommodation, call 1.800.287.1426, or visit http://umaine.edu/waldo/programs/events/got-hayfields.

Master Gardener Class – March 6

March 7th, 2014 11:18 AM

Thank You to Janie Waterhouse, Allan Amioka, Luke Beals, and Al Pollard for coming in to speak to the 2014 MG Class yesterday about all of our great ongoing programs and projects for York County. It was an inspirational day!

Next Week’s Class: Wise Use of Pesticides in the Home Garden and the Yardscapping Program with Gary Fish, Maine Board of Pesticide Control. 

Home Work for This Week:

Review the YardScaping web page — there are a number of great links and publications from it. Please familiarize your self with some of the great resources here.

Low input lawn care and other strategies for choosing plants with low pest profiles and low nutrient needs are highlighted well here.

Read – Steps to a Low-Input, Healthy Lawn - this fact sheet covers the basics of how to have a nice green healthy lawn with minimum or no fertilizers and pesticides.

Review the Master Gardeners Pesticide Safety Site

No Quiz this Week

Review # 1 Due for March 13 Class

Melt Snow Melt! Time for Maple Syrup to Run!

Master Gardener Class – February 27

February 28th, 2014 7:38 PM

With Frank away at a conference, I’m guest-hosting this – Sue

Botany and Weed Management – and no soil in sight outside!  Didn’t it just make you want to get your hands in the dirt?   Excuse me, Soil. ……. 20 days til Spring :)

A couple of you asked about a list of latin botanical words.  I think what you are looking for was in the Feb. 6th class blog.  How Plants are Named  It is a little over two pages and has a section “Making Sense of Plant Names”, that may be what you’re looking for.

Frank handed out a take home quiz that is due back at the March 13th class. Remember he suggested you work together, it really does help.

Open Book Review 1 (2014) (word)

Open Book Review 1 (2014) (PDF)

Next week’s class will be on Volunteering as a Master Gardener.  It will make more sense and seem less overwhelming if you review the information on this page.  You know, the one you bookmarked :)       At the top of that page you’ll find links to the MGV Program Policy, Hours Policy, Standards of Behavior, and a list of Community Projects.  Lots of time for questions on Thursday but starting here will help.

Master Gardener Class – February 20

February 21st, 2014 2:29 PM

Hi All,

Wow did we have a great field trip yesterday!

Our host was terrific and I hope it was a great learning experience for all for something you to can do in your garden if you choose. The weather was great and we were expert at navigating the “goat trails” throw the snow. At least we had soft landings for falls :)

Since several people asked – here is a link to the Johnny’s Vent Arm that opens and closes vents based on temperature sensing (without power). Farm Tech also sells a similar vent arm. The current $49 price at Johnny’s is the lowest I have seen it.

As a reminder the kits and other small four season moveable greenhouse resources can be found via the links on page 4 of the Winter Greens Moveable Greenhouse posed last week.

Yesterday a researcher on mycorrhizal fungi shared with me this 2-minute video titled “Underground Market” that is a terrific animation on the mutually beneficial relationship between the fungi and plants. You will really enjoy viewing this.

February 27 – Botany Part II and Weed Management

Readings:

Review the botany chapter you covered 2 weeks ago: How Plants Grow paying particular attention to the sections on Roots; Leaves; Stems; Water; and Photosynthesis, Respiration, and Transpiration.

Weed Management: From your manual review:

Weeds in the Home Vegetable Garden

Weed Management in Small Fruits

Also please review the New Jersey Weed Gallery and find your favorite or worst nightmare weeds.

Ask yourself and explore:

Is this weed an annual, biennial or perennial, how would I use this information in controlling this weed, and what other information I can learn from how this plant grows that would assist me in a weed control strategy?

 No Quiz This Week – I will be giving you your first take home open book review in class this coming week. You will have two weeks to complete it and get it back to me. You may work together with classmates on completing the review.

 

 

 

Master Gardener Class – February 13

February 14th, 2014 1:56 PM

Hi All,

Thank you all for coming to class yesterday and going home in the beginnings of light snow which quickly changed later to heavy. I hope everyone got home safe and sound, and for those of you who stayed home you made the right choice.

