Maine Food for June: Strawberries, Berry Jams and Spring Peas

May 25th, 2018 1:23 PM

UMaine Extension offers Tips for Using Maine Fruits and Vegetables Available in June

strawberriesWe all look forward to the signs of spring after a long cold Maine winter. Strawberries are definitely one of those spring harbingers we crave.

Freezing berries in season and making your own low-sugar jams and jellies are simple, easy ways to increase your access to a year-round supply of local foods, cut back on sugar and reduce your grocery bill.

Kathy Savoie, UMaine Extension educator, cautions that you should get up-to-date information if you are planning on canning food. Over the years, there have been changes in scientific expertise as well as canning equipment and there is new information on the best methods, canners, jars, and seals to use to ensure a safe result.

Looking for a local food preservation workshop near you to learn more? How about Preserving the Harvest: Strawberry Jam at our UMaine Regional Learning Center in Falmouth (75 Clearwater Dr) on Wednesday June 27th. This hands-on food preservation workshop will teach you the basics of canning and freezing strawberries, including how to use a water bath canner to preserve jam. Learn from the experts. We will provide fresh produce and canning jars. Register online.

Visit to order or download bulletins to fit this season, including June favorites such as Bulletin #4047 Let’s Preserve Strawberries, Bulletin #4039 Let’s Preserve: Jams, Jellies and Spreads, Bulletin #4383 Freezing Fruits and Bulletin #4256 Vegetables and Fruits for Health: Peas.

Support your local farmer by shopping at a farmers’ market

farmers marketThe vibrant farmers’ market scene in Maine offers shoppers a fun way to access fresh food from friendly, hard-working farmers. Most home gardeners in Maine try to have peas to harvest by the Fourth of July, but you can add peas to the menu even earlier by going to local farmers markets and vegetable stands. Common types you will find in the market include shell (green) peas as well as edible-pod peas such as snow peas (Chinese pea pods) and sugar-snap peas.

About University of Maine Cooperative Extension: As a trusted resource for over 100 years, University of Maine Cooperative Extension has supported UMaine’s land and sea grant public education role by conducting community-driven, research-based programs in every Maine county. UMaine Extension helps support, sustain and grow the food-based economy. It is the only entity in our state that touches every aspect of the Maine Food System, where policy, research, production, processing, commerce, nutrition, and food security and safety are integral and interrelated. UMaine Extension also conducts the most successful out-of-school youth educational program in Maine through 4-H.
About the University of Maine: The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land grant and sea grant university. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast and attracts students from Maine and 49 other states, and 67 countries. It currently enrolls 11,240 total undergraduate and graduate students who can directly participate in groundbreaking research working with world-class scholars. The University of Maine offers 35 doctoral programs and master’s degrees in 85 fields; more than 90 undergraduate majors and academic programs; and one of the oldest and most prestigious honors programs in the U.S. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campus wide aimed at conserving energy, recycling and adhering to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine, visit

Great Publications for Memorial Day Weekend

May 21st, 2018 4:08 PM

barbecue food

The first long weekend of the summer season is about to begin and that means people are spending more time outdoors. We’ve got publications about grilling safely, dealing with those pesky bugs and insects, gardening information, and much more! Below is just a sample of publications available from UMaine Extension’s publications catalog:

4-H Club Visits the Big Apple!

May 10th, 2018 8:42 AM
The PHS 4-H club in the General Assembly room at the United Nations.

The PHS 4-H club in the General Assembly room at the United Nations.

The PHS 4-H Club recently returned from New York City and, according to the teens, the adventure was amazing and eye-opening. The PHS 4-H club is supported by the Portland Mentoring Alliance. The 4-H club conducts leadership activities, college preparation exercises and community service.  Teens take an annual trip to visit an urban college and to learn American history and civics. There were eleven juniors and seniors who went on the trip with two adult volunteers and an Extension staff member.
Highlights included a visit to NYU admissions, a touching visit to the 9/11 memorial, a visit to the Whitney Art Museum, and a tour of the United Nations. Several students want to study criminal justice and be a police officer so the students asked NYPD officers a lot of questions on the trip. The teens visited Harlem where they tried some traditional southern American cooking (to mixed results) and shopped at an African bazaar.
Nasteho and Nimo model the clothing they bought at the African Market in Harlem.

Nasteho and Nimo model the clothing they bought at the African Market in Harlem.

The teens have been planning the trip since October. The teens had to identify potential colleges and sites to visit, conduct service learning projects, and attend leadership meetings in order to go on the trip. The teens also met with mentors on a weekly basis and maintained their grades and school attendance. Many of the teens loved visiting NYC but most came to the conclusion that they would prefer a college with more green space and less traffic!  One of the best parts of being in New York City, said one teen, is that “everyone can be themselves and no one looks at you for standing out from the crowd. You can just be yourself there.”

