Friday, May 3, 2013

Watershed Wake-up Call May 3

1) All the farmers who contributed to the "Why Farm the Catskills?" video now posted to the Watershed Agricultural Council's YouTube Channel.

2) the Ag Program Administrative staff for their work in coordinating yesterday's farm tour of four local farms. 

3) to those hosting the day's peak into on-farm water quality protection projects:

MAY 6: Easement Program Committee Meeting starting at 6 p.m. in the downstairs Conference Room at the Council's Walton Office, 44 West Street. Take a peak at this month's agenda here.

MAY 8:  Kosher, Halal, & Ethnic Livestock Regulations and Marketing Workshop helps farmers and business owners can discover how they fit into the popular kosher, halal, or ethnic foods market. Free from 6 to 9 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Sullivan County's Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center on 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty.  Speakers Joe Regenstein and Bob Franklin will guide participants on topics including the importance of kosher, halal, and ethnic foods in the market place, regulations and certifications, how to enter the market, customer wants and needs, and how to produce kosher, halal, and ethnic quality animals. Cost is $30 per person. Register by calling (845) 292-6180 or email CCE Agriculture Educator Cassie Schweighofer.

MAY 9:  Catskills Graziers Producer Group takes a pasture walk at Sherwood Organic Dairy Farm from 1 to 3 p.m. Free learning session on how to better manage livestock on grass. Sponsored by the Council and CCE-Delaware County. FMI: Dale Dewing (607) 865-7090

MAY 11: Little Farm Show at the GardenFest 2013, Main Street, Margaretville. Free and open to the public at 2 p.m. Showing is sponsored by the Council and Catskills Arts & Air.

MAY 11:  Success Stories in Land Management. Take a tour of Jim & Russ Darling's Farm, 2816 Fall Clove Road, in Delancey 13752. Free, but RSVP by Monday, May 6 is appreciated. Tour will demonstrated how local landowners are using conservation approaches to save farmland, protect land for the long term and protect water quality. Runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tour is sponsored by the Catskill Center with a grant from NYC DEP and is hosted with assistance from the Council and USDA NRCS.  FMI: Nicole McShane (845) 586-2611

MAY 17: Sheep & Goat Producer Group meet from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

MAY 18: Spring Farm Visit from 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. at Stoneledge Farm in Cairo. Farmers Peter and Deborah Kavakos invite you to come to the farm and see how vegetables are grown. Experience the early spring time activity on the farm. Bring your own lunch and drinks and send an e-mail letting them know you will be attending. (518) 029-12467 (Stoneledge farm was one of several featured in the April 2013 article "This Ain't Your Grandma's CSA" in the Catskill Mountain Region Guide.

MAY 24:  Lamb Butchery Intensive for Farmers at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture Growing Farmers Initiative. Three-day butchery intensive will introduce a small group of farmers to on-farm slaughtering and provide hands-on instruction for breaking down whole lamb carcasses. Adam Danforth, a renowned butcher and writer, will guide participants through the entire process, from slaughter to packaged cuts. Topics covered will include: basic knife skills, personal and food safety techniques, bovine anatomy, full carcass breakdown, qualities and characteristics of cuts, and marketing strategies. Participating farmers will leave the workshop with a solid foundation of lamb breakdown, as well as informational handouts and basic butchery supplies, including a knife, bone saw, and honing rod. Registration closes today. For more information, click here or call Stone Barns Center for Food & (914) 366-6200 x134

MAY 29:  Pasture to Plate #3: The Plate  at the CADE Offices, 5 Elm Street, Oneonta 13820. Cost is  $35 for this three hour workshop from 2 to 5 p.m. FMI:, (607) 433-2545

