WABI TV5 Crew Visits PCES and GrowME

WABI GrowME 2015

Third graders at PCES were already pretty excited because Valley Grange volunteers and bookworms Mrs. Boomsma and Ms. Erwin were coming to help them make “dirt babies” as part of the GrowME Collaboration. But they became even more pumped when they saw WABI’s Caitlin Burchill and a camera operator headed their way. One teacher asked us to pop in and say “Hi” to the kids… and a third grader came rushing up to Cait with a quickly made card for the “wether woman” that said inside, “I love you!”

The resulting video can be viewed on the WABI TV 5 website.

GrowME is a collaboration between Valley Grange, PCSWCD (Piscataquis Soil and Water Conservation District) and UMaine Piscataquis County Extension to build a truly local program of agriculturally themed, hands on activities for kids led by local volunteers. This year’s volunteers included Grangers, Master Gardeners, 4-H Club Members, and community citizens interested in GrowingME, growing kids, and growing plants!

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Eat and Learn with Extension

Saturday, September 6 Valley Grange hosts the UMaine Extension Piscataquis County Annual Supper and Meeting and it looks like there’s going to be something for everyone!

logo-piscataquis-santaAnother yummy supper is prepared by Penquis Volunteers and all proceeds will benefit Piscataquis Santa. Supper will be served from 5 PM until 7 PM. The meal deal will feature locally grown produce… baked ham, carrots, turnip, squash, potatoes and gravy… apple crisp for desert! Minimum donation is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 3-12, under 3 eat free! Remember, 100% of the proceeds benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund! (There will only be 110 days until Christmas from this event!)

A LOGOThe program parts include lots of exciting things! Prior to and during supper there will be Extension exhibits and demonstrations including a working bee hive and information on gardening, farming and nutrition. Bring your gardening, farming, nutrition, 4-H questions! There will also be lots of material available… The annual meeting starting at 7 PM will feature highlights of local programming and a feature presentation by John Jemison, UMaine Extension Agronomist, “Think Globally; Eat Locally.” All exhibits, demonstrations, and the program are free!

This is collaboration and cooperation at its best! You can come to one thing or you can come to everything!

Blue Ribbon Valley Grange!

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Bob Carroll’s eye for precision gets applied to the staves during set up

Valley Grange walked away (well, some of us shuffled… it was a lot of work taking the booth apart) with the first place ribbon for our booth display at this year’s Piscataquis Valley Fair! We’d already agreed it was our best booth in recent years and are glad the judges agreed! The booth followed the theme of “Field to Feast” and included step by step instructions and materials for preserving the harvest.  Our judging guidelines also call for us to tell as much of the “Grange Story” as possible, including information and samples of our Community Service, Family Health and Hearing, and CWA work. Community Service Chair Mary Annis turned out an incredible poster with colorful pictures and descriptions of some of our projects.

While we all mutter and complain, we really do enjoy working together to build the booth every year on what usually turns out to be the hottest day we have in August. This year the crew included Mary and Jim Annis, Judy and Roger Ricker, Linda Erwin and Bob Carroll and Janice and Walter Boomsma. We can always count on Roger for some bad jokes and Judy is constantly sweeping… Mary and Janice do most of the preliminary work… and just about everybody gets a turn being sidewalk superintendent.

Congratulations to our closest (and only!) competitor, South Sangerville Grange for a well-deserved second place ribbon. Walter set up the Pomona Membership Booth again this year in an effort to assure fair-goers that the Grange is alive and thriving in the area. Unfortunately, Garland Grange was unable to compete this year, but we hope they’ll be back next year! Space in the Grange Exhibit Hall is always filled. This year we were joined by 4-Hers with their project work–they were great neighbors and added a lot of fun to the hall.

That blue ribbon looks great!

That blue ribbon looks great!

Eat and Learn with Extension

Saturday, September 7 Valley Grange hosts the UMaine Extension Piscataquis County Annual Supper and Meeting and it looks like there’s going to be something for everyone!

logo-piscataquis-santaAnother yummy supper is prepared by Penquis Volunteers and all proceeds will benefit Piscataquis Santa, served from 5 PM until 7 PM by donation to benefit Piscataquis Santa. The meal deal includes baked stuffed chicken, Angus beef tips, mashed potatoes with gravy, mac and cheese, glazed carrots and string beans, dinner rolls, fruit pie and vanilla ice cream, coffee, tea, and lemonade! Suggested donation is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 3-12, under 3 eat free! 100% of the proceeds benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund! (There will only be 109 days until Christmas from this event!)

