MEDUXNEKEAG RIVER WATERSHED RESTORATION, PHASE II PROJECT- The SASWCD worked with eight farmers in the Meduxnekeag Watershed this past growing season as part of a Dept of Environmental Protection grant. Farmers planted different multi-species and green manure cover crops, based on the grower's farm priorities. The one thing they all had in common was the benefit to the soil. Even though we are headed into winter, it's a good reminder of the value of cover, keeping the soil protected and in place during the next few months. This field of Sorghum sudan grass has naturally frost killed with the added value of residue remaining. For updates on the grant project or to see other cover crops that were grown in 2021, check out SASWCD's facebook page.
FARMS and RIVERS for the FUTURE - This partnership grant project among UMaine, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, NRCS, and SASWCD completed its one-on-one interviews with livestock and crop farmers in the Meduxnekeag Watershed and followed up with on-farm visits this past summer. The project aims to gain a better understanding of the needs and potential barriers of farmers adopting certain best management practices (BMPs). A working document is being developed to help guide us as we apply for future grants to assist farmers with their technical on-farm needs.
PROJECT CANOPY GRANT - The SASWCD was awarded a 2020 Project Canopy Grant, a community forestry program of the Maine Forest Service, to conduct a street tree survey in Houlton. The project has been completed with a written report provided to the Town of Houlton that includes recommendations and guidance on future maintenance and tree plantings within the town. Tara King, GIS specialist with NRCS, developed an interactive map of surveyed trees that allows users to glean specific information on the trees. The online map can be accessed at ArcGIS Dashboards.
MOBILE KITCHEN CART PROJECT - With 2020 and now 2021 impacting the project's focus on in-class cooking, the SASWCD reached students through USDA-Farm to School grant in other ways with an online series called "Snack Bites," videos of recipes for quick, homemade snacks that are simple enough for children to make without adult supervision. The SASWCD will begin participating in making some healthy snacks with students as part of the after school program this winter and will begin planning for 2022 farm field trips for school children.
OTHER PROJECTS and EDUCATION
2022 Winter Ag School - The SASWCD has actively begun planning for our class series of diverse topics. Classes will be held both online and in-person, depending on the topic of discussion. Check back in January for a full list of classes.
Tree and Plant Sale - After a two-year hiatus, we will once again be holding a tree and plant sale in 2022 and will be offering up limited quantities of a range of plants. Please check our website in January for a complete listing.