Thursday June 20, 2013 | 12:28 PM

Warm-weather is here, and that means farmers’ markets in the park, garden parties, rolling out a blanket under the shade, can’t miss festivals, homemade lemonade, freshly picked berries, and watching the fields come alive. To help you make the most of the season, following are a few events, most of which you can enjoy in the great outdoors. 

Poultry Travel Cage Building Workshop – Presented by University of Maine Cooperative Extension in Cumberland County and Maine Poultry Growers' Association. Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. – Noon at UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth, Maine. Workshop participants will build wire poultry travel cages and UMaine Extension veterinarian Dr. Anne Lichtenwalner will talk about poultry health. $30 pp; $25 for MPGA members. To register, go here. If you need additional information, please contact the UMaine Extension Cumberland County office, (207) 781-6099.

Pasture Walk at Old Crow Ranch - Organized by The University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Grass Farmers Network, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Maine Department of Agriculture. Sunday, June 23 from 3 - 6 p.m. at Old Crow Ranch at 427 Davis Road, Durham, Maine. No-till drill discussion and demonstration, pasture walk, discussion of multi-species grazing. For more information contact (207) 342-5971.

Sustainable Agriculture Field Day – Small Grains and Forages. This annual event is held at The Rogers Farm Forage and Crop Research Facility in Stillwater, Maine. Recommended for farmers, crop advisers and others interested in crop production. Wednesday, June 26 from 5 – 7:45 p.m. at the 100-acre Rogers Farm on Bennoch Road in Stillwater, part of UMaine's J.F. Witter Teaching and Research Center.

Learn about crop options for new grain markets, weed management in organic soybeans and small grains, improved ryegrass varieties, cover crops such as tillage radish to improve soil quality, organic nitrogen sources for small grains and wheat varieties. Presenters include: Ellen Mallory, UMaine Extension sustainable agriculture specialist; Eric Gallandt, UMaine associate professor of weed ecology and management; Richard Kersbergen, UMaine Extension educator; John Jemison, UMaine Extension soil and water quality specialist; Erin Roche, a graduate student in sustainable agriculture; and Tom Molloy, a UMaine research associate.

Registration begins at 4:45 p.m. Participants will receive one pesticide certification credit and 2.5 certified crop adviser credits. For more information contact Ellen Mallory, (207) 581-2942 or John Jemison, (207) 581-3241.

Let the festivities begin! The Maple Meadow Farm Festival will take place on Saturday, June 29 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 30. from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Maple Meadow Farms, 830 Mapleton Road, Mapleton, Maine. Horse shoeing, washing and dyeing wool and yarn, digging potatoes, horse dentistry, and hay baling demonstrations. Learn about draft team farming techniques and field work with antique tractors. Mingle with friends, savor home-cooked food, browse the work of fine artisans and collections from antique dealers. Bluegrass music, childrens' area. For schedule go here. For more information contact (207) 764-6450.

Reminder!! June 30 is the deadline for applications to MOFGA Certification Services LLC for organic crop certification

What’s summer without a picnic!? For the second year in a row, Dandelion Spring Farm and Straw Farm will hold a picnic every 2nd Wednesday of the month through September from 4 p.m. to dark. Bring your own picnic, or enjoy wood-fired pizza ($9/pizza – cash only) from Uproot Pie Co. and Oxbow beer. Mini version of farmers' market stand. Families encouraged. 30 Brick Hill Rd, Newcastle, Maine. From Rt. 1 in Edgecomb, at the top of hill near the intersection with Rt. 27 toward Boothbay, take Cochran Road (heading North). The turn is just South of Skip Cahill Sunoco station. Travel 7/10th's of a mile. Turn down the drive on the right with the Straw Farm and Watershed signs at the top. For more information contact (207) 380–4199.

Let’s Bake! Road Trip to Skowhegan! Registration for the 2013 (Maine Grain Alliance) Kneading Conference is open. Thursday, July 25 and Friday, July 26 in Skowhegan, Maine. Check out this article on the conference by Molly O’Neill in Gourmet Magazine. 

The registration fee to attend the two-day conference is $300. Fee includes meals prepared as much as possible from fruits, vegetables, and meats raised locally and sustainably. Vegetarian options are available with advance notice.

The Artisan Bread Fair is Saturday, July 27 at the Skowhegan Fairgrounds. This is a free festival celebrating local grains, artisan breads, and delicious Maine Foods. Baked goods and baking items for sale. Demos and live music.

Picnic photo Dandelion Spring Farm, remainder Sharon Kitchens.


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About the Author

Sharon Kitchens is a neo-homesteader learning the ins and outs of country living by luck and pluck and a lot of expert advice. She writes about bees for The Huffington Post and stuff she loves on her personal blog,

When she is not writing, she enjoys edible gardening, reading books on food and/or thinking about food, hanging out by her beehives and patiently tracking down her chickens in the woods behind her old farmhouse.

In her blog, Sharon profiles farm families, reports on farm-based education and internships, conducts Q&A's with master beekeepers, offers tips on picking a CSA, and much more.

Sharon can be contacted at or on Twitter @deliciousmusing.

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