August 8, 2012

Natural Foodie: Maine locavores invite you to their backyards

Been thinking about joining the locavore movement? Take a tour Saturday to visit with and learn from like-minded folks, and observe how they've transitioned to backyard gardening.

By Avery Yale Kamila akamila@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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This greenhouse will be part of the tour at Maureen Costello’s house in Portland.

Kelly Ash photos

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At Katy Gannon-Janelle’s backyard garden in Falmouth, you can see her flock of chickens, protected from predators by enclosed fencing.

BACKYARD LOCAVORE TOUR

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Rain date: Sunday.

WHERE: Thirteen sites in Greater Portland; tour starts at UMaine Cooperative Extension office, 75 Clearwater Drive, Suite 104, Falmouth

HOW MUCH: $10 advance/$15 day of/free for kids under 12

INFO: 781-6099

GARDEN HIGHLIGHTS:

BRUNSWICK:

Large herb garden, four vegetable gardens and a small orchard

Preserving topic: Herbal vinegars and drying herbs

Food sample: Herbal vinaigrette and veggies

Gardening topic: Native plants to use and avoid

CAPE ELIZABETH:

Large suburban vegetable gardens, container gardens, flower gardens and compost bins

Preserving topic: Root cellaring

Food sample: Applesauce

Gardening topic: How compost works

Seaside front door herb garden, companion plantings and edible landscaping

Preserving topic: Drying herbs

Food sample: Dried herb dip

Gardening topic: How to prune your woody plants

FALMOUTH:

UMaine Cooperative Extension Office, 75 Clearwater Drive, suite 104 – pick up/purchase tickets

Preserving topic: Hot water bath canning of high acid food

Food sample: Low-sugar blueberry jam

Tidewater Farm, off Farm Gate Road, see new garden beds at saltwater farm; between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. only see live sheep display and wool spinning demonstration

Gardening topic: Maine Harvest for Hunger Program

Organic garden with berries, raised beds and decorative deer fencing

Preserving topic: Low-sugar jams and jellies

Food sample: Angel food cake with low-sugar strawberry jam

Gardening topic: How to protect yourself from deer ticks

NORTH YARMOUTH:

Chicken coop with flock of laying hens and front yard vegetable garden with perennials

Preserving topic: Relish and chutneys

Food sample: Zucchini relish

Gardening topic: What's the difference between a weed and an invasive plant?

Garden with 13 raised beds and 34 vegetable varieties using season extension techniques and lasagna soil creation method

Preserving topic: Pickling

Food sample: Dilly beans

Gardening topic: How to extend the gardening season from spring to fall

PORTLAND:

Small organic, urban farm with bees, chickens and greenhouse

Preserving topic: Freezing fruit

Food sample: Rhubarb lemonade

Gardening topic: Beneficial insects and spiders in your backyard garden

Growing organic fruits and vegetables in city soil conditions

Preserving topic: Canning salsa

Food sample: Salsa and chips

Gardening topic: How to test your garden soil and what to do if you find lead in the soil

Garden plants that pair well with decorative miniature train display

Preserving topic: Canning vegetables and tomatoes

Food sample: Beet bruschetta

Gardening topic: Seed saving

WINDHAM:

Organic vegetable garden with raised beds, small farm market and chickens and guinea fowl

Preserving topic: Freezing vegetables

Food sample: Vegetable chili

Gardening topic: How to contribute surplus garden bounty to a food pantry

YARMOUTH:

Extensive gardens with orchard, greenhouse, goats and chickens

Preserving topic: Drying fruits and vegetables

Food sample: Fruit leathers

Gardening topic: How to raise egg-laying hens and add berries to your backyard

"For me at this point now, I buy a lot less produce," Hopkins said. "It definitely does help with your grocery bills. To me, it's such a wonderful achievement that you can grow what you eat. The other part I think is great is you know what you're eating."

Participants start the tour at the Cooperative Extension office in Falmouth, where they pick up tickets, learn about hot water bath canning for high-acid foods, and sample a low-sugar blueberry jam.

At Lord's property in Yarmouth, he'll be demonstrating what you need to do to raise laying hens and how you can add perennial berry plants to your garden.

His garden is currently home to ever-bearing strawberries (which he grows on a shed roof); high- and low-bush blueberries; elderberries; beach plums; serviceberries (also known as saskatoons); grapes; hazelnuts; peach, apple and cherry trees; blackberries; raspberries; high-bush cranberries and goji berries.

The chickens and goats both consume weeds pulled from the gardens. Fallen leaves are ground up and used as bedding for the animals, and the used bedding is composted and then becomes fertilizer for the gardens. Nothing goes to waste.

"I think a garden like this is going to become the norm down the road," Lord said. "Both economically and also health-wise."

 

Staff Writer Avery Yale Kamila can be contacted at 791-6297 or at: akamila@pressherald.com

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila


 

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