2018 December PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee Meeting

12/10/2018, 3-5 pm

Present: Members: Karen Murphy, George McKay, Carole Boothroyd, David Bridges, Gretchen

Huettner, Beth McEvoy

Staff: Donna Coffin, Sheila Norman

Call to Order– President Beth McEvoy called the meeting to order at 3 pm. Karen Murphy selected as timekeeper.


  • Minutes of the November meeting were approved, with no corrections.
  • The Treasurer’s Report was approved, with no corrections.

Program Updates

2017-2018 Maine Planning and Reporting- Donna Coffin presented the Evaluation Results for Farming & Gardening Newsletters, which is forwarded for a national report. Among the successful results, Donna noted the One Tomato Distribution in Piscataquis County and the $1.4 million statewide impact of the So You Want to Farm in Maine? program.

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman

  • Two upcoming Special Interest clubs: Preserve It, Serve It will be held during Christmas break Dec 27-28 and Sew Much Fun is during school vacation, Feb 19, 20 and 21.
  • A bake sale at Tractor Supply on 11/30 and 12/1 raised $60 for the Leaders’ Association general fund.
  • The Leaders’ Association entered floats in two-holiday parades in Greenville and Dover-Foxcroft.
  • The county Speaking Tournament will be held on February 23 at the Extension Office. Any youth who have to miss this date, are welcome to compete at the Penobscot County office on 2/ 9

Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Our biggest undertaking was processing pumpkins with 70 second-graders on November 19! Students gleaned out pumpkins and saved out the seeds for a snack. Theresa Makowski and I packaged the flesh for that day’s food cupboard distribution (about 90 lbs of usable food), and Sheila oven-roasted and served the seeds later in the afternoon.

Piscataquis Regional Food Center published the story on their blog and on Facebook. https://www.prfoodcenter.org/ceces-corner/learning-about-food/punkin

  • There are 5 individuals (so far) from the Piscataquis area (2 in Dexter) planning to undergo Master Gardener Volunteer training in 2019! Deadline to apply is January 3: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeG1KS52jzhmvbWUO6CAHugfgNQv4hzWkCM9Avhr1j1cyW1Vg/viewform
  • Three people have borrowed the worm bin harvest equipment. Trisha plans to harvest and set up a bin with Mr. Murray’s class before the winter break.
  • Kacey Weber at Soil and Water approached Trisha about organizing a half-day hands-on workshop at the Law Farm as part of their “Families in the Outdoors” seasonal series. She envisioned an early summer (June 21 or 22) gardening activity that would contribute to the educational opportunities available on site. There will likely be other opportunities for collaboration in 2019 and beyond if we are so inclined.
  • Permaculture is a trendy topic in gardening and landscaping. While there are ways Extension can provide information and support for permaculture practitioners, our emphasis on research and science can sometimes be at odds with more esoteric permaculture principles. It is a topic we regularly discuss in statewide Home Horticulture meetings. I earned a Level I Permaculture Design Certificate in 2009, and am willing to work with other folks on programming that satisfies Extension’s standards and also attracts interest from permaculture fans.
  • Cumberland County Extension is hosting “Flowering in the North,” a conference for cut-flower growers in Zone 5. I don’t think there are enough growers in Piscataquis to form a local interest group. Marr Pond Farm and Checkerberry Farm are the only 2 full-scale farms I know of, and flowers are just part of their business. If there are more, I’d love to hear about them, because I’m planning to arrange Piscataquis-grown flowers at Fryeburg Fair next year!


Piscataquis Cooperative Extension December Activities Report- Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 22 one-to- one contacts in December 2018. 63% are by email.

Upcoming Programs/Meetings

  • Maine Agricultural Trades Show, Jan. 15-17, 2019 at Augusta Civic Center, featuring Agricultural Leadership Training, Beef Education Meeting, Beginner Farmer Resource Network.
  • Small-Scale and Backyard Greenhouse Management with Dr. Matt Wallhead on March 21, 10 am to noon at Piscataquis Extension Office, Dover-Foxcroft
  • If you want a certificate to sell fresh vegetables, don’t miss Produce Safety Training with Dr. Jason Bolton, March 29 (snow date: April 4) at the Dover-Foxcroft Congregational Church, 8 am-4 pm.

Past Activities

  • The recorded sessions for the canceled So You Want to Farm in Maine? are still available to those throughout the state who registered for the program.
  • The Extension 2019 budget was approved at the County Budget meeting.
  • 13 people plus staff attended the Piscataquis County Annual Meeting
  • 35 people attended Climate Change: Forest and Ecosystem Impact in Greenville.
  • 10 people attended Beginning Sheep Farmers’ Workshop (Sheep 101).

Unfinished Business

  • A discussion of possible 2019 educational events included various “Extension Presents” seminars starting in March, a tour of the Bissell Brothers microbrewery for the 2019 annual meeting, Small Ruminants: Disease Awareness and Screening program in April, Propagating and Preserving Herbs in May-June, a Tractor Safety Training program in spring.

New Business

  • Penobscot County Extension Executive Committee meets on Jan 23 at 6:30 pm at their office
  • Beth will invite Walter Boomsma to the February meeting to talk to us about the Grow ME program
  • January Meeting- The Committee voted to skip a meeting in January. Next meeting: Feb 11, 2019, at Dover-Foxcroft Coop Extension Office, 3-5 pm. Snow date 2/25/1


Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 1/6/2019