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Rural Living Day

23rd Annual Rural Living Day

Saturday, April 8, 2017

8:30am – 3:45pm

Mt View High School, 577 Mt View Rd (Rt 220),  Thorndike, ME

Registration is now closed.

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Class sizes are limited and fill up FAST!

Pre-registration is REQUIRED
Deadline to register is April 7, 2017 or
until each class fills up – whichever comes first.

We request a donation of $20 for classes and lunch


 .    . 8:30 – 9:00 Registration
Coffee/tea in the cafeteria
 9:00 – 10:30 Early Morning Session
10:45 – 12:15 Late Morning Session
12:15 – 1:30 Locally Sourced Lunch
1:45 – 3:45 Afternoon Session

We’re excited to reveal a series of workshops entitled
*** Rural Dying Day ***
focusing on alternative funeral practices

We also encourage you to check out
“Intro to 4-H”
a concurrent event happening nearby with workshops designed for kids.
Share with friends and family!


Early Morning Session


1. Rural Dying Day: Pushing Up Daisies: “Green” Cemeteries and Natural Burial

with Alison Rector     

What if your last act could be a gift to the planet? Alison Rector will lead a discussion about green cemeteries and natural burial, including photos of natural cemeteries she has visited in Maine and internationally. Alison is a volunteer (and board President) for the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Maine, an all-volunteer nonprofit educational organization dedicated to helping members make informed decisions about after-death arrangements that are dignified, meaningful, and affordable. What’s the best choice for you, your family and the environment in end-of-life planning? All are welcome to join this discussion. For more information, email Alison Rector at


2. Cooking with Acorns

with Frank Giglio       

A look into the abundant acorn. Learn how to process and cook with this wild food. Frank is an exceptional chef and loves to create new foods to enjoy!


3. Cordwood and Other Natural Building Techniques

with Autumn Cassity 

An overview of how the easy to access materials: clay, straw, sand, trees, woodchips, and sawdust are able to become an outbuilding, sauna, outdoor kitchen, wood-fired oven, furniture, flooring, and affordable housing.


4. Backyard Grape Production – THIS CLASS IS FULL AND CLOSED

with David Handley    

Maine’s cold winters and short growing season have long discouraged gardeners from growing grapes. But, with careful attention to cultural practices, good variety choices and a little luck, grapes can be successful here. This workshop will take a detailed look at growing grapes under our challenging climate and provide some tips on how you may beat the odds and have a successful home vineyard.


5. Raising Chickens, Geese, and Ducks

with Kirsten Lie-Nielsen        

Kirsten will be discussing the basics of feeding, housing, and caring for poultry on the farm. She’ll go over the requirements of young birds, both baby chickens and waterfowl, and the needs of adult fowl. Included in the talk will be the feeding preferences and requirements of different types of poultry, winter care for birds, and an explanation of the benefits of keeping fowl. Beyond eggs and meat there are many perks to having poultry on the farm, and we’ll discuss those advantages as well as what to expect when it comes to daily egg collection. We will also discuss the differences between the various types of backyard fowl, including chickens, ducks, and geese, and why one variety may be preferred to another depending on your needs and abilities to care for them.


6. Managing Water in Your Garden with Drip Irrigation and Mulches

with Mark Hutchinson           

Last summer was an unusually dry summer for most of Maine. Vegetable and flower gardens suffered production losses because of the lack of water. The workshop will discuss water efficiencies and conservation. Participants will work on developing a drip irrigation system for their garden. Participants should bring their garden dimensions.


7. Backyard Maple Syrup Production

with Kathy Hopkins    

Learn how to make maple syrup from your own trees. Kathy is the maple contact for Cooperative Extension.


8. The Art and Science of Charcuterie

with Matthew Secich 

Participants will learn about the safe smoking and curing of fresh meats. Salami, duck breast and fresh sausage will be prepared during the workshop. Gloves will be provided. Samples of finished products will be available.



Late Morning Session


9. Rural Dying Day: Death Cafe

with Nancy McAlley   

The objective of Death Café is “To increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their lives”. To do this we try to get people to think about death and share their feelings and experiences. We believe that our society doesn’t make it easy for people to talk about death. This is what Death Café does: make time for people to talk and think about death. At a Death Café a group of people, usually strangers, meet to discuss death, dying and connected subjects. There are many laughs as well as serious discussion.