Here is the Herb Planting Medium Recipe from Amy Witt:
  • 2 parts sterilized potting soil
  • 1 part coarse sand or perlite
  • 1 teaspoon of lime per 5″ pot

Winter Greens Field Trip – February 20 Class

Meet at the farm at 9:00 AM, please commute with fellow MGs who live nearby if you can.

Location: Winter Cherry Farm – 205 River Road, Biddeford Maine. The farm is down a dirt drive, park down by the barn or along the driveway if there is room. Dress for the Outdoors.

Brent Peters of Winter Cherry Farm has been growing winter greens on his small farm for the past 5 years. He now has 7 small moveable greenhouse which he uses to grow winter greens and then rotates them to a spring and then summer location for other crops. Each house moves (crop rotates) 3 times a year. These are low tech inexpensive designs that are sure to spark your interest. Cooperative Extension has a bender for bending electrical conduit pipe which can be used to make your own design.

Readings:

Winter Greens Moveable Greenhouse Is a design we made for our workshop at Laudholm Farm last Fall. Take a look and remember you can borrow our bender and some advice if you decide to build one. 

A Garden For All Seasons - Article written by Maine’s Eliot Coleman in 2000, covers all the basics for planting, maintaining and feasting on winter greens

Quiz

Quiz 3 – Herbs and Botany Part I (word)

Quiz 3 – Herbs and Botany Part I (pdf)

 

Master Gardener Class – February 6

February 7th, 2014 11:50 AM

Good job yesterday getting through the two weeks of soils classes and readings. Now it’s on to Botany and Herbs Next Week!

Homework for Next Week

Web Soil Survey

Use this website: Web Soil Survey

This is a bit of a challenge task as it web-based, please have fun with it and do the best you can!

Choose any area you wish to learn about – your home and garden, a nearby farm or any other land.

  • Initiate the survey by going to the address line and type in the address of your farm or a farm you would like to know more about. Hint: If the town is a subset of another town like Lyman is of Alfred, you may have to type in Alfred to get the farm located.
  • Click “View” after you type in the address and that will take you to a big map.
  • Use the 5-sided tool called AOI (area of interest) at the top of the web page. Click carefully, one click at a time to outline the field(s) you wish to know more about. If you make a mistake, which is easy to do, use the arrow key to go back – it takes a few seconds.
  • Now you should get a map with an area of blue lines drawn around the field(s) you highlighted.
  • Next click on the tab called Soil Data Explorer. You will get a map with codes for the soil type(s) on the map.
  • Now click on the tab called Shopping Cart (Free). Then hit Check Out and then Get Now. This will generate a multiple page document.

Once you generate a report that show’s the soil types for the area you are researching, please view this table where you can get more information on each soil classification:

York County Soil and Cropland Interpretations

You may wish to save this as a PDF file. Then you could save it to your computer and share the report via e-mail or any way you choose.

Have fun with it, and if you get stuck, feel free to give me or Sue a call and we can work on it with you.

Readings for this week

Herbs:

Visit this Penn State Herb link  and this Herb Society Beginners Herb Guide (PDF) you don’t have to read about every herb, but browse these two links and familiarize yourself with herbs that interest you.

Botany:

In your manual’s Botany Chapter please review the sections on:

How Plants Grow: This section is extensive, you are not expected to read it all this week. Please review each section quickly to familiarize yourself with the resources there, then go back and read the sections that interest you most.

Also familiarize yourself with this UConn Plant Database — try searching by both Latin and Common names. Look up some of your favorite ornamental trees, shrubs or vines.

Please review this fact sheet: How Plants are Named

Quiz

Quiz 2 (Word)

Quiz 2 (PDF)

See you Thursday morning for our class on Botany Part I and Growing Herbs in Maine!

 

Master Gardener Class – January 30, 2014

January 31st, 2014 1:57 PM

Hi All,

I thought we had a great class yesterday and that we are off to a good start on soils.  Next week (February 6) we will continue with our soils learning and focus on Nutrients for Plant Growth, Cover Cropping, Soil Testing and the Web Soil Survey to learn about soils close to you. We will also spend the last section of our class on Home Composting.

