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:

High Tunnel Greenhouse Raising, June 27

High Tunnel Greenhouse Raising
Greater Seacoast Permaculture Group
Location: Goss Farm, 251 Harbor Rd, Rye, NH
Date: Saturday, June 27, 2015
Time: 8am – 4pm

Learn how to install a high tunnel greenhouse! High tunnels are used to extend the growing season by providing protection for early or late season production, or they may be used for year-round growing. In this workshop we will install a 20 ft by 48 ft Rimol High Tunnel in one day.

Chris Robarge, former greenhouse manager from UNH, and AJ Dupere from the Urban Forestry Center will guide participants through the steps required to put together a high tunnel from beginning to end.

Please note that this is a hands on workshop and we are looking for participants who feel comfortable using tools, who can help carry and lift, and who are interested in learning this process. Jobs during installation will include hammering posts into the ground, putting together the bows, building the end doors, installing purlins, and finally helping to install the greenhouse plastic over the entire structure once it is all put together.

No prior knowledge of high tunnel installation is necessary. We expect this project will take the majority of the day so hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided for lunch. There is no charge for this workshop but donations toward lunch (both financial and food to share) are gladly accepted.

This event is a joint event between Sidewalk Farms, the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth, Rye Conservation Commission, and the Seacoast Permaculture Meetup.

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:

Maine School Garden Intensive 2015: Plant Breeding, May 2

garden2015_2-1Maine School Garden Intensive 2015: Plant Breeding
Maine Agriculture in the Classroom: K–12 Educator Training Workshop
Location: Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Winslow, ME
Date: Saturday, May 2, 2015
Time: 8 am – 3:30 pm

Building on last year’s superb seed saving intensive, this spring, members of the Johnny’s Selected Seeds plant breeding department, in collaboration with MAITC, will guide participants through the process by which your favorite vegetable varieties are developed. The Johnny’s breeding program uses traditional breeding methods, guiding the genetics of both self-pollinating and cross-pollinating crops by selecting and hand pollinating. The first set of training was done with the help of the best projector in the classroom. Later, you can learn more about where your hybrid and open-pollinated seeds come from and methods of developing your own new and exciting varieties, including hands-on pollination activities and exploration of curriculum connections at all levels.

The cost for the full day program is $35 ($45 after April 25) and includes “Local foods” lunch. Scholarships are available. All participants will receive Certificates for 6 contact hours or .6 CEU’s.

 Contact: MAITC at 287-5522 or [email protected]


For more information:

Planting a Preserving Garden, April 28

thumbnailPlanting a Preserving Garden
UMaine Cooperative Extension
Location: Kittery Adult Education, Traip Academy, 12 Williams Ave., Kittery, ME
Date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Time: 6–8pm
Fee: $15, pre-registration

Early spring is the perfect time to plan your garden with growing food for preserving in mind. Come learn from University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Food Preservers and Master Gardeners how to plant a preserving garden. Participants will learn the best produce varieties for canning, how much to plant for your household size, and other tips to maximize yield and overall garden health.

For more information:

Family Gardening: Grow A Salad Garden, April 25

unnamedFamily Gardening: Grow A Salad Garden!
Leslie Stevens, UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener
Location: Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, 6 Washington St, Dover, NH
Date: Saturday, April 25, 2015
Time: 10:15 – 11 am

The Children’s Museum of NH is offering families the unique opportunity to learn to grow their own organic fruits and vegetables this spring. Join us to learn how to plant and grow your own garden salad and what you need to do to have a successful vegetable garden at home. We will plant radishes, lettuce, spinach, kale and Swiss chard. Everyone will be able sample a few of these leaves to see what they like best to plant at home. Meet an “Easter Egg” chicken and see her colored eggs.

UNH Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Leslie Stevens, owner of Sidewalk Farms in Portsmouth, will present a series of six free workshops on Saturday mornings at 10:15 am in the Children’s Museum gardens. This is the fifth year that the museum and Stevens have partnered to bring gardening information and hands-on experience to families.

Please call 603-742-2002 to pre-register to ensure we have enough supplies for all.

