AUGUSTA

Seminar to teach how to raise organic swine

Learn about raising organic swine at a seminar at 3 p.m. March 20.

The seminar will be held at Florian Hall, Department of Public Safety, 45 Commerce Drive.

The cost is $25 per person, or $20 for paid members of Maine Pork Producers, and includes lunch. Mail your registration check to Cindy Kilgore, SHS 28, Augusta, ME 04333-0028.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 215-4968.

BELFAST

Food for Maine’s Future dinner set for March 30

The 6th Annual Mud Season Dinner sponsored by Food for Maine’s Future will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 30 at Troy Howard Middle School, 173 Lincolnville Ave.

In addition to dinner, the event includes the Jim Cook Award ceremony, a membership meeting and a tour of the middle school’s garden project. The cost is a $15 suggested donation at the door.

For more information, call Betsy Garrold at 568-3302 or contact Food for Maine’s Future on Facebook or by email at [email protected]

FALMOUTH

Extension gears course to serious Maine gardeners

Want to learn vegetable gardening? The University of Maine Cooperative Extension will be offering a five-session course from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Fridays beginning April 24.

The course is designed for serious gardeners and those who are new to the Maine climate. There will be classroom time as well as hands-on activities, problem solving and field sessions.

The course will address garden planning, season extension, water issues and other topics.

The cost is $50 per person, which includes a reference notebook. Partial scholarships are available.

The number of participants will be limited to 25. For more information, call Andrea Herr at 781-6099, email her at [email protected], or go to the website at umaine.edu/cumberland/programs/vegetable-gardening-course.

PORTLAND

Several classes in the wings at LeRoux Kitchen

In honor of the Portland Flower Show, LeRoux Kitchen will hold a free workshop on baking and decorating carrot cake cupcakes at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Liz Harris, a staff member at the kitchen supply store at 161 Commercial St., will offer decorating tips and samples of her carrot cake cupcakes with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

Then, on March 14, chef Matt Burnham will lead a class on “Cooking with Beer” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Featured recipes will include beer bread and beer ice cream made with beers from local breweries.

The classes cost $25, and reservations are required. Call 553-7665.

The beer class is the first in a series of Thursday evening cooking classes conducted by Burnham. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 18, the topic will be “Breakfast All Day,” featuring recipes such as Dutch babies, crepes, hash and eggs and eggs Benedict. The topic in May will be “Fish Three Ways.”

Also coming up: A “mocktail” tasting with Royal Rose Syrups from noon to 2:30 p.m. March 16.

Gala for Gary’s House April 4 at Fiat dealership

The 8th Annual Gourmet Gala for Gary’s House will begin at 5:30 p.m. April 4 and have an Italian theme.

Gary’s House is an affordable place for families to stay when a loved one is in the hospital.

A dozen restaurants and chefs will be making Italian specialties for the fundraiser. Pine State Beverage will host an Italian beer and wine tasting, and Baker, Newman & Noyes will sponsor a Wall of Wine where guests purchase a ticket for $15 and get a number that corresponds to a bottle of wine on the wall. The wines are valued between $15 and $250.

The event will be held at the Fiat of Portland dealership at 4 Rand Road and costs $40 per person. There will also be a live auction with items including a week’s stay in Tuscany, four Boston Red Sox tickets, a Portland restaurant package and a makeover for two at Bei Capelli in Scarborough. The auction will start at 7 p.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 229-3866.

Wine tastings on Friday at both Rosemont locations

Rosemont Markets will be having wine tastings at both their stores from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday.

At the Yarmouth store, 96 Main St., Ned Swain of Devenish Wines will be sampling a Friulano from Italy as well as a brand new Italian wine and a Roussillon French wine.

The Brighton store, located at 580 Brighton Ave., will feature wines from Washington state’s Hedges Family Estate.

MOFGA specialist to lead intro to organic farming

Interested in starting an organic garden at home? Eric Sideman, an organic crop specialist at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will  teach a two-day short course on the topic on April 2 and April 9.

The course, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be held in the University of New England’s Ludcke Auditorium on Stevens Avenue in Portland. Sideman will describe the organic approach and offer strategies for how to use organic techniques on a small scale.

The cost is $75 per person for both days; add another person from the same household for $30 more. Students can register for $45.

For more information, or to register, call 568-4142.

Whole Foods gunning for cheese-wheel record

Whole Foods Markets nationwide are going for the Guinness Book of World Records’ title of most wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano cracked at the same time.

The Portland store at 2 Somerset St. will be holding a storewide cracking and tasting from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. The cracking of the wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano will take place at 3 p.m. in the cheese department.

For more information, call 774-7711.

JEFFERSON AND UNITY

Upcoming MOFGA workshop on organic orchard pruning

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will hold am organic orcharding workshop focusing on pruning from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 16.

Participants will learn to prune fruit trees to encourage vigorous growth, heavy fruit set and quality yield.

The class is for both beginners and experienced growers. The course in Unity will focus on pruning 10- to 12-year-old trees.

Bring a bag lunch. For more information or to register, call 568-4142.

SOUTH PORTLAND

March 13 event at Wild Birds explores becoming vegan

If you are curious about what it takes to become a vegan, Wild Birds Unlimited will be offering a free seminar at 6 p.m. March 13 exploring why people make this choice and the benefits  and misconceptions of the diet.

Kate McPherson, a staff member at the store who has been a vegan for about four years, will lead the class, share her favorite recipes and share some vegan snacks.

The Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop is located at 50 Maine Mall Road. To register for the seminar, call 771-2473.

BATH

Chili/chowder cook-off for American Cancer Society

The Chili & Chowder Cook-Off for a Cure will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Galley Restaurant, 245 Centre St.

The cost is a $5 donation at the door. Children ages 10 and under get in free. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. Ticket holders will be able to sample all the chilis and chowders and vote for their favorites.

To donate a chili or chowder for the contest, sign up atThe Galley or email [email protected] There is no entry fee.

Other activities at the cook-off include a bake sale and a 50/50 drawing. For $10, guests can purchase and decorate a luminary to be lit at the May 17 Relay for Life event at the Brunswick High School track, 16 Maquoit Road.

For more information, email Trista Toothaker at [email protected] or call 443-9888.