Greetings from UCCE Central Sierra!

It's May and we'll soon be moving into the warmer months of the year. Those April showers certainly lived up to their name - all of the new flowers outside are beautiful!

While we anticipate the coming of warmer weather, we are preparing for all kinds of events including the Master Food Preservers' annual Jr. Jams & Jellies class, forestry workshops, the Master Gardeners' annual Kid's Day in the Garden event and plant sales, and more! Don't forget to mark your calendars for local Farmers' Markets as well. We are looking for a few great people to join our team, and as always, we have so much to offer, so please read on to discover they many events and opportunities offered throughout the Central Sierra.

JoLynn Miller
University of California
Cooperative Extension
Central Sierra Nevada
Multi-County Partnership (MCP)
The Central Sierra foothill region produces a wide variety of agriculture commodities. The University of California brings research and outreach to area farms to assist with growing and cultural practices, pest and disease management, and more!
Regional Meat Supply Chain Meeting in Jamestown

On April 5th, UC Cooperative Extension facilitated a meeting between producers from the Central Sierra, and an organization called Roots of Change, in Jamestown, Tuolumne County. This organization is trying to gauge the interest from small and mid-scale livestock producers in Northern California to sell meat to high end restaurants, universities, hospitals, etc.
Roots of Change’s goal is to “Explore development of regional product identities and connecting with restaurants and other markets in the Sacramento region & Bay Area”.

  • Greater local and regional access to processing and high value markets that increase profits for farmers and ranchers.
  • Commercially viable business models for small and mid-scale processors.
  • Reliable supply of high value meat products for chefs, food service, and other consumers.

Twenty-one participants from Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, including ranchers, county supervisors and representatives for county ag departments, attended the collaborative meeting. It was a great turn out and we hope it will be an opportunity for some of the ranchers in the Central Sierra to direct-market their products. We are very thankful to everyone who took the time to attend that meeting.
Photos: (left) Patrick Huber from the UC Davis Food Systems Lab is introducing the program.
(right) Michael Rimrock from Roots of Change fills in the details of the program, and engage the audience for a Q&A session.

If you were not able to attend but are interested in this program, here is a zoom link from a previous online meeting that happened on March 27th with ranchers from Napa, Solano and Yolo counties. 
Watch Zoom Recording (password: .cquM3M!)
Take the Roots of Change Survey
Roots of Change is inviting everyone who wants to stay engaged to fill out their producer or slaughter / processor survey to help them prepare for engagement with other sectors of the supply chain.
The survey takes just a few minutes to complete, and provides a snapshot of the volumes and types of meat animals being produced in each region, with a little about certifications and management practices on your ranches--or for slaughter / processors, the types of animals processed, services offered, etc. If you've already filled this out -- thank you!
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For more information about these and other opportunities, please contact:
  • Flavie Audoin, UC Cooperative Extension, Livestock & Natural Resources Advisor
  • Scott Oneto, UC Cooperative Extension, Farm Advisor
  • Doris Meier, Roots of Change, Program Manager
Organic Livestock Parasite Survey
Survey deadline extended to May 31, 2023

UC Davis School of VetMed Extension is conducting a survey for cattle, sheep, or goat producers that are:
  • certified organic
  • in transition to be certified, or
  • implementing organic practices
The goal is to learn about the use of dewormer drugs and integrated parasite management practices and their perceived efficacy.
Survey results will help to identify critical areas that need additional research or extension services related to parasites management in organic production.
Interested in free Anaplasmosis testing of your herd? 

Anaplasma marginale is spread by ticks and through blood-contaminated instruments and can cause anaplasmosis, a potentially fatal disease in cattle. Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease of ruminants caused by intracellular bacteria that infect red blood cells, causing fever and anemia. 

There is a strong correlation between age of cattle and severity of disease. Calves are much more resistant to disease (although not infection) than older cattle. This resistance is not due to colostral antibody from immune dams. In endemic areas where cattle first become infected with A. marginale early in life, losses due to anaplasmosis are minimal. After recovery from the acute phase of infection, cattle remain chronically infected carriers but are generally immune to further clinical disease. However, these chronically infected cattle may relapse to anaplasmosis when immunosuppressed (eg, by corticosteroids), when infected with other pathogens, Carriers serve as a reservoir for further transmission. Serious losses occur when mature cattle with no previous exposure are moved into endemic areas or under endemically unstable situations when transmission rates are insufficient to ensure that all cattle are infected before reaching the more susceptible adult age (Source:

Researchers at UC Davis are looking for volunteer cow-calf producers to participate in a study to determine the risk factors for Anaplasma marginale infection in adult cattle. This research is supported by a grant from the Russell L. Rustici Rangeland and Cattle Research Endowment.

