Somerset Extension Open House

Dig In and Grow!"Dig in & grow!" logo with shovel and leaves

Saturday, May 13, 2023
10:00 a.m-2:00 p.m.

UMaine Extension Somerset County Office
7 County Drive, Skowhegan, Maine (directions)

Our staff, board members, and volunteers will be hosting an open house to showcase Extension’s programs and services. Come find out how Cooperative Extension can help you!

This is a FREE event. All community members are invited.
RSVP encouraged, not required.

RSVP Online

Ongoing Events and Activities:

  • youth interacting with 4-H staffMake a native seed ball! (FREE activity for ALL ages. Take it home and grow native plants near your house. Native seeds donated by Wild Seed Project and the Solon Community Garden)
  • 4-H Expo
  • Homemaker Expo and bake sale
  • Crafts, games, and activities
  • Food and snacks
  • Pressure gauge testing
  • Resources and information
  • Interact with your local Extension staff

Scheduled Presentations:

grading maple syrup10:15 a.m.: Maple Sugaring Past and Present — UMaine Extension Assistant Professor Jason Lilley gives a history of maple sugaring and an overview of the industry today. Presentation will be followed by tasting of a variety of maple products (four syrup grades, cream, candy, and sugar).

11:00 a.m.: Legumes as Cover Crops — UMaine Extension Assistant Professor Jaime Garzon discusses the benefits and considerations inherent in the use of legumes in agricultural systems. Presentation will be followed with a Q&A discussion.

Tomato Seedlings

11:45 a.m.: Gardening in Western Maine: Extension Professionals Panel Discussion — UMaine Extension Horticulture Professionals Brett Johnson, Rebecca Long, and Nick Rowley discuss the issues specific to gardening in Western Maine. Moderated discussion will be followed by panelists answering your gardening questions.

We are no longer taking questions through this form, but encourage you to attend the event! If time permits, additional questions may be taken at the end of the panel discussion.

1:00 p.m.: Why Native Plants Matter: Planting to Rebuild Healthy Ecosystems — Presented by Wild Seed Project Manager of Educational Programs Nell Houde. The Wild Seed Project is a Maine-based non-profit organization working to inspire communities to make a difference in this time of change by doing the smallest of acts: planting native seeds. Planting native plants, grown from seed, within communities is both the recipe and the process of creating tangible change. In doing this, communities can collectively repopulate landscapes with the plants that expand wildlife habitat, support biodiversity, and build climate resilience. Native plants offer countless benefits––purifying air, shading and cooling cities, storing atmospheric carbon, minimizing flooding and stormwater runoff and helping to sustain vital pollinators, birds and other wildlife. Come to the workshop to learn about which native plants will grow best in the areas you steward, and how to plant and care for the plants from seed. 


  • Unfortunately, we will no longer be able to offer smoked chicken at our event!
  • Healthy Snacks Table
    • provided by Somerset County Extension Homemakers
    • limited supply, first-come, first-served
    • FREE!
  • Bake Sale Fundraiser
    • provided by Somerset County Extension Homemakers
    • limited supply, first-come, first-served
    • donations accepted to support the 4-H Camp and Learning Centers Scholarship Fund

Tables & Resource Displays:

Three wrists with temporary tattoos: cherries, asparagus, and cucumber slices

Cooperative Extension:

  • Home horticulture
  • Forage and livestock
  • Maple
  • Ticks
  • Plant diagnostics
  • 4-H clubs
  • 4-H volunteering
  • 4-H camp and learning centers
  • Nutrition
  • Food preservation
  • Extension homemakers

Other Organizations:

  • Wild Seed Project
  • Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Somerset Gardeners
  • Pine Acres Farm

We Can Help:

UMaine Cooperative Extension is a treasure trove of resources. Come learn how we can help you with:

  • Gardening and Horticulture
  • Farming and Agriculture
  • Small Business
  • Nutrition
  • 4-H and Youth Development
  • Home and Family
  • Community Service
  • Insect ID and Management
  • Tick ID and Testing
  • And More!


Please contact Emily Collins at 207.474.9622 or with any questions about this event.

RSVP (Requested, not required.)

Somerset Extension Open House R.S.V.P.

(To be used only for communication about this event, unless you check the option to subscribe to our newsletter below.)
Extension Horticulture Professionals will be hosting a panel discussion about gardening in Western Maine at 11:45 a.m. on the day of the event. Let them know what you'd like to learn about!
Please check if you would like to:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

“The Extension office is a treasure trove of information and help and resources regarding trees and plants, bugs, animals, invasive species, gardening, agri-business, sewing, crafting, recycling, healthy eating….and SO MUCH MORE. I’d very much like to see more people in Somerset taking advantage of their expertise.” – Sherry Grunder, Somerset Extension Executive Board Member

For special requests, please contact Emily Collins at 207.474.9622 or by May 1, 2023. If requests are received after this date, we may not have sufficient time to make necessary arrangements; however, all requests will be considered.

In complying with the letter and spirit of applicable laws and pursuing its own goals of diversity, the University of Maine System does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship status, familial status, ancestry, age, disability physical or mental, genetic information, or veterans or military status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The University provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 Boudreau Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).