Old barn expert John Porter to speak in Sutton

Preserving Old BarnsSutton, N.H. – John Porter, who along with Francis Gilman authored the book “Preserving Old Barns”, will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Muster Field Farm Museum on January 13, 2013. The meeting will be held at the Freewill Baptist Church in North Sutton at 2 p.m. All are welcome to attend at no cost; refreshments will be served during the meeting.

Ever wonder about the history of the many barns along New Hampshire’s scenic byways? Or how you might restore the barn sitting in your backyard?

The book is a unique resource on preserving old barns and includes images of many of New Hampshire’s historic and scenic barns.

Porter and Gilman have compiled a fascinating look at traditional New England agricultural barns and structures, and are known as the go–to experts in this field. Both have had long careers working for UNH Cooperative Extension and are well-known throughout the farming community.

Porter will have copies of the book for sale or inspection at the meeting.

For more information, email: musterfield@tds.net.

Henry Homeyer kicks off gardening series at The Fells

Photo by Alena Banks

Renowned garden expert, author, columnist and commentator Henry Homeyer, from Cornish, N.H., will kick off a six-week Master Gardening series at The Fells in Newbury, N.H. This first workshop will be held on Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Lake Sunapee Protective Association’s Knowlton House in Sunapee Harbor. The class will celebrate the start of a new growing season and will include a workshop in pruning techniques.

Registration deadline is March 10. Contact The Fells at info@thefells.org or 603-763-4789 ext. 3. Fee: $10 donation per workshop or $50 for the 6-week series.

The Sullivan County Master Gardeners and the UNH Cooperative Extension are presenting the program. It is open to all. All other classes will meet at The Fells…

  • Thursdays, April 12 & 19, 1 – 4 p.m.: Introduction to Backyard Vegetable Gardening. Registration required by April 5.
  • Thursday, May 17, 1 – 4 p.m.: Garden Design as Art and The Basics of Container Gardening. Registration by May 10.
  • Tuesday, June 26, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Growing Perennials in New Hampshire. Registration by June 19.
  • Thursday, September 13, 1 – 3 p.m.: Putting the Garden to Bed. Registration by September 6.

UNHCE offers workshop for farmers and backyard growers

Although fresh snow covers our open fields and backyard gardens, the first day of spring is less than a month away. And growers around the Granite State are planning their gardens including their choice of cover crops.

Farmer-to-Farmer Workshop

UNH Cooperative Extension welcomes farmers and backyard growers to learn about advanced cover cropping at a farmer-to-farmer workshop in Charlestown, NH. It will be held at the Student Conservation Association (689 River Road) on Friday, March 16, 2012, from 1 to 4 pm.

Offered free of charge, the program will delve into the use of cover crops for weed control, soil fertility, organic matter addition, bio-fumigants and other beneficial uses. The program is suitable for both commercial farmers (large and small) and backyard growers.

Dr. Eric Sideman from the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners’ Association (MOFGA) will discuss effective crop rotations. And two local farmers, Pooh Sprague of Edgewater Farm and Dorn Cox of Sheltering Rock Farm, will share their knowledge and experience.

Cover crops play an important role in sustainable farming. They are grown to cover the soil during idle periods. Although usually planted in the fall to provide winter cover, some growers use cover crops as part of a summer rotation. They can help to:

  • revitalize the soil
  • recycle nutrients
  • prevent damaging erosion and run-off
  • protect water quality
  • suppress weeds and
  • reduce disease

The choice of cover crops depends on your planting needs and objectives; different cover crops offer different benefits. The March 16 workshop will delve into advanced concepts and practices.

For more info and to register, contact Dawn Bozogan at dawn.bozogan@unh.edu or 603-863-9200.

A program flyer is available at http://extension.unh.edu/events/index.cfm?e=app.home&calendar_id=1015

For ag-related materials and programs (for all ages), visit your cooperative extension, on-line in NH at: http://extension.unh.edu/agric/agric.htm.


UNHCE Workshop in Sunapee: Pruning fruit trees

Worried about cross branching, competing leaders and thin spurs? Now is the time to get to it. The best time to prune apple trees is in the late winter and very early spring before any new growth starts.