What do you need to be eligible?
  • A cow-calf herd with at least 10 adult cows.
  • Adult cows over 2 years old.

What do you need to know?
  • It is free and you will get your results within days. 
  • The research team will come take blood samples when you are already working your cattle.
  • Locations and names will remain confidential.

The research team would like to have the blood samples collected before your herd goes to your mountain pastures. Questions? Contact Flavie Audoin or Dr. Gabriele Maier directly. More Information
Forests and woodlands in the Central Sierra Nevada are beautiful, extensive, diverse and owned by both public and private landowners. Active management is needed to reduce forest density and to help forests recover after wildfire. The goal of the Central Sierra forestry program is to empower landowners to overcome these challenges.
Online May 3-June 28, 2023 & In-Person (Fresno Co.) May 20, 2023

Join the workshop to understand and protect your forests by developing a Forest Management Plan. Topics include:
  • Forest management objectives and planning
  • Forest health, insects and disease
  • Forest and fire ecology, wildlife, watersheds
  • Fuels reduction and forest resource marketing
  • Mapping, inventory and silviculture
  • Project development & permitting
  • Getting professional help and cost-share opportunities

Participants will utilize online resources on their own time to complete learning modules and short activities. Zoom meetings with all participants and presenters will take place once a week on Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm. The in-person field day will cover silviculture, forest inventory and mapping activities. Participants who complete the workshop will be eligible for a free site visit with a California Registered Professional Forester.

Contact Kim Ingram with questions or for more information. Cost for the workshop is $60. Register Here
May 16, 2023 | 6:00-8:00PM

Join UC ANR, CAL FIRE, the USFS, and American Forests to discuss the need for cone and seed collection to aid in California’s reforestation efforts, and how private forest landowners can be part of the solution. Register Here
Register for the webinar to learn more about:
  • American Forests’ Cone Corps
  • Sought after species and seed zones
  • The reforestation cycle
  • How to report cone crops - Online app
  • Agency and landowner collaboration efforts
  • Field day opportunity Friday, June 16th at Blodgett Research Forest
Contact Kim Ingram with questions or for more information.
May 18, 2023 | 6:00-7:30PM

The Forest Legacy Program is a conservation program administered by CAL FIRE to encourage the protection of privately owned forest land through conservation easements or land purchases. This program is composed of both a State grant program as well as a Federal grant Program administered by the US Forest Service. Join the webinar to learn more! Register Here
Webinar topics include:
  • How the Forest Legacy Program benefits private forest landowners
  • Information on the Community Forest Legacy Program for local and tribal governments or qualified nonprofits
  • CAL FIRE solicitation process
  • US Forest Service funds
  • Conservation easement purchases by land trusts and conservancies, including the Sierra Foothill Conservancy
  • Landowner Forest Legacy Program experiences
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Preserving forestland through the Forest Legacy Program

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Join UC ANR’s Woody Biomass and Wood Products Advisor Cindy Chen, and Phoenix Energy’s Greg Stangl for discussions around:
  • Biomass and renewable energy possibilities
  • The history and goals of the project, and
  • A tour of the equipment and machinery.
Participants will be provided hard hats which are required to be worn throughout the tour. Tour is FREE but limited to the first 30 people. Register Here

Join us for:
  • Discussions around small tree and shrub management options
  • Pile construction techniques;
  • Demonstrations and hands-on activities with various vegetation management hand tools; and
  • Tool safety and care discussions.
Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite vegetation management hand tools. Workshop is FREE but limited to the first 30 people. Contact Kim Ingram with questions. Register Here
The 4-H Youth Development Program offers educational opportunities for children, teens, families, and adults. 4-H helps young people to reach their full potential as competent, confident, leaders of character who contribute and are connected to their communities.
4-H Program Representative | Placerville, CA

