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Northern Maine Rural Living Day returns to Houlton

HOULTON, Maine — The third annual Northern Maine Rural Living Day takes place Saturday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the John A. Millar Civic Center and Houlton fairgrounds.

“The idea behind this event came from the Common Ground Country Fair,” explained Linda Trickey, agriculture assistant for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “I was part of the beginning of that fair years ago and when I moved to Aroostook County many years ago I wanted something like that [fair] to come to The County.

The cost of admission is $5 per person or $20 for a family. Children 10 and younger are free. The day includes workshops such as beekeeping for beginners, backyard maple syrup, natural herbs for health, safe pesticide choices for home gardeners, and apple tree pruning and management.

Those taking one of the courses also are eligible to earn pesticide credits, which are needed for any farmer selling more than $1,000 of product.

“It is an opportunity for people to learn about agriculture and get some research-based information about rural living,” Trickey said. “The whole premise of the day are the classes offered, but we also have some youth activities.”

Those youth activities, which include topics such as making refrigerator pickles, making your own butter and making pasta from scratch, have become a major part of the Rural Day festivities, Trickey said.

Demonstrations will include dog herding, goat milking, and sheep to shawl animal trimming with hands on activities.

This year’s event features a change in venue. The first two years, Rural Living Day was held at the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum in Littleton. However, the event has outgrown that space and will now be held at the fairgrounds and Civic Center, which provides shelter from the elements. The Fair Association also has donated the use of the livestock pens so animals can safely be viewed.
For more information, contact Trickey at 532-6548 or email linda.trickey@maine.edu.

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