May is Schoharie Watershed Month, partnering of community, schools and organizations serving the Schoharie Watershed to learn about watershed topics and resources.
  • MAY 3: Free septic maintenance workshop given by the Catskill Watershed Corporation at 2 p.m., followed by a tour of the Windham Waste Water Treatment Plant, South Street. Windham.
  • MAY 4: Earth, Wind and Water: The Seasons, Student/Amateur Photograph/Art Exhibit, opening reception at 2 p.m. at the Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery, Hunter.  Sponsored by the Kaaterskill Fine Arts Gallery (Catskill Mtn. Foundation) in partnership with local school districts, this student amateur photography/art exhibit will highlight the watershed’s beauty.
  • MAY 5: Stream & Property Clean Up in Windham at 9 a.m. Sponsored by the Windham Area Recreation Foundation
  • MAY 10: Greene Infrastructure at Home and at Work, an educational workshop on rain barrels and rain gardens for the homeowner, followed by a tour of the Mountain Top Library and Learning Center at 2:30 p.m. Register by May 8 at # 622-9820 x0.
  • MAY 11: Tree Planting on the Police Anchor Camp, Batavia Kill, at 10 a.m. Sponsored by the Greene County Sportsmen Federation and Catskill Stream Buffer Initiative
  • MAY 25 (rain date May 26): Grand Opening of the Windham Path & the annual “Walking Windham /Remembering Pat” event, 4939 State Rte. 23, Windham at 9 a.m..  The Windham Path is 1.5 mile public trail on the old Police Anchor Camp in Windham.  Plant identification walks, scavenger hunt and Free BBQ! Sponsored by the Family of T. Patrick Meehan and The Community of Windham Foundation, an educational scholarship fund and fundraising goal of the Walk/Run/Ride is to raise funds for the WAJ Meehan Scholarship Fund.
SAVE THE DATE:  The 2013 Catskills CRAFT schedule is out and the first farmer-to-farmer networking meeting and potluck is June 11 at Channery Hill Farm, 77 Keller Road, Callicoon Center  12724. Free and open to all farmers of all experience levels. Farmers Jen McGlashan and Kai Brothers host this month's learning session. Channery Hill is a small family-owned vegetable farm with mixed livestock that operates a CSA and sells at farmers' markets. Jen makes value-added pestos, spreads, and dressings. Jen will talk about food preservation and lead a farm tour. A potluck supper will follow. Sponsored the Council and Catskills CRAFT. FMI: Contact Eleanor Blakeslee-Drain, Farmhearts Fellow

Other upcoming events can be found on the Pure Catskills web calendar and on the Council's event pages for agriculture and forestry. Additional partner activities and events can be found on the Pure Catskills Facebook Page, the Council's Facebook Page and this blog.

DON'T FORGET: Visit the Watershed Agricultural Council's 20th anniversary webpage for links to key stories about our farm, forest and local business neighbors doing their part for water quality and working landscapes.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Watershed Wake-Up Call April 5

Pure Catskills Membership Closes April 20KUDOS TO:
-- Farm to Market Manager Sonia Janiszewski for her efforts in coordinting the 4th Annual farm to Market Connection and to all the speakers, presenters, frmers and buyers who made this event so rewarding

-- Board member Sally Fairbairn for sharing her perspective on the Farm to Market Connection as a guest blogger

GET IN THE GUIDE: April 20th deadline is fast approaching!  New and renewing members of the buy local campaign for regional restaurant, food, farm and retail businesses can register easily online...TODAY!

New this year: regional wood products businesses are invited to join Pure Catskills too. Membership benefits include a listing in the print Guide to Local Products (50,000 copies to be distributed in May) and group promotions like the Pure Catskills Holiday Gift Guide, rack cards, and feature articles like the one mentioned below. Point of purchase materials, a dedicated web page at, and sales opportunities through are all perks of becoming a Pure Catskills member!

Get in the Guide TODAY and upgrade your listing with a display ad. For advertising information, contact Tia Blaber of ColorPage Publishing (800) 836-7581. For membership information, contact Farm to Market Manager Sonia Janiszewski, (607) 865-7090, ext. 217.

MAKE A COMMITMENT THROUGH CSA: he Check out the article in the April 2013 Catskill Mountain Region Guide"This Ain't Your Grandma's CSA" on page 8. 15 Pure Catskill members offering CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, are listed there, or download the 2013 Pure Catskills CSA brochure. Check back each month to read our monthly column, Fresh From the Catskills.

Craving more? Read excerpted interviews in this Pure Catskills blog post "Share the Love."

APRIL 5: Smartphones for Farmers, Hamden

APRIL 5: Improving Your Grazing Management Decision-making Skills Workshop, Walton

APRIL 11: Highbush Blueberry Production, Hamden

APRIL 11:  Earth Day Discussions on Food, Water & Environment, SUNY-Delhi Okun Theater, 11:30 to 2 p.m. Free movie clips from "Story of Stuff, "Story of Bottled Water," "The Greenhorns" and "????." Local food samplings from Cowbella yogurt, Lazy Crazy Acres gelato, Bybebrook Farm gouda.

APRIL 20: Community Tree Steward Workshop, CCE-Sullivan, Liberty

APRIL 23: Pasture to Plate #2, Oneonta

MAY 11: Little Farm Show, Margaretville

MAY 13Septic Maintenance for Homeowners, 2 p.m., a free workshop presented by CWC staff, at the Windham Wastewater Treatment Plant, South Street and NYS Route 23, Windham. Offered as part of the Schoharie Watershed Month which is sponsored by Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District's Watershed Assistance Program. FMI on other activities:

MAY 24-26: Lamb Butchery Intensive for Farmers at Stone Barns Center

MAY 24:  Times in the Valley history of the watershed exhibit opens

MAY 29: Pasture to Plate #3, Oneonta 

Article: Farmstand Favorites Cookbook (Page 10, Catskill Mountain Region Guide March 2013)
Farm Hack (Young Farmers)
Fund-a-Farmer Project due May 1 (Food Animal Concerns Trust)
Beef Cattle Management (Cornell)
Farm Finances: Organizing and Understanding Your Numbers (ATTRA)

Funding: Microloans up to $35,000 (USDA) 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Watershed Wake-Up Call March 22

WELCOME: Look for the Watershed Agricultural Council's two newest staff members out in the field:
FARM TO MARKET CONNECTION Connection registration and agenda; still time to register today until noon for $35 or try your luck at a Deal of the Day for $24. Walk-ins will be accepted. Registration includes a complimentary t-shirt.

