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University of California Cooperative Extension Central Sierra News

Serving Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado and Tuolumne counties

October 2012


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Lake Tahoe Master Gardener Training Under way

The UCCE Master Gardener program is coming to the Lake Tahoe Basin! The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) - Central Sierra, in partnership with the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, is launching the inaugural Lake Tahoe Master Gardener (MG) volunteer program.  We are currently training a class of eighteen stellar Master Gardeners, who will soon be ready to assist the basin community with research-based information about home horticulture and gardening. (Continue reading...


Hotel Impossible in Calaveras?

Hotel Impossible - Historic Hotel Leger

Historic Hotel Leger - Hotel Impossible

The travel show, Hotel Impossible arrived in Calaveras County. Historic Hotel Leger in Mokelumne Hill was chosen for a "hotel makeover." Calaveras Master Gardeners were recruited by County Supervisor, Steve Wilensky to take charge of the volunteer landscape crew. Over 200 local volunteers were involved in painting, carpentry, concrete work, and landscaping. Master Gardener, Novella Springer volunteered to take charge of the landscape crew. Novella organized the crew, came up with a plan and the landscape plan was successfully carried out. The show should air sometime in January or February. We will keep you informed as to the viewing schedule.


4-H Events


4-H Logo - Transparent4-H


Enrollment Open


Enrollment Open

El Dorado
Enrollment Open

Enrollment Open


MFP Training


Would you like to learn how to safely preserve food and help teach our communities safe food preservation. The Master Food Preservers is a great group of volunteers. The Program Training for Amador/Calaveras counties is gearing up to begin. Please put your name on our interest list to receive more information about training if you would like to join our program.


MFP Classes


MFP Logo - TransparentFree Classes Offered by


10-20: Vinegars, Mustards & Condiments

10-2: Apples, Pears & More
10-9: Cranberries, Winter Squash & Turkey
10-16: Olives
10-23: Persimmons, Kiwi & Nuts


MG Classes


MG Logo - TransparentFree Gardening Classes offered by Master Gardeners


10-13: Fall in the Garden

10-27: Open Garden & Plant Sale

El Dorado
10-6: Succulents
10-13: Propagation II
10-20: Composting
10-27: African Violets

10-6: Fall Planting: Natives & Bulbs



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Should you need assistance or require special accommodations for any of our educational programs, please contact us at 530-621-5502. 


University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) wants to keep you informed about what's happening! We host many workshops throughout the year, as well as the Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver Programs conducting free classes open to the public. You will also find up-to-date 4-H information inside this newsletter.  Please read on for more information!

News & Updates


Susie Kocher: New UCCE Advisor

Susie Kocher, Natural Resources Advisor

Susie Kocher, Natural Resources Advisor

Susie Kocher now has a career position as the UCCE advisor in Central Sierra for forestry and natural resources. For the past six years, she has been grant-funded and serving as an advisor for natural resources, focusing on reducing the negative impacts of wildfire from her base in South Lake Tahoe. To reach more land owners and resource managers, she has developed the Forest Research and Outreach website and the forest stewardship webinar series.


As a member of the Central Sierra multi-county partnership, she will be serving El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. She will be starting with a needs assessment within the Central Sierra to meet people and find out what the issues are that would be a priority for addressing with her work in the future.

She will continue to coordinate the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project outreach team, which is monitoring the effects of forest fuels reduction projects in two national forests in the Sierra Nevada.

Kocher can be reached at (530) 542-2571 and


New Amador County Nutrition Educator 

We'd like to welcome our newest employee, Novella Springer who has accepted the Family Nutrition Educator position in Amador County.  Her first day was September 17, 2012. 

Amador County Nutrition Educator Novella Springer

Novella has over fifteen years of experience working in the public services arena.  In addition to her work experience Novella has been a UC Master Gardener for two years and has recently completed the UC Master Food Preserver training. 


As a Family Nutrition Educator, Novella is responsible for providing nutrition education to limited resource families throughout Amador County. She will be working with a variety of community based organizations and the majority of elementary schools in Amador County.

Novella will work closely with all members of the UCCE Nutrition Program team. Her office is located in the General Services Administration building in Amador County.

Thanks for joining us in welcoming Novella to the UCCE Central Sierra team.


Keep Your Socks On!

Keep your socks on! Please!! That is therequest from a group of wildlife researchers in the Sierra who are part of the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project. Back in December of 2011 they made a small plea for single separated socks to use as bait socks in their study. In the viral nature of media these days the story went far and wide. Over the nextnine months they got packages

Thank you for all the socks!

Boxes & Boxes of socks.

from over 30 states and 3 countries! Hundreds of boxes arrived bearing many carefully collected stray socks, gathered over years. The boxes came from mothers, fathers, neighborhoods, even Girl Scout groups and Elementary School classes. We were appreciative, no longer having to buy socks for the job. Then that appreciation started stacking up in the spare room.......and then into the hall.  Nine months later the socks are still arriving and the team now begs your mercy!

