2020 July PCEA-EC Minutes

Minutes: Piscataquis County Extension Association Executive Committee meeting 7/13/2020 3-5 pm (Zoom)

Present: Members: Beth McEvoy, Carole Boothroyd, George McKay

Staff: Donna Coffin, Trisha Smith, Sheila Norman

Call to Order– President Beth McEvoy called the meeting to order at 3 pm.


  • Minutes of 6/8 approved. Motion-George; Second-Beth
  • The Treasurer’s Report approved. Motion-Carole; Second-George

Program Updates

 4-H Program Update- Sheila Norman and Emily Mott

  • Registration for the virtual summer learning series started on June 19; the first workshop was held on July 6. There are a total of 50 offerings to choose from. Piscataquis County 4-H members Gabrielle and Susannah will offer a workshop on how to make goat milk soap and Rebecca Huettner will lead a workshop on public speaking.
  • A volunteer is offering a workshop on making box kites. We hope to offer that workshop to County youth, as we were not able to put plans together in time to offer it as part of the state-wide program.
  • Plans for holding 4-H meetings in person once again are underway. Committees have been working hard on reopening plans. The committee submits their plans to Dean Carter. She is the only one who can then submit the plan to the Emergency Operations Committee and President Ferrini-Mundy for final approval. Sheila hopes that 4H will be able to gather kids together by August 1.
  • The Piscataquis Valley Fair has been canceled, but there will be a state-wide virtual 4-H Exhibit Hall where youth can enter photos of their projects. The projects will be judged and prizes awarded.
  • Emily and Sheila will be contacting the Milo school district to confer about our afterschool program.


Home Horticulture Report – Trisha Smith 

  • Garden-in-a-Box- planning a check-in with garden coaches and Merrilee from PRFC. Trisha plan to use the upcoming Fourth Friday Plant Clinic as a way to connect with the Garden-in-a-Box gardeners, perhaps by having the MGV coaches visit each garden (not the gardeners themselves, unfortunately) and relay footage via their phones to ZOOM.
  • Share Shed Piscataquis- The Share Shed is back! So far flower seeds, tomato seedlings, walking onions, chive thinnings, and butternut squash seedlings have found homes through the Share Shed. Pictures of donations are shared via Facebook using #ShareShedPiscataquis to help with tracking.
  • Sedomocha School Garden- Arugula came in, lettuce looks beautiful, corn looks strong. Trisha harvested a nice batch of peas and gave them to a family (Garden-in-a-Box participants) that lives in the nearby trailer park and harvested and pickled the garlic scapes.
  • Dover-Foxcroft Area Food Cupboard: Recertification through USDA is taking place this month. Trisha was at the distribution Friday to help expedite paperwork and took the opportunity to catch up with One Tomato and Garden-in-a-Box folks. The food cupboard is so far keeping up with demand. The DFAFC board is seeking additional members who are passionate about feeding people.
  • Piscataquis 4-H Passport: On indefinite hold.
  • One Tomato- Of the numerous folks Trisha checked in with, only 1 reported their plant had died. Everyone else is excited to see flowers and fruit forming, and reports vigorous growth!
  • Thompson Free Library- The online archive https://heartofmaine.omeka.net/ is still welcoming stories, photos, and videos of life during Covid-19. A ZOOM story slam is planned for July 24.
  • MGV and beekeeper Lynn Lubas is conducting an outdoor workshop at the library this Wednesday (7/14).

Piscataquis Activities-June-July – Donna Coffin

  • Donna reports 95 contacts, with questions ranging from developing a farm website, marketing manure, swine feeding, mixed crops and livestock farming, hemp production and more
  • July 16th at 6 pm Interim Guidance for COVID-19 for migrant and seasonal workers and their employers and housing providers. Zoom session with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Maine Mobile Health Partners.
  • Fourth Friday Plant Clinic – – We will continue to offer through Zoom and Live Stream with Facebook as well as go to communities when we are allowed to by the towns.
  • Greenhouse Plastic Recycling Drop Off Point at Office postponed to August.
  • Raising Backyard Pigs with Dr. Colt Knight had 27 attendees and 51 registered. The session was recorded and posted as a YouTube video on the livestock website along with the poultry program https://extension.umaine.edu/livestock/swine/
  • Ticks in Maine with Griffin Dill, UMaine IPM Professional and Beatrice Szantyr, MD, medical advisor for MaineLyme. 100 attended and 177 registered. The session was recorded and will be offered as pesticide applicator training.
  • Virtual Office Hours for Gardeners – during times that Donna covered for this project, no one came on Zoom. It has ended.
  • Fourth Friday Plant Clinic – We have not had many folks participate until we tried live streaming through Facebook last month. We reached 156 folks and had 37 engagements.

New Business

The Cooperative Extension office is not yet open to the public. There was discussion on what needs to be done to keep people safe upon re-opening.

The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

Next meeting: August 10, 2020, via Zoom, 3-5 pm.

Submitted by Carole Boothroyd, Secretary 8/2/2020