Thursday, March 15, 2012

Watershed Wake-Up Call

REMINDERS: Get the latest watershed news with our monthly email, Water & Land. Sign up for our enewsletter here. Delivered to your inbox on the first Friday of every month, we'll share with you the latest events, program highlights, grants, links of interest and videos.

Get in the Guide! Enrollment is open for new and renewing Pure Catskills members through April 30.

CATSKILLS FARMLINK: Two free farmer-landowner workshops on Introduction to Evaluating Land for Agricultural Use & the Basics of Land Leasing. The workshops will be held on Wednesday, March 21, from 6-8 p.m. at the eCenter, 5½ Main Street, Delhi, and on Thursday, March 22, from 6-8 p.m. at the Duggan Community Center, 3460 State Route 55, White Lake. The workshops address two commonly asked questions:  1.) how do I evaluate my land for agricultural use, and 2.) how to I develop a land lease?

Dale Dewing, field crop educator and Watershed extension team leader with Cornell Cooperative Extension, will explain how to evaluate land for agricultural use. A panel discussion of landowners and farmers in lease agreements and food and farm law expert, Jason Foscolo  will provide guidance and examples of personal experience with land leases. From 3-5 p.m., Jason is offering free 15-minute consultations to answer questions related to food and farm businesses. Workshops are free, but pre-register as space is limited. To RSVP for the workshop or free legal consultation, contact Catskills FarmLink Coordinator Sonia Janiszewski at (914) 720-1020.

WATERSHED JOBS: 6 Opportunities
1) Farm Catskills is coordinating two AmeriCorps positions available with Rural Health Service Corps in Delaware County: Community Food Security Associate I (Delhi, NY):  This 900-hour Rural Health Service Corps member will start in March 2012 and help make local, nutritious foods available to all members of our communities by facilitating  purchases of local farm products and leading Farm Catskills' Harvest Days food preservation program. The CFSA will also assist with various outreach, coordination, and youth educations programs related to strengthening the local food system and access to local foods. Living allowance of $6,050 and Segal Education Award of $2,775. 

2) Community Food Security Associate (Hamden, NY):  This 450 hour-Rural Health Service Corps member will start in May 2012 and help to make local, nutritious food more available to low-income families and seniors in Delaware County, through the organic Food Bank garden at Delaware Opportunities, and meals programs including Meals on Wheels and Head Start offered at various sites around the county. The Community Food Security Associate will assist with various outreach, coordination, and youth training programs of Farm Catskills related to strengthening the local food system and access to local foods. Living allowance of $3,025 and Segal Education Award of $1,468.

3-4) Yorktown Heights-based Hilltop Hanover Farm needs an on-farm intern; Cooperstown's Farmer's Museum needs several summer Farm Programs Interns.

5) Stone & Thistle Farm seeks an Intern for May to October 2012 or any three months during that period. Contact Tom Warren at (607) 278-5800 for an interview. Stipend is $100 a week; you'll need to find your own housing and transportation.

What's a farm Internship/Apprenticeship about at Stone & Thistle? The internship provides a unique opportunity for experiencing grass-based livestock production, organic dairy and dairy production and agritourism.The intern will experience all facets of the agricultural business, including production, management and marketing.  The internship provides education and experience in cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and rabbits and agricultural methods such as organic, rotational grazing and sustainable farming.  The internship also provides an opportunity to learn how to operate a goat dairy and produce bottled milk, yogurt and cheese. The internship allows the intern to interface with and educate the consumer and the community through farmers markets, farm tours, on-farm programs and through Fable, the on-farm restaurant and Farm Stay.

An intern at Stone & Thistle Farm can expect to...
Feeding of cattle, hogs, chickens (broilers), and sheep
Feeding and collecting eggs from portable hen wagons
Rotational grazing with portable fences "moving the sheep" once or twice a week with border collies. Fences are taken down and re-erected on fresh pasture.
Slaughtering of broiler chickens, rabbits
Castrating bulls, feeder pigs
Saturday or Sunday farmer's market
Feeding border collies and livestock guardian dogs
Helping with summer programs such as Farmer for a Day
Helping with farm tours

Kortright Creek Creamery: Relief milking of dairy goats. Cleaning milking parlor, bulk tank room. Bottling milk. Making and packaging yogurt and cheese.Preparing products for shipping and general goat care like clipping hooves.

Fable – on-farm restaurant: Planting and harvesting kitchen gardens, canning and storing food. Helping with farm tour and serving brunch on select Sundays.

Desired skills are enthusiasm, creative thinking, problem solving, physically fit, carpentry, veterinary, culinary, comfort with animals big and small, excellent social skills and ability to effectively communicate with customers.

6) NYS Thruway Authority Calls for Farmer's Markets Vendors: Farmers and growers can participate in “Tailgate Farmers Markets” at selected travel plazas along the Thruway system.The markets operate from mid-May through Nov. 1, depending on the availability of product. The Tailgate Farmers Markets are intended to offer fresh farm produce to Thruway travelers, to provide farmers and growers another outlet for their products and to promote New York’s agricultural industry. Participation is limited to New York State farmers/growers of locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables, edible herbs, cider and horticultural products. Only produce grown or produced in New York State may be sold at the farmers markets.For more information, call the Thruway Authority at (518) 436-2831. Check out the 27 travel plazas statewide.