GET IN THE GUIDE: 2013 Guide to Catskills Products deadline April 20

MARCH 22: Agri-Economic Development Mini-Conference 
NYS Grange, Cortland; Executive Director Craig Cashman will present on the Pure Catskills as a case study for stimulating agricultural economic development

MARCH 28: 2013 Row Crop School 
Delhi Fire Hall, Route 28, Delhi
10:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
$10 includes lunch, earn 2.0 Pesticide Credits
Contact Kim Holden (607) 865-7090

APRIL1: Easement Program Committee Meeting Agenda, 1 to 3 p.m. Conference Room, Watershed Agricultural Council, 44 West Street, Walton 13856 

APRIL 3, APRIL 23, MAY 29: Pasture to Plate, 3-part series on grass-fed beef, Oneonta

CCE Resource Center, 34570 State Highway 10, Hamden 13783
12:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. $10/person
All farmers level encouraged to attend, Sponsored by CCE-Delaware County & Watershed Agricultural Council. FMI: Kim Holden (607) 865-7090, ext. 241
APRIL 5: Improving Your Grazing Management Decision-making Skills Workshop
Watershed Agricultural Program offices, 44 West Street, Walton 13856 
10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., free
All farmers level encouraged to attend, Sponsored by CCE-Delaware County & Watershed Agricultural Council. FMI: Kim Holden (607) 865-7090, ext. 241

CCE Resource Center, 34570 State Highway 10, Hamden 13783  
$20 per person/$35 per farm couple; pre-register by April 4
All farmers level encouraged to attend, Sponsored by CCE-Delaware County and Watershed Agricultural Council. FMI: Janet Aldrich (607) 865-7090, ext. 241

APRIL 11: Earth Day Discussions on Food, Water & the Environment SUNY-Delhi Farrell Student & Community Center,The Okun Theater, 2 Main Street, Delhi 13753
Free, local food samplings. 
Sponsored by The Green Team & Watershed Agricultural Council. FMI: David Klossner, Assistant Professor of Sciences (607) 746-4274

Watershed Agricultural Council 2013
Watershed Agricultural Program 2013

USDA MICROLOANS AVAILABLE:  Microloans are direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork, designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche-type operations. Microloans can be used for all approved operating expenses as authorized by the FSA Operating Loan Program. The maximum loan amount for a microloan is $35,000. Additional information on the USDA Farm Service Agency Microloan program may be obtained at local FSA offices.

USDA FARM TO SCHOOL GRANTS - Due April 24: This year, three different USDA Farm to School grant types will be available. Planning grants are intended for schools just getting started on farm to school activities, while implementation grants are available for schools seeking to augment or expand existing efforts. Additionally, eligible non-profit entities, Indian tribal organizations, state and local agencies, and agriculture producers or groups of producers may apply for support service grants in order to conduct trainings, create complementary curriculum, or further develop supply chains, among other activities. In this funding cycle, USDA anticipates awarding up to $5 million in grants.

OinterestF INTEREST: 

Article: Hudson Valley looks to use region's greens to attract tourists (
Hunt's Point Market Supplies NYC with 60% of its Fruits & Veggies (The New York World)
Small Farms Update-February 2013 (Cornell Small Farms Program)
Direct Marketing Livestock & Poultry  (Cornell Small Farms Program)
Microloans up to $35,000 (USDA) 

Grant: Farm to School due April 24 (USDA)   
Newsletter:  Weekly Pipeline, March 5, 2013 (DEP)
Guide: NY Small Dairy Innovators: Successful Strategies for Smaller Dairy Farms (Cornell Small Farms Program)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Watershd Wake-Up Call Recap: Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference, Logger and Forest Landowner Workshops

