Duck Processing Workshop, March 31

Duckling_081214Duck Processing Workshop
Location: Elevage de Volailles, Rye, New Hampshire
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Time: 9am – 3pm
Fee: $50 per person

Join Elevage de Volailles as we welcome David Schafer of Featherman Equipment in a workshop devoted to the processing of ducks using time honored traditions and modern techniques to obtain a professional end product for you and your customers. This workshop will be geared toward the small farm and homestead with the hopes of demystifying the breeding, raising, and abattoir processing of waterfowl, and focuses specifically on ducks. Pekin ducks present a different processing experience from other lighter duck breeds; therefore in this workshop we will work with both Pekin, and the lighter breeds using Khaki Campbell as well as Campbell/Pekin crosses. With Special Guest Speakers and Demonstrators Evan Hennessey of Stages at One Washington in Dover, NH and Evan Mallett of Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, NH.

For more information: www.elevagedevolailles.net/workshop/

The Best Flavor and Fragrance for Your Garden, March 31

010820_0939_0012_lslpThe Best Flavor and Fragrance for Your Garden
Northeast Seacoast Herb Society
Venue: Strawbery Banke Visitor Center, 14 Hancock St, Portsmouth, NH
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Time: 7pm
Fee: $8, $5 for Strawbery Banke Museum and Herb Society members

Have you ever been confused as to which is the best mint, oregano, thyme or herbal tree to choose from the large selection of plants and seeds available to buy? When we select plants for our garden, we hope to get premiere plants that have long growing seasons, superior flavors, unique tastes, and distinctive aromas. It can be overwhelming to know which ones to select from the wide varieties that are available today. Join us as nationally recognized horticulturist, Holly Shimizu, discusses the best plants to select for your gardening needs as well as how to grow them, where to place them in the garden, parts to use and season of interest.

This program takes place at 7pm at Strawbery Banke Museum’s Visitor Center (14 Hancock Street). Admission is $8 ($5 for Strawbery Banke Museum and Herb Society members). Pre-registration is required. To register, contact Rie Sluder at 603-642-7034 or email nesunit@gmail.com.

For more information: http://www.northeastseacoastunit.org/Lecture2.html

Kids’ Day at the Winter Farmers’ Market March 28th!

andrea szirbik and kidsSpring is just around the corner and the days are getting longer. The warmer days and sunny skies have many families yearning to break free from winter hibernation. Seacoast Eat Local has you covered with our first Kids’ Day at the Winter Farmers’ Market, Saturday March 28th from 10am-2pm at Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire.

Bringing your children to market is a great way to teach them more about where food comes from and how everyone is part of the local agricultural community! On top of the Kids’ Day activities it will also be Dairy Day at the Market with resources and information on local dairy options and benefits.

There will be several guest groups from the community running a variety of activities at market. They include the taste test blogfollowing:

Be sure to mark your calendars and tell your friends about Kids’ Day at the market. Bring the whole family for a day of great food and fun. The market and activities are free and all are welcome. There are only two Winter Farmers’ Markets left this season, March 28 & April 11 at Exeter High School. Come out to stock your pantry and show your support for local farms and food!

Apple Tree Pruning Demo at Hackleboro Orchards, March 22

demo200601.jpg.w180h192Apple Tree Pruning Demo
UNH Cooperative Extension
Location: Hackleboro Orchards, 61 Orchard Road, Canterbury, NH
Date: Sunday, March 22, 2015
Time: 1 – 4 pm
Free and open to the public

Harry Weiser will be using over 30 years of pruning expertise to demonstrate on standard, semi dwarf, and dwarf apple trees. We will also be having a tree removal service there to remove some old trees. The event is free and open to anyone. The event is outdoors so please dress appropriately. Free hot coffee and cider donuts/apples

Questions? Contact Hackleboro at hackleboro@hotmail.com.

For more information: www.hackleboroorchards.com

Plant It, Grow It, Eat It: Master Gardener Symposium, March 21

Plant It, Grow It, Eat It: Master Gardener Symposium
UNH Cooperative Extension and New Hampshire Master Gardener Association
Location: Plymouth State University, High Street, Plymouth, NH
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Time: 9:30am – 2:30pm
Fee: $60, $55 before March 15th

The annual Welcome Spring Symposium, sponsored by UNH Cooperative Extension and the New Hampshire Master Gardener Association, takes place Saturday, March 21, at Plymouth State University. The symposium is open to the public. The event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., costs $55, and after March 15, $60.

One focus of the symposium is on school and community gardens, a way to engage students and communities in growing food. Learn how to plan a garden project, engage everyone in the process, prioritize needs, identify leaders, source funding, and maintain momentum. Jeremy Delisle, UNH Cooperative Extension Education Center coordinator, will also discuss specialized tools and production systems, including high tunnel production and other season extension techniques.

Alan Eaton, coordinator of UNH Cooperative Extension’s Integrated Pest Management program, will present “Meet the Beneficials – Natural Enemies of Garden Pests.” Most references on garden insects focus on detrimental pests and the problems they create in your gardens throughout the growing season. Once you learn to identify insects, you will discover hundreds of species that are busy helping your garden grow as predators or parasites of the “bad” insects. Eaton’s presentation will focus on the abundant beneficial insects found in gardens and how you can promote garden health through a reduction or elimination of pesticides.

Roger Swain, “the man with the red suspenders” best known for hosting the television show “The Victory Garden” for 15 years, will share his knowledge in a presentation called “Vegetables – From Plant to Food.” He will offer tips on growing vegetables, their culture, culinary advice, and storage/preservation methods, along with some special recipes.

Multiple vendors will showcase items ranging from gardening supplies to books, and participants can place bids on a multitude of gardening items in the silent auction. A buffet lunch is included in the price.

