Tag Archives: agriculture

Patti’s Aug. 4 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Inside New Gloucester – Keep Me Current

4-H’ers to help pantries

Cumberland County 4-H members Caleb and Katie McGrath-Holmquist and Amber, Amanda and Austin Holmes are raising money to buy three market hogs and three market lambs from the Cumberland Fair 4-H Livestock Auction on Wednesday Sept. 27, at the Cumberland Fairgrounds. The livestock will be donated to the Gray and New Gloucester Food Pantries.

The two families are longtime members of the Cumberland County 4-H Sheep Club and the 4-H Swiners Club who raise market lambs and hogs to be sold annually at the fair’s 4-H auction. This year, in addition to raising and auctioning their own animals, they are participating in a self-designed community service project to benefit both 4-H’ers and their local food pantries.

They hope to raise $3,600 to buy the animals. They will be selling donated water, soda and lemonade at the Gray Blueberry Festival on Saturday Aug. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Pennell Municipal Complex, 24 Main St., Gray.

Donations of any amount can be sent to GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project, P.O. Box 1012, Gray, Maine 04039. Checks can be made payable to: GNG 4-H Food Pantry Project.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-118/

Open Farms Day features two New Gloucester farms

Open Farms Day on July 23rd offers the opportunity to visit farms throughout the state. Two New Gloucester farms are on the tour:

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village Shaker Society
Brother Arnold Hadd
707 Shaker Rd, Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, New Gloucester

Diversified Farm (Scottish Highland cows, sheep, bees, herbs)
Activities: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
With 17 buildings and 1750 acres of land, Sab- bath Day Lake Shaker Village is home to the only active Shaker Community in the world and is a National Historic Landmark. The Shakers have been farming since 1783. See Scottish high- land cattle, sheep, bees, orchards, gardens and 1830’s barns. FREE barn tours with Brother Ar- nold; FREE wagon rides, bee exhibit and hives; herb garden tours, craft demonstrations. 207-926-4597 • maineshakers.com

Acker’s Acres Angoras
Beth Acker
359 Gloucester Hill Road, New Gloucester Angora Rabbit Farm
Activities: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Angora Rabbits, plus yarn, spinning fibers and hand-knit garments. Barn and Studio/Shop tours. Spinning demonstrations.
207-926-4921 • bunnyblend.com

 

Browntail Moth: How to identify these and Gypsy moths and Eastern tent caterpillars

Why are they a problem?
The browntail caterpillar has tiny (0.15 mm) hairs that on sensitive individuals cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy and/or trouble breathing.
The microscopic hairs break off the caterpillars and are everywhere in browntail infested areas; on trees, lawns, gardens, decks, picnic tables and in the air.
The hairs can remain toxic for up to THREE YEARS so although the problem is worst from May to July, they may cause a reaction at other times of year as well.
Wind or activities such as mowing, leaf-blowing, etc., can stir up the hairs, leading to a reaction.
The rash and trouble breathing can last anywhere from a few hours to several weeks. It is caused by both a chemical reaction to a toxin in the hairs and physical irritation from the barbed hairs. Contact your physician if a reaction is severe.
Browntail
Moth
Maine Forest Service
(207) 287-2431
www.maineforestservice.gov
Maine Board of Pesticides Control
(207) 287-2731
thinkfirstspraylast.org
Life Cycle: Browntail moth (Euproctis Chrysorrhea)
 One generation a year.
 Four life stages; egg, larval, pupal, and adult.
 Larval stage (caterpillars) lasts from August through to the following June.
 In the spring, as soon as the earliest leaf buds open, the caterpillars become active and leave their over-wintering webs to feed on tender new leaves. They may devour the leaves as fast as the leaves develop.
 When young, the caterpillars return to the webs at night, but later remain out on the leaves overnight, and are fully grown by late June.
 The caterpillars then form filmy cocoons between leaves on trees, under eaves, picnic tables, decks, etc.
 Adult moths are emerge from cocoons in late July and August, laying clusters of eggs on the underside of leaves. The moths are strongly attracted to light.
 Caterpillars emerge from the eggs in August and feed on the upper side of the leaves of host trees.
 In the fall, colonies of caterpillars build winter webs on the tips of branches. The webs are made from leaves tightly wrapped with white silk. There can be 25 to 400 or more caterpillars in each web.
 The caterpillars overwinter within the 2-5 inch (5-10 cm) winter webs. The webs are found most often on red oak or apple trees.

