Fall Updates from Extension

The changing seasons are a reliable time marker, and this fall, UConn Extension is experiencing our own transitions. It’s an exciting time as new educators join the team and continue implementing our statewide programs. Catch up on our latest updates: s.uconn.edu/fall-news

Job Opening: Fairfield County Master Gardener Coordinator

Position Description

UConn Extension Master Gardener Coordinator

Lower Fairfield County

The UConn Extension Master Gardener Program is seeking applications for the position of Master Gardener Program Coordinator for Lower Fairfield County, based at the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens in Stamford, CT. This is a 16-hour-per-week position and is a temporary, six month appointment.

Renewal is optional pending coordinator review and availability of program funding.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: provide leadership for the Master Gardener Program in southern Fairfield County. Successful candidate will coordinate staffing of program mentors, volunteers and interns; work with UConn Extension center/county based faculty and staff, as well as university based faculty and staff as needed. Will also need to work with allied community groups and Extension partners such as the CT Master Gardener Association; train and supervise interns when classroom teaching is completed; arrange for and conduct Advanced Master Gardener classes each year; develop and coordinate outreach programs and projects with community organizations in southern Fairfield County, including the Bartlett Arboretum. They will prepare annual reports on program activities, impacts, incomes, outcomes (number of clientele contacts); and communicate effectively with the state coordinator, other county coordinators, and the Bartlett Arboretum staff. Monthly reports shall be communicated to the state coordinator and topical information may be shared with others as requested.

Preference will be given to candidates who are Certified Master Gardeners, or with a degree in horticulture, botany, biology or equivalent experience. Interested applicants should possess strong organizational, communication and interpersonal skills and be able to show initiative. They should be able to demonstrate experience in working collaboratively as well as independently, and be willing to work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends. Must be familiar with Microsoft Office and familiar with the online class experience.

Volunteer experience is desired.

Submit letter of application, resume and names of three references to:
Sarah Bailey, State Extension Master Gardener Coordinator at sarah.bailey@uconn.edu
Please put Master Gardener Coordinator Position in the subject line.

Screening will begin immediately.

2023 Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers’ Conference & Trade Show: We’re Back!

UConn Extension’s 2023 Vegetable & Small Fruit Growers’ Conference
Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Sheraton Hartford South Hotel
100 Capital Blvd, Rocky Hill, CT 06067

Trade Show: 8:00-8:55, 10:00-10:45, 12:00 -1:00
8:00-8:55 Registration, breakfast, socialize, visit trade show

Morning Moderator – Mary Concklin, Fruit Extension Specialist Emeritus, UConn
8:55 Welcome: Indrajeet Chaubey, Dean of CAHNR, UConn
9:00 Nutrient management in sweet corn George Hamilton, Emeritus Professor, UNH
9:30 Vegetable benefits and disease control of nanotechnology Wade Elmer, CAES
10:00 Announcements
10:15 Break (trade show/coffee &tea)
10:45 Plug strawberries VS bare root strawberries – pros and cons of both Tim Nourse, Nourse Farms11:15 Small scale bean threshing project with UConn engineering students Susan Mitchell,
Cloverleigh Farm
11:35 Trap crop- UConn research update Ana Legrand, UConn
11:50 New opportunities to sell to K-12 schools and early care providers. Jiff Martin, UConn
12:00-1:00 Lunch break/trade show
Afternoon Moderator – Shuresh Ghimire, Vegetable Extension Specialist, UConn
1:00 Winter Growing in low tunnels. Robert Durgy, CAES
1:30 Drone imaging to monitor potato leafhopper damage in the field. Chandi Witharana, UConn1:45 Strawberries and irrigation/fertigation Trevor Hardy and Zoe Stapp, Brookdale Fruit Farm2:15 Ozone microbubble for produce safety Abhinav Upadhyay, UConn
2:30 No-till and soil health growers’ panel Jamie Jones, Jones Family Farm, Bryan O’Hara, Tobacco Road Farm, others TBD
3:30 Pesticide recertification credits and socialize: 4 CEU to be confirmed


Regular: Early Bird (prior to 12/29) $50.00 (+$1.00 processing fee)
After 12/29 $70.00 same day registration will be available, cash or check only

Student: Early Bird (prior to 12/29) $30.00
After 12/29: $50.00, same day registration will be available, cash or check only. You MUST
present your school or student ID when you check in the day of the event.

