School Garden 101 – Resource for Teachers

School Garden 101 is a course created for school staff who are interested in creating a new school garden and linking it to classrooms and the cafeteria. Staff include school cooks, teachers, health coordinators, and many more. Participants learn gardening basics, participate in planning their school’s garden, and are encouraged to tie garden learning to the classroom and cafeteria. Each class is focused on a particular garden subject (compost, soil, seedlings, planning) and provides time for school teams to plan. The School Garden Website was created to share the School Garden 101 curriculum with community members that want to engage school staff in learning skills to start a school garden. It is also a resource for those with school gardens. There are session plans and resources for each of the five classes – compost, soil, seedlings, garden planning, and beyond.

Show Us Your Hands!

In case you haven’t heard, the 2010-2011 Lecturer’s Theme announced by State Lecturer Sherry Harriman is “Many Hands of the Grange.”  I had a creative moment! The hand image is standard clip art which I’ve  converted to “sepia” and embellished a bit by adding the Grange Logo…  Maybe I’d had too much coffee the morning I did this… because I started remembering the AT&T ad…  and that led to thinking about reaching out and touch someone with the many hands of the Grange!

So be warned that you’ll be seeing more of this… we’ll be talking about raising hands, joining hands, using hands, needing hands, helping hands…

And this isn’t just for Valley Grange! Other Granges are welcome to use it and you can get your hands on it just for the asking (or by downloading right from this site). Pretty handy, right? (Are you groaning yet?)

4-H Awards Dinner to Benefit Linda Whitten

Please note this change to the previously announced 4-H awards dinner:

Linda Whitten of  Milo, ME, has been battling cancer for a number of months.  Her friends from University of Maine Cooperative Extension, 4-H Clubs, 4-H After School and Milo Rite Aide staff are sponsoring a benefit spaghetti supper and silent auction to help Linda with her medical bills associated with being a cancer survivor.
Please join us Friday, July 23rd at the Milo Town Hall to enjoy a delicious spaghetti dinner cooked by Val Robertson from Hobbnobber’s Pub serving from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  The meal will be by free-will donation.  It will include a special dessert contest by 4-H Youth.
Silent Auction begins at 5:00 pm and ends at 6:30 pm, with announcing of winning tickets until about 6:45.  From 6:45 pm to 7:00 pm Awards Program for 4-H youth in appreciation of Linda’s contributions to the 4-H Youth Development Program.
Items for the silent auction can be dropped off before July 20th at the Extension Office in Dover-Foxcroft.  If you are unable to come to the dinner and auction but want to help Linda an account has been set up at the Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union payee “For the Benefit of Linda Whitten,” mailed to Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 507, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426 or contact Barbara Baker at 207-942-7396 or email

Upcoming Meeting Information

Our July Meeting is still scheduled for Friday the 16th, but we will not be headed to Bowerbank! Laura’s had “boodles” of company and is just plain “wore out” so we’re moving the meeting to a new location. We’ll plan on meeting at the Grange Hall unless another member would like to host this meeting… if you’re interested in doing that, please let Jim or Walter know by Sunday, July 11th. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the Grange Hall! Come and help vote in our newest member! Updated Sunday: The meeting will be held at the Grange Hall… potluck at 6 PM, meeting at 7 PM. Ya’ll come!

Our August Meeting will include officer installation and we’ll be joining with other Granges at the Garland Grange Hall on Friday, August 20th. There will be a paid chicken pie supper at 6 PM and everybody knows that Garland Grange is famous for their suppers! The meeting starts at 7 PM and will feature State Master Jim Owens and his famous installation team.

No, we don’t want to think about fall… but if we have to let’s think pleasant thoughts! Our September Meeting is going to be a doozie… a great way to kick of the 2010-2011 Grange Year. We’re inviting area Granges to join us for this program focused on “growing the Grange” at the subordinate/community level: What color are you and your Grange?  Why not save the date: Friday, September 17th with a potluck supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM. And wait until you hear about some of our other programs…

Buy a Bus for a Buck!

If you are observant you’ve probably noticed the Smart Starts collection bins popping up around the area… have you also noticed that at some locations you can buy a bus for a buck? Ok, so it’s a little cardboard one… and you get to write your name on it and have it posted as evidence of your support of the Smart Starts Program. Pretty simple, huh?! So why haven’t you done it yet?

As a reminder, Valley Grange and Piscataquis Pomona are continuing to collect school supplies for the program… the July 31 deadline is fast approaching so hurry up and do your part!

July Health Beat

“Karen’s Kolumn” is researched and written by Public Health Nurse Karen Dolley. We appreciate her support and willingness to share!

July is UV Safety Month.

Everyone is at risk for eye damage that can lead to vision loss from exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. During the summer months the level of ultraviolet radiation is three times greater than in the winter. Reflected sunlight off the water, snow, and pavement can be the most dangerous because it is intensified light and can damage the eye’s surface.

According to the World Health Organization, up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV light is received before the age of 18. Children are more susceptible to UV damage because they usually spend more time outside than adults and the lenses of their eyes are more transparent which allows UV light to reach the retina. UV damage to the eyes builds over time.

Too much exposure to sunlight is dangerous causing immediate effects like sunburns but also causing long term problems like eye damage. Long term exposure may contribute to age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans and cataracts, a major cause of visual impairment and blindness. Your eyes can also receive a sun burn known as photokeratitis which can cause pain, redness and tearing.

Protect eyes whenever outside for a prolonged period of time, even when it is an overcast day. Wear sunglasses that block 99-100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Do not be fooled by the price tag or the darkness of the lenses when purchasing sunglasses. Consider sunglasses that wrap around your temples because they block the sun’s rays from entering on the sides which offers better protection. This is especially important if you spend time on the water or in the snow. Always wear eye protection when using sources of invisible, high energy UV rays like tanning lights or welding lamps.

Babies under 6 months of age should not be exposed to the sun. Dress them in light weight long pants, long sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to avoid sunburn. A minimal amount of sunscreen with at least a 15 SPF may be applied to areas like the face and the back of the hands.

For all other children, the best defense is to keep them covered in cotton clothing, have them wear sunglasses, and have them wear a wide brimmed hat. Stay in the shade whenever possible. Limit sun exposure between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. Put sunscreen on 30 minutes before going outside because it needs time to absorb into the skin. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or greater on both sunny and cloudy days. Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours and after swimming. Use extra caution near water, sand, and snow.

For more information, visit and (American Academy of Ophthalmology).