The Placerville Office is seeking a 4-H Community Education Specialist! This position's primary focus will be on conducting, managing, and evaluating an education program to improve the environment of the schools and communities in El Dorado County. The position is a benefited career appointment that is 80% variable. Ideal candidates will have general knowledge of the 4-H Youth Development Program, experience with volunteer management, event planning, and a desire to teach and grow.
The Importance of Pollinators
by Lilly Himmel, CA 4-H Pollinator Habitat Project Member

Pollinators are an important part of our ecosystem. This group encompasses flies, wasps, beetles, bats, bees, hummingbirds, lemurs, butterflies, and many more. They directly pollinate (and therefore produce) about one third of all our food. They also pollinate about ninety percent of all wild plants.

Bees are one of the most widely recognized pollinators, and about eighty percent of our pollinated food is thanks to bees. Some pollinators can see ultraviolet light, invisible to the human eye. Depending on the pollinator, colors can help attract them to flowers. The flying insects seem to prefer colorful, widespread flowers, while nocturnal pollinators prefer pale, easily visible flowers.

Foods that grow thanks to pollinators include stone fruits, melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, squashes, and many more. Apple trees are another one of the plants pollinated by bees, and in the 1990’s farmers in China tried to experiment with this idea and cut down huge swaths of forest, and replaced it with apple trees. They were trying to sell apples as a cash crop and for a few years this worked, then the trees quit producing. The bees, left without habitat, had died off. The farmers realized this, but couldn’t bring the bees back overnight, so people had to do the pollinating in place of the bees. It was much more expensive, and much slower, so the farmers planted native trees to reestablish the pollinator population and today hand pollination is rare. It’s important to keep this in mind when thinking of our own country. Very simply, if you don’t have habitat you don’t have pollinators. Seed bombs are a fun and easy project to help encourage pollinator habitat growth.
Make Your Own Seed Bombs!
Courtesy of NASA's Climate Kids

Want to have some fun while making the world a greener, more environmentally-friendly place? Make exploding balls of seeds that are both fun to throw and an easy way to grow native wildflowers. All you have to do is throw them at a patch of dirt and watch it explode! Once it rains (or you water them), they have everything they need to grow. They also make great gifts! Put them in a paper bag and give them to all your friends.

When you are making your seed balls, use native wildflower seeds. If you make your seed balls with the right seeds, you could be doing the world a lot of good! Not only can your new plants make an area more beautiful, but also they can help rebuild natural ecosystems and take planet-warming greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
🐝 🦋 🌻
El Dorado County 4-H Ambassadors led a Seed Bomb Service Project at their Skills Day event on April 15th. Members made these seed bombs to donate to the California 4-H Pollinator Habitat Project.
If you are interested in joining a 4-H project like this or others, or if you are interested in volunteering to help the 4-H youth grow and achieve, please contact your local 4-H Office or email
Enroll NOW for the 2022-2023 Program Year!
UCCE Master Gardeners are community members who have been trained under the direction of the University of California Cooperative Extension. Each volunteer has completed more than 50 hours of formal classroom training to provide practical scientific gardening information to the home gardeners.
Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 9:00AM-12:00PM
Demonstration Garden 1332 Jackson Gate Rd, Jackson

Learn how to turn household food waste into "garden gold"! Whether you live in an apartment or on acreage, learn to reduce what is sent to the landfill by composting your kitchen scraps and yard waste. In this informative class, Amador County Master Gardeners will demonstrate practical composting methods, along with instructions on how to build, maintain, and harvest your own compost pile. Class is free, no reservation required.
Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 9:00AM-11:00PM
Demonstration Garden 1332 Jackson Gate Rd, Jackson

Join UC Master Gardeners in the Heritage Rose Garden, Propagation House and Veggie beds to learn more about sustainable gardening. Volunteers are on hand to give tours and answer questions. Admission is free, no reservation required.
Every Friday & Saturday | 9:00AM-12:00PM

Need garden inspiration? There are 16 individual demonstrations gardens ranging from the Shade Garden to the Rock Garden and everything in between.

Master Gardeners are committed to educating the general public on sustainable horticulture and pest management based on traditional, current, and evolving research. Sherwood Demonstration Garden is designed to provide the public with a hands-on, interactive experience about research-based, sustainable gardening practices specific to the west slope of El Dorado County, appropriate for all ages and cultures, and reflective of a variety of environments and gardening experiences.

