Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hi Folks,

Just a heads up to let you know that Green jobs is going to be the focus of our next Energy Town meeting event via the poly-com. In fact if NYSERDA agrees I will call it a Green Jobs Forum rather than a Green Jobs Energy Town meeting. It is scheduled for 10 am till noon on Thursday, June 25 and the following county associations have confirmed they will host the event:

CCE-Albany County
Chautauqua county
Clinton County (tentative)
Green county
Hamilton county
Herkimer County
Jefferson County
Lewis County
Monroe County
Niagara County (tentative)
Steuben County
Tompkins County
Westchester County
Warren County.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of the above counties is working with Cornell University and the Workforce Development Institute of New York to host this Green Jobs forum on Thursday, June 25, 10:00am to Noon. The forum will be broadcast to Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations located in 14 counties across New York State via Cornell's distance learning network. The forum is free and open to the public. Information on the following topics and issues will be addressed:

* what is meant by the term "green jobs"
* where and in what sectors of the economy do they exist
* information on available training programs
* what does the future look like for the "green jobs sector"

General information about the workforce development institute and
information about what services are available to the public will also be discussed.

The Green Jobs Forum will also provide information on starting a home performance business. New York State currently has training programs in place and some financial incentives available to entrepreneurs and home improvement contracting firms that want to expand into the home performance field.

We can add two more poly-com sites if any of you with the poly-com equipment are interested in hosting this forum at your county.

Also, if you want a press release/flyer to promote this event for an adjoining county where the event is being hosted let me know and I will send.

Mark Pierce
Extension Associate
E-202 MVR Hall
Cornell University

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 15 Agriculture e-news

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


The Buy Local Food Guide (Southern Tier and Finger Lakes) is still accepting listings. Deadline is NO later than the end of May. If you have already listed in the past would like to renew or would like to advertise please contact Matthew Neil Leroux View the guide A listing in the guide is FREE!!

Saturday, May 23rd- Sunset View Creamery- A Celebration of Agriculture and Small Business from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., where we will unveil our 5 yr. old Cheddar cheese, offer samplings of Cheese, wines and other products made in NY that we carry. There will be tours, hay rides, a scavenger hunt (for the children) and other events. Please call 594.2095 for details or email

August 19th-20th- Save the date-Creative Agriculture Approaches to Sustainability on the Farm at the Inn on the lake Canandaigua. Please visit for more details.


Wednesday, May 20, 4-7 p.m. Irrigation Options- Cornell’s Freeville Farm 133 Fall Creek Rd. Learn from Steve McKay, Cornell Farm manager, what it takes to set up various types of irrigation systems. Solid set irrigation with electric and PTO-operated pumps, trickle irrigation, and small and medium irrigation reels will be demonstrated. A representative from Belle Terre Irrigation will be on hand to describe the types of parameters you need to know before getting an irrigation system designed. No fee, but please pre-register at 607-687-4020.
Thursday, June 18, 6:30-8:30 pm Integrated Pest Management for Healthier Plants
Donna Levy, Plant Health Care/ IPM Program Coordinator at Cornell Plantations, will explain what IPM is and how we can use it to keep our garden and landscape plants healthy while minimizing chemical use. Fee: $5. Limited to 20 participants; prepayment required. For more information, contact Pat Curran, Horticulture Program Manager, 607-272-2292 or email


May 13 and June 10, 2009 (This is a two part seminar) TIES TO THE LAND: A Facilitated Workshop on Succession Planning- Keeping Family Forests and Farms in the Family7:00-9:00pmWorkshop location: United Church of Christ, 8758 Main Street, Honeoye, NY, 14471. Workshop Fee and Registration: $30 per person (or $30 per couple if attending as a couple or with another member of your family). The fee includes refreshments and one copy per family of the workbook: Ties to the Land: Your Family Forest Heritage ($45 value; additional copies will be available at the workshop or online at the web site). Participants must attend both of the sessions. To register call Diana Bryant, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, at 607-255-2115 or log onto and click on “workshops” tab. For more information, please contact Keith Maynard, New York Forest Owners Association, Western Finger Lakes Chapter, or (585)229-4102.

May 2 or May 18 from 7:30 am - 4:30 pm at the Arnot Forest- Game of Logging- These are small-group (maximum 10) hands-on classes with a certified instructor that cover safe chainsaw use, chain and engine maintenance, and tree-felling (participants personally fell a tree under the instructor's guidance). Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Cost is $152 per day (there's a discount for NYFOA members) and spaces are filled first-come, first served. Full details, including participant feedback and on-line registration or mail-in registration forms, can be found at:

Saturday, June 6th - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm- Silvipasture: Grazing Livestock in Your Forest - - Agroforestry Resource Center, 6055 Route 23, Acra, NY (Greene County) - The term silvipasture is currently being used to describe an interactive, complementary combination of high-value timber, high-quality forage, and highly efficient livestock enterprises. This workshop will be devoted to a cursory, but comprehensive study of these integrative systems, and of how the landowner can put them to use; considering their own specific sets of resource circumstances, and objectives for their land. Information on planning of the systems, all the way through "how to" implementation techniques and systems analysis will be offered. A field trip to a local "agrosilvipastoralist" operation is also tentatively planned for the day. Cost: $15/person, $25/family, includes lunch - registration deadline June 4th. Sponsored by Hudson Mohawk RC&D and CCE of Greene County. Directions available at - to register or for more info call 518-622-9820.

Thursday, June 11, 6:30-8:30 pm Invasive Insect Pests That Threaten New York's Forests. Our forests are threatened by invasive insects from abroad, particularly the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Emerald Ash Borer, and Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Early detection and rapid response are key to reducing damage and giving us the time to develop effective control techniques. This class by Mark Whitmore of Cornell’s Natural Resources Department will discuss basic biology, outline potential impacts, and help you look for these insects so we can find them before they become a problem. Fee: $5. Pre-registration preferred. For more information, contact Pat Curran, Horticulture Program Manager, 607-272-2292 or email

Cornell Cooperative Extension in Schuyler County provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact us is you have any special needs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Greening Your Lawn the "Green" Way

We have all been driving down the road and spotted up ahead a miraculous, green, thick gorgeous lawn that we admire and wish we had at home. There are simple, healthy (for you and your lawn) and environmentally friendly ways to obtain this same look in your own backyard with minimal effort.

Tip 1: Keep it high. The ideal height for turf grass is 2.5-3.5 inches depending on the species of grass. The longer blade of grass allows it to absorb more light and grow deeper, stronger roots as well as cool the ground, reducing evaporation. Longer blades of grass also reduce pest damage. This doesn’t mean don’t mow as often, it means mow often AND readjust the height of the blade on your mower.

Tip 2: Properly irrigate. Soaker hoses and trickle irrigation ensure water reaches the roots, encouraging deep roots and discouraging evaporation. Watering your plants early in the morning or in the evening will also reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation. Tip 3: Don’t rake up your grass clippings, leave them on the lawn for a great natural source of nitrogen, instead of buying synthetic fertilizers.

Tip 3: Maintain a health thatch layer. Thatch is the layer of dead plant material between grass blades and the soil. If the thatch layer is over one half inch it can prevent water and nutrients from reaching plant roots. In a healthy lawn worms and other microorganisms decompose the thatch layer. By aerating your lawn with a core aerator you can greatly improve the health of your lawn.

Tip 4: Use integrated pest management techniques (IPM). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), IPM is the effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM carefully manages the biological, cultural and chemical control methods to get the best long term results.

No matter what your lawn care needs and goals are, visit Cornell’s IPM website for more information on “green” lawn care techniques.