Weeds and Pests Workshop

Thanks to Judy Wilbur Craig for sharing this news…

The Abbott Memorial Library and DDATT are co-sponsoring a workshop on “Weeds and Pests” Thursday, July 14 from 6-8:30pm at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room, Dexter. Jason Kafka of Checkerberry Farm in Parkman will have some samples of weeds (participants may bring theirs also!), pictures, and resources for identification purposes. He’ll cover pest “basics”, offer organic solutions, and suggest deterrents. The workshop is free, but limited seating requires pre-registration by contacting the Library 924-7292 or DDATT dexterareatransition@gmail.com.

Reminder – “Highbush Blueberry” workshop Thursday, June 30 6-8:30pm at the Abbott Memorial Library meeting room, Dexter. Please use the above contact information to register.

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Smarts Starts for Students Starts!

It’s no surprise that Valley Grange members voted to support this great program again this year… obviously, we don’t know exactly who benefits, but it’s likely we’re helping some of our bookworm buddies!

For those unfamiliar, the program is geared to help families and kids get ready for school with school supplies for next year. The program is administered by Penquis and covers MSAD 4, 41, 46, 68 and School Union 60—last year some 428 kids were helped.

A complete list of what’s needed is available on the Penquis Resources websitebring your items to any Valley Grange event between now and July 31st to help out!  Pencils, erasers… the things you’d buy your kid are needed. We’ll have a collection box available at:

  • The Piscataquis Pomona Picnic on July 7th at the Boomsma’s house
  • Our July 15th meeting.
  • The Bean Supper and Hootenanny on July 22nd
  • Our informational booth at Piscataquis River Festival on July 30th.

That’s a lot of opportunities to participate! But wait, there’s more! You can also make a credit card or cash donation through the Penquis website. Note that cash donations go directly to Penquis–just tell ’em Valley Grange sent you!

More Bookworm Buddies Say “Thanks.”

“Thank you for reading with us one day a week so we can all get a turn reading with you.”

Books we've read.

“I love reading with you. I hope you like this card.”

“Thank you for taking time off your work to read books with us and playing with us on the playground.”

“Thank you for taking time out of your schedule and coming to our classroom and letting us read to you.”

Thank you Grange Readers for reading with us everyday. You help people read better and you are nice to kids.”

“Thank you for helping us with our reading. I loved reading with you.”

Wicked Huge Yard Sale Was Wicked Huge!

There was a "wide assortment for your shopping pleasure."

We raised over $850!!! Special thanks goes to EVERYONE who helped in some way… hauling and sorting… baking… talking it up… picking things up… negotiating with customers… buying things… buying things and saying “Keep the change…” Heck, we’re even glad it rained because we think that might have helped! This by no means makes us a “rich” grange, but we’re feeling solvent again!

We were totally mobbed for the first hour… and stayed busy most of the morning… even had a couple of people show up while we were packing up and cleaning up! The clean up crew did an incredible job… the only way you can tell there’d been a sale is we have seven or eight televisions and computer monitors left. This is an “ugh,” because we have to figure out a way to get rid of them! (They will work with a  DVD player or VCR.) We tried some  creative marketing techniques… “Buy a pair of boots for $2 and get a free TV!”  

Transfer stations charge at least $10 each  and there really is almost no market for older models.  We think there are “free days” occasionally and if you hear of one, please let us know! If you live in a town that allows residents to dispose of one free, maybe you could take one for us?

Bookworm Buddies say “Thanks!”

Some of our second grade “bookworm buddies” have sent us thank you notes and drawings… here are a few samples of the kind of impact you make by being a Grange Bookworm!

The artist who drew us all wrote, “Dear Bookworm Readers… Thank you for listening to us read. We always looked forward to your visits. Next year I hope you see me. I will miss you this summer!”

Others carefully lettered,

“Thank you for listening to us read. I can’t wait to read to you next year. I wish that you could listen to us every day, even when we’re at summer time. We really appreciate you listening to us read every day. We always looked forward to your visits.”

“Thank you for listening to us read. We always looked forward to your visits. We appreciate your magical visits. It has been a fantastic year.”

“…We love reading with you. I will see you next year.”

“Thank you for making the year very magical. We always looked for the time you could come in. You are great friends. You are spectacular people.”

“Thank you for letting us read to you guys! It is really fun! I can’t wait to see you next year!”

“Thank you for listening to us read. We appreciate your visits. We appreciate your kindness. We hope to see you next year!”

“Thank you for taking us to read. I can’t wait to read for you in 3rd grade. Reading is a fun thing to do. It is more fun to read with someone else.”

“Thank you for helping us to read good. You are one of the best people I know. Thank you for listening to 2nd and 3rd grade. You’re fantastic good friends.”

Next time you are at the grange hall, look on the bulletin board and read more of these precious notes… and if you haven’t been a bookworm, consider signing up for next year!

Suicide Awareness Bicycle Tour Starts Monday

Cheryl and Vic Morin

Grange Member Vic Morin and his friend Blaine Burhoe completed a cross country bicycle tour in 2004 and vowed to do something similar every couple of years. Unfortunately Vic and his wife lost a son to suicide the following year—a tragedy that was to change their lives in many ways and put those rides on hold.  The loss started Vic and Cheryl on another path that resulted in the formation of the JD Foundation which is dedicated to suicide awareness and prevention.