MARCH 22: Are You Ready for the Next Disaster? Public Officials Workshop at Margaretville Fire Hall, 3rd Floor. Sponsored by Catskill Watershed Corp., this session is open to regional public officials. (845) 586-1400.
MARCH 24: Get A Jump On the Season: Over-Wintering Greens, High Tunnel Strategies, and Greenhouse Techniques for an Early Start to Your Growing Season  Sponsored by NOFA-NY at 35796 State Highway 10 (Main Street), Hamden from 10a.m.-1p.m. Lucky Dog Organic Farm hosts NOFA's first field day of the season! Learn how Lucky Dog utilizes its high tunnels, hardy crops, and soil blocking system to farm through the winter and get an early start on the season. Learn about Lucky Dog's high tunnel operation: what types of crops are over-wintered and what their techniques are. Find out about soil blocking and transplant systems. Find out how a farm gets through the winter and n early start on spring. NOFA-NY members are, $15 for all others.

MARCH 25: Farm to Market Connection, CVI Building, Liberty. $35 for all-day conference. Register online through March 15.

MARCH 28 at 1pmThe NACL Theatre's 'The Little Farm Show' kicks up some dirt with live music, and high-spirited performances. Steeped in history, philosophy, and a wheel barrow-full of information, THE LITTLE FARM SHOW will not only entertain, but will ask people to consider their food choices and the effect those decisions have on their bodies, the environment, and society. Admission: free will donation. At the ROXBURY ARTS CENTER

APRIL 10: "Aging in the Community of Your Choice” will be presented by NYS Department of State trainers at 2 p.m. at the Grand Gorge Civic Center. It will be followed by a second workshop, “Community Design Tools - Taking Control of Your Community's Character.” The free, two-part program, sponsored by the Catskill Watershed Corp. provides town and village planning and zoning board members with three hours of mandated training. Registration is limited. Sign up by April 5. The first presentation will discuss land use planning and regulatory tools to help people in our community to age in place. Topics include a variety of housing choices, accessory dwelling units, Golden Zones, and senior friendly sidewalk and street designs.The second session addresses the tools available to help shape community appearance, from simple design guidelines to regulations pertaining to architecture and landscape to design review boards. The workshop will spotlight some practical approaches that can be applied to both public and private development, and explain basic design concepts.

APRIL 19: SUNY-Delhi is screening Living Downstream followed by a discussion panel, from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. in the Okun Theater in Farrell Hall. Living Downstream is a cinematic feature-length documentary based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D.

APRIL 21: Margaretville Garden Fest on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Collectively known as SHOPMARGARETVILLE with funding through the M-ARK Project, this event is all about gardens, locally grown food, agriculture and growing. Booth space is $25 for a 10x10. Contact Marc Levenshus at Foothills Shoe (845) 586-4032.

April 28: Pure Catskills member Tabitha Gilmore-Barnes is teaching a beading-weaving bracelet workshop from 9:30-3:30 p.m. at the Delaware County Historical Association. To pre-register by April 13, contact DCHA (607) 746-3849. Bring a bag lunch.
SAVE YOUR THURSDAYS: Environmental Film Series at 76 Main! in Stamford every Thursday at 7 p.m. Price of admission is freewill donation.

Thursday, May 3: Vanishing Bees
Thursday, May 10: What's On Your Plate?
Thursday, May 17: Tapped
Thursday, May 24: Dirt! The Movie
Thursday, May 31: Messages From Water
Thursday, June 7: The Greenhorns
Thursday, June 14: Reclaiming Our Water
Thursday, June 21: Good Wood
Thursday, June 28: Truck Farm

THIS WEEK ON YOUTUBE: Water, Consciousness & Intent: Dr. Masaru Emoto. To be aired during the Environmental Film Series with Roxbury Arts Group at 76 Main! Stamford on May 31.

JUNE 9: Sign up now for the Wild West Wine Fest at Delaware County Fairgrounds.

USDA-NRCS Forestry Initiative Offers Funding in New York; applications accepted through March 23. Federal funding is available to assist New York forest land owners with forest land conservation management under the New England-New York Forestry Initiative. New York is one of seven states participating in this special initiative through which funding is made available to implement conservation practices on private forest land throughout New England and New York. In New York State, core conservation practices include the development and implementation of forest management plans, forest stand improvement and erosion control on forest trails and landings. Forest land owners looking for assistance should call or visit their local USDA Service Center by Friday March 23. Our local offices include:
Schoharie County, Tom Lacko  (518) 234-4092
Greene County, Jim Unser  (518) 828-4385
Delaware/Sullivan County, Quentin Gahan  (607) 865-6713
Ulster County, Kathy Capella  (845) 883-7162

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is accepting applications for the Agriculture Disaster Energy Efficiency Program. The program aims to assist farms and on-farm producers damaged by Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee. Under the program, funding is available for energy-efficient repair and replacement of damaged electric and natural gas systems and equipment that were damaged during the storms in non-residential facilities.
  • Eligibility: Eligible applicants include farms located within the counties declared in Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 22. (All watershed counties are part of that list.)
  • Funding: $4,175,000 is available. Applications will be processed in the order received.
  • Deadline: April 30, 2012 5:00PM EST or until funds are exhausted.
  • Contact: Applicants can contact NYSERDA either by calling (800) 732-1399 or visiting the NYSERDA website.

A McDonald's Chicken McNugget was found by Rebekah Speight of Dakota City three years ago, which she believes resembles President George Washington, is placed next to a U.S. quarter dollar bearing the image of the president. The Nebraska woman sold the chicken tender for $8,100 on eBay. The woman will donate her windfall to a charity project sending 50 children to summer church camp in Sioux City.

Tune in every week, Thursday at 7:15 a.m., on WIOX Community Radio 91.3FM. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook for the latest on the Watershed Agricultural Council and Pure Catskills or visit our blogs, You & Your Watershed and Pure Catskills Local.

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