Field and Forest, by Richard Gast

Thanksgiving traditions celebrate harvest foods

Thanksgiving is an American holiday. And traditions are a big part of the Thanksgiving holiday. No, not the tradition of decadently stuffing yourself to the point of absurdity. And not the tradition of passing out on the couch during the second half of the Redskins/Cowboys game or cheering as ...

Growing truly gigantic pumpkins

It's a traditional competitive sport ... one that requires hard work, determination, discipline, attentiveness, patience and the ability to anticipate.It continues to grow in appreciation; not just in this country, but internationally. Fall is the time of final defeat for most, victory for a ...

Celebrating National 4-H Week

At Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County, we're marking National 4-H Week, an annual celebration of 4-H observed during the first full week of October.CCE celebrates the week by acknowledging the positive impacts that membership in 4-H has had on our club members, as well as the ...

Free ‘Save Energy, Save Dollars’ workshops

Energy consumption can vary greatly from one household to another. Factors that can affect fuel and electricity usage include unusually cold or warm weather, a new baby, children home from school, visitors, an illness, even the addition of a new appliance.I can still hear my dad asking me to ...

Prolonging the harvest season

It's been an unusually hot summer., but autumn weather is drawing near. If you want to protect your garden plants and extend the harvest season, it's time to prepare.Hopefully, it won't be too late by the time you read this. The Old Farmers' Almanac says there's a 50 percent chance of first ...

Looking for fall garden color? Mum’s the word

Chrysanthemums in an extensive and often stunning variety of color and form, are (or will soon be) readily available at most area garden centers, greenhouses, farmers markets, supermarkets and variety stores.When it comes to perking up late-summer and early fall landscapes, hardy mums should be ...

When the well runs dry

It's been a hot, dry summer. And as I sit down to write this, there continues to be only scattered showers in the 10-day forecast. Franklin, Clinton, Essex and St. Lawrence counties are under a state Department of Environmental Conservation-issued drought watch, which encompasses all of eastern ...

Check out 4-H at the Franklin County Fair

4-H is almost certainly the most highly recognized of all Cooperative Extension programs. It's one of the leading youth organizations in North America and one of the largest youth programs in the world. 4-H currently serves almost 6 million youth members in the United States, alone.4-H offers ...

Emerald ash borer expands in range

On July 7, the state Department of Environmental Conservation reported finding an adult emerald ash borer in a DEC monitoring trap in Rome, New York. This is the first time that the insect has been detected in Oneida County. This means the presence of emerald ash borer is now confirmed in 35 of ...

Monarch butterflies returning to the North Country

The monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus (Greek translation: sleepy transformation), may be the most recognized butterfly species in the world. Monarchs are the Official State Insect of Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Minnesota, Vermont, and West Virginia.They are remarkably beautiful, medium sized ...

Enjoy the Adirondack Harvest

As a region, northern New York has lost way too many family farms. And we continue to lose dollars that might otherwise remain in our rural communities to farmers and growers elsewhere, while too many of us remain completely out of touch with the efforts and the productivity of our local ...

Celebrate National Dairy Month

June is the start of summer: the season of fresh fruit, iced coffee, blender drinks, backyard barbecues with family and friends, hiking, fishing, swimming, the longest break of the school year and ice cream.Speaking of ice cream, June is also National Dairy Month - a great time to enjoy fresh, ...

Introduce your children to gardening

If you're looking for healthy recreational, outdoor activities that you can share and enjoy with your children, why not introduce them to gardening? Gardening teaches children to better appreciate nature and to respect their environment, while providing frequent opportunities to share quality ...

Spring a leek

"We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic." - Numbers: 11:5----I mention this Bible passage because, dating back to ancient Egypt, it is the oldest reference to leeks that I'm aware of.Every year around ...

Accessibility for gardening

Over the years, I've had the good fortune of knowing several devoted gardeners who, limited only by their imagination and resourcefulness, have crafted and tended remarkable gardens for years. They remain a constant source of inspiration.I've also worked with a number of dedicated direct care ...

Managing private forests for the long term

Over 60 percent of New York state is forested. And of the state's 18.6 million acres of forest, more than 80 percent is privately owned.Some of the forest owners I talk with have inherited land that has been in their family for generations. Others have more recently purchased their property for ...

Pruning apple trees

Apple trees (or any other fruit trees, for that matter), if they're going to produce quality fruit, require regular maintenance. Pruning is fundamental. We prune to improve structure, flowering and fruiting. And most commercial orchard owners will tell you that no other practice improves the ...

Take a sugarbush tour during Maple Weekend

It's mud season, although I prefer to think of the time of transition from winter to spring as maple syrup season.This is sap producing weather, and experienced maple producers, as well as beginners, are busy making maple syrup. Sap buckets can be seen hanging on aging roadside sugar maples, ...

Education offered for maple syrup season

Sugar maples (Acer saccharum) are deciduous trees that mature in 30 to 40 years, generally growing to between 70 and 90 feet tall, but able to achieve heights in excess of 100 feet under optimum conditions. They are common throughout much of the northeastern United States and in several eastern ...

2016 sugaring season starts early

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Centers for Environmental Information, 29 states, including every state east of the Mississippi River, set records for the warmest December in recorded history (dating back to 1895) in 2015.Nationally, December 2015 was 6 ...