For more information:

From Scratch: Herbal Seasonings, April 18

From Scratch: Herbal Seasonings
Betz Golon, Herbalist and UMaine Master Food Preserver
Location: University of Maine Cooperative Extension Cumberland County 75 Clearwater Dr, Suite 104, Falmouth, ME
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015
Time: 10am – 1pm
Fee: $40

Betz Golon is the herbalist at Common Folk Farm, where she creates herbal blends and seasonings. Betz has served as the herbalist for Shaker Village in New Gloucester for over twenty years. Betz will show how to “salt” herbs, create herb pastes, dehydrate vegetable/herb blends and produce beverages all from the home garden. Everyone will participate in demonstrations and leave with recipes and samples.

For more information:

Grow Your Own Organic Garden, April 14

PhotoELF Edits: 2008:12:18 --- JPG Compressed 90 % YUV444 EXIF --- resizeAre you concerned about the rising cost of food? Unsure what the term “certified organic” means? Interested in learning how to grow your own vegetables in a sustainable manner? Find out more at MOFGA’s Grow Your Own Organic Garden on Tuesday, April 14th:

Grow Your Own Organic Garden
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Location: Kittery Adult Education, Traip Academy, Kittery, ME
Date: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Time: 6–9 pm, 1 session
Fee: $10, plus $5 material fee paid to MOFGA at time of registration

Join us for an evening-long workshop on how to grow your own garden. We’ll talk about the basics of soil science, how to enrich your soil to produce healthy, high-yielding plants. The course will also cover the basics of making and using compost, the principles of crop rotation and how to incorporate green manures and manage nutrients in the garden. Other topics will include how to tell the difference between cultivated plants and weeds, basic weed control strategies and common insect pests and methods of natural insect control. The instructor will be an experienced farmer or gardener from your region.

Participants will acquire an understanding of:
– the basics of soil science, and how to enrich soil to produce healthy, high yielding plants;
composting methods;
– the principles of crop rotation, and how to incorporate green manures and manage nutrients in the garden;
– the difference between cultivated plants and weeds, and basic weed control strategies; and
common insect pests and methods of natural insect control.

Each year MOFGA sponsors this statewide educational event at over 30 different locations in Maine. Presenters are seasoned MOFGA farmers and gardeners. The workshops are open to the public and to people of all gardening skill and experience levels, and are designed to provide folks with essential skills and knowledge needed to make a transition from conventional to organic gardening. The workshop is offered in partnership with Maine’s Adult & Community Education program and community sponsors.

For more information:

Join us at our last Winter Farmers’ Market of the season, Saturday April 11

greens long
It is hard to believe the Winter Farmers’ Market season is coming to a close! We are excited to invite you to our last market of the season at Exeter High School on Saturday April 11 from 10-2. It will be our Greens, Eggs, & Ham market with a Spring Greens Tasting, Information and Recipes to use a variety of available greens and eggs, which are both coming back into increased production with the longer and (slightly) warmer days. We’ll also be having a Spring Formal at the Winter Market and invite vendors and shoppers alike to come in fancy dress as we spring out of Winter.

ally ryan smallThe very talented duo of Alli Beaudry & Ryan Sandford will be back at the market to serenade and entertain. Patti Small of On the Edge Knife Sharpening will be back for out last market. Be sure to bring your kitchen utensils and garden tools for sharpening before getting back outside. At the Seacoast Eat Local Market Table you’ll find Certified Organic Seeds to start planning and planting for your own home grown produce this year. We’ll also have market totes, t-shirts, DIY books and more!

During the April 11 market we’ll have several guest groups joining the community to share about their work. Read more about their work below and be sure to visit their tables at market.

Bedrock Community Gardens is a 35 acre garden in Lee. The garden holds several open houses a year as well as community events, such as art classes, music in the garden, and yoga. The garden is also available for private tours and for use by school groups, gardening groups, etc.
Community Roots Farm Summer Camp is an organization dedicated to reconnecting children and their families to their community, their food, and the environment. They offer fun, educational, farm-based programs and summer camp for children as well as programs for the whole family.
NH Food Alliance efforts are aimed at strengthening the emerging and already vibrant food system network in NH, by working with existing efforts and initiatives, gathering information and data, and working to develop a shared agenda and vision for building a New Hampshire food system that works for all in New Hampshire.
Cornucopia Food Pantry will be collecting fresh food donations to support their pantry and provide fresh whole foods for are families and individuals in need. Consider picking up some extra veggies or eggs for donation. They currently serve over 1,500 customers, feeding over 6,000 people a year, not including their food basket program.

eggs monaSee you at the market!





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.