Community

Master Gardeners Provide Seeds to Community Organizations

seedlings in containers

Each year, the UConn Extension Master Gardener Program partners with Ocean State Job Lot to distribute free seed packets to community groups, non-profits, schools, and municipal groups. We are pleased to continue offering this service to community organizations and groups. Visit https://mastergardener.uconn.edu/ and fill out the form to request free seed packets for your organization.

Farm Risk Management Program 2023-2024 FREE Programs

UConn Extension is offering plenty of Farm Risk Management Programs in the upcoming 2024 year, and they are FREE! 
Woman in garden
Options to Mitigate Farm Financial Losses 
When: Tuesday, January 16, 2024 
Where: CLiCK, 41 Club Rd, Windham, CT 
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
 
Crop Insurance Programs 
When: Tuesday, January 23, 2024
 Where: Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon, CT
 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
 Lunch provided 
 
Business Planning and Financial Benchmarking Program
Will include information on farm insurance, health insurance and retirement programs 
When: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
 Where: Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon, CT
 Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 
 
Options to Mitigate Farm Financial Losses
 When: Monday, February 26, 2024 
Where: Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Museum, 110 Pequot Trail, Mashantucket, CT 
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
 
Our popular One-on-One Sessions with Professionals
 In-person: When/where: Wednesday, February 7, 5:00 -8:00 p.m.
 Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon
 Wednesday, February 21, 5:00 -8:00 p.m.
Tolland County Extension Center, 24 Hyde Ave, Vernon
 Monday, March 4, 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.
 Middlesex County Extension Center 1066 Saybrook Road, Haddam
 
 Virtual: When: Tuesday, February 13, 9:00 – 3:00 p.m.
 Tuesday, March 5, 9-3 pm 
 Tuesday, March 12, 9-3 pm

Did You Know: Cleaning New Haven Coastal Area

Summer may be over, but cleaning our coastal areas can be a yearlong project. On August 12 of 2023, volunteers spent two hours collecting over 110 pounds of trash in the Long Wharf Drive and the Long Wharf Nature Preserve in New Haven. the cleanup kicking off the 2023 #DontTrashLISound campaign led by Connecticut Sea Grant and the 2023 Connecticut Cleanup season led by Save the Sound. The two organizations partnered on the cleanup, which netted 12 bags with more than 110 pounds of trash. Two other organizations, Connecticut Clean Communities and Garbo Grabber, a company that makes trash pickup equipment, cleaned an adjoining section of Long Wharf Drive that morning, filling nine bags. Proving that coastal clean ups are much needed.
Woman walking on the New Haven coast with her bucket of trash
One of the 17 volunteers at the Aug. 12 cleanup heads into the Long Wharf Nature Preserve to pick up trash.

The cleanup launched the seventh annual #DontTrashLISound campaign of cleanups, social media posts and giveaways of popular “Protect Our Wildlife” stickers for reusable water bottles and travel mugs by Connecticut Sea Grant. The 2023 theme, “Love the coast—pitch the plastic” calls attention to the prevalence of plastic trash in the environment and encourages people to reduce single-use plastics by choosing reusable items instead, and making sure trash is disposed of properly.

The campaign continued on through International Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 16. It is one of several actions being taken by the Connecticut and New York Sea Grant programs and their partners to implement the Long Island Sound Marine Debris Action Plan since its completion in 2022.

Remember keeping the outdoors clean if everyone’s responsibility. If you are going on a walk and see trash, pick it up. We can all help throughout the year. Let’s keep the coast and other parts of Connecticut clean!

 

 

United Way’s Partnership with New London County 4-H

2 young girls presenting, with a podium in front of them and their presentation on a screenIn 2022, United Way of Southeastern Connecticut launched, Your Voice Counts (YVC), to promote trust and civility in our community. The initiative aims to improve communication, critical thinking, and understanding among high school students, to contribute to a more positive community. United Way’s program pairs up community partners and volunteers with the high school students to work on new evidence-based curriculum, and work towards developing their final projects, which will later be presented to a community panel.

From January- May 2024, youth will work with UConn Extension’s, New London County 4-H Program once/twice a week. UConn Extension 4-H staff members will lead a club, in two cohorts, one virtually and one in person. During this time the youth will focus on enhancing listening skills, engaging in discussions, understanding viewpoints that differ from their own and becoming advocates for change. By the end of the program these young adults will be able to say to others, “Your Voice Counts”, and be able to bring their new skills and knowledge to the broader community.

This program exemplifies UConn 4-H’s mission, by developing leadership and life skills while forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing members of their families and communities.

 

Farmer 2 Farmer Conference

We’re so excited because we are partnering up with New CT Farmers Alliance to put on a conference that is FOR farmers and BY farmers, January 27!  It’s the Farmer 2 Farmer Conference! 

2 Hands with plants behind them

~Register here~

Farming is a profession full of trial and error. Every year, we take stock of what worked and what didn’t, assess our weaknesses and strengths, and tweak the plan for next year.This winter, take the time to reflect and learn from the experiences of your fellow farmers at NCTFA’s Farmer 2 Farmer Conference.Our conference will feature workshops on production methods, scaling up the farm, and more!Breakfast and lunch will be served free of charge. Attendees will take home some locally saved seeds and maybe some other surprises!There will also be a FARM HACK competition where you can show off the tools you’ve invented and win a cash prize!Thank you to UConn’s Solid Ground Program and CT NOFA for helping to make this event happen.Funding for this event provided by USDA-NIFA-BFRDP Award #2023-49400-40870

 

2 Hands with plants behind them written in Spanish

~Registrar aquí~

Conferencia de Granjero a Granjero 27 Enero!

