Monday, December 22, 2008

Upcoming events in the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Horticulture in the South Central New York Region


February 10-12, 2009- Empire State Fruit & Vegetable Expo Syracuse, New York Oncenter Convention Center, Syracuse NY • February 11 & 12, 2009
Becker Forum • February 10, 2009 • Holiday Inn Liverpool. Visit for more details or call Please contact NYSVGA
Phone/fax: 315-687-5734


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday February 26, 27, and 28-NY FARM SHOW
Helping Farmers Produce More from Their Woodlots Got Trees? The New York Forest Owners Association, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will present a series of free forestry programs. The New York Farm Show is annually held at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The Farm Show has many exhibits displaying information, equipment, and items of interest to landowners as well as farmers. Landowners who own woodland as part of their property can get information on many subjects that will help them enhance the value of their woodlots for timber, wildlife, and recreation. For further information contact: James Christensen 315-472-5323, or Charley Porter 315-298-7467, or John Druke 315-656-2313

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Your Christmas tree can help the environment!

Instead of putting your Christmas tree in the trash after the holiday, put it to good use for the environment.
Sinking your Christmas tree in the pond causes fish to gather in these areas and improve the fishing. Fish can be found hiding in the branches; others feed on aquatic insects found among the branches. Some fish will seek the shade during hot and sunny days.
Grouping three or four trees together to make a larger habitat for your fish is recommended. Young bluegill, crappy and catfish are drawn to these areas to feed and for protection.
Place one large brush pile for every 2-3 acres of water is a good rule. In 10-12 feet of water is the best placement of brush but no deeper, this is as far as small fish will venture. Attaching a stone or cement block to tree will help them to stays vertical in the water.
Other uses include placing your tree near the bird feeder. This protects the birds from predators that prey on them while eating. The tree also protects them from the harsh winter winds. No bird will pass up an evergreen tree to frolic and eat.
Christmas trees are also an excellent source of protection for other wildlife. Place a group of trees in a fence row will protect rabbits, quail and other birds from predators. Placement is important so place them where two habitats come together like a field and a woodlot.

Roger Ort-Horticulture Program Assistant Cornell Cooperative Extension

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Buying Local

Buying Local for Fun and (Community) Profit

This year’s winter holiday season offers potential shoppers an opportunity to strengthen local businesses and communities. By now, hopefully most of us have heard about the importance of spending our money locally. Not convinced? A 2006 report commissioned by Maine Businesses for Social Responsibility and completed by the Institute for Local Self Reliance documented the job creation, entrepreneurship and tax benefits of locally-owned businesses to the rural mid-coast region of Maine. The economy of Upstate New York is similar in many ways, and the findings in the Maine report that locally-owned businesses tend to support higher-wage jobs, generate more local economic activity and demand less in tax-payer funded social programs are generally applicable.

Maintaining a diverse local economy in difficult economic times can make a community less vulnerable to a downturn or collapse in a single sector. The initial out-of-pocket cost for buying locally might be a bit higher, but keeping those dollars circulating through the local economy and encouraging job creation through entrepreneurship can offer benefits through lower taxes and a more attractive market for investment and growth. Perhaps in the spirit of both the holiday season and a nationwide concern about our financial priorities, buying less overall to spend more locally makes sense.

If you are interested, where do you start? Try low-tech first, and pick up a copy of the Hilites, Pennysaver or Shopper. This can be a great place to locate u-cut trees and seasonal wreaths. Prefer shopping online? Try the website Local Harvest, where you can search by zip codes for locally-grown farm produce, livestock and handcrafted items available for purchase. The South Central New York Agriculture Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension publishes a guide on foods produced in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes region , and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets offers an online Farm Fresh searchable locator.

Food and farm items not your thing? If you are looking for something in particular, but don’t see it, you can also try asking a retailer that carries similar items. There are also multiple outlets for artwork, often directly from the artist themselves. Take a tour of the websites of member artists at The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes, or contact an artist featured in the Greater Ithaca Art Trail. Some seasonal outlets, like Skyland Farm Gallery and CafĂ©, offer holiday hours.