Please visit our Calendar of Events to download a flyer with all of our fun garden activities this month.
Culinary Herbs
May 9, 2023
Controlling Weeds 
May 10, 2023
Making Worms Work for You
May 13, 2023
Master Gardeners Go to Market
Visit with UCCE Master Gardener volunteers at both the El Dorado Hills and Placerville farmers markets! Bring your questions and garden conversations. Local vegetable planting guides are available for $5 as well as other UC gardening books. Check out the calendar for dates and times.
Register Now for First Annual Grow Your Own Festival!
June 2, 2023 | 3:00-7:00PM

What does it take to grow your own edible garden at a high elevation? Registration is now open for the First Annual Grow Your Own Festival at South Lake Tahoe. 

At the event, UCCE Master Gardeners of Lake Tahoe will be providing informative hands-on demonstrations and will be available to answer all your questions about what grows best in our region. They will cover topics such as plant selection, soil preparation, watershed friendly practices, and pest control. Additional demonstrations and vendors will be exhibiting container gardens, raised garden beds, compost, and more. The festival is June 2, but the time to register is now. Availability is very limited. REGISTER HERE 
Saturday, May 6, 2023 | 10:00AM - 1:00PM

Start your garden right with plants grown in Tuolumne County! This year we are expecting a wide variety of vegetables including several varieties of tomatoes, peppers, onions and eggplant, as well as rosemary, figs and a number of other surprises.
Plant sales support a number of Master Gardeners activities such as Open Garden Days, school garden activities, and other educational programs. Prices are based on your generous donations so come promptly at 10:00am to get the best selection. Cash or checks gladly accepted, sorry no credit or debit cards. Please bring your own trays, boxes, etc. to carry your treasures away. As always, there will be Master Gardeners available to help with your plant selections.
Questions about your home garden or landscape?
Interested in upcoming classes and events?
UCCE Master Gardeners are available to answer your questions!
The UCCE Master Food Preserver program trains dedicated volunteers to assist the county UC Cooperative Extension staff provide up-to-date food preservation information. Our current program is active in El Dorado, Amador, Tuolumne, and Calaveras counties.

Did you know that pressure canners with only a dial gauge need to be tested annually to ensure dial gauges are accurate? If your dial gauge is not accurate, it is not correctly reading pressure which may result in under or over processing and unsafe food.

UCCE Master Food Preservers of El Dorado, Amador/Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties have devices to test Presto Brand pressure canner gauges and offer free pressure gauge testing at our offices. Call the office nearest you to set up a drop off of your canner and you will receive a phone call when it has been tested and is ready for pickup. Usually, testing can be done within a week Please contact the UC Master Food Preservers nearest you for details.
If you need to mail your gauge in to be tested, please send it in with our Pressure Canner Gauge Testing Waiver signed, with a prepaid label for us to use to return it to you.

Join the UCCE Master Food Preservers for a general Q&A session. A panel of volunteers specializing in freezing, dehydrating, canning, and food safety will be available to answer your questions, share their tips and encourage you to safely preserve food at home.

May is hosted by the UC Master Food Preservers of San Bernardino County. We will discuss recipes that we have preserved and how they turned out. We'd love to hear what you've made - or want to make or just answer questions you have. Join us and get ideas from other participants.

Registration is free and must be done any time before and during the session. You will receive the link to the session in the registration confirmation email. Register Here

Do you want to learn to can, but don’t know where to start? Here’s your chance to learn the basics of boiling water canning. We will teach you all the terminology, tools, and techniques needed to start canning on your own. Class is free, but space is limited so pre-registration recommended. Register Here

Mother Nature may be a little confused about spring, but the UC Master Food Preservers of Amador/Calaveras Counties are working hard to get you ready to preserve all those delicious fruits of spring. Let us show you what to do with cherries, apricots, rhubarb, strawberries, mangoes, and pineapple. There’s chutneys and jams, vinegars and pie fillings, even dehydrated fruit and a sweet and sour jam using a sugar substitute. Registration is $5 per person. Space is limited so pre-registration recommended. Register Here
American Sign Language Integrated into Amador Workshop Becomes an Aspirational Model

With their first public workshop fully supported by interpreters of American Sign Language (ASL), the Master Food Preservers of Amador County’s March 28 Preserving Meat class presented a model for future classes, inclusive of a historically under-served population of students.