10. The Joys of Steaming Brown Bread, Maine Grains & more – THIS CLASS IS FULL AND CLOSED

with Jim Amaral        

Steamed breads such as brown bread have been a part of the New England culinary tradition since colonial times. Learn how to make steamed breads using 100% Maine grown grains, wheat, rye, oats, flint cornmeal and buckwheat. If the only steamed bread you have ever tasted is the B&M Brown Bread found in most supermarkets, let this class dazzle your taste buds and show you how easy it is to make truly scrumptious steamed breads!


11. Myths and Methods of Home Composting

with Mark Hutchinson           

Reduce your waste and make great soil amendments for your garden. Participants in this workshop will learn about the benefits and challenges of home composting.


12. Creating Silvopasture

with Graham Mallory

There are lots of ways to go from dense woods to grazeable meadows. Join Graham Mallory to talk about his process of using cattle and hogs to establish, maintain, and improve quality forage in a silvo-pastoral landscape. Graham will discuss different approaches to logging, grazing, seeding, fencing, watering, and landscaping to achieve your goals. Bring your questions and ideas of how to apply these techniques on your own farm for a lively discussion.


13. Growing Wild Bees for Your Farm or Garden

with Eric Venturini     

This talk focuses on planting wildflowers to provide forage for wild bees. What is a wild bee? Do wildflower plantings really help with pollination? What should I plant and how? We will discuss these questions and more from both a scientific standpoint, and an applied, do-it-yourself perspective.


14. Designing and Building Small Houses 

with Jim Bahoosh      

We’ll look at design and building techniques geared towards creating a lovely energy efficient home that’s easy to live in. Our primary focus will be homes from 500 to 1000 square feet.


15. Preserving the Harvest – Lacto Fermentation

with Roy & Ana Antaki          

An ancient, natural way of preserving the harvest and its nutritional value. Roy and Ana are experts at producing and storing nutritious foods!


16. The History of Cheese Making In Maine

with Eric Rector         

Dairy has been an important part of Maine agriculture since its settlement. In 1862 the Maine Board of Agriculture instructed its Secretary to investigate “the best methods of manufacturing dairy products, particularly cheese…” for later presentation to the Board and thus all Maine farmers. Why, then, is it only recently that Maine cheese making has begun to make a name for itself, while Vermont has historically been known as a cheese making state? Based on my research I will tell this story during the session.



Afternoon Session

17. Rural Dying Day: Managing Your Final Affair

with Chuck Lakin        

Do you find this topic scary? This class isn’t; it’s informative, even funny at times. At the end of the class you’ll have learned about all the options you have in funeral arrangements for burial, cremation or body donation. Half the class time is devoted to answering your questions. Do your survivors a favor and sign up for this class. Take a look at to see what you’ll learn.



18. Getting Started Raising Beef as a Business

with Colt Knight         

What are different types of beef operations? What do you need to get started? What will be your challenges? Colt is our new Extension livestock specialist.


19. Elderberries: Grow Your Own Superfruits!  – THIS CLASS IS FULL AND CLOSED

with Tori Jackson       

We will begin with a brief history of this native Maine plant, how it has been traditionally used, where it went, and why it’s back. We will also cover the basics of growing your own elderberry bushes as well as what to do with the flowers and fruit.


20. Working with Your Woodland

with Morten Mosswilde        

This workshop will cover the key decisions woodland owners are faced with – how to identify their goals, create a plan, and follow through. Special emphasis will be on silviculture – activities to benefit from your woods now while shaping the forest of the future. The class will be geared toward active, hands-on woodlot owners but also includes other steps beginning landowners can take, and resources for further assistance.


21. Making Tempeh and Natto at Home

with Roy & Ana Antaki          

How to make two Soybean ferments with excellent nutritional properties. Learn how to make some new and exciting food products.


22. Small-Scale Grain Growing

with Sam Mudge, Grange Corner Farm and Adam Nardell & Johanna Davis from Songbird Farm

Learn what it takes to grow your own grains; from wheat to buckwheat, we’ll cover the basics to get you started on the road to baking and cooking with your homestead grown grains. *Note: Jim Amaral will be using these grains in his presentation on steamed breads.



23. Root Cellars

with Dan Kennedy      

Learn how to design, build, and use a root cellar. Kenneth Copp from Thorndike will join Dan to talk about ice harvest for root cellars. Learn how to preserve harvest in an inexpensive manner.


24. Making Fresh Cheeses  – THIS CLASS IS FULL AND CLOSED

with Arlene Brokaw

Learn how to make simple fresh cheeses from Arlene Brokaw, vice president of the Maine Cheese Guild.


Proceeds from the event go to help Waldo County Youth attend Tanglewood 4-H camp in Lincolnville