And here’s where you can learn the how-to.

An orchard on Stage Coach Road in Sunapee will be the site of a fruit tree pruning workshop sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Service on Saturday, March 10 from 10 am to 12 noon.

Bill Lord and Seth Wilner from UNHCE will lead the outing at an orchard owned by Aaron Simpson. Aaron has planted over 300 fruit trees and most are now four years old.

The workshop will cover how to prune, shape, graft and generally care for fruit trees.

Aaron also has some old wild apple trees. You’ll also be able to learn how to tame and care for these older trees as well.

Pre-registration is requested. Contact Dawn Bozogan at 603-863-9200 or email: dawn.bozogan@unh.edu.

A second fruit tree pruning program will be held at Riverview Farm in Plainfield on March 31. For more info about that workshop, visit the Extension Service calendar.

UNHCE offers “Making Money Work for You”

Did you know that University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension offers a variety of family and consumer resources…including money management programs…that are available locally in Sullivan County?

For example, in Newport, the Cooperative Extension will be offering a three-part series—“Take Control of Your Money”—starting May 11. (See our prior post.)

And starting June 2 in Claremont, a five-week series—“Making Money Work for You”—is scheduled for Thursday evenings through June 30. Topics covered will include how to: gain control over spending, reduce expenses, manage credit, reduce debt, and understand the importance of saving for your future. Location: Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street. For more info and to register: Call the UNH Cooperative Extension, 603-863-9200; pre-registration required by May 27; and if special accommodations are required to attend, contact the Cooperative Extension at least 15 days before the first class.

Gail Kennedy is the UNHCE educator in Family and Consumer Resources for Sullivan County.

Money management series starts May 11 in Newport

The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and Lake Sunapee Bank are offering a three-part “Take Control of Your Money” series that starts Wednesday evening, May 11th at Lake Sunapee Bank, 9 Main Street, 1868 Room 3rd Floor, Newport. The seminars cover money and debt management and spending and savings plans. One can participate in one, two, or all three of the seminars. Gail Kennedy, UNH Extension Educator in Family & Consumer Resources, will teach the series. Continue reading

Food safety program available in Claremont and Newport

The UNH Cooperative Extension is offering a free training opportunity for food managers and handlers. Safety Awareness in the Food Environment (SAFE) is a two-hour program that covers the critical problem areas; rules of time and temperature, personal hygiene, and safe food handling techniques. You can choose from one of two SAFE sessions being offered on Friday, May 20th. The first session will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Claremont Savings Bank, 145 Broad Street in Claremont. The second session will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the UNH Cooperative Extension Office of Sullivan County, 24 Main Street in Newport. For more info and to register, call the UNHCE Office at 863-9200 or email to gail.kennedy@unh.edu. by May 13, 2011.

Sullivan County pancake breakfast and 4-H activities

By Sherrie LaClair

Annually on a Sunday morning each June, the Sullivan County Commissioners serve up a free pancake breakfast. If you have never attended, I would highly recommend trying to attend this year, on June 12 at the Sullivan County Complex in Unity from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. The breakfast usually serves upwards of 400+ residents. Enjoy your breakfast, then at 10:30 be ready to be dazzled with a fashion show put on by our 4-H’ers.  (The four “H”s stand for Head, Hands, Heart, and Health, but more on that in a future article.) Continue reading

UNH Cooperative Extension: Its programs and services

By Sherrie LaClair

Being a 4-H leader for “Creative Clovers 4-H Club” in Claremont, I was only vaguely familiar with Sullivan County’s Extension office.

When mentioning 4-H to people, we forever hear the comment: “Oh, 4-H? I remember that from when I was little. We raised cows and canned food we grew in our gardens.”

This made me realize how many people really don’t know what 4-H is all about, let alone what else Cooperative Extension has to offer.

Now that I work as a member of the support staff at the Extension Office in Newport, I too, am becoming more aware of other programs, workshops, resources, and educational materials which may not be widely known to the residents of Sullivan County.