However, supporting the local economy through holiday shopping isn’t just about stuff. If you feel strongly about an organization, event or local amenity, you can often make a donation or provide a gift membership. Options include (but are certainly not limited to): Friends of the Catharine Valley Trail, the Schuyler Health Foundation, or a 2009 Empire Passport that covers admission to our many state parks.

Reviving an economy in times of a recession is not simple, and certainly local buying isn’t going to solve all of our financial woes. However, consciously supporting a diverse local economy can certainly help and it can be fun to boot. So help your community profit and prosper in 2009, and resolve to buy more locally.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Give ENERGY STAR products this Holiday Season!

Do you want to help your loved ones save an extra $700 this year? You can by giving gifts that keep giving throughout the year by purchasing ENERGY STAR products for those on your list. ENERGY STAR products use less energy than standard products, saving money throughout the entire year. Stereos, phones, computers, printers and even battery chargers for power tools can be found with the ENERGY STAR label. Please visit this ENERGY STAR website for specific gift ideas for everyone on your shopping list.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Upcoming events

Upcoming events in the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Horticulture

in the South Central New York Region


Thursday, Dec 4th Implementing Precision Feeding- 10:30- 2:00pm, Human Services Complex- Montour Falls. Geared toward dairy farmers. Alternative dates and locations, November 14th- Sommers Hall Canisteo and December 5th St. Pauls Lutheran Church, Cohocton. Please register with Steuben county- 607-664-2300.

February 10-12, 2009- Empire State Fruit & Vegetable Expo Syracuse, New York Oncenter Convention Center, Syracuse NY • February 11 & 12, 2009

Becker Forum • February 10, 2009 • Holiday Inn Liverpool. Visit for more details or call Please contact NYSVGA

Phone/fax: 315-687-5734


Saturday, November 29, 2pm. Showtime! "Indoor Succulents" Sciencecenter educator John Alvarez del Castillo will introduce houseplants for sunny windows (and forgetful waterers)! Visitors can take home a small succulent plant. Call 607-272-0600 for details.


Thursday December 4th at 7PM. “New Insects Threaten Extinction of Native Trees”. Join us at the Schuyler County Human Services Complex Auditorium at 323 Owego St in Montour Falls. Learn more about the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorn Beetle and other invasive forest pests that pose an unprecedented threat to our forests. Dr. Jerry Carlson of the DEC will present the latest information on these pests, and what you can do to help. The meeting is free of charge, and refreshments will be served. Contact Brett Chedzoy of Schuyler County Cornell Cooperative Extension at 607 535-7161, or Jim Bagley of the NYS DEC at 607-776-2165 -x26 for more information.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

EnergyStar Televisions Released

New EnergyStar Televisions Released

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a new rating system for energy efficient televisions with 229 models receiving the EnergyStar designation. The new rating system focuses on “phantom load”. Televisions that utilize a remote still use energy even when they are turned off, these new televisions don’t. EnergyStar televisions use 30% less energy than standard televisions which can use as much energy as a refrigerator (typically the biggest energy user in the home). For a list of qualifying televisions visit The more efficient models may cost slightly more but you must always keep in mind the initial purchase price versus the ongoing energy costs, in the end, the more energy efficient models are the most cost effective. For more ways to save energy visit

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Compost your pumpkins.

If you aren’t planning to make something edible from your Halloween pumpkins don’t just toss them in with your garbage, compost them! Take a minute to think how much you pay for your garbage disposal. Most of us have either a limit to how many bags we can put to the curb for pickup or pay by the pound to dispose of garbage. Pumpkins can be huge and heavy and take up a lot of space and weight in our garbage.

So, to save money and to have great compost for your plants and vegetables, toss them into a compost pile. You may even be lucky to grow your own pumpkins for next year!

For more information on composting visit our website at

Monday, November 3, 2008

Nice time for a walk!

