MAY 2021
It is hard to adequately describe the collective of our local heroes that the 72 pages of the 2021-2022 Guide to Pure Catskills Products represent. This issue of the Guide means a bit more after the year we just had and the road to recovery that we are now facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What we have lived through and witnessed here in the Catskills has been unprecedented. A new wave of homeowners, business growth and expansion, farming and local food purchasing becoming the standard, and a community of unwavering strength.

The Pure Catskills Team can say with absolute certainty that we have never been more proud of the work we do. We are so thankful to our farmers, growers and providers who have keep food on our tables, small essential businesses that make our region, our growing Pure Catskills community, and of course we are especially grateful for this beautiful place we get to live, work, breathe and be.

Due to COVID-19, we encourage our readers to visit websites and/or contact businesses prior to visiting via their phone number, email or social media pages. As always, be mindful of the guidelines businesses have in place, and please be patient while traveling throughout the region.

On behalf of our essential farm and forest businesses here in the Catskills, thank you for supporting local. Together with all of you, #WearePureCatskills.

Visit the Guide online here: 2021-2022 Guide to Pure Catskills Products.
The Moody family has been farming in the NYC Watershed at Springdale Farm for over three generations. Learn more about their operation, how they have diversified and the Best Management Practices that have been incorporated into the daily life of their farm.
The WAC and CCE staff have been conducting their annual grass sampling of legume and mixed legume/grass fields across the county at elevations from 1,070 to 2,200 feet. Follow this link to see the most recent results and to find a location with similar forage type and elevation to your farm. Find Scissor Cut results here.

For 2021 staff will be reporting several measures of forage quality. Different types and groups of cattle have different demands and each measure tells a slightly different story. If harvesting for dairy forage, we suggest harvesting based on NDF, for beef choose and appropriate TDN target or the animals you will be feeding.

NDF – Neutral Detergent Fiber is a measure of the structural fiber in a feed sample. NDF correlates well with how much forage a cow can eat (gut fill). Earlier cut hay = lower NDF = higher dry matter intake = higher performance.
TDN – Total Digestible Nutrients The sum of the digestible fiber, protein, lipid, and carbohydrate components. TDN is a measure of energy available from forage and is related to digestible energy. TDN is useful for beef cow rations that are primarily forage. Higher TDN values indicate higher energy available, cattle groups with higher energy demands require higher TDN intakes.

TDN goals for Beef Cattle Forage: 
Growing Calf (2lb ADG) 70 – 72, Growing Yearling (2lb ADG) 64 – 66, Lactating Beef Cow 60 – 64, Mature Dry Cow 52 – 55
The Westchester County Soil and Water Conservation District in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County as well as The Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College and the Watershed Agricultural Council will be hosting a three-part "lunch and learn" webinar series focused on soil and water conservation topics. These topics will be of interest to residents and others living and working in suburban and urban Westchester County and elsewhere. The webinars will be free of charge and will be hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County through Zoom.

Register Online:
  • Click here to register for Soil: What’s in your yard?
  • Click here to register for Water: Where does it come from and where does it go?
  • Click here to register for Urban and Suburban Landscapes: what can go wrong
My favorite part was seeing a 360 degree view of the watershed area. It allowed me to learn how water and nature work together.” ~ Emmet, 8th grade virtual fieldtrip participant from Williamsburg Northside School, Brooklyn. The Forestry Program has led 30 virtual Watershed Forestry fieldtrips since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. During trips, WAC educators join classes live via Zoom from NYC Watershed reservoirs, streams and forests and lead students in hands-on science activities about watersheds, forest ecosystem services, and stream ecology. Teachers can learn more and book trips by visiting our new Virtual Fieldtrip webpage. They’ve been so successful, we plan to offer virtual trips next year and beyond!

For more information on any of our programs, visit