Fisher Socks Project

Thank you for all your sock donations!

We love that you have been thinking of us, and making heroic efforts to recycle for our planet's health. Kudos to you! But unless you can think of another large use for single socks, we have ENOUGH socks for this job. We have considered sock rugs, sock bird feeders and even tried them as seedling cups in the garden. We have the best "socked" crew in the business.  So thank you! All of your efforts were very much appreciated.  But Please, keep your socks on!


4-H Enrollment is Now Open!4-H Logo - Transparent

Enrollment to be eligible for fair for returning 4-H members started July 1st and ends October 15th. To be eligible for fair, new members must enroll by December 3rd. Please log onto the California State 4-H Online Enrollment system to begin the process. Families who used the 4-H enrollment online system last year should already be in the system and will only have to update their information. To make things easier this year, youth will not have to turn in a paper "Waiver of Liability" form to the office. Within the online enrollment system, make sure to check the box asking you to accept the "Waiver of Liability." Club Leaders and Project Leaders still need a paper copy of the Medical Release and Health History for each youth. We encourage you to use the online payment system using a credit card. This can be found on the UCCE Central Sierra 4-H Join Now web page.

If you have any questions regarding the enrollment process for the current year, please call Jolynn Miller at (209) 533-5686. If you have specific questions about the process of enrollment, please contact Nancy Starr, our Enrollment Coordinator, at (530) 621-5503.


Rethink Your Drink!!

How much sugar

How much sugar is in your drink?

Ever wonder what's in your favorite drink? The answer may surprise you. That soda, sports' drink, yummy flavored coffee/tea drink, energy drink and even that vitamin/mineral/fruit infused water may be loaded with sugar. The average sweetened beverage contains anywhere from 10 - 15 teaspoons of sugar per serving and many bottles contain 2 or more servings. That could mean a whopping 30+ teaspoons of sugar! I don't think many of us would add that much sugar to our coffee, tea or water. And I think most parents would never allow their children to sit down and eat that much sugar but every time we give our children a sugar sweetened beverage that is what is happening. (continue reading...


Events & Workshops


Ties to the Land  - Forest Landowner Workshops 

The University of California is hosting a two-part workshop series on succession planning to help forest landowners learn simple techniques to pass their land and its legacy on to the next generation. The firstworkshop is being offered at 7 locations throughout California.

The first part of the workshop series will be held from 6 to 8 P.M. in the locations below;

Auburn on October 30th, 

Jackson on November 13th, and

Sacramento on November 15th.  

Forested Land

Forest Land

The second part of the workshop series will be held in January/February of 2013.

For more details or to register, see the


Growing Tree Fruits & Nuts: Two week course

Interested in learning the basics of fruit and nut tree management in a short period of time? University of California Cooperative Extension fruit and nut advisors and specialists and UC Davis plant sciences faculty will present a two-week pomology course, Feb. 25 through March 7, 2013, at the UC Davis Conference Center.

This course will cover the fundamentals of tree biology that are essential to making sound orchard management and business decisions, with a combination of lectures, hands-on exercises and field demonstrations. The instructors - led by Ted DeJong, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis - are experts in fruit and nut tree production with over 100 years of combined experience.

Growers, beginning farmers, community college students, university students and professionals working in tree fruit and nut production are encouraged to enroll in this Cooperative Extension course. After completing the course, participants will receive a certificate.

The fee for the entire course is $2,850 plus the cost of lodging for the field trips. Go to the Fruit and Nut Education Website for details and registration information. For more information, email Brooke Jacobs or (530) 752-4354. 


4-H National Youth Science Day:
Eco-Bot Challenge

ECO-Bot LogoSave the Date!


Where:  El Dorado Hills Public Library  7455 Silva Valley Parkway, El Dorado Hills, CA

When: October 6, 2012 from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

The 2012 National Science Experiment, the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge, explores how robots can be used to preserve and protect the environment, while offering a glimpse into the future of science, technology, engineering and math. Participants will build their own robots, program their robot to clean up a simulated environmental problem and measure effectiveness by recording data.


For more details see the Eco-Bots Challenge Flyer.

Take a peek at the 2011 experiment:

Thank you for your continued interest in the UC Cooperative Extension Central Sierra's news, workshops, and events.



Scott Oneto
University of California
Cooperative Extension
Central Sierra


The University of California working in cooperation with County Government and the United States Department of Agriculture.


The University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person in any of its programs or activities (Complete nondiscrimination policy statement can be found at  Inquiries regarding ANR's equal employment opportunity policies may be directed to Linda Marie Manton, Affirmative Action Contact, University of California, Davis, Agriculture and Natural Resources, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, (530) 752-0495.


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