Following in the footsteps of Elmira, which has just completed their own one-mile walk, Watkins Glen is next in line to do one of their own. The purpose of the program is to get people walking. What does it take to construct this one-mile walk? Some paint and a stencil. Little race cars will be painted on the sidewalks and along the waterfront delineating a one-mile walkway. The walkway will go up Franklin, across the waterfront, down Decatur and then across 9th street (see draft map). Anyone interested in walking can start at any race car and once they complete a full circle back to that same race car, they will have walked a mile. The walkway not only helps walkers keep track of how far they have walked but also gives visitors to the Village a quick one-mile route around the Village. Businesses will benefit as well. Residents and visitors walking along the path will pass through the main street business district, where they will be able to stop and shop. The walk will also introduce walkers to the Catharine Valley Trail, a 12-mile, multi-use trail that connects Watkins Glen State Park and Mark Twain State Park in the Southern Tier of New York State. The one-mile walk will go down to 9th street, where the Catherine Valley Trail enters the Village. Individuals walking the one-mile walk can choose to continue on the Catherine Valley Trail while people walking on the Catherine Valley Trail can choose to do a mile around the Village. The path is an excellent way to get residents and visitors walking and best of all, around our beautiful Village.

Please be advised that this is only a preliminary proposed walk-way. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions please feel free to contact the Land Use Team.

Visit the trail on Google maps.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

America Recycles Day Contest for Schuyler County

America Recycles Day Contest for Schuyler County

Jenna Hicks, Environmental Science Educator

Every year the National Recycling Coalition sponsors a recycling contest to reward those that have been recycling and to encourage others to start recycling. This is the same idea behind the “Save it Schuyler” contest that I am sponsoring this year. The contest will run from October 1– November 15th. Visit our website during this time for a registration form or stop the office to pledge to do your part to recycle.

By filling out one registration, you will be entered into the national, state and local recycling contests. Prizes range from hybrid vehicles and Alaskan Cruises to compost bins and environmentally friendly products.

Take the PLEDGE

Other ideas on how to celebrate
America Recycles Day

  • Call CCE to get the most up-to-date information on how to recycle in Schuyler County and then educate your neighbors and friends on your new found knowledge.
  • Buy a plastic tote or two and designate as your home recycling center.
  • Use cloth reusable bags when shopping instead of plastic.
  • Organize a community or park cleanup.
  • Take the America Recycles Day Pledge. Forms are available at the CCE office or online starting October 1st.

Take the PLEDGE

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Welcome Roger Ort!

Hello! My name is Roger Ort, and I am the new 4-H program assistant. I am also the consumer horticulture program educator here at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County. My family and I moved to Schuyler County in 1999, from York County PA. My family is my lovely wife Maria and our four children. I have worked in the Greenhouse and Garden center business for 28 years. After moving to Bradford NY., I became active in the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Now our farm hosts numerous rare breeds of sheep, cattle, goats, poultry, waterfowl and rabbits. We also do heirloom varieties of vegetables on the farm that we keep from year to year.

I will be active in Horticulture and Animal Science here at CCE. I will plan many workshops and plan to meet as many people as I can to help our communities.

In the near future we are planning a community garden to benefit our head start program. Also we need to get the Master Gardener program back in our county. Please e-mail at for any concerns, insects, diseases and other topics that I can help with. Or call 1-607-535-7161 ext. 3227 asks for Roger.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Hey everyone!

Welcome to the Schuyler County Land Use Team Blog. The Land Use Team comprises of the following people that all work for Cornell Cooperative Extension Schuyler:

Danielle Hautaniemi- County Planner
Brett Chedzoy- Agriculture Educator
Jenna Hicks- Environmental Educator
Rocky Kambo- Assistant County Planner
Roger Ort- Horticulture Educator
Cathy Barnes- Administrative Assistant

We are going to try and keep people posted on what we have been doing in the area. This may include (but not limited to) educational pieces, pictures, open discussions and even video!
Looking forward to getting this going and also getting great feedback from the community!
Stayed tuned... we will be back with the first "real" entry with in the week!

Thank you,