Trade Show: We have 30-35 tables available for a
trade show held during the conference for
$130.00 per table. Tables will be first come,
first serve basis, and have sold out in the
past. Register at


Contact tolland@uconn.edu 860 875-3331 if you have any questions.

CT Agriculture Expo 2022

Ag Expo logoRegister today for this ag expo showcasing the latest in ag innovation, farm
equipment, tractors, farm implements, seed & crop protection products, farm
supplies & services. This event is happening on Friday November 18th in Southington at the Aquaturf from 10AM till 4PM.

Registration includes
– Trade Show
– State-wide Networking
– Buffet Lunch
– Connecticut Wine & Beer Tasting
– Taste of Connecticut
– Pesticide CEU Credits

Pesticide CEU Credits
– 10:30AM – 11:30AM – Soil-Biodegradable Plastic Mulch for Specialty Crop
Production, Shuresh Ghimire, PhD, UConn Extension
– 1:30PM – 2:30PM – Integrated Pest Management for Fruit Growers, Mary
Conklin, Educator, UConn Extension

Friday, November 18 th
10:00AM – 4:00PM
Aquaturf, 556 Mulberry Street,
Southington, CT

Event Partners
– Connecticut Farm Bureau
– Connecticut Department of Agriculture
– Farm Credit East, ACA
– UConn Extension

Ticket Pricing

–  CFBA Standard and Limited members – $55
–  Non-members – $65
– Non-members can receive $5 off per ticket by purchasing before November
4 th or by registering 3 or more attendees

To Exhibit
Go to cfba.org, call 860-768-1100 or email traceym@cfba.org

For More Information or Questions
Go to cfba.org, call 860-768-1100 or email traceym@cfba.org


FSMA Produce Safety Course

FSMA Produce Safety Rule/Produce Safety Alliance Approved Grower Training Course (In person)

November 30, December 1; December 2, Snow Date
8:30 am through 3:30 pm
Middlesex County Extension Center
1066 Saybrook Rd
Haddam, CT

Registration Deadline Friday, 11/18
Space limited to 30 participants.

REGISTRATION: Course fee is $50. The preferred method of registration/payment is through the CAHNR Conferences site, paying with a credit card. Please include both a work and cell/home phone number and regularly used email address in case of emergency or cancellation.


Keep Your Food Safe & Fresh: Simple Canning & Preservation Tips

Are you looking for a way to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for longer? Do you want to extend the shelf life of summer and fall foods from your garden?  The webinar hosted in late September is now available for viewing online! Follow the link below to the webinar recording, and follow along with the slides provided below.  While there is a lot of technical information in the webinar, a cooking demo begins at minute 35 of the video.


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Novice or veteran, fishermen value safety & survival training

Participants in Safety at Sea training practice boarding a life raft.
Participants in Safety at Sea training practice boarding a life raft.

Story and photos by Judy Benson

Dan Russell and Abraham Powell are at opposite ends of their fishing careers.

While both work from vessels docked in New London, Russell is a boat captain who’s been fishing for 50 years. Powell is brand new, having been hired a month ago.

“I haven’t even been out on a boat yet,” he said.

Yet they agreed the Safety at Sea training Oct. 20 and 21 was time well spent regardless of whether they were seasoned or beginner in this ancient and perilous trade. Sponsored by Connecticut Sea Grant and UConn Avery Point in collaboration with Fishing Partnership Support Services and the U.S. Coast Guard, the free training put 49 commercial fishermen, state marine agency staff and UConn Marine Science Department researchers and vessel crews through intensive hands-on and classroom lessons that could one day save their lives.

“I learned about some of the new flares and some of the new emergency gear,” said Russell, who first learned safety skills many years ago from the Coast Guard but had never been to the Sea Grant-sponsored training for a refresher.

Anthony Minteins, who fishes for scallops about the Invictus, wraps neoprene gloves around a leak during a flooding and damage control drill.
Anthony Mintiens, who fishes for scallops about the Invictus, wraps neoprene gloves around a leak during a flooding and damage control drill.

Sea Grant has been sponsoring the training with various partners about every two years since 2000 and teamed up with the Fishing Partnership in 2016.

“Hosting these training opportunities to build a culture of safety is one of the most important things I can do for those who work on the water for a living,” said Nancy Balcom, associate director and extension program leader for Connecticut Sea Grant. “It’s especially fitting that we held this training in October, National Seafood Month.”