Homework – Readings For This Week

Please re-read:

Chapter 2, Organic Matter: What It Is And Why It Is So Important (Pages 9-21) in Building Soils for better Crops

Soil and Plant Nutrition a Gardeners Perspective

Measurement Conversion Chart and pH Preference Table (pdf)

Measurement Conversion Chart and pH Preference Table (pdf)

New readings for this week

Using Green Manures – MOFGA Fact Sheet

How Compost Happens 

Home Composting 

Quiz

Quiz 1 (Orientation, Seed Starting, Soils I., Worm Compost). (word)

Quiz 1 (Orientation, Seed Starting, Soils I., Worm Compost). (pdf)

Master Gardener Class – January 23, 2014

January 24th, 2014 3:12 PM

Welcome Master Gardener Class of 2014!

It was a pleasure to meet you all in our first class yesterday and to hear from you about your knowledge and passion for programs and sharing information.

I am sorry that we ran a bit short on time with the seed starting presentation. I plan to begin next weeks class with questions and to go over the seed starting chart and how to make newspaper pots before we start our soils part I class and worm composting. 

Here is a YouTube Video on building the stand I did a few years back:

Plans for Building the Wood Seed Starting Stand (word)

Plans for Building the Wood Seed Starting Stand (pdf)

PVC Seed Starting Stand (word)

PVC Seed Starting Stand (pdf)

Homework and Manual

Each week I will post the readings for the upcoming class. Much of this will come from the online manual. Here is a link to it, you may wish to bookmark this page:

Master Gardener Online Manual

Soils Homework:

Please read Chapter 1 Healthy Soils and Chapter 2, Organic Matter: What It Is And Why It Is So Important in Building Soils for better Crops

Familiarize yourself with the Soils Chapter of your Online Manual and in particular review:

Soil and Plant Nutrition a Gardeners Perspective

Soil Organic Matter

Measurement Conversion Chart and pH Preference Table (pdf)

Worm Compost Readings

A couple of worm composting fact sheets to review in advance of our next class:

Composting with Worms (Word)
Composting with Worm (PDF)
Worm Composting (Word)
Worm Composting (PDF)

That’s enough for week 1, see you Thursday!

Late Blight Alert and Resources

July 10th, 2012 1:07 PM

Late Blight Resources: University of Maine Cooperative Extension Late Blight Resources 

Late Blight in Maine

Late blight has just been reported in potato plantings in coastal Maine (Woolwich) and an outbreak was reported in Penobscot County says Dr. Jim Dill, UMaine Extension Pest Management Specialist. Conditions for the development of late blight have been very good in Maine and growers should be on the alert to catch any early symptoms on their plants and be ready to apply appropriate control measures. Typical symptoms will be water-soaked lesions on the leaves with fine, white cottony mycelium on the undersides. Infections on the stems appear as dark, almost black lesions. For photos of the symptoms, go to UMaine Extension IPM Photo Gallery - Late Blight 

Late blight spores can travel over 40 miles under the right conditions (wet and warm) and the spread can be very fast. We are encouraging all growers to carefully and regularly inspect their plants for this disease. Please report any suspicious symptoms to the UMaine Extension Pest Management Office at 207-581-3883 or 1-800-287-0279 (in Maine) or e-mail PMO@umext.maine.edu.

Samples can be sent to:
Pest Management Office
491 College Avenue
Orono, ME 04473-0279

Samples should be sent in a sealed plastic bag with a dry paper towel to keep them fresh. For the latest control options available for late blight on tomatoes, check out the University of New Hampshire Extension’s fungicide table (PDF).

Future of Farming in Maine

March 20th, 2012 1:06 PM

What will agriculture look like in Maine by 2025?  Are Maine farmers optimistic about the future? What changes are happening on farms to adjust to changing weather and energy prices? 

University of Maine Cooperative Extension researchers, led by Extension’s John Jemison, asked 199 Maine farmers these questions and many more during 15 focus group sessions held during 2011. The answers are enlightening and indicate what’s currently working well, what needs to change, and what the future looks like for farming in Maine.  See a two-page summary of the findings:

Assessing Maine’s Agricultural Future – 2025