Infrastructure Support for Local Food Businesses
Otsego2000 Launches Survey to Assess the Need for a Shared Commercial Kitchen
Are you looking for an opportunity in the local food business? Maybe you are the next Chobani yogurt success. Demand for locally grown food and locally produced food products continue to increase. In New York City alone the demand is estimated at $1B and is nowhere near being met currently. A variety of projects are underway to help farmers and small food business entrepreneurs get their products to market, increase productivity, and create new value-added products. A commercial kitchen facility is clearly one critical piece of the supporting infrastructure required to promote such growth locally. Commercial kitchens perform vital services in the processing and packaging of local food products.
To begin to understand our area’s needs, Otsego 2000, the non-profit organization which sponsors the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market, is launching a survey of food and agricultural entrepreneurs within a 50-mile radius. Anyone currently operating a value-added food product business, or planning to develop a new product should fill out this survey. At the same time, Otsego 2000 is mapping the current network of commercial kitchens that crisscross central NY to see what kinds of facilities are available and where the gaps might be. Collecting this information and developing kitchen profiles is underway. Results will be posted online.
Why would farm businesses and other specialty food processors need a commercial kitchen? Commercial kitchens monitor food safety for the public. Understanding where the line is drawn between the layers of licensing requirements is complicated. Here are a couple of instances when a 20-C licensed kitchen facility is required:
2014 Agriculture Literacy Week
This year Ag Literacy Week will be March 17-21, 2014. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery Counties will be implementing the 8th annual “Ag Literacy Week” by having volunteers read the book “Who Grew My Soup?” written by Tom Darbyshire and illustrated by C.F. Payne to second grade classes throughout Fulton and Montgomery Counties
In this delightful book, , Phineas Quinn questions the vegetable soup his mom serves for lunch. He refuses to slurp a single spoonful until he knows who grew each of the vegetables. Much to his surprise, a man in a flying tomato balloon shows up to answer his questions. Phinneas joins the magical Mr. Mattoo as they fly from farm to farm, learning about the amazing vegetables, and meeting the farmers who grew them.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Holiday Office Hours
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery Counties will be CLOSED to the public December20, 2013-January 3, 2014.
We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and look forward to serving you in the New Year!!
Buy Only What You Can Really Afford This Year
The holidays require a lot of planning, from wish lists, to shopping lists, baking lists, and more. But the very first thing you need to do is decide up front how much money you can afford to spend on the holidays this year. Let's take a moment to rethink the meaning of gift-giving and consider some creative options to help you spend less money and make this holiday season more enjoyable and less stressful for your entire family.
Avoid Buying Holiday Gifts on Credit Save money this holiday season by spending only what you have in your bank account. This means not using credit to purchase gifts! When you buy a $20 gift on credit, you're basically telling the credit card company that you'll pay them back that $20, plus another 20% or so in interest - each month - until the balance is paid off. That means that unless you're able to pay off the balance of your credit card in full when the next bill arrives, you could still be paying for that $20 gift thirty years from now!
Examine Your Intentions What is the point of gift-giving? Is it to reciprocate the dollar amount of a gift that was given to us, or one that we think might be given to us in the future? No! The point is to acknowledge that other person's positive influence on your life. "Thank you" and "I love you" are phrases that don't come with dollar amounts attached to them, so don't allow yourself to be caught up in spending more on holiday gifts than you can afford.
Seven Good Reasons To Switch to LED Christmas Lights
You’ll probably notice a lot of buzz about LED Christmas lights and there are good reasons why people are excited about these “green”, eco-friendly, extremely durable, long-lasting lights. If you were wondering if you should switch to LED lights, here are seven good reasons to do so:
1. LED lights are incredibly energy efficient, using 90% less energy than your old incandescent ones.
2. LED light bulbs stay cool-to-the-touch, which can greatly reduce the chance of fire.
3. Unlike the old incandescent bulbs, LED bulbs don’t have filaments within them that can break which means they also won’t burn out.
4. LED lights last for 100,000 hours of use or more, while your old incandescent lights only last about 2,000 hours.
5. LED lights are nearly indestructible and usually won’t break if you drop them or step on them!
6. Unlike those old-fashioned strings of lights, you won’t ever have to worry about one bad bulb ruining an entire string any longer.
7. The colors of LED lights often appear more vivid than incandescent lights.
8. You can save big money on your electricity bill, and lessen your carbon footprint on the planet.
The stress of upcoming holidays can overshadow the joy of spending time with family, exchanging gifts, nibbling on holiday goodies and relaxing with friends. No one wants to be too frazzled to enjoy what the holidays are all about. Here are some tips for memorable holidays:
- 1. Sit down with your family and talk about the meaning of the holiday.
