Join the PCSWCD for a Fun Snowshoe Event at the Law Farm!

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) is excited to kick-off our 4th annual Families in the Outdoors series with Snowshoeing Adventure at the Law Farm. The goal of the Families in the Outdoors series is to provide fun, active and interesting opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors, together. Our Snowshoeing Adventure will take place on Friday, February 19th, 2021(weather date Feb. 20th) from 1-3PM at the Law Farm. This program is designed for youth ages 5+, parents, grandparents, friends…whoever wants to do a little snowshoeing and get outdoors! 

Our Snowshoeing Adventure is always a great time. It is designed to offer something for the beginner AND the snowshoeing expert, so all are welcome! We work with Master Maine Guide Alexandra Conover Bennett and wildlife biologist Sarah Spencer to add another layer of fun and learning to our snowshoe outing. Alexandra will go over types of snowshoes, history and techniques for beginners, while Sarah will lead us all as we search for and identify Maine wildlife tracks in the snow. 

The PCSWCD looks forward to seeing you out at the Law Farm for this fantastic event. Spaces are limited and you must pre-register to join us. There is a small fee per person, which helps support our educational offerings. PCSWCD follows State and CDC guidelines and participants will be required to mask and practice physical distancing during this event. 

To register, please visit our website at www.piscataquisswcd.org, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/www.piscataquisswcd.org, give us a call at 207-564-2321 ext. 3 or send along an email to info@piscataquisswcd.org.

We look forward to sharing the outdoors with you!

Planning a Backyard Orchard Webinar Offered by the PCSWCD

The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) will be hosting organic orchard specialist CJ Walke of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) and College of the Atlantic for an evening webinar: Planning a Backyard Orchard. The webinar will take place via Zoom on Wednesday, February 10th from 6-7:30PM. Registration is required and there is a suggested donation for joining in on the discussion.

The PCSWCD has worked with CJ Walke since 2014. He has offered our constituents hands-on workshops in fruit tree pruning, organic orchard care, grafting, renovating and much more. Anyone who has been to one of CJ’s workshops knows how knowledgeable he is and how much care and attention he provides to folks wanting to understand more about orcharding in Maine. CJ will discuss selecting varieties, planting and care in the first few years. This webinar will be beneficial for folks planning to start an orchard and those looking to expand or renovate an existing one. There will be ample time at the end of the presentation for questions. Additionally, CJ will be tailoring this presentation to folks living in Piscataquis County and linking information shared to products available through the PCSWCD’s annual Tree & Plant Sale. That way, if a suggestion is made for a product or variety of tree to plant, participants will have a first-hand source to get it!

To register, please visit our website www.piscataquisswcd.org. Registration links can be found there and also on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/www.piscataquisswcd.org. For questions, please reach out to us at info@piscataquisswcd.org or by calling us at 207-564-2321 ext. 3. 

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses Found in Maine -No Live Spotted Lanternflies Found

September 29, 2020 News Release: The Maine Department of Agricultural, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) today announced finding egg masses of the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF) on trees in Maine communities and is urging residents to report any sign of the invasive pest. The egg masses were found on trees from Pennsylvania, where SLF is established and planted in Boothbay, Freeport, Northeast Harbor, and Yarmouth.

Read the full news release by clicking the link below.

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MEDACF/bulletins/2a34f4b

The Maine Association of Conservation Districts is offering free regional webinars to highlight how to protect Maine forests from invasive forest pests. Webinars will be presented by local Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) staff and will focus on statewide and regional pest problems.

 Click here to register for the webinar series.

 

Lead Contamination in Urban Soils – Free Webinar Virtual Panel

Hosted by Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District

 
What’s in Your Soil? Let’s Talk About Lead in Maine’s Soils
Free Webinar Tuesday, September 22nd 4:00 to 5:30 PM   Join us for a virtual panel to learn about healthy soils and lead contamination in Maine’s urban soils. The panel will cover soil health, testing for contaminants, exposure pathways, and safety on soils.   Register Here          
    VISIT OUR WEBSITE!

