How-To Festival, August 1

How To logoLearn 25+ things in 5 hours for free — including vermicomposting, chicken care, rabbit care and making recycled pots — at the How-To Festival at the Portsmouth Public Library on Saturday, August 1st:

How-To Festival
Location: Portsmouth Public Library, Parrott Avenue, Portsmouth, NH
Date: Saturday, August 1, 2015
Time: 10am – 3pm
Free and open to the public

Ever wondered how to compost with worms? Or how to dance ballet, swing, or Bollywood? Or how to play chess? Or how to write a poem? Or how to take great photos with your phone? Or how to get the best mortgage or make more money? Or how to do yoga, Aikido or self-defense? Or how to care for a chicken or a pet rabbit? Or how to eat healthier? Or how to make origami, knit or embroider?

We could go on! There’s only one place to learn all these things and more: Portsmouth Public Library’s second How-To Festival, on Saturday, August 1st from 10 AM – 3 PM. It’s free and open to the public.

Supporting the local community is a big part of the library’s mission. The How-To Festival is a celebration of all the skills and talents the Seacoast area has to offer – and a place for community members to connect and share their knowledge and passion with each other! Our community partners are local individuals, businesses, and non-profits.

There will be something for everyone at the How-To Festival – bring the whole family and all your friends! Win prizes, learn new things, meet your neighbors, and have fun. All you’ll need is a plan for lunch – bring your own, visit the Farmer’s Market, or head downtown. The rest is on the library! So mark your calendars for August 1st, and get ready to learn!

Complete 2015 Schedule:

For more information:

Meet Your Milk at UNH Open Barn, June 20

gsdp3Meet Your Milk at UNH Open Barn
Granite State Dairy Promotion and NH Agricultural Experiment Station
Location: Fairchild Dairy Center, UNH, 36 O’Kane Road, Durham, NH
Date: Saturday, June 20, 2015
Time: 10am – 2pm

The NH Agricultural Experiment Station at the University of New Hampshire College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the Granite State Dairy Promotion invite the public to come “meet your milk” at the UNH Open Barn Saturday, June 20, 2015. The annual statewide event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at the UNH Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event gives the public the chance to see a working New Hampshire dairy farm that is representative of a typical New England dairy operation. Free New Hampshire-made milk and ice cream, wagon rides, tours, and visits with the UNH milking cows and calves are the highlights of the day’s activities. Visitors can try their hands at making butter and ice cream, enjoy games and prizes, and learn surprising facts about dairy nutrition and the dairy industry in New Hampshire.

For more information:

MOFGA’s Farm & Homestead Day, June 13

F&H-Day-CollageMOFGA’s Farm & Homestead Day: A Hands-on Skill Sharing Event
Location: Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, ME
Date: Saturday, June 13, 2015
Time: 9am – 3pm, rain or shine
Fee: Free and open to the public

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA is a free, volunteer-driven event offering hands-on workshops based on re-skilling for resiliency. If you’re thinking of trying to raise goats for the first time or just want to learn how to make a fence, this is the place to be. The ever-popular fiber-arts area will feature spinning, weaving, carding, and felting, as well as treadle sewing machines. Other workshops this year include splicing rope, tying knots, making round poles, scarfing wood joints, riveting, goat-milking, cheese-making, blacksmithing, knife sharpening, and much more! Please bring a dish to share for the Potluck Picnic Lunch– and something to add to the Stone Soup Kettle (fresh or dry ingredients).

Come dressed to participate and ready to get your hands dirty! 

Bring family and friends! Many activities are kid-friendly or specifically for kids. Learn skills that will allow you to throw off the shackles of consumer dependency and be more self-reliant. Gates open at 7 a.m. for sunrise mowing.
 No pre-registration necessary.

For more information:

Pollinator Appreciation Day & Twilight Meeting, June 17

beehotel_558_1Pollinator Appreciation Day & Twilight Meeting
UNH Cooperative Extension, and the NH Agricultural Experiment Station
Location: Woodman Horticultural Farm, Durham, NH
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Time: 1pm – 7:30pm

The University of New Hampshire will celebrate Pollinator Appreciation Day Wednesday, June 17, 2015, with a full afternoon and evening of events at the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm, home to the UNH Bee Hotel, extensive wildflower plantings, and a central research site for the first assessment of the Granite State’s native bee species.

The afternoon begins with Pollinator Open House from 1 to 3 p.m. Attendees will learn about bee diversity and sustainability, bee gardens, wildflower meadows for pollinators, and protecting pollinators from pesticides.

Following the open house, agricultural scientists conducting NHAES-funded research will discuss their ongoing research at Woodman Farm as part of a Research Field Day for growers, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Research to be discussed includes overwintering onions, growing hardy kiwis, planting cover crops, growing different varieties of tomatoes, and using marker-assisted breeding to improve strawberries.

The day concludes with a Twilight Meeting for farmers and landscapers from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the farm. Topics include native bee diversity and nesting habitats, bee gardens, wildflower meadows, protecting bees from pesticides, and NRCS pollinator programs for New Hampshire farms.

Contact: 603-862-3200.