The classroom portion of the program included an overview of MAYDAY call procedures, PFDs (personal flotation devices) and other safety equipment, interspersed with accounts of real-life tales of survival and tragedies at sea from the instructors, many of whom worked in the industry themselves. Shannon Eldredge, marine safety instructor and community health worker for Fishing Partnership, prefaced a segment on overdose response with a reminder about why fishermen need to be alert for opioid use among their colleagues.

“You don’t get sick time,” she said. “You’re working through pain, and you’re using prescription drugs. You’re going to be the first responders to an overdose.”

That segued into a presentation by Trish Rios, community health worker for the Alliance for Living in New London, about how to administer the overdose reversal drug NARCAN. She recommended every vessel have at least two doses in its first aid kit, and brought several dozen packages of the drug for each fishing vessel to take.

The training then moved outdoors, where groups moved between stations to practice how to deploy signal flares; don immersion suits and board life rafts; put out onboard fires; and repair flooding and vessel damage at sea.

Dana Collyer, one of the instructors, urged all those who make their living on the water to buy their own immersion suits and make sure they fit properly, rather than using one supplied by their vessel.

“This is the most important piece of safety gear you have,” he said.

Another instructor, Mark Bisnette, emphasized the importance of inspecting the suits regularly to ensure they haven’t deteriorated from dry rot. Both he and Collyer are marine surveyors with Marine Safety Consultants Inc.

“You’ve got to maintain it,” Bisnette said. “This is your parachute.”

At the onboard damage control station, Kyra Dwyer, Coast Guard fishing vessel examiner, led groups in practicing how to repair leaks using rope, duct tape, wood wedges, neoprene strips and other equipment they would have onboard. On a facsimile boat deck, teams worked furiously as Dwyer opened valves to send water spraying out from pipes and various seams.

After one crew successfully plugged a series of leaks, she congratulated them.

“You guys had some success,” she said. “You’re going home. You saved the ship.”

A demonstration of how to deploy a life raft concluded the first day.

Fishermen and state agency marine agency staff deploy emergency flares on the beach at UConn Avery Point.
Fishermen and state agency marine agency staff deploy emergency flares on the beach at UConn Avery Point.

Anthony Mintiens, who’s been fishing for scallops on the Stonington-based vessel Invictus for the past eight years, said he’s taken the training before but was grateful for the chance to hone his skills.

“It was totally worth it,” he said. “I don’t want to go down with the ship in the freezing cold.”

The second day was geared to a smaller group of 14 training for certification to conduct monthly safety drills for crew members. It covered such topics as cold-water survival, helicopter rescues and emergency station bills. The day ended with a test of whether participants could put on their immersion suits in 60 seconds or less, followed by simulation of man-overboard and abandon ship drills on board the Emma & Maria, a fishing vessel owned by Michael Theiler, who worked with Sea Grant to organize the training.

Theiler, New London-based commercial fisherman and member of Sea Grant’s Senior Advisory Board, said the hands-on aspect of the training is especially valuable because of the changing makeup of fishing crews.

“We have a pretty high turnover, so it’s especially important to have these trainings,” he said. “For the new guys especially, it’s very helpful to give them familiarity with the safety equipment and a chance to learn the procedures. And it’s a chance for the crew and the captain to work together on a team on these various scenarios.”



Virtual Invasive Plant Symposium, Thursday, November 3, 2022, 8:30 AM-4 PM

Virtual Invasive Plant Symposium, Thursday, November 3, 2022, 8:30 AM-4 PM

This is the last week to register! The Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group (CIPWG) 2022 symposium will be a full-day virtual webcast on November 3, with some sessions directed to all attendees and other sessions in concurrent breakouts (recordings of all sessions will be available to registered attendees post-symposium). This year’s theme is Strategies for Managing Invasive Plants: Assess, Remove, Replace, and Restore. The morning session will include a keynote presentation from Bernd Blossey, Cornell University: “Invasive Plant Management: What We Know, What We Do Not Know, and What We Must Know,” as well as presentations by Bryan Connolly, ECSU: “Online Tools and Apps for Identifying and Reporting Invasive Plants” and Diane Jorsey, CT DEEP: “Requirements for Pesticide Applications on Conservation Lands.” The breakout sessions include topics titled: Assessing the Land: Case Studies on What Works; What is Working Around the State; Managing in your Backyard: Failures and Successes; Limitations: Legal and Practical; Control Strategies for Mile-a-Minute, Water Chestnut, and Hydrilla; and Replacement and Restoration: Design, Propagating, and Sourcing Native Seed. CEU’s for organizations and Pesticide Recertification Credits are available. Registration $65 (Students – $25).