A LOGOThe program parts include lots of exciting things! Prior to and during supper there will be Extension exhibits and demonstrations including a working bee hive and opportunity for the kids to make “bee hummers,” information on gardening, farming and nutrition. Bring your gardening, farming, nutrition, 4-H questions! There will also be lots of material available… The annual meeting starting at 7 PM will feature highlights of local programming and a feature presentation by Dr. Lois Stack, UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist, “Native Plants in the Home Landscape.” All exhibits, demonstrations, and the program are free!

This is collaboration and cooperation at its best! You can come to one thing or you can come to everything!

Good News Grange!

Pick up a copy of this week’s Piscataquis Times, Somerset Times, or Sebasticook Valley Weekly and see how good your grange is doing! Thanks to Grace Lommel’s “investigative reporting” you’ll discover that a survey of local granges in Piscataquis and Somerset Counties revealed “there’s more good news than bad.”

State of the Grange in Maine

Find out how the Canaan Grange got “saved at the last minute”… how Parkman Grange has more than doubled their membership…

The paper hits the stands today… and it’s free! Thanks, Grace!

Valley Grange Takes Third Place at Fair!

Valley Grange extends hands of friendship and invites you to consider joining us!

While eyeing the yellow ribbon hanging on the wall, Valley Grange Master Jim Annis complimented booth planners Mary Annis and Janice Boomsma and noted, “We’ve captured more prizes than just a ribbon! The theme this year is “many hands of the Grange and we’ve joined hands to demonstrate once again that Valley’s ‘can do’ attitude gets the job done…”

Ok, ok… that’s called “editorial license” and giving the story a “slant.” The facts are that there were only three Grange Booths in competition and South Sangerville received the first place blue ribbon; Garland Grange the second place red. And since this is OUR site, we’re allowed to slant the story and even suggest that we’re convinced we had the most fun planning and putting the booth together! The guys had some “very important jobs” during construction… and it really was a team effort.

Exhibits remain in place until Sunday… so when you visit the “fayuh” this year, stop by and see what the Grange is doing! Neighboring East Somerset Pomona also has a display and the Piscataquis Pomona booth offers information about all the Granges in the area.

While you are at the fayuh, wander through the 4-H building and check out the kid’s work… and don’t miss the special tribute to 4-H leader and volunteer Linda Whitten. Most know Linda recently lost her battle with cancer. She will be deeply missed by many and it would be more than appropriate to honor her memory by spending some time there.  An even greater honor would be to consider volunteering a few hours of time to work with 4-H… introduce yourself to a leader and get acquainted!

If distance or other factors keep you from visiting this celebration of agriculture in person, check out the daily photos being posted by Judy Wilbur Craig, visit the Fair website, or get the news at the DailyME site.

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 Barbara.baker@maine.edu.

4-H is Alive and Well!

As part of my work with the Executive Committee of County Extension, I recently got to see and hear a great presentation about some of the things being done by and with 4-H and to “see” the kids and some of their adventures through photographs the kids took themselves. For a real treat, visit their blogs: Milo 4-H, Brownville 4-H, and Lagrange 4-H.  There are over 60 kids involved in 4-H in these three programs. By the way, did you know about the Pine Tree State 4-H Foundation?  I also got to meet the new director, Audrey Chapman and learned a little bit about their work. The Foundation was established in the 1960’s to aid in the financial support of the UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H Program and they offer grants and scholarships and various other support to local 4-H clubs and individuals throughout the state. I’ve added these links to this site as well as a link to the UMaine Cooperative Extension 4-H Site. Of course you can always call your local Extension Office for more information. By the way, the Piscataquis County 4-H Awards program is scheduled for Friday, July 23rd at the Extension Building on Main Street in Dover Foxcroft. If you’re interested in bringing a potluck dish to share and meeting some great kids, contact Barbara Baker for more information.