Technical difficulties left us hanging on today's Watershed Wake-up Call. But here's a recap of what we would have talked about had the Control Board cooperated. See you in two weeks.
Get in the Guide by renewing your membership online (or signing up forthe first time) --it's easy and afforrdable at $35 forthe year. Lots of benefits, tons of exposure and our renewed commitment. We've reallocated our funding priorities to really get behind Fran the Cauliflower Lady and the Pure Catskills buuy local campaign in 2013.
Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference
SUNY-Delhi, Farrell Hall
Cost: $25 by January 14, includes local food lunch; $35 at the door
Friday, January 18, 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Register onlinemail in your registration packet, or call Kim Holden, (607) 865-7090, ext. 241.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County (CCE) and the Watershed Agricultural Council host the 10th annual Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference!  Start with one of two early-bird sessions: Understanding Risk Management or Pasture Renovation and Weed Control. Armand Dragon, national dairy specialist with IBA, and Dr. Charles Schwab, Professor Emeritus University of New Hampshire and internationally renowned amino acid nutrition researcher, will talk about milk quality and amino acid nutrition. Within the livestock track, Jim Hayes will talk about facilities for raising multiple species; CCE marketing specialist, Matt LeRoux will speak on marketing livestock products with Jodie Kubiak and Dan Stone from Adirondack Grazers Cooperative will talk on beef cooperatives.

Grazing guru Karen Hoffman, NRCS resource conservationist, will talk to grazers about forage quality. Tricia Park from Creekside Meadows Farm will speak from experience about raising swine on pasture. CCE vegetable specilialist Judson Reid presents on planting winter rye for weed control and Robert Hadad talks about  high tunnels for late season production. Farmer Jim Barber will speak on retail marketing at Barber Farm, Schoharie.

Keynote speaker Patrick Hooker of Empire State Development shares his views on the future for New York State agriculture, exploring the opportunities and challenges facing the industry in the coming decades.
JANUARY 26: Schoharie Water Quality Summit 2013 from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Hunter Elementary School, Route 23, Hunter. Cost: Free, reserve your seat by January 1. The Council's Josh VanBrakle, Wood Products Utilization Specialist, will talk about the value of riparian buffers and forested streambanks as mechanisms for flood control and damage mitigation. Sponsored by the Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District

FEBRUARY 5, 12, and 19: This CCE webinar workshop series covers the basics of strategic marketing, including how to identify a target market and focus your farm's marketing efforts. The 3-session series is designed specifically for meat/livestock producers, but the content will benefit any farm. Cost is $30/arm (2 people) for the series. Sessions will be broadcast live at the CCE of Delaware County office, 34570 State Hwy. 10, Hamden from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
FEBRUARY 9: Demystifying Woods and Wildlife Management
at the Agroforestry Resource Center, 6055 Route 23, Acra, NY 12405
1 to 4 p.m. C
ost is $5 and open to landowners interested in learning how to make the most of their property through simple, sustainable projects. Presented through a video format, join the conversations of a landowner and a professional forester as they walk through three seasons of specific projects that are designed to enhance forested property. Learn about attracting more wildlife, pruning wild apple trees, tree planting, increasing the value of your trees along with an introduction to basic forestry concepts and terminology. To register, contact CCE Greene County (518) 622-9820.

FEBRUARY 14: Holiday Pop-Up Market at the Cyr Center from 3:30 to 6 p.m.
The market celebrates its 1-year anniversary with this Valentine's Day shopping experience for local food and products. FAQ's here. Vendors can fill out a vendor application here.
MARCH 1: Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) will sponsor three training workshops for planning and zoning board members and Code Enforcement Officers at United Ministries Church Hall on Courthouse Square from 10 a.m. to 2:30, with a half hour lunch. The workshops are free, and, with municipal approval, may serve as the mandated four hours of training required of members of town and village Planning Boards and Zoning Boards of Appeals. Code Enforcement Officers may also receive in-service credit for two of the classes. Space is limited. Registration deadline is February 22. To register, visit, or call 845-586-1400. Three sessions will be offered -- Local Regulations: Enactment Procedures, Intermunicipal Planning, and Revising Zoning.
TRAINED LOGGER CERTIFICATION CREDITS OFFERED: Attend one or all of the following continuing education meetings and workshops for TLC; open to loggers and forest professionals.
NYC Watershed Logger Training Working Group Meeting & Networking January 12 in Walton, January 26 in Acra

Business for Profit, February 6 in Delhi, February 7 in Acra

Watershed Agricultural Council redistributes $6,000 from United Way to three regional farmers impacted by Hurricane Irene last year. For more on this story, read this national press release picked up by 110 news outlets.

Watershed Agricultural Council Turns 20, 1993-2013Council Turns 20: Visit our website for an interactive timeline on the history of the watershed and success stories of what's been happening over the last two decades in watershed protection. Thanks for our participants -- over 500 farmers, 1000 private landowners, 250 Pure Catskills members, and hundreds of forestry professionals teachers and students -- for stepping up as regional clean drinking water stewards on behalf of nine million New Yorkers. Find out how you can share your experience and become part of history.

Tune in to WIOX Community Radio 91.3FM every other Friday  morning at 7:15 a.m. for Watershed Wake-Up Call.