La agricultura es una profesión llena de ensayo y error. Cada año hacemos balance de lo que ha funcionado y lo que no, evaluamos nuestros puntos fuertes y débiles y ajustamos el plan para el año siguiente.Este invierno, tómese su tiempo para reflexionar y aprender de las experiencias de sus compañeros agricultores en la Conferencia Granjero a Granjero de la NCTFA.Nuestra conferencia incluirá talleres sobre métodos de producción, ampliación de la granja y mucho más.El desayuno y el almuerzo serán gratuitos. Los asistentes se llevarán a casa algunas semillas guardadas localmente y tal vez alguna otra sorpresa.También habrá un concurso FARM HACK en el que podrás mostrar las herramientas que has inventado y ganar un premio en effectivo.Gracias al programa Solid Ground de la Universidad de Connecticut y a CT NOFA por contribuir a la organización de este acto.Financiación de este acto: USDA-NIFA-BFRDP Award #2023-49400-40870

Master Gardner 2024 Calendar Sale

"Connecticut Gardner 2024 Calendar" written in blue with flowers in the backgroundThe UConn Master Gardeners have assembled a calendar for Connecticut gardeners! There are tips through every month on how to plan and maintain your garden for fresh blooms and abundant vegetables. This year there is additional information on supporting beneficial insects in the landscape, with tips on using integrated pest management, creating habitat for beneficials, and starting native plants by seed in the winter. All photos were submitted by local gardeners and selected by MG Volunteers during a statewide photo contest. MG Volunteers guided the design, information, and topics of this years calendar. We thank them for their work! 28 pages plus cover. 8.5in x 11in. Folded calendar. 

Purchase it today for pickup or delivery at our marketplace site.

$12 – Local Pickup at County OfficeCalendar page of january 2024. with a pond and cattails

$18 – Delivery

For more information go to https://mastergardener.uconn.edu/resources/calendar/

 

Trail Finder Website: More Trails, New Features

hands holding a trail mapThe Trail Finder website is the go-to website for finding trails across the state. Use the search options to find trails by location, activity (hike, bike, horse, etc.), distance and difficulty, accessibility, and features like waterfalls and nature trails.

Trail Finder posts (both the information and map) are ALL approved by trail managers. Recently, the trails team has been working with the Regional Water Authority (RWA), folks in Woodbridge, the Sharon Land Trust, the Northwest CT Land Conservancy, and others.

Interested in the many benefits of having your trails and your information on Trail Finder? Learn more at  add your trails and contact us at
trails@uconn.edu for more information!

Ag Mechanic Classes 2023

It’s that time of year again where our Solid Ground Trainings are starting to get their gears rolling!  Kicking it off this season, we’re bringing back the ever popular Chainsaw Skills and Safety program directed toward women, our Beginning WeldeAg mechanics classes 2023 graphic with chainsawsrs Workshops, and an Intro to Carpentry! Each workshop cost $25 and includes lunch. See more info below!

Note: These trainings are intended for production farmers in Connecticut, if you have a hobby farm or are gardening, please reference this other wonderful UConn Extension program herehttps://homegarden.cahnr.uconn.edu/ 

Title of class: Chainsaw Class Directed toward Women

Date: Saturday, November 18th

Time: 8:30-4:30

Location: Long Table Farm, 256 Beaver Brook Rd, Lyme, CT

Max Number of participants: 10

Description of class: 

Chainsaw Skills and Safety directed toward Women: Intro to safe chainsaw operation. Students will learn about PPE, work area safety, basic saw maintenance, chain sharpening, and how to develop a felling plan.  Each student will have a chance to fell their own tree.  You may bring your own saw or use one that will be provided by the instructor.

SIGN UP HERE: 

https://s.uconn.edu/sgchainsaw

 

Title of class: Basic Welding for Beginners

Date: Saturday, December 9th

Time: 9am – 3pm

Location: Rockville High School, 70 Loveland Hill Rd, Vernon

Max Number of participants: 10

Description of class:

Intro to the basics of welding. Learn the proper personal protective equipment required and safety protocols to know before getting started. Instructor will go over the fundamentals of MIG and stick welding, teaching you techniques to get welds done safely and efficiently.

SIGN UP HERE: 

https://s.uconn.edu/sgbasicwelding

 

Title of class: Power Tool Safety & Carpentry Basics Training

Date: Saturday, December 16th

Time: 9am – 3pm

Location: WorkspaceCT, 16 Trowbridge Dr, Bethel

Max Number of participants: 10

Description of class:

Get familiar with the power tools and carpentry skills that you’ll need on your farm. Learn how to use an impact driver, drill, skill saw, table saw and more. You will work with your new skills to complete a project to take home.

 SIGN UP HERE:

https://s.uconn.edu/sgpowertools&carpentrybasics

 

Please contact us 2 weeks in advance with special needs (dietary, translation, accessibility, etc.) We’ll do our best to accommodate you.

 

FOR ALL WORKSHOPS THAT INCLUDE TRAVEL: If the cost is prohibitive, Travel Stipends will be made available to participants at any event where travel is required to attend 

 

Please do not attend if you are not feeling well – you will receive a refund.

National Native American Heritage Month

man and youth looking at tomatoes in greenhouse

National Native American Heritage Month is coming to a close. Here at UConn Extension, we celebrate throughout the year and continue supporting and learning from Connecticut’s Nations. Learn how UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources is supporting Tribal communities with assistance from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and others. Learn more at https://ctnations.cahnr.uconn.edu/.