Responding to a request put forward by a community member who had signed up for the class, Community Education Supervisor Sue Mosbacher started the process of finding an ASL interpreter and subsequently creating visual materials to support her lesson. Locating a reputable resource for ASL support in the workshop was only the first step. In order to hire a subcontractor, there are a number of procedural and budgetary considerations, and these all came through in time for this class. 

This single workshop is an important step in our move toward an environment that is equitable for all. 

Inclusion is “the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued as a fully participating member. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people. Inclusion integrates the fact of diversity and embeds it into the core academic mission and institutional functioning.” 
Ask a UC Master Food Preserver online, any time! Plus sign up to get e-news, event updates and free class schedules delivered to your inbox each month. Subscribe Here
Through the CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) UCCE Central Sierra program, we teach free classes in local schools, community centers, libraries, and other public locations. Our classes show people how to choose, grow, cook, and enjoy affordable healthy foods, and how to make physical activity a regular and fun part of life. We also work to create environments where it’s easier for people to make healthy choices, by supporting school wellness policies, community and school gardens, walking clubs, and more.
CalFresh Community Education Supervisor 2 | Placerville, CA

The Community Education Supervisor 2 is responsible for overseeing the design, delivery, management, and evaluation of the Central Sierra CFHL, UCCE Program for low income adults and youth. This includes supervising, training and guiding nutrition education extenders, developing and implementing a yearly work plan, developing and overseeing yearly budgets, evaluating work plan objectives, and writing reports. Apply Now
CalFresh Community Education Specialist 1 or 2 | San Andreas, CA

This position is a career appointment that is 100% fixed and is being advertised as either a Community Education Specialist (CES) 1 or 2 depending on the level of experience of the hired applicant. If hired as a CES 1, they will be hired in a learning role. If hired as a CES 2, duties would include providing leadership, mentoring to interns staff, and CES 1 staff. As well as actively promoting policy, system and environmental changes at educational sites. Apply Now
CalFresh Community Education Specialist 2 | Sonora, CA

The Community Education Specialist 2 will be responsible for the coordination, management, and delivery of nutrition education to community-based adults and/or youth. This position's primary focus will be on conducting, managing, and evaluating a nutrition education program to improve the environment of the school and community. This position is a career appointment that is 100% fixed. Apply Now
May Harvest of the Month: Lettuce

Are you a salad eater? Lots of Americans are; in fact, lettuce is the second most popular vegetable in the country. Can you guess the first*?

Not all types of salad greens are equal. According to the CDC there are four main varieties of lettuce: butterhead, crisp head, looseleaf, and Romaine. Leaves with greater pigmentation or darker leaves contain more antioxidants and nutrients. Crisp head lettuce varieties, like iceberg, have high water content, cooler-colored leaves, and less nutritional value. But they can hold the blue cheese just as well. 

Depending on the lettuce variety, one cup of salad greens provides an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, folate, and vitamin C. Throw on some crispy bell peppers, juicy cukes, sweet tomatoes, crunchy sunflower seeds, and some of that aforementioned dressing and you’ve got lunch. 

If you’re not a salad eater, there’s still lots of ways to enjoy lettuce. Like instead of a bun, wrapped around a hamburger. Or, in a recipe like this one for a Turkey Ginger Rice Wrap.

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¾ pound lean ground turkey (15% fat)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger or 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder or 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 8 large lettuce leaves
  1. In a small bowl, blend the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and hot sauce.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté turkey, celery and carrot until the turkey begins to brown, 10 minutes. Break turkey into crumbles as it cooks.
  3. Add ginger and garlic. Cook 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in soy sauce mixture and water chestnuts. Cook 2 minutes longer.
  5. Stir in cooked rice. Heat through.
  6. Serve in lettuce leaves.
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More UCCE Central Sierra Programs
California is reopening all activities statewide, but it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over and COVID-19 remains a health threat. As we plan and implement a return to in-person ANR programs, we should stay informed about COVID-19 trends statewide and in our communities. Here are a few resources from the CDPH and other trusted sources.
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