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University of California Cooperative Extension Central Sierra News

Serving Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado & Tuolumne counties April 2013


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UCCE Nutrition Educator on the Tahoe Today Show Don't miss South Lake Tahoe's UCCE Nutrition Educator, Kathy Martinez, on the Tahoe Today Show. Learn more about the UCCE Nutrition Program Thursday, April 4th at 8am. Check your local channel.


Spring Bee Swarms

Photographer: Jack Kelly Clark, courtesy UC IPM

Photographer: Jack Kelly Clark, courtesy UC IPM

Spring brings a lot of people into our office with questions about plants and insects. And we get many inquiries about bee swarms. Bees begin migrating and may end up swarming into a tree or building on your property. These swarms are normally gentle and should move on, but if they don't you can contact a beekeeper to come and collect them. See Spring bee swarms are no cause for alarm for details about how to handle these situations.


Power Up with Breakfast 

Your mother was right when she told you breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Breakfast gives you energy to start the day. Get the morning nutrition you need with these quick breakfast ideas. (continue reading...


4-H Events


4-H Logo - Transparent4-H Dates 

4-13: 1st Annual "Tack-a-Holic" Tack swap fundraiser

4-20: Home Arts Day Exposition


4-20: Home Arts Exposition

El Dorado
Home Arts Day

4-20: Home Arts Day Exposition

5-11: Round Up /Chili Cook-Off

4-20:  Home Arts Day Exposition


MFP Classes


MFP Logo - TransparentFree Classes Offered by


4-6: Freezing & Dehydrating in Calaveras

El Dorado
Our Public Ed Classes will be back in July. 


MG Classes


MG Logo - TransparentFree Gardening Classes offered by Master Gardeners


4-13: Landscaping with Native & Drought Tolerant Plants; and Converting Lawns to Gardens


4-23: Spring Plant Sale
4-27: Propagation by Seed; and Top 20 Perennials for the Foothills 

El Dorado
4-6: Organic Gardening Part I
4-13: Organic Gardening Part II
4-20: Salsa Gardening
4-27: Landscaping with Trees and Shrubs
5-4: Spring Plant Sale

4-6: Berry Care, Rock Garden Care, and Tufa Toad Abodes Demo



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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, including free Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver classes open to the public. You will also find up-to-date 4-H news. Please read on for more information!

News & Updates


4-H Chili Cook-Off: Come join the fun!

California 4-H celebrates 100 years!
El Dorado County 4-H Youth Development Program will celebrate its centennial year in California by hosting an amazing community event & chili cook-off!

Chili Cook-Off 2012 pigeon release

Chili Cook-Off 2012 Pigeon release

Chili Cook-Off will be May 11, 2013 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. This is our one and only county-wide fundraiser for 4-H. 100% of funds raised from this event will remain in El Dorado County and are used for 4-H projects, volunteer training, outreach and scholarships. The event will be a fun and engaging community day showcasing the unique heritage. We anticipate over 1500 attendees. There will be activities for families, live music, games, rocketry and other project demonstrations, a craft fair as well as Chili Cook-Off, Tri-tip from Bridge's BBQ, silent auction and cake auction! Performing live will be El Dorado County's own Cynthia Rene as well as local folk musician Greg Costa.

You can help propel El Dorado County 4-H into the next 100 years! We need Chili Cooks to make the event more fun and successful. We need event sponsors, volunteers, craft vendors and silent auction item donations. If you can help in any of these areas, please let us know. Chili tasting tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased at the UCCE office, Minuteman Press, Arnolds for Awards or The Windfall. Please go to the El Dorado County 4-H Chili Cook-Off webpage to learn more. Or, contact the El Dorado County 4-H office at (530) 621-5503.

See you there!


Herbicide Nozzle and Weed Control Demonstration Field Day

Workshop attendees gather around.

Field Day attendees gather to see nozzle spray results.

Foothill growers had an opportunity to see the "weed badger" (in-row cultivator), the droplet size produced by six different nozzles and to rate their effectiveness at weed control compared to a an untreated control, at our field day held March 22 at grape grower and vineyard manager Bill Naylor's vineyard in Fair play. UCCE Weed Science Advisor Kurt Hembree (Fresno County) joined UCCE Central Sierra Farm Advisor Lynn Wunderlich to discuss nozzle performance at the Naylor vineyard where a replicated trial of the nozzles using the contact herbicide Rely was demonstrated. Wunderlich and Hembree stressed the opportunity for growers to try herbicide nozzles that canreduce drift in windy conditions while still giving similar weed control as the standard flat fan XR nozzle typically used. "Growers in the Valley love the AI (air induction) and TT (turbo teejet) nozzles because they can spray pretty confidently even in slightly windy conditions," Hembree said, "they know the product is hitting the target and not drifting off-site."  Wunderlich added that "there is no need to be wedded to just one nozzle anymore. These nozzles provide for drift reduction and at least as good of control as standard flat fan nozzles. Especially important when you want to make sure that a contact product like Rely doesn't land on any green growing vine parts or your neighbor's field, or a neighboring stream."


Events & Workshops


California Fire Science Webinars

Forested LandAre you interested in conifer encroachment in deciduous oak woodlands of the Pacific Northwest? Have you wondered about oak recovery thresholds and how well overtopped oaks respond to conifer removal treatments?

This presentation will address some of these questions. Dr. Harrington will present results from a 10-year study of Oregon white oak response to restoration release treatments, as well as additional information about tree growth under different restoration scenarios, providing important new understandings of the issue and some exciting management implications.

Webinar: April 30, 2013 - 11:00 am

See the California Fire Science Webinar webpage for registration and more details.


Protect the Value of Your Forest  

California forests are no longer natural. Human impacts have made them more prone to diseases, insects and wildfire. Just like your home, your forested land needs to be maintained.

Managing your land can protect it from devastating risks and threats, and can protect the value of your land. Start preserving your legacy by setting up a forest management plan today.

Setting up a forest management plan is easy with the help of our online e-learning site. We'll walk you through three basic steps to setting up your plan, and we'll connect you with a professional forester for more personalized assistance.

Once you've started your forest management plan online, come to one of our in-person trainings for more advanced assistance. All trainings are $25.00 per person and last from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm. For more information go to the Forest Workshops webpage.

Workshop Dates:

  • Saturday, May 18, 2013 in Ukiah, California
  • Wednesday, May 29, 2013 in Redding, California
  • Saturday, June 15, 2013 in Berkeley, California
  • Saturday, June 22, 2013 in Auburn, California 

Learn more and register on the Forest Plan Website.  


Farm Day 2013 - El Dorado County 

El Dorado - AITCEl Dorado County Ag in the Classroom (AITC) in partnership with University of California Cooperative Extension - Central Sierra, is pleased to announce that El Dorado County Farm Day will be held on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 in Placerville.  Every May, AITC hosts hundreds of third grade students at the fairgrounds for an all-day interactive learning event. During this fun educational field trip, students learn about agriculture in context of local farms, ranches, and forests. All activities are designed to meet California state standards for third grade curriculum. Farm Day demonstrations and exhibits teach students something new about where our food, fiber, and shelter comes from.


Do you know a third grade teacher in El Dorado County that hasn't heard about Farm Day and may want to attend?  Fill out the online class registration!


Riparian Ecology - Webinar Series

May 1st-May 29th  


Recent regulatory proposals and Riparian Ecologyresearch suggest that active management of riparian ecosystems can yield benefits to water quality and associated aquatic habitats. This webinar series will explore the ecological and other functions of riparian ecosystems, setting the stage for understanding how and where active management can achieve desirable benefits.

Please register for the webinar.  There is no charge for participation.  Contact Dr. Richard Harris at or (707) 685-5508.


Lake Tahoe Basin:
Invasive Weeds Identification Workshop


Where: Lake Tahoe Community College 

When:  Tuesday, June 4, 2013, 1:30 - 4:30 pm

  • Learn about the biology and reproduction of invasive weeds.
  • Learn how to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive weeds.
  • Regional experts will provide hands-on identification of thistles, knapweeds, toadflax species and other terrestrial weeds of concern in the Lake Tahoe Basin area.

Who should attend?

Landowners and managers, on-the-ground crews, trail/park staff, volunteers and the general public.


Get more details and register. 


Native Plant Symposium: Sonora

Save the Date: September 14, 2013 

Yosemite through Merced and Tuolumne Canyons

Yosemite through Merced and Tuolumne Canyons

UCCE Central Sierra Natural Resources Program and Tuolumne County Master Gardeners are helping plan, organize, and staff a native plant symposium, hosted by the California Native Plant Society Sierra Foothills Chapter.  Scheduled for Saturday, September 14, at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora, CA, the symposium, entitled Gardening with Natives: Creating Natural Landscapes will feature keynote speaker Judith Larner Lowry. Founder of Larner Seeds, Judith Lowry is also the author of "The Landscape Ideas of Jays" and "Gardening with a Wild Heart." Additional speakers include Helen Popper, author of "California Native Gardening: A Month by Month Guide," Julie Serences of the Sacramento Audubon Society, and Mary Anderson, local native plant expert. Registration will open in June and includes lunch. More details coming soon.

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.


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