Register here or contact the UNH Cooperative Extension Education Center at answers@unh.edu, 1-877-EXT-GROW (1-877-398-4769).

For more information: http://extension.unh.edu/articles/Plant-It-Grow-It-Eat-It-March-21-Master-Gardener-Symposium

Seed to Soil Conference: A Gathering of Gardeners, March 7

unnamedSeed to Soil Conference: A Gathering of Gardeners
Slow Food Seacoast, in collaboration with Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Venue: Seacoast Waldorf School, 403 Route 236, Eliot, ME
Date: Saturday, March 7, 2015
Time: 12 – 4pm
Fee: $10, $5 for SF and SPG members

Slow Food Seacoast, in collaboration with Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group, presents the First Annual Seed to Soil Conference, Saturday March 7 from 12 – 4pm at the Seacoast Waldorf School, 403 Maine 236, Eliot, ME. Join with a community of gardeners working to preserve our agricultural heritage and teach a love of gardening to all generations.

Why Seed to Soil? The cycle of life and of our food begins with a seed. As a plant grows, matures and dies, it returns to the soil as organic matter that nourishes the seeds of the next generation. In parallel, experienced gardeners nourish the younger generations of growers and gardeners. This cycle of life is what we wish to promote at our conference. This years conference will feature several round table discussions and hands-on workshops, including:

– Soil building with the whole ecosystem in mind.
– Seed saving tips and tricks.
– Get a jump on Spring: seed starting indoors.
– School garden strategies
– Creating art for the garden

Who Should Attend? School gardeners, teachers, community gardeners, home gardeners and anyone looking to connect with other gardeners in our community. Join Us!

The conference begins with a potluck lunch from 12 – 1pm and features seed sharing all afternoon. Two sessions of workshops are offered: 1 – 2:30pm and 2:30 – 4pm. This year’s event is hosted by Seacoast Waldorf School, where students are educated using their head, heart and hands. The curriculum for all ages focuses on outdoor play and experiential learning, much of which happens in their school gardens.

For more information: www.slowfoodseacoast.org

“Grow it Right” Plant Sale: Asparagus, Rhubarb and Berry Plants

strawberries-2067-250x187University of Maine Cooperative Extension is taking orders for its “Grow It Right!” plant sale offering asparagus, rhubarb and berry plants suitable for Maine’s climate and ready for spring planting:

The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and its Master Gardener Volunteers are offering a “Grow it Right!” plant sale in 2015 to raise funds for its Master Gardener Volunteers program. The educational aspect of this special project sets it apart from other plant sales. Available plants are a highbush blueberry three-pack, two varieties per pack, $35.95; 10-pack of asparagus crowns, $15; 25 young dormant strawberry plants, $15; five raspberry canes, $18; three blackberry canes, $25; and rhubarb crowns, $12 each. All are suitable for Maine’s climate and will be ready for spring planting.

Graduates of the UMaine Extension Master Gardener Volunteers program have been active for more than 30 years, doing demonstrations, creating community gardens, organizing educational events, growing food for Maine Harvest for Hunger and leading community-based volunteer efforts. Sale proceeds will support these projects and provide need-based program scholarships.

Orders must be placed by May 1. Plants will be available for pickup at Extension county offices Saturday, May 16 or Monday, May 18, depending on location. Purchase plants and get more information, including video clips on site selection and soil testing online.

To place a mail order, call Andrea Herr, 207.781.6099. For more information, or to request a disability accommodation, contact Richard Brzozowski, 207.781.6099, 800.287.1471 (in Maine), richard.brzozowski@maine.edu; or Marjorie Peronto, 207.667.8212, 800.287.1479 (in Maine), marjorie.peronto@maine.edu.

For more information: http://umaine.edu/gardening/master-gardeners/benefit/

Winter Planting For the Spring, February 21

600_433993005.jpegWinter Planting For the Spring
North Shore Permaculture Group
Venue: Amesbury, MA
Date: Saturday, February 21, 2015
Time: 10am – 1pm
Fee: Sliding scale of $5 to $10

What is Winter Sowing? The idea behind winter sowing is that you sow the seeds outdoors in miniature greenhouses during the winter, allowing them to germinate naturally during the spring. If you live in a northern climate and have snow, this method works even better because the melt adds all the moisture your seeds need. An added bonus to winter sowing over traditional methods: No period of hardening off plants! This is perfect for us here in New England!

You will need to bring some supplies:
• Containers: Gallon milk jugs, large water bottles (both with caps)
• Seeds: Heirloom, non-gmo (we can do a seed swap)
• Seed Soil
• Duct tape
• Sharp Box-cutter

For more information: www.meetup.com/Northshore-Permaculture-Meetup-Group/events/220054037/

Plant a Heritage Apple Tree in Your Yard, Orchard or Community

appletreedurham2From Out on a Limb Heritage Apple CSA:

Are you having trouble finding interesting apples and other exciting produce in your local grocery store or farm stand? Now you can plant your favorite heritage varieties in your backyard, community garden, neighborhood green space or local schoolyard and help preserve Maine’s agricultural heritage at the same time.  The Maine Heritage Orchard Stewardship Program disperses “back-ups” of all the rare varieties in the Heritage Orchard to “stewards” across the state who want to restore local varieties to their community. Not only will the trees, such as apple or juniper trees, provide tasty fruit for you, your community and future generations, but they will also serve as grafting wood for propagating more trees if something happens to the specimen in the Maine Heritage Orchard.

Become a steward and help put Maine’s heirloom apples back into Maine’s communities! You can join the program and purchase these apple trees through the Fedco Trees catalog. Sixty percent of the purchase price of each tree helps fund the Mane Heritage Orchard. For more information on the stewardship program, see page 19 of the 2015 Fedco Trees catalog or visit http://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees/.