Pollinator Health and Safety Conference, November 20

Bee-2-250x183The University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry are co-sponsoring the Pollinator Health and Safety Conference on Thursday, November 20th, to bring together farmers, beekeepers, entomologists, policy-makers and others interested in protecting pollinators. Register before October 31 and save $25:

Pollinator Health and Safety Conference
Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, 200 Sable Oaks Drive, South Portland, ME
Thursday, November 20, 2014
8am – 4:30pm

State and national experts on pollinators, bee-keeping, and pesticides will share the latest scientific research on factors affecting pollinator health and best practices for their protection.

Tentative Schedule:
– Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In the US, John Skinner, Professor and Apiculture Specialist, University of Tennessee
– Factors Affecting Bee Mortality In Maine Agriculture, Tony Jadczak, Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry.
– Status of Native ME Pollinators, Frank Drummond, UMaine School of Biology and Ecology
– Risks of Pest Control Treatments For Lawns, Nancy Ostiguy, Penn State University, Department of Entomology
– Use Patterns for Neonicotinoids and Other Pesticides in Maine, Henry Jennings, Director Maine Board of Pesticides Control
– Best Management Practices For Pollinator Safety, David Epstein, USDA Office of Pest Management Policy

Register by October 31, 2014: $50/person. All registrations after October 31, 2014: $75/person. Deadline to register: November 14, 2014. Register online >

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Meghan Dill, [email protected] or 207.581.3878.

For more information: http://umaine.edu/agriculture/pollinator-conference/

Chicken Harvesting & Processing, October 19

Chicken Harvesting & Processing
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Barrington, NH
Sunday, October 19, 2014
1 – 5pm
$20–30 sliding scale ($10 deposit per person)

In this workshop, we will cover the basic considerations behind culling poultry (particularly chickens and ducks) including timing, selection, preparation, equipment, killing, butchering, preservation, clean-up, and cooking. Some anatomy and the most common age-related health issues for poultry will be covered. You’ll have the opportunity to observe and participate in this process from beginning to end, with the goal of preparing all participants to bring a good death to their birds at an appropriate time. We will conclude the workshop with a potluck meal, including a chance to sample some of our freshly cooked chicken. We’ll also have some discussion of the ethics and realities of being omnivores!

For more information: http://www.meetup.com/GreaterSeacoastPermaculture/events/200443302/

Backyard Chickens, October 2

Backyard Chickensthumbnail
Rick & Marilyn Stanley, Chick Farm
Kittery Adult Education Program, Traip Academy, Williams Ave, Kittery, ME
Thursday, October 2, 2014

Backyard chicken flocks are gaining popularity and it’s easy to see why. Besides providing fresh eggs for your family and fertilizer for your garden, chickens are also a lot of fun. This class will cover all the basics of caring for your flock, including feed, housing, breed selection, brooding chicks, health care and predator protection. Rick & Marilyn run Chick Farm in Wells, where they raise certified organic chicken, eggs, vegetables, and berries.

For more information: https://kittery.coursestorm.com/course/backyard-chickens

York County Beginner Bee School, October 1

bee-sunflower2-250x181Add keeping bees to your plans for next year’s garden with York County’s Beginner Bee School — the 5-week course takes place on Wednesdays, beginning October 1st:

5-Week Beginner Bee School
York County Beekeepers Association
Nasson Heritage Room, Anderson Learning Center, 21 Bradeen Street, Springvale, ME
Wednesdays, October 1 – 29, 2014
6 – 8:30pm
$90, registration deadline September 25

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
• 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: $90 – includes beginning beekeeping textbooks, other materials, and a 1-year membership in the York County Beekeepers Association. A reduced fee of $40 applies to one of a pair of students who choose to share the text and materials ($130/pair). Registration is required by September 25, 2014. Register online

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]

For more information: http://umaine.edu/york/programs/beginner-bee-school/

Seacoast NH Beekeepers School, September 23


Help save the bees by learning to keep these precious pollinators in your own backyard! The Seacoast Beekeepers Association is offering Beekeeping School, beginning with the first of six sessions on Tuesday, September 23rd:

Beekeeping School
Seacoast NH Beekeepers Association
Jeremiah Smith Grange, 1 Lee Hook Rd, Lee, NH
Six sessions, Tuesdays: September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, and 28
7 – 9 pm

Some topics addressed will be honeybee biology, equipment, hive management, pests and diseases. Cost of $75 includes class text, and a one year membership to the Association which meets monthly in Lee. Preregistration required. For more information or to register, contact Carol at [email protected] or 603-750-0137.

For more information: www.seacoastbeekeepers.com

Introduction to Natural Goat Keeping, June 29


Next in the Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group’s series of animal husbandry workshops is Introduction to Natural Goat Keeping on Sunday, June 29th, from 10am to 12pm:

Introduction to Natural Goat Keeping
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Barrington, NH
Sunday, June 29, 2014
10am – 12pm
Deposit: $5 per person

If you are considering adding goats, especially a small scale goat dairy operation, to your homestead come for this introduction and learn what’s involved from Amy & Steve. We will begin out in the barn for our morning feeding and milking routine. You will meet our three Nigerian Dwarf does and some of their kids, watch us trim a hoof, and can try your hand at milking. We’ll talk about organic feed, herbal and other health care, rotational browsing, housing and fencing needs and basic behavior management. We’ll also do a permaculture needs / products / characteristics analysis of goats together! There will be taste testing of their milk and the cheese and yogurt Amy makes from it. We’ll have handouts and references for more information.