Publications for Spring

May 1st, 2018 12:40 PM

Spring is here and that means the planting and growing season is getting under way in some parts of our state and people are pursuing outdoor activities. We have resources to educate you about pruning trees and shrubs, starting seeds at home, insect repellents, ticks, mosquitoes and Lyme disease. Fiddlehead season is almost here, and maybe in the southern part of the state, and we have information on cooking and pickling, with recipes and an instructional video.

Two New Publications: Storey’s Guides

February 22nd, 2018 10:13 AM

Storey's Guide to Raising Pigs, Third Edition#1113 Storey’s Guide to Raising Pigs, Third Edition
Learn how to successfully raise your own pigs with a focus on a sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices. Expert tips on making your hog operation more efficient and profitable. Great resource for beginners. 374 pages. $19.95


Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep#1114 Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep
Drawing from years of hands-on experience, Paula Simmons and Carol Ekarius provide expert advice on breed selection, lambing, feeding, housing, pasture maintenance, and medical care. You will also find tips on profitably marketing your meat and fiber products, as well as information on obtaining organic certifications. 438 pages. $19.95


Maple Syrup Publications & Videos

February 20th, 2018 9:41 AM

Maine Maple Sunday is not until March 25, but the sap is already flowing in some parts of the state. We have several publications and videos in our publications catalog worth checking out:

#7036 How to Tap Maple Trees & Make Maple Syrup
#7038 Maple Syrup Quality Control Manual
#7041 Licensing and Regulations for Maple Syrup Processing in Maine

Remember, Cooperative Extension has a variety of publications available that may interest both you and your clients; everything from agriculture, small business, home, family and youth, gardening and lots more! So pull up a chair and browse the publications catalog. You’ll be amazed at what you find!

4-H Healthy Living Summit

February 20th, 2018 8:58 AM

UMaine Extension 4-H Delegation at the 4-H Healthy Living Summit in Washington DC, in front of the White House.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H sent a delegation to the 4-H Healthy Living Summit in Washington DC for the weekend. They did two live updates on our Facebook page, check them out!!

Some insight from our UMaine Extension group at the 4-H Healthy Living Summit:

Our 4-H Healthy Living Summit delegation unveils their action plan empowering ME and you 4-H Healthy Relationships! Facebook live video:


New Publications!

January 30th, 2018 8:40 AM

Bulletin #1081, Potato Farmers in Aroostook County, Maine, Should Test for Soil Sulfur and Correct As Needed
Developed by Lakesh Sharma, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, and  Sukhwinder Bali, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Bulletin # 1086, Minimize Nitrogen Losses and Increase Nitrogen Use Efficiency
Developed by Sukhwinder Bali, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, and Lakesh Sharma, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Bulletin #1060, Orienting New Farm Employees in Maine: A Checklist for Maine Agricultural Employers 
Developed by Jason Lilley, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Sustainable Agriculture Professional, and Leslie Forstadt, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Associate Professor, Child and Family Development Specialist. Reviewed by Tori Jackson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Educator, and Gary Anderson, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Animal and BioScience Specialist.

Bulletin #2114, Coliform Salpingitis in Poultry 
By Anne Lichtenwalner, DVM, PhD, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Bulletin #1209, Farmer Skill and Knowledge Checklist: Safe Tractor and Implement Operation
Developed by Extension Professor, Richard Brzozowski Extension Professor Rick Kersbergen, University of Maine; and reviewed by Agricultural Safety Specialist James Carrabba, New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH)

Bulletin #4032, The Cost of Preserving Food in Maine
Adapted by Kathy Savoie, Associate Extension Professor and Kate McCarty, Community Education Assistant, University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

Bulletin #2113, Pecking and Cannibalism by Hens: How to Stop It? 
By Anne Lichtenwalner, DVM PhD, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Bulletin #1170, Cover Cropping for Success
By Jason Lilley, Sustainable Agriculture Professional, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Bulletin #2034, Plum Production in Maine
By Renae Moran, Tree Fruit Specialist, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Publications for December

November 29th, 2017 8:56 AM

#4274  Food for Holiday Giving: Safety Comes First!
#7011  Balsam Fir Tip Gathering
#7012  Making Balsam Fir Wreaths
#7117  Birdhouse Basics
#7124  Birdfeeding Basics
#7201  Energy Saver$: Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home
#7210  Maine Home Energy Series
#9022  Staying Warm in an Unheated House

and don’t forget that books make great gifts!

#2033  The Life in Your Garden: Gardening for Biodiversity
Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens
So Easy to Preserve

Giving Tuesday 2017

November 28th, 2017 9:19 AM

Giving Tuesday, on November 28th, is a wonderful opportunity to give online and support programs that have a positive impact on your community. The University of Maine Cooperative Extension delivers unbiased, research-based information to Cumberland County citizens through educational programs, publications, events, and more. Please consider donating to the UMaine Gardens at Tidewater Farm which provides education opportunities for all ages or  to the 4-H Foundation which supports the UMaine Extension 4-H programs.

Giving Tuesday 2017 Tidewater Farm

Giving Tuesday 2017, 4-H Foundation