Sullivan County UNHCE is located at 24 Main Street in Newport.

Our five Educator’s areas cover: Agriculture, Forestry, Nutrition, Family & Consumer Resources, and of course 4-H.

When  Educators are not in our office answering and assisting with questions from calls and visitors, they are out in the County teaching workshops, holding programs, or making home visits to assist with various needs.

The Cooperative Extension has publications that cover a wide array of topics…how to balance a checkbook, how to care for tree seedlings, how to choose topsoil, how to find healthy food for seniors, and how to identify trees and shrubs. There are fact sheets to help in choosing a type of blueberry bush suitable for a home garden or a commercial farm; and there is information about rodents and how to raise backyard poultry. There are warnings to watch for invasive plants. And we also can guide you on safe food handling and nutritious eating for your children.

Managing Money

As the economy continues to grab our attention, the Managing Money link on our website is a resource that can assist people of any age, family dynamic, and household size.

In May, a three-part series of financial education seminars, sponsored by Lake Sunapee Bank and UNH Cooperative Extension, will be held in Newport. Because of limited space, registration is required. The workshops will be held at Lake Sunapee Bank on Main Street in Newport, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. The seminars are:

“Managing Money in Tough Times” – Wednesday, May 11
 “Debt Management Strategies” – Wednesday, May 18
“Developing a Spending/Savings Plan” – Wednesday, May 25

For more information and to register for one or more of these workshops, call 603-863-9200 or email: Sullivan@ceunh.unh.edu.

Upcoming articles will focus on various areas of interest. Meanwhile, view our website www.extension.unh.edu to find out about events, fact sheets, publications, workshops, programs, and much, much more!

The Sullivan County UNHCE office is located at 24 Main Street, Newport, New Hampshire. Phone 603-863-9200. To receive UNHCE mailings, go to their sign up form. Sherrie’s email is: sherrie.laclair@unh.edu.

Land conservation workshop to be held in Grantham

Conservation Options Workshop

Wednesday, April 27, 2011
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Grantham Town Hall, 300 Route 10, Grantham, NH 03753

The Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust, the Upper Valley Land Trust and UNH Cooperative Extension are offering a land conservation workshop to landowners and families.

The presentation will also include information on new conservation related income tax benefits and Federal Estate Tax, as well as news on state and federal programs that provide funding for conservation projects.

Pre-registration required. Registration deadline is Tuesday, April 26, 2011. To register for this workshop, please call 603-679-5615 or email: deb.stevens@unh.edu. NOTE: If you have accessibility needs, contact Deb Steven ASAP.

A workshop brochure can be downloaded at: http://extension.unh.edu/Forestry/Forestry.htm

Workshop for beginner maplers to be held in Sunapee

Photo by Paul Howe Photography

Perhaps you’ve thought about doing some backyard sugaring….but do not know how to start? Now’s a good time to do your research and take a workshop. A special program for first time and beginner maplers using less than 75 taps will be held in Sunapee at the Safety Services Building on Route 11 on Wednesday, February 2 from 6 to 8 pm. The class will cover all aspects of maple sugaring including:

  • tree identification,
  • tapping and collecting,
  • boiling sap, and
  • finishing, filtering and packing syrup.

The class will also discuss equipment and supplies needed, especially sizing and operating small evaporators— homemade and commercial.  Steve Roberge of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension will present the program, which is offered free of charge. Pre-registration is requested. To register or for more information contact, Chuck Hersey at 603-863-9200,  chuck.hersey@unh.edu.

On the UNH Cooperative Extension website, you can read more about maple sugaring and find lots of helpful resources.

Registration for money management series still open

Registration has been extended until Monday, January 10, 2011 for the upcoming University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension five-part “Making Money Work for You” series scheduled for Wednesday evenings, January 12 thru February 9, 2011 from 6 to 8 pm at the Sullivan County Cooperative Extension Office, 24 Main Street, Newport, NH. Call UNH Cooperative Extension to register at telephone 863-9200. Participants who pre-register by Monday, January 10, 2011 will be entered in a drawing to win a $50 savings bond. Continue reading

Current Use Workshop in Bradford NH March 24

Scenic rural road lined by agricultural fields and forested lands along the Langdon-Charlestown town line in Sullivan County, NH. Photo by Catherine Bushueff, Sunapee.