We, Amy & Steve, are not experts, as we are just 3 years into our goat keeping journey. But, we have learned a lot and pulled together information from various sources for a plan that is working great for us and our girls. We’d love to share it with you!

This event costs $10-20, sliding scale, payable at the workshop. An optional lunch potluck follows.

For more information: www.meetup.com/GreaterSeacoastPermaculture/events/184796922/

Chickens In Your Permaculture Plan, June 29

event_208253272Chickens In Your Permaculture Plan
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Barrington, NH
Sunday, June 29, 2014
1:30 – 3:30 pm

With chickens we can “Obtain a Yield” (eggs, meat & fertilizer), and “Use Renewable Services” (bug control & weed control) easily. Poultry are fun and easy livestock to keep, needing minimal care and space compared to any other animal.

In this class, we’ll talk about getting and raising chicks (we expect to have a brooder full of them at the time!) and the basics of chicken care. That includes housing, rotational grazing, chicken tractors, fencing, predators, litter management, breed choices, chicken health, preventative health care and culling. Feeding, especially raising food for them, will also be discussed. We will give you a tour of our coop, where you can meet our laying hens and rooster. We will also talk about moving away from brooder use in the future by encouraging your hens to raise the next generation themselves.

The cost for this class is on a sliding scale of $5-20, payable at the meetup.

For more information: http://www.meetup.com/GreaterSeacoastPermaculture/events/184797452/

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, June 14

Farm-&-Homestead-Day-5-2013Thinking of raising a goat? Of helping your children start a garden? Want to build a simple fence? Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA, a free event held on Saturday, June 15th, in Unity, Maine, offers hands-on and interactive sessions on farming and homesteading skills:

Farm & Homestead Day at MOFGA — A Hands-on Skill Sharing Event
MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center, Crosby Brook Rd, Unity, ME
Saturday, June 14, 2014
9 am – 3 pm
Gates open at 7 am for scything
Free and open to the public

Learn how to:
• weave and spin
• make your own cording with a lucet or learn rug hooking
• operate a treadle sewing machine to make a drawstring bag
• sharpen your own tools
• make cheese, ice cream, bean hole beans, and kimchi
• bake bread in a earthen bake oven, cook on a rocket stove
• manage your herbs for a long season harvest
• prune and mulch orchard trees
• build a garden cart, or a bike trailer
• make paper pots
• build really raised beds
• make a pollinator bee box
• make a coffin
• build a solar cooker, or a rocket stove for cooking with wood
• make basic leather shoes
• handle rabbits and trim their nails and learn how to tattoo their ears
• learn how to tan rabbit hides using a non-toxic method
• learn how to mow with a scythe and maintain and sharpen it

Children of all ages are invited to learn how to:
• build bluebird nesting boxes
• make paper
• make paper pots, sow seeds and transplant seedlings
• plant the really raised beds

Participants are welcome to bring any extra transplants and seeds for a Plant and Seed Exchange. Dress appropriately for this rain or shine event. We will be sampling the morning’s food preparation efforts, but bring a dish to share or bring a picnic lunch and enjoy MOFGA’s beautiful grounds.

For more information: www.mofga.org

Backyard Chickens, April 17

thumbnailBackyard chicken flocks are gaining popularity and it’s easy to see why — besides providing fresh eggs for your family and fertilizer for your garden, chickens are also a lot of fun! Learn more from Rick and Marilyn Stanley of Chick Farm at the upcoming workshop Backyard Chickens at Kittery Adult Education on Thursday, April 17th from 6 to 9pm:

Backyard Chickens
Rick & Marilyn Stanley, Chick Farm
Kittery Adult Education, Traip Academy, Kittery, ME
Thursday, April 17, 2014
6 – 9pm

This class will cover all the basics of caring for your flock, including feed, housing, breed selection, brooding chicks, health care and predator protection. Rick and Marilyn run Chick Farm in Wells, where they raise certified organic chicken, eggs, vegetables, and berries.

For more information: http://kittery.maineadulted.org/courses/course/backyard_chickens

Beginning Beekeeping, May 18

event_159784882Beginning Beekeeping
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Barrington, NH
Sunday, May 18, 2014
1 – 5pm

If you are interested in bringing these amazing creatures into your landscape, come learn more! With an emphasis on natural methods, we will go over basic beekeeping terms, basic honeybee biology, equipment needed to get started, types of honeybees and how to get them. Products and services of the hive will be discussed. What to expect in terms of time and money input, and where to get more information will also be included.

The plan is for 3 hours of indoor presentation, show-and-tell, and question and answer. And, if the weather allows, we will spend about an hour looking in the hives together. If the weather is poor, I will have an indoor alternative learning experience planned! Please wear or bring light colored clothing, and consider if you’d like long sleeves and pants and closed shoes if we get into the hives. If you happen to have or can borrow a bee suit or veil please do – I will have some extras to borrow also.

We are charging on a sliding scale for this: $25-40 per person. This workshop isn’t geared towards children, but older kids who want to work with bees are very much welcome!

For more information: www.meetup.com/GreaterSeacoastPermaculture/events/163766652/