More info: cipwg.uconn.edu/2022-symposium

Poster for Virtual Invasive Plant Symposium


Community climate planning projects underway in four CT cities

Doreen Abubaker, of the Community Placement Engagement Network and West River Watershed Partnership, talks to a group at the New Haven Folk Festival about climate change impacts in New Haven and the upcoming Climathon
Doreen Abubaker, of the Community Placement Engagement Network and West River Watershed Partnership, talks to a group at the New Haven Folk Festival about climate change impacts in New Haven and the upcoming Climathon. Photo: Steve Hamm.

Four Connecticut cities have joined a pilot project to boost community participation in climate change planning.

Community activities in Bridgeport, New Haven, New London and Norwich are being led by Connecticut Sea Grant with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and will focus on climate risk communication and planning for community resilience. The pilot project received a $75,000 NOAA investment in Fiscal Year 2022, which will be administered by Connecticut Sea Grant.

“Equity is central to how we conduct business at the Department of Commerce — and how we plan for the future,” said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “By developing and refining techniques for engaging vulnerable populations, this project will help ensure that communities in Connecticut are in charge of their climate future.”

In New Haven, Connecticut Sea Grant has hosted two information booths and workshops at community events—all leading up to a “Climathon” on Oct. 29 to engage residents in understanding and reducing climate vulnerabilities in their neighborhoods. Steve Hamm, one of the founders of Reimagining New Haven, a grassroots group working on the Climathon, describes the Fair Haven neighborhood where the Climathon will be held as “ground zero” for climate change in New Haven.

“We hope to make New Haven more resilient, equitable and just by engaging with a diverse set of people from our communities to catalyze action—drawing on scientific expertise, local voices and the arts,” Hamm said. “We welcome everyone to come to the Climathon and to help make changes.”

A similar series of community climate events is being planned for Bridgeport in the spring.

Connecticut Sea Grant is also partnering with leaders from local NAACP chapters, Indigenous and tribal communities, racial justice and arts organizations on events planned this fall in Norwich and New London. Participants will consider climate change impacts in the context of other community challenges such as housing, education, mental health, racial justice and food security, and develop actions to address them.

Key components of activities in all four communities include practical incentives for participation, such as offering transportation and gift cards, scheduling events at optimal times for working families and using locally owned businesses to provide food and refreshments.

“Connecticut Sea Grant is well-positioned to support this pilot project because we work alongside communities every day to connect NOAA’s climate products and services to those who need them,” said Sylvain De Guise, Connecticut Sea Grant director. “But, we’ve got to get better at working with the communities who need these services the most. Populations that are most impacted by climate-related hazards like flooding and storm surge need to be at the table if we are going to be successful.”

The pilot project aligns with efforts at the state level to develop policy recommendations through an equity lens. Connecticut’s Equity & Environmental Justice Working Group, part of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, was instrumental in organizing officials and environmental justice experts for a 2021 NOAA roundtable where participants shared their lived experience with climate planning and the barriers and challenges associated with getting a seat at the policy table. Activities to involve vulnerable communities in climate and resilience planning were a primary recommendation of the listening session that informed the pilot project.

“I am so pleased to see this pilot provide the resources needed to break down those barriers and try some of the approaches highlighted in the Council process,” said Rebecca French, director of the Office of Climate Planning in the Office of the Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “I look forward to learning how the state can continue to improve our work in this space.”

“Climate hazards such as flooding and storm surge threaten communities across Connecticut,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “This pilot project will help give vulnerable communities the tools they need to meaningfully inform climate planning, and allow people to take an active role in becoming climate-ready and resilient.”

This pilot project builds on NOAA’s commitment to sustained engagement with underserved communities, and is part of an investment in seven pilot projects happening across the country. Each regional pilot is responding directly to feedback received from partners during climate and equity roundtable discussions that NOAA conducted in 2021. Pilots are taking a unique, place-based approach to helping vulnerable communities better understand, prepare for and respond to climate change.

Learn more about upcoming pilot project announcements and NOAA’s ongoing environmental justice efforts.


October 29, 1-6 p.m.
Martinez School
100 James Street
Fair Haven, CT
Contact: https://reimaginingnewhaven.org/contact-us
Register for this free event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/new-haven-climathon-tickets-434198518457
Climathon information: https://reimaginingnewhaven.org/our-projects/f/our-design-charrette