GrowME volunteers are resting up and gathering some supplies in anticipation of getting their hands dirty during the second annual GrowME week. GrowME sprouted last year as a collaboration between the Guilford Grange, Piscataquis County UMaine Extension, and Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District to build a truly local program of agriculturally themed activities for kids led by local volunteers with the goal of increasing agricultural literacy and making it fun! Again this year, GrowME coincides with Maine Ag Week, March 18-22.
Program Director Walter Boomsma announced that this year the group will be visiting over 40 classrooms throughout the area and working with an estimated 700 kids. “We’ll be in Guilford, Dover Foxcroft, Dexter, Milo, and Brownville this year,” he said. Activities include making animal graphs with kindergarteners, apple tasting and sorting with first graders, butter-making with second graders and a new activity with third graders: making “dirt babies.” Additional information about the collaboration and activities can be found on the GrowME website (http://growmehelp.wordpress.com).
The program wraps up with an Eggstravaganza hosted by Valley Grange on Friday, March 22. Volunteers, teachers, parents and kids are all invited to join a community potluck supper at 6 PM, followed by a short program at 7 PM. The program will offer some highlights of the week’s activities and the UMaine Extension’s virtual chicken who will show us how an egg forms inside a chicken! Folks are also invited to bring an unusual farm or kitchen implement for “show and share” to this celebration of agriculture from farm to fork.
Joanna Tarrazi of PCSWCD noted attendance at the Eggstravaganza isn’t limited to those who’ve participated in classroom activities. “This is a great opportunity to enjoy the local community spirit and celebrate the role agriculture plays in our daily lives. Our three organizations have a rich agricultural heritage and we’re happy to share it. This will also be a good opportunity to learn what each of our organizations have to offer individuals and our communities.”
Valley Grange is located at the corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road in Guilford. Additional information is available at http://valleygrange.com.