For more information:

Beyond Chickens 101: How to Manage an Established Flock, June 25

Beyond Chickens 101: How to Manage an Established Flock
UNH Cooperative Extension
Location: Durham Public Library, 49 Madbury Road, Durham, NH
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015
Time: 6–7pm

Come listen to Dot Perkins, UNH Cooperative Extension Livestock Field Specialist, talk about all the facts and many practical tips about living with chickens beyond the first year. Information about problems that arise, illness, predation and much more for the intermediate owner will be discussed. For more information contact the Durham Agricultural Commission at [email protected] or 292-5156.

Backyard Chickens, April 12

ViewImage.pmBackyard Chickens
UNH Cooperative Extension
Location: Dover Agway, 25 Central Ave, Dover, NH
Date: Sunday, April 12, 2015
Time: 1–2:30 pm
Fee: Free and open to the public

Are backyard chickens for you? This is the month to find out! Come hear the poultry basics and practical tips on raising egg-laying chickens and broilers at home. Daimon Meeh, UNH Cooperative Extension Agriculture Field Specialist, will present information on feeding, housing, choosing the appropriate breed, and more. Appropriate for those interested in obtaining chickens or those who already own backyard chickens and want learn more about their proper care.

These workshops are free and open to the public. Youth are welcome to attend. Due to space limitations, preregistration is encouraged. For more information, contact Daimon Meeh at [email protected] or (603) 679-5616.



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:

Beginner Bee School, Starting February 19

bee-sunflower2-250x1815-Week Beginner Bee School
Maine State Beekeepers Association & UMaine Cooperative Extension York County
Venue: Nasson Heritage Room, Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, ME
Dates: Thursdays, February 19 – March 19, 2015
Time: 6 – 8:30pm

Participants in this 5-week introductory beekeeping course will learn about

– the honey bee colony;
– constructing hives;
– spring, summer and fall management;
– honey production;
– wintering hives;
– identification and control of brood diseases; and
– parasites and predators.

Through the York County Beekeepers Association, students will also have the opportunity to visit local hives for observation and hands-on experience. Beginner Bee School instructor is Larry Peiffer, Master Beekeeper and former Vice President of the Maine State Beekeepers Association.

Course Fee: $95 – includes beginning beekeeping textbooks, other materials, and a 1-year membership in the York County Beekeepers Association. A reduced fee of $45 applies to one of a pair of students who choose to share the text and materials ($140/pair). Register online: Registration is required by February 12, 2015.

Sponsored by the Maine State Beekeepers Association and University of Maine Cooperative Extension York County. For more information, contact UMaine Extension in York County at 1.800.287.1535 (in Maine), 207.324.2814 or (TDD) 1.800.287.8957 or e-mail [email protected] If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Frank Wertheim at 800.287.1535 to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least 7 days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however all requests will be considered.

For more information:

Chicken Basics: How to Get the Most Out of Your Chicken, February 5

chicken-cropChicken Basics: How to Get the Most Out of Your Chicken
Featured Guest: Executive Chef, Ted McCormack, Blue Moon Evolution
With Kath Gallant and Tracey Miller, co-founders of Dig In
Venue: Blue Moon Evolution, 8 Clifford Street, Exeter, NH 03833 @ Dig In’s headquarters on the 2nd floor
Date: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Time: 7 – 9 pm
Fee: $50 per person

Join Dig In for a poultry cooking class and learn how to break down and debone a whole chicken and what to do with all the parts. Chef McCormack will demo chicken three ways: Whole Roast Chicken, Seared Boneless Chicken Breast and Braised Chicken and Rice. Also, meet a local farmer from Kellie Brook farm and learn some basics about raising healthy chickens.

You’ll learn:

– How maximize the value of a whole bird versus buying in parts.
– How to make your stocks more nutrient dense.
– Recipes for what to do with the legs and thighs.
– What you’re looking for in a healthy chicken.
– How to utilize the chicken from beak to feet.

Ted McCormack, Executive Chef of Blue Moon Evolution, enjoys bringing what’s in season to the dinner table. Whole animal butchery, whole grains and a whole lot of choppin’ going’ on. After working as Executive Chef at Flag Hill Winery in Lee where he developed New England Regional Cuisine and a short run of his own small bake shop in Hampton now Chef Ted calls Blue Moon Evolution home and refines the shared vision of locally sourced organic foods.

For more information:

Beginning Beekeeping: Six Week Course

Beginning Beekeeping: Six Week Course
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Barrington, NH
6 weeks (1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11)
7 – 9 pm
Deposit: $25

The goal of the class will be to cultivate an understanding and respect for the amazing honey bee and learn how to get on the path to being a great bee steward! With an emphasis on natural methods, we will learn beekeeping terms, honey bee biology and behavior, equipment needed to get started, types of honeybees and how to get them, colony management and illness… and more! Class size will be limited so there will be lots of opportunities for questions and clarifications. Learning modalities will include: lecture, discussion, lots of visuals, and videos.

While we wouldn’t say that there is a specific “permaculture beekeeping” method, we will keep in touch with the ethics and principles of permaculture as we discuss choices in how to keep honey bees.

The class is going for 6 weeks (1/7, 1/14, 1/21, 1/28, 2/4, 2/11), with an optional 7th meeting (2/18) to watch and discuss “Queen of the Sun!”

For more information: