KINGSTON, N.Y. — Centrally located in the Mid-Hudson/Catskill region of New York State, Ulster County is home to a diverse array of agricultural enterprises and a long agricultural history. The fertile valleys of Ulster County have been cultivated for over 700 years, and the region was one of the earliest major agricultural areas in the United States, producing food for local populations, New York City, and export markets. Each year CCE Ulster hosts the New and Beginning Farmer Series. A collection of 1 hour workshops that help new and aspiring farmers get started! All Classes will be held online via Zoom and cost $5 each. Register for the classes online.
Unintentional Consequences March 10, 1pm-2pm
What is THAT? To Weed or not to Weed? New fields and gardens can contain many different uninvited plants, aka weeds. During this session Master Gardener Volunteer Barbara Bravo will identify some of them and learn why we should be concerned. Hear about some of the most common exotic, non-native plants, as well as destructive insects and an aquatic invasive weed in our water ways.
Barbara Bravo is a dedicated gardener with more than 30 years’ experience reclaiming neglected gardens as well as establishing new beds and an enclosed vegetable garden at her home in Quarryville, Saugerties. Quarryville, as you might guess from its name, is a challenging environment located a short distance from a defunct shale quarry. She has been a Master Gardener Volunteer for the past 17 years and has lectured on many gardening topics.
Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture & the Regenerative Organic Certification March 17, 1:30pm-3pm
Participants will be introduced to the concept of “regenerative agriculture,” including potential practices (e.g., cover crops) and outcomes (.e.g, carbon sequestration) and learn about the requirements and process for obtaining organic and regenerative organic certification (ROC).
Guest speakers: Katy Williams, the operations manager for Regenerative Organic Certified (ROC), and Caitlin Tucker, the New York region organic consultant with Rodale Institute.
Climate Change and Agriculture March 24 2pm-3pm
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County is hosting two guest speakers on climate change. The first speaker is Allison Chatrchyan a Sr. Research Associate at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, and the main campus focal point for the Cornell Climate Stewards Program. Allison will provide a general overview of climate change, as well as the science behind it, including the projected global temperature (RCP Values) graph.
The second speaker is Jenna Walczak an Ag Climate Resiliency Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest New York team. She works with extension staff to assist farmers in implementing practices to mitigate climate change and reduce its impact on New York State farms. Jenna will talk about the impact of climate change on agriculture in the Hudson Valley. Some growers in the Hudson Valley view climate change as a positive. They can now bring to full maturity crops, that 20 or 30 years ago, would not mature in this region. Jenna will explain why the changing climate is a concern and its effects on crop maturity. She will also present how weather extremes are linked to climate change, a fact that many often overlook.
Seriously Soil March 31, 1pm-2pm
Master Gardener coordinator Dona Crawford will delve into the whys and hows of soil tests and analysis, the best soils for vegetable crop, and how to improve the soil you have. She’ll talk soil sources and blends, and tips for raised beds. Agriculture Program Administrative Assistant Courtney Churchill will review the process for commercial soil testing.
How to Make a Profit and Still Have a Good Quality of Life April 7 2pm-3pm
Steve Hadcock, of the Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program, will talk about the business of getting started in farming, focusing on the quality of life of farmers. It’s important for farmers to find a balance between work (i.e. farming) and life (i.e. their family). All too often, farmers think that if they open another location (e.g. farm stand) or plant more crops, that they will see increased profits. Steve will explain how that concept isn’t always correct, and that farmers may be losing money, as well as quality of life (i.e., missing out on family time).
Introduction to Agroforestry April 14, 1:00-2:30pm
Participants will be introduced to the concept of agroforestry and learn the practicalities of converting pasture land to silvopasture through real examples in the Northeastern United States.
Guest speaker: Austin Unruh is the owner of Crow and Berry Land Management which works to bring silvopasture to scale in agricultural economies and focuses on transitioning pastures into silvopastures.
Introduction to Climate Resilience April 21, 1pm-2pm
Resilience is not what you think! Join Laura Lengnick, Glynwood’s Director of Agriculture, to learn how award-winning sustainable, regenerative and organic farmers and ranchers in New York and beyond are using resilience thinking to manage the growing risks caused by changing weather patterns as well as other kinds of disturbances and shocks. Come to this session if you want to add some practical new tools to your climate resilience toolbox. Although this program is hosted by CCE of Ulster County’s New and Beginning Farmer program, farmers of all kinds will benefit from taking the time to learn more about how to manage climate risk.
Farm to School 101 April 24, 1pm-2pm
Katie Sheehan-Lopez, the Regional Farm to School Coordinator for the Upper Hudson Valley, will cover the basics of selling to schools, including the school food procurement process, the NYS 30% Initiative, and opportunities for local farms to engage with schools.
About Cornell Cooperative Extension
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact our office in advance with any accommodation requests at (845) 340-3990 or Ulster@Cornell.edu.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County