In addition to the webinar, we are organizing the Portland SoilSHOP at the Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday, September 26th. A SoilSHOP is a free soil testing event where anyone can drop off soil samples to be screened for lead contamination for free.

Have You Seen Me? Invasive Forest Pest Community Detectors – Free Webinars

The Maine Association of Conservation Districts is offering free regional webinars to highlight how to protect Maine forests from invasive forest pests. Webinars will be presented by local soil and water conservation district (SWCD) staff and will focus on statewide and regional pest problems. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry staff will be on-hand with information on current local forest pest management issues.   Presentations are scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020; Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020; Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020; and Tuesday, Oct, 13, 2020. Webinars are free and sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).   Click here to register for the webinar series.

Oxford County SWCD Photo Contest

The Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District would like to announce the 2020 Conservation Photo Contest. We are looking for your best conservation photo in the field of Agriculture, Forestry, Soil & Water or Wildlife to grace the cover of our 2020 Annual Report.

A prize package provided by Aubuchon Hardware, Tractor Supply and Young’s Greenhouse will be awarded to the First Place Winner. Three Honorable Mention winners will also be selected. All of the winning photos will be framed and on display at the 2020 District Annual Meeting.

For more information and entry forms please call 744-3119, or email oxfordcountyswcd@gmail.com.

Piscataquis County SWCD –

PCSWCD will be welcoming 20-25 working livestock animals that will consist of Katahdin sheep, donkeys and goats to the Law Farm in Dover-Foxcroft. The livestock will be arriving on PCSWCD’s Law Farm Volunteer workday, Saturday June 6th, 2020, and stay for 5 weeks where they will be moved between pastures as needed to increase soil fertility, implement permaculture practices and decrease the use of motorized mowing fuel and costs.

Wendy Russell from Widdershins Farm LLC will be presenting a Rotational Grazing Workshop on June 24th from 9:30-12pm at the Law Farm to demonstrate the general care and instruction of working Katahdin sheep sustainably on your land.

 

Rotational Grazing Workshop Registration Info

Aroostook County Farmers are ‘Soil-ing’ their Underwear… for Science

From The County website

HOULTON, Maine (July 17, 2019) — Aroostook County’s three soil and water conservation district organizations are trying out an unusual experiment with area farmers this summer using “soiled underwear” to highlight soil health.

About a dozen farmers and gardeners around Aroostook County are participating in the project by burying all-cotton pairs of underwear in their gardens and crop fields, and planning to dig up what’s left of them in two months.

“The idea is that the more alive your soil, the more the undies will decompose,” said Angela Wotton, district manager at Southern Aroostook Soil and Water Conservation District. “It’s sort of a fun experiment. It’s a good visual for soil health.”

The more biologically active soil is, with a diversity of bacteria, fungi, earthworms and microorganisms, the quicker the cotton or other natural materials will break down. Agricultural fields with more soil life can better support crops and retain organic matter and nutrients over the long term.

In the last decade, the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service has helped more farmers adopt soil-building strategies such as cover crops planted over multi-year rotations of cash crops like potatoes and grains.

The demonstration in Aroostook County is a collaboration with the local offices of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Southern Aroostook, Central Aroostook and the St. John Valley.

Wotton credits the start of the initiative to Kelsey Ramerth, soil conservationist. The St. John Valley team will be digging up the underwear to display during the annual Ploye Festival Aug. 9-11 in Fort Kent.

“Our ultimate goal and our focus has been on building soil health. I feel like a lot of farmers in Southern Aroostook plant a fall or winter cover and try different combinations of cover crops. A picture is worth 1,000 words. It shows how alive the soil is,” said Wotton. “The farmers in our district have made a lot of gains. They’re doing a lot of work on their farms to focus on soil health.”