Rural landowners of 10 or more acres can enroll their property in the state “Current Use” program and lower their property taxes. However, this protected property also has restrictions on its future use. An informational workshop on the NH Current Use Tax Rules, sponsored and conducted by the UNH Cooperative Extension, will be held on Wednesday, March 24 at the Bradford Town Office, 75 West Main Street, Bradford (NH) from 7 to 9 p.m.

This is a free workshop. It will explain the Current Use assessment and different aspects of the program. It’s designed to help land owners determine if this form of land conservation is appropriate for them. It will also provide a good review of regulations for those already participating in Current Use. (See the program announcement, pdf 33KB: CUBradford).

For more information or directions, contact Tim Fleury (tim.fleury@unh.edu), Merrimack County Cooperative Extension office, (603) 796-2151 (Ext. 325) or visit www.extension.unh.edu. Fleury is a Forest Resources educator for the Extension Service and member of the Sunapee Conservation Commission.

Visit SPACE (NH’s Current Use Coalition) for more information including:

What is Current Use? Current Use Assessment provides a property tax incentive to all qualifying landowners who agree to maintain their land in an undeveloped condition. This assessment is based on the capacity of the land to produce income in its current use-whether it is managed farm or forest, or unmanaged open space. Current Use is the cornerstone of the state’s land conservation efforts, with over half the land in New Hampshire is enrolled in this valuable program.

“It is hereby declared to be in the public interest to encourage preservation of open space, thus providing a healthful and attractive outdoor environment for work and recreation of the state’s citizen’s, maintaining the character of the state’s landscape, and conserving the land, water, forest, agricultural and wildlife resources.” - NH Current Use law RSA 79-A (enacted July 1, 1973)

Wildlife Volunteers Provide Public Talks & Tours

Recently in Springfield (NH), more than 65 people turned out for New Hampshire’s Wild History, a program presented at the town library by the local conservation commission and historical society. It packed the room. Standing room only. The Wild History presentation is one of three topics available through a new program called Speaking for Wildlife made possible by the UNH Cooperative Extension and the NH Coverts Project, a wildlife volunteer program.

Speaking for Wildlife provides trained volunteers that deliver wildlife presentations and lead walks on public lands. The service is available to community groups, libraries, town boards, classrooms, and other interested groups in Sullivan and Grafton County and funded by the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Program titles include:

  • Backyard Wildlife,  an indoor presentation that highlights a dozen wildlife species commonly seen in the Upper Valley, their habitats, and how the public can help keep these animals common.
  • New Hampshire’s Wild History, an indoor presentation that takes participants on a virtual journey through New Hampshire’s past, focusing on changes in the land and how wildlife populations have responded over time.
  • Speaking for Wildlife Walks, guided field walks on public lands that can help towns and communities raise awareness about unique properties and places.

Interested in hosting a program or field walk? Contact the UNH Cooperative Extension Forest Resource Educators  Chuck Hersey in Sullivan County, (603) 863-4730 or  chuck.hersey@unh.edu or Dave Falkenham in Grafton County, (603) 787-6944 or dave.falkenham@unh.edu.

Springfield Presents New Hampshire’s Wild History

New Hampshire’s Wild History is a program that takes one back in time—some 350 years—to see the changes that have taken place in land use and how wildlife populations have responded over time. In Springfield (NH), the town conservation commission, hosted by the Springfield Historical Society, will present the “wild history” tour  on Thursday, January 14 at the Libbie Cass Memorial Library, 2750 Main Street, Springfield, at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend and learn why changes in habitat in our past are behind the decline of many of our rarest species today, and why others are more abundant than in the past. The presentation is part of the NH Coverts Project, a wildlife volunteer program and the Speaking for Wildlife project, which is funded by the UNH Cooperative Extension Service, NH Fish and Game, and the Wellborn Ecology Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation.

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