Damage:
The caterpillars feed on the leaves of many hardwood trees and shrubs. Common host trees and shrubs in-clude:
 Oak, apple, crabapple, cherry, hawthorn, shad-bush, serviceberry, and rugosa rose.

Feeding by browntail caterpillars can cause reduced growth and branch dieback. A number of years at high population levels can lead to mortality of trees and shrubs.
Look-a-likes:
 Eastern tent caterpillars have a solid whitish line down the middle of the back with a row of oval pale blue spots on each side and are covered with long brown hairs.
 Gypsy moth caterpillars have pairs of blue and red spots along their back and are covered with long brown hairs.

Browntail Moth (adult):
 Both sexes of the browntail moth have snow white wings and a tuft of dark brown hair on the tip of the abdo-men. Only seen in July and August.

http://www.maine.gov/dacf/mfs/
Identification:
Browntail Caterpillar:
 Dark brown with a broken white stripe on each side and two conspicuous red spots on the back. They grow to 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in length.

http://maine.gov/dacf/mfs/

New Gloucester Environmental Committee  5/14/2017

Patti’s Aug. 19 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

cider tasting

Dylan Staats and Allison Carrier, of Portland, enjoy sampling varieties of Norumbega Cidery products at a tasting held at the New Gloucester-based cider house on Aug. 13. Carrier remarked that seeing where the hard cider was made added to the experience, and the spice-flavored cider was her favorite.

NGPL Girl returns

The summer reading program, sponsored by the New Gloucester Public Library, 379 Intervale Road, wraps up on Tuesday, Aug. 23. As tradition would dictate, a play written by Tim and Jobin Terranova will open the evening’s festivities at 6:30 p.m. This year’s performance is entitled, “NGPL Girl: The Rise of RedRay.” A presentation of the end of summer reading awards will follow the play, and the evening will end with the Chewonki Foundation putting on their its program.

The public is welcome to come and show support for the young thespians and readers. For more information, call the library at 926-4840.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-43/

Patti’s July 22 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Open Farm Day in NG

Visit three participating New Gloucester farms in the statewide “Maine Open Farm Day” on Sunday, July 24. In all, more than 150 farms throughout the state Maine join in this one-day celebration of agriculture and farming.

Check out Maine’s largest Angora rabbit farm, Acker’s Acres Angoras, 359 Gloucester Hill Road, open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Owner Beth Acker gives tours of her rabbit barn and fiber studio, as well as demonstrations of spinning with spinning wheels and drop spindles.

Foggs Hill Farm, 943 Intervale Road, is open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tour the petting zoo at this farm, which has all-natural meats, sheep, goats, pigs, beef and poultry. Co-owner Gail Kolda is happy to answer your farm-related questions.

From noon until 4 p.m., Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, offers free special events for the whole family. It is among the oldest farms in Maine still operated under the same management – since 1783. See Scottish highland cattle, a flock of more than 40 sheep, bees, barn cats, apple orchards, herb and vegetable gardens.

Featured activities of the day include guided tours of the 1830 barns by Brother Arnold Hadd, tractor-drawn wagon rides, honey bee display and hives and tours of the Shakers’ historic herb gardens. Traditional craft demonstrations wll include woodcarving, blacksmithing, yarn spinning, chair seat weaving, “Lamb to Loom” demonstrations, rug hooking and a tin-type photography demonstration. Additionally, there is going to be a bake sale and a plant sale, plus barbecue lunch plates are available for purchase.

