Kennebec County

Soil & Water Conservation District

 

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last edited 09/03/2014

Approaching fall! Though still hot and humid on some days.

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Maine Farm Days 2014  Dates for 2014.

NRCS Page

Merrymeeting Trail Initiative

Maine Farm-A-Syst Program

Hit Counter in 2013

   3,200 in 2013

  2,940 in 2012

  2,410 in 2011

   3,210 in 2010

   3,720 in 2009

   3,260 in 2008.

   3,930 in 2007.

   3,200 in 2006.

 

 

 

Maine Farm Days was a great success with great weather and many happy visitors.

 

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I recently watched "Dirt. The movie." again.  It is available on the internet. I'd forgotten how it raised so many questions about our impact on or earth's 'skin'. If you haven't seen it for awhile it may be worth a review.

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A recent article in the NYTimes was reprinted in the Conservation News. It is an interesting take on current efforts to eat local. It makes the point that farmers grow a number of other products in order to improve and keep their soils healthy and productive. We need to identify ways for the farmer to market those in order to help them continue to use good "soils health" practices. It is an interesting article.  Check it out.  

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Regarding Soils -  The Kennebec District partnered with our surrounding SWCD's, the Extension Service and NRCS to submit a grant application to further demonstrate the advantages of practicing agriculture with a focus on soil health i.e. cover crops and no/low tillage practices.  We will know this summer if the grant application was successful. Stay tuned.

 

...and for those with a sense of humor you may want to watch this YouTube video/sound track. It's gotta bring a smile to your face, regardless of your attitude about "cover crops".    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibso8kirhZo&sns=em

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If you are interested in checking out some additional information, you may want to link to the following -

 

NRCS’ Soil Health Website (Gateway to a lot of resources; such as videos, articles, presentations, farmer testimony, etc):

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/soils/health/

 

Soil Health Webinars (Several one-hour informational talks on different Soil Health Topics):

http://www.conservationwebinars.net/

 

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The list of leftover trees is now current. We have already begun selling some so call or e-mail me to determine what is still left. See the link to current plant list below.

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The following links seem useful for others. The Maine DEP sent out a report with the following information that we thought others may find useful.

This year’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Report highlights 12 watershed projects completed in 2013. Over $1.5 million was spent to maintain and improve water quality, a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of dollars generated from Maine’s waters each year.

You can take action on your own land, and guide landowners in your community to these helpful resources:

 

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 Contractors now need to be "Certified" for shoreland zone work. While the State had extended time for contractors to have their BMP sites certified, that time is past. If you are doing work in the shoreline, your contractor needs to be "certified".  Check www.maine.gov/dep/land/training/    for more information. 

Or call or e-mail Bill Laflamme at  215-9237  or  william.n.laflamme@maine.gov

 

----------------------                                                                                    Think Spring

 

 

The Maine DEP has modified their website. We have posted a list of the modified links on our "Useful Links" page.

If you are looking for gravel/camp road materials, go here.

If you want permit information, including the Permit by Rule [PBR] go here.

The general resource page at the Maine DEP website includes all kinds of reference material. They have an excellent selection of manuals and technical guides.  Select that DEP page here.

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Here at the Kennebec District --

** We continue doing Gravel Road Plans throughout the County for road groups..

**The Togus Pond 319 watershed grant is making progress. We have completed two road plans and are currently and are meeting with landowners to review erosion problems. We met with the Togus Pond Association in June.

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Dale's garden update --    see Dale's Garden Page

--- Now that it is after Labor Day, some parts of the garden are slowing down. This summer I had a couple of problem plants.  My Northern Catalpa looks terrible with very few leaves. It is a large tree about 30' tall and very sick looking.   This year my Seven Son shrub has also experienced some die off. It is just getting ready to bloom. Hopefully it will recover for next year. It is a fragrant fall bloomer.

--  The compost has has stayed between 150-160°.  I've been much better at consistently managing the pile this summer.

---  I don't seem to have many apples on my trees. Only the Wealthy has much fruit. It sounds like others have also had problems with some of their fruit trees.

--- Now that I have a wide selection of Daylilies they have continued to bloom right up until Labor Day. What a treat.

--- Unfortuanately there are still bugs. Japanese Beetle, Black Flies and mosquitos are still in the yard. This is way too late for them.....

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For local weather information you may want to check  www.WUnderground.com for very local information and history

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You may purchase from the tree and shrub bank!!! Now's the time to begin thinking about next spring's plantings. Our January newsletter will have our tree sale information.  If you are thinking about planting from the leftovers, take a look at the list from Dale's Garden Page, or take a look at the list here.  There are a number of plants good for buffer planting.

 

It is a good time to focus on your soils for the coming year. A simple list for soil improvement is 1) enhance organic material, 2) prevent soil compaction, 3) avoid excess tillage, 4) manage pests & nutrients EFFICIENTLY, 5) keep the ground covered [cover crops] and 6) diversify your crops.  For a good discussion of soil improvement check out the following.  Click here for the specific article.

 

When planning buffers and other ways to control erosion and stormwater damage on property and along shorefront, check out the Conservation Fact Sheets and other information at the Maine DEP website or the Portland Water District website. Both of these websites have more than just the Fact Sheets for information you may find useful. For permit information.

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Calendar of Events/Workshops and other opportunities.

click here for events to keep on your calendar for the coming months

 

 

 

 

 

Kennebec SWCD;  21 Enterprise Dr. Suite #1; Augusta, ME  04330         207-622-7847 x3

 
 

The Kennebec County Soil & Water Conservation District is a Non-Profit Organization all proceeds from our fundraising efforts are used to promote conservation and the wise use of our natural resources. The Kennebec County SWCD is an equal opportunity provider and employer.