Vic and Blaine still love to ride and they are now starting a ride across the state of Maine to help raise funds and bring attention to the need to prevent suicide through training and awareness. They will follow a north south path that runs along Route 1 and hope to cover 40-60 miles per day, connecting with people along the way. They start in Van Buren on Monday and plan to arrive in Kittery on Saturday, July 2. You can find their itinerary and follow their progress on Facebook.

Valley Grangers are proud of fellow members Vic and Cheryl  and we admire their compassion and dedication. We’re hoping brother and sister Grangers across the state will help show their support for this ride. While the primary goal is to create awareness, they are also raising funds so donations are welcome. In addition, they are looking for places to stay (and an occasional shower) along the way. If your Grange is located near the route, why not make their passage something of a Grange event?! Don’t forget to invite the local media!  If you’d like to help in some way, you can email Cheryl at thejdfoundation@yahoo.com or visit the Facebook page.

Vic said they were hoping to find somebody with an ice cream truck to accompany them because “Blaine pedals a lot faster if there’s ice cream in his future.” They are also carrying squares of cloth bearing the names of suicide victims. After the ride, the squares will be made into a quilt that will be displayed at future JD Foundation events—including their HUGE annual yard sale scheduled for July 22 – 24 in beautiful downtown Abbot Maine.

Summer Schedule Announced!

Valley Grange doesn’t take the summer off… and this year we’re busier than ever! You can download a copy of our 2011 Summer Programwith details regarding…

Our Wicked Huge Yard and Bake Sale on June 18… a Potluck Picnic on July 7th… Bean Supper and Hootenanny on July 22… and an informational booth at the Piscataquis River Festival on July 20th…

Annual Piscataquis Pomona Picnic Fun and Fund Raiser

Ending with the traditional marshmallow roast

It’s the… seventh? annual fun and fundraiser at the home of Walter and Janice Boomsma…

The official start time (eating!) is 6 PM, but you can arrive any time after  5 PM to  sit and commune with nature, throw some horseshows, feed mosquitoes… .  If you can find the Abbot Post Office, you can find the Boomsma’s house… just head down River Road across from the Abbot PO… it’s the second house on the right, 17 River Road.  Bring lawn games and lawn/folding chairs! It’s a Potluck Picnic… the grill will be going and Walter and Janice will provide hot dogs and hamburgers and should have plenty of condiments… you might bring a casserole, salad, dessert to share. We usually have plenty of food, so don’t think bringing something is a requirement!

The auction probably won’t put Christies out of business, although we always have some classics… it’s really sort of an opportunity to get rid of junk, have some fun, and raise a little money for worthy causes. Remember, you do not have to be a Grange Member to attend this… and it’s a great opportunity for some good old-fashioned fun with some good old-fashioned folk. Well-behaved children are welcome and might be enlisted as auction helpers. Poorly behaved children will be auctioned off as slaves.  Any questions about the event can be directed to Janice or Walter either by email or at 876-4131. Bring a friend — if you don’t have one come and make one!

Note that this will be an opportunity to contribute to the Smart Starts for Students Collection Box or Can… bring some school supplies (pens, pencils, erasers, gluesticks, etc.) to help our kids!

Blueberry Workshop

Thanks to Judy Wilbur Craig for sharing this news…

Growing Local Food Workshop: Highbush Blueberries

June 30, Thursday 6-8:30pm

Abbott Memorial Llibrary Meeting Room, Dexter

Presenter: Ray M. from the A.E.M. Berry Farm and Garden Center in Palmyra. Ray has over 30 years of experience growing berries and will share his successes, disappointments, and of course the basics: location, transplanting, recommended varieties, etc. (Actually, he grows many other berries, some I’ve never heard of, but we’re concentrating on blueberries this workshop.)

Sponsored by the Abbott Memorial Library and Dexter Dover Area Towns in Transition. The workshop is free, but pre-registration is required due to limited seating. Contact the Library 924-7292 or DDATT via email at dexterareatransition@gmail.com.

Wicked Huge Yard Sale Update

Yard Sale coordinators Nathalee and Floyd Marsh have been busy busy busy and we’re looking forward to another WICKED HUGE Yard Sale on June 18th. Assisted by sorters and taggers Janice Boomsma and Roger and Judy Ricker, they’ve been working over the last few weeks handling generous donations from Grange members, The United Methodist Church in Guilford, the Senior Citizens in Guilford, Malcolm and Lee Marsh, the Thomas family estate, and a number of individuals throughout the area.

Look for our advertisement in the Piscataquis Observer and be sure to plan to visit the Grange Hall during the morning of June 18th… we’re located on the corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road and the sale will be held “rain or shine” as we have indoor shopping comfort.

We haven’t stopped collecting… if you have items to donate, just contact any Valley Grange member… or call Nathalee Marsh at 876-3343. Note we’re looking for goodies for our bake sale as well!

Thanks to the many who support this project every year! See you at the sale!