- Have each person think about the most essential things about the holiday to him/her. What would really be missed if you didn’t do it together as a family? What can you do for others who may find it difficult to have a happy holiday? Not only will this be helpful to others, but it will also be a big boost to your health and happiness.
- What will each person do to help get ready for the holiday? Make a list of who will do what when.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of the Capital Region Helping New York’s Capital Region Improving Lives and Communitie. the January 2014 Regional Calendar is available by clicking on the link for the document below.
To get a complete list of all Cornell Cooperative Extension’s programs and events in the Capital Region please go to: http://ccecapitalregion.org/home.aspx
Find us on:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/browse/admined_pages/?id=100000858850325#!/CCECapitalRegion
OR Twitter - https://twitter.com/CCECapitalReg Cornell Cooperative Extension offers equal program opportunity and is an equal opportunity employ
Take a Fresh Look at Nature with Project FeederWatch
A new season for the Project FeederWatch citizen-science project kicked off on
November 9, 2013. Anyone with an interest in birds and nature is invited to be part of
the action. FeederWatch has a fresh new look for its 27th season, plus new web tools
that make participation and exploration even easier and more fun. Project FeederWatch
is a joint research and education project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird
Join the tens of thousands of people who keep tabs on the birds that come to their
feeders from November through April. Participants submit their observations to the
Cornell Lab of Ornithology. These long-term data from across North America could not
be gathered any other way. Observations help reveal important patterns in bird
distribution and numbers that may be changing over time at a continental scale or in a
participant’s own backyard.
Birding will be Focus for Cooperative Extension’s Annual Meeting on November 20th
Cornell Cooperative Extension in Fulton and Montgomery Counties has scheduled its annual meeting and program for Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Shirley J. Luck Center at 109 East Main Street in Johnstown, New York. The event is open to the public.
In addition to the evening’s business meeting, dessert reception, and review of board and committee election results, the program will have a special focus on birding and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s citizen science activities in local environments. The featured speaker for the evening will be Chris Keefer, a bird enthusiast from Carlisle, New York, who will share a presentation about the “Wonders of Birding” complete with slides of local birds. Ms. Keefer helped Cornell Cooperative Extension in Fulton and Montgomery Counties this past summer with the piloting of components of the Nature Detectives curriculum developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Birding has been a lifelong hobby for Chris Keefer who has almost reached a life list goal of 500 birds. Ms. Keefer wrote a weekly column for twenty years for the Daily Gazette in Schenectady entitled “Birding Trips and Trivia”. She has taught birding to adults and youth including bird walks and environmental education for organizations and groups like SUNY Cobleskill, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Environmental Clearinghouse of Schenectady, Thacher Nature Center, Huyck Preserve, Victor Emanuel Tours, New York Bluebird Society, Landis Arboretum and Heldeberg Workshop.
Individuals interested in participating in Cooperative Extension’s annual meeting and program are requested to make reservations on or before Monday, November 18, 2013 by calling 673-5525 ext. 113, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending to CCEFM at 50 East Main Street in Canajoharie, NY 13317. The cost for the evening event is $5.00 per person preferably payable before November 20th, but also accepted at the door that evening.
Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.
These classes are now full and have a lengthy wait-list! Thank you for all the interest!!!!
With the holidays around the corner the Master Gardeners are planning two holiday classes where the general public can come learn how to make wreaths and kissing balls. All materials will be supplied and participants will leave with the wreaths that they make. The two classes and the details are listed below.
- "Learn to Make a Kissing Ball and Pine Cone Wreath" (Thursday, November 21st) : This class will be held at 6 p.m. at the Shirley J. Luck Senior Citizen Center 109 East Main St. Johnstown. Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Mary Ann Charon, Joan Eckler and Bob Farrell will show you how to create your own kissing ball and pine cone wreath during this hands-on workshop. Instructors will demonstrate the techniques and participants will each make an evergreen kissing ball and a pine cone wreath. All materials will be supplied. Class is limited to 15 participants—Register on or before November 14th. Must have at least 5 to hold workshop. Cost is $10 per person payable at registration. To register: Call Cornell Cooperative Extension, 518-673-5525 ext 113.
- " Learn to Make Natural Wreaths" (Tuesday, December 3rd): This class will be held at 6 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office 50 East Main Street, Lower Level, (United Methodist Church), Canajoharie, NY. Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Mary Ann Charon, Joan Eckler and Bob Farrell as they show you how to create your own wreaths during this hands-on workshop. Instructors will demonstrate the techniques and participants will each make two wreaths—one pinecone and one balsam . All materials will be supplied. Class is limited to 15 participants—Register on or before November 26th. Must have at least 5 to hold workshop. Cost is $10 per person payable at registration. To register: Call Cornell Cooperative Extension, 518-673-5525 ext 113.