Dear Sun Spots: How would one go about getting a soil-test kit for the garden from the local county extension service? And where is the local county extension service? I heard that they supply bags to test your garden soil for free.

Also, where would one be able to buy the 1985 movie “The Goonies” that I saw on ABC Family?

And finally, how would one go about getting copy of the “Today” shows that were aired before shows on tape? I tried e-mailing them, but the e-mail address does not work. Thanks. Sun Spots rocks! – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots has learned that your county’s Cooperative Extension will provide the soil-test kit for free and will either mail the kit to your home or you can pick it up at their office. Each soil test costs $12. Payment should be included when mailing your soil test back to the extension.

Extension suggests conducting a soil test when planning a garden and according to its Web site, a basic soil test will show three things: lead level in the soil; whether the soil is acid (sour), alkaline (sweet), or neutral (neither sour nor sweet); as well as the nutrient levels in the soil. Lead is a poison; if it gets into the plants, it will get into your food. Plants will not grow well in soil that is either too acidic or too alkaline. Nutrient levels determine how well plants grow.

For more information or to request your test kit, contact the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension for your Maine county by calling one of the following: Androscoggin and Sagadahoc counties, 24 Main St., Lisbon Falls, 04252-1505, 353-5550 or (800) 287-1458, or e-mail [email protected]; Franklin County, 147 Farmington Falls Road, Farmington, 04938-6403, 778-4650 or (800) 287-1478, or e-mail [email protected]; Oxford County, 9 Olson Road, South Paris, 743-6329 or (800) 287-1482, or e-mail [email protected] For other Maine counties: visit the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Web site at or call any of the extension offices above and they will provide you with your county’s extension telephone number.

Regarding your second question, a wide-screen DVD is available online at In addition, it appears you may also be able to locate this at and

And thirdly, perhaps there are some readers out there who may have taped these shows and would be willing to share some copies with you.

Dear Sun Spots: ASSE International Student Exchange Programs is seeking local host families for boys and girls from Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, 15 to 18 years of age, coming to this area for the upcoming high school year. These personable and academically select exchange students speak English, are bright, curious and anxious to learn about this country through living as part of a family, attending high school and sharing their own culture and language with their newly adopted host family.

The exchange students arrive from their home countries shortly before school begins and return at the end of the school year. Each ASSE student is fully insured, brings his/her own personal spending money and expects to bear his/her share of household chores as well as being included in normal family activities.

The students are well-screened and qualified by ASSE. Families may select the youngster of their choice from extensive student applications, family photos and biographical essays.

Please call me at 576-9714 for more information. You can also get additional information by visiting the ASSE Web site at

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