The Shaker Store and Shaker Museum Visitors’ Center are both open. Also taking place will be book signings by Chris Becksvoort, “The Shaker Legacy;” Mary Doyle, “Unique Maine Farms;” and Don Perkins, “Barns of Maine.”

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see parts of Shaker Village that are not regularly open to the public. Bring your cameras. For more information, contact the Shakers at 926-4597, info@maineshakers.com, www.maineshakers.com, or follow them on Facebook.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-40/

Open Farm Day at Shaker Village on July 24

sheep and barn

Visitors of all ages will enjoy meeting the Shakers’ flock of more than 40 sheep, as well as learning from Brother Arnold Hadd the on-going history of farming at Shaker Village. Photo courtesy of United Society of Shakers

On Sunday, July 24, from noon until 4:30 p.m., Shaker Village will participate in the statewide “Maine Open Farm Day” – an afternoon of free special events for the whole family. More than 150 farms throughout the State of Maine join in this one day celebration of agriculture and farming. Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is among the oldest farms in Maine still operated under the same management, since 1783. See Scottish highland cattle, a flock of more than 40 sheep, bees, barn cats, apple orchards, herb and vegetable gardens.
 
Featured activities of the day include guided tours of the 1830 barns by Brother Arnold Hadd, tractor-drawn wagon rides, honey bee display and hives, tours of the Shakers’ historic herb gardens, and traditional craft demonstrations: woodcarving, blacksmithing, yarn spinning, chair seat weaving, “Lamb to Loom” demonstration, rug hooking, tin-type photography demonstration and sale. Additionally, there is going to be a bake sale and a plant sale, plus barbecue lunch plates are available for purchase.
 
The Shaker Store and Shaker Museum Visitors’ Center are both open. Book signings by Chris Becksvoort– The Shaker Legacy, Mary Doyle -Unique Maine Farms, and Don Perkins- Barns of Maine are taking place. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see parts of Shaker Village that are not regularly open to the public. Bring your cameras.
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is located at 707 Shaker Road (Route 26) in New Gloucester.  For more information please contact  207-926-4597info@maineshakers.comwww.maineshakers.com, or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/SabbathdayLakeShakerVillage 

Harvest Festival at Shaker Village, Oct. 10

On Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 10:00am until 3:30pm Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village will host its annual Harvest Festival. An afternoon of free barn tours, free wagon rides, and special activities. Freshly-picked apples from the historic Shaker orchards will be offered for sale along with free cider-pressing; bring your own apples or purchase them at the Shaker Store, homemade Shaker apple fritters, and much more!
Chipman’s Farm, neighbors to the Shakers since the 1790s, will have a bounty available for sale, Seasonal mums, other late-season “bloomers” and houseplants will be available from Donna’s Greenhouse. Free, traditional craft demonstrations include Shaker-style broom making by Kent Ruesswick, wool carding, spinning, knitting, and weaving by the R&R Spinners, rug hooking by Parris House Wool Works, blacksmithing by Tim Greene, weaving by Marjie Thompson, wood-turning by Peter Asselyn, Tin type photography by AgNO3 Labs, and woodcarving by the Poland Woodcarvers. Books signing by Don Perkins—Barns of Maine, and Chris Becksvoort—The Shaker Legacy.
Free wagon rides will be offered throughout the day. Free face painting for kids along with free gourd decorating! Rain or shine – all above activities will be in the Shakers’ historic 1830 barns. Bring the family!

Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village is located at 707 Shaker Road (Route 26) in New Gloucester.  For more information please contact  207-926-4597info@maineshakers.comwww.maineshakers.com, or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/SabbathdayLakeShakerVillage

Lewiston Somalis give new life to farms

A new season, a new chapter, and new beginnings are taking root for an immigrant community and unused farmland. Intervale Farm, which ended its nearly 20-year run of harvesting and selling popular pumpkins and gourds last October, has a new crop of farmers. Keep reading

Farmers work to extend growing season

Being first – with strawberries, tomatoes and other favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables – can give farmers a financial edge. Keep reading