Greetings from UCCE Central Sierra!

Spring is finally here! This month we highlight even more exciting livestock and forestry workshops, plus UCCE Master Gardeners are hosting plant sales and public education classes just in time for summer garden planting. Meanwhile our 4-H club programs are preparing for local fairs and summer camps. We are very proud of the talented public speakers that represented Central Sierra 4-H at County and Regional Presentations--for those that will be moving on to present at the state level, good luck! We continue to offer a variety of in-person and virtual events and workshops, so please read on, I am sure you will find something to spark your interest!

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!
April 5, 2023 | 2:00-4:00PM

UC Cooperative Extension is facilitating a meeting between our producers from the Central Sierra, and an organization called Roots of Change. 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”. Join us as we discuss:
  • Marketing challenges and opportunities
  • Livestock aggregation opportunities
  • Finishing
  • Access to slaughter/processing
  • Branding/regional identities
  • Next steps/link for project partner survey

Please RSVP to or you are unable to attend in person, please complete our partner survey: High Value Meats/Regional Meat Supply Chains Survey

California Ranchers are invited to participate in a survey about California ranchers' and farmers' concerns, perceptions, information, and education needs related to changing climate conditions and adaptation. This survey is part of a research study funded by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and conducted by researchers at UC Cooperative Extension, UC Davis, and the USDA California Climate Hub. Survey results will be used to develop extension and education programs for ranchers and farmers.
Participation is voluntary and responses will be kept confidential. Participating is a chance to ensure university science is useful, discuss practices and policies impacting your business, and help communicate ranching priorities to agencies and the legislature. Responses will be aggregated and shared in reports, academic papers, and presentations.

The survey will take approximately 20 minutes to complete, and as a thank you, you can choose to enter a drawing to win one of forty $50 gift cards to Amazon (details at the end of survey).

For any questions about this survey or study, contact Leslie Roche.
Ag Livestock Pass and Livestock Forum
April 17, 2023 | 8:30am - 3:30pm

  • Ag Livestock Pass Training
  • Anaplasma Survey Results and Antibiotic Use with Foothill Abortion Vaccine, Dr. Gaby Maier
  • Dewormer Strategies, Theresa Becchetti
  • Overview of my research on Criollo Cattle in Arizona, and my plans and goals for the Central Sierra, Flavie Audoin
  • Pasture Weed Control Options, Theresa Becchetti
Cal Fire training is universal across the state, but each county administers their own program. Contact your county for an application. Contact Theresa Becchetti for more information. Register Here
Clipping vegetation for the WSARE Rangeland Remote Sensing Project
by Flavie Audoin, UCCE Central Sierra Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor & Scott Oneto, UCCE Central Sierra Farm Advisor

The University of California Cooperative Extension is working on a WSARE (Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) Rangeland Remote Sensing Project to estimate rangeland forage production using remote sensing data. Data is collected in 32 counties in California by advisors and will be compared with data collected via a satellite to estimate rangeland forage production. The results will show if it is possible to collect data via satellites that can increase forage monitoring capacity on rangelands.

For this year, there are three clipping events (February, March and Peak standing) where vegetation data is gathered. For this project, we are using exclosures in Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. Each exclosure is a 48 feet x 48 feet square (Photo 1 & Figure 1). The exclosures are built with T-posts and cattle panels. We photo document the vegetation conditions at each site with one landscape photo of the exclosure from all four sides, several photos of the conditions inside of the exclosure, and some “birds-eye” view photos looking directly down at the ground. Then, we run a transect inside of the exclosure, which is different for each clipping event (Figure 1). We distribute 10 plots along the transect which are 1 ft2 square quadrats (Figure 1, Photos 2 & 3). In each quadrat, we record the % of grass cover, the % of forb cover, the % of residual dry matter (RDM), the % of bare ground, and the mean vegetation height (Photo 4). We clip the vegetation in each quadrat and store it into a paper bag (Photo 4). If we have more than 10-15% of RDM, we collect it separately from the rest of the quadrat. After returning to the office, each sample is dried and weighed.
For the purposes of this project and the remote sensing analysis, the clippings need to align as closely as possible to dates and times when the satellite is flying over the state and capturing cloudless images. The Sentinel satellite has a roughly five-day return interval and typically flies over around 11 am. In order for this project to work, the clippings need to happen in the middle of a seven-day period of cloudless days, which has been challenging for February and March (Photo 5).

The following article explains a similar study about Estimating Rangeland Forage Production Using Remote Sensing Data from a Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) and PlanetScope Satellite. 
Photo 4: Scott Oneto gathering the plant material after clipping
We would like to thank our project partners, Dell’Orto Ranch, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Rana Ranch, and K-Arrow Ranch for the use of their property for this applied research. This project has been made possible with financial support from WSARE (Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education).

For more information, please feel free to contact us at or
Photo 5: One of our sites at the end of our February clipping
Estimating Rangeland Forage Production Using Remote...

Rangelands cover ~23 million hectares and support a $3.4 billion annual cattle industry in California. Large variations in forage production from year to year and across the landscape make grazing management difficult. We here developed optimized ...

Read more
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.
April 17 & 22 | 1:00-2:00PM | via ZOOM

These workshops are intended for non-industrial private forest landowners, or interested parties, who are curious about available technical and financial assistance programs.

Register to learn about assistance programs to help you complete forest health, and fire resilience work on your land. The workshop series will be live and slot time for questions.

If you are unable to attend, the sessions will be recorded and posted for future reference. The videos will be periodically updated and other regional assistance programs will be added. Contact Sophia at for more information.
Tahoe Locals Inundated with Snow | Do Sac School Boards...

UCCE Central Sierra Forestry Advisor Susie Kocher talked with Vicki Gonzales on Insight, a CapRadio show, about living through extreme snowfall in the Tahoe Basin, forest health, wildfires, and how a video of her son kayaking off the roof went viral.

Read more
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
June 10, 2023 | 9:30AM-2:30PM

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. For more information or to apply, email
Introducing the #CA4H Pollinator Habitat Ambassadors!

Eight Central Sierra youth from Amador County 4-H, Butte County 4-H, Calaveras County 4-H, El Dorado County 4-H, and San Joaquin County 4-H attended the #igniteby4h teen event in Washington, D.C.

Our ambassadors were there to learn about pollinator habitats and develop a service project to implement in their communities. The goal for the next several months is to teach at least 250 students about pollinators and increase pollinator awareness. 🐝🦋🌻

These 4-H youth participated in four days of engaging and inspiring panels with respected speakers, workshop sessions, entertainment, and creating amazing connections. This summit provided them with the opportunity to explore the best 4-H has to offer in STEM, Agriscience, Healthy Living, Career Readiness and Emotional Well-Being. 
Central Sierra Youth Attend Ignite 4-H National Youth Summit
By Lily Himmel

The 2023 National 4-H Youth Summit was held at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington D.C., on March 9-12, 2023. It is an event held specifically for 4-H youth to help them find their spark, which is a passion for something that can help their community.

About 900 people attended in total, with around 600 being teen 4-H members from all over the country. During the event, there were multiple speakers including U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, President and CEO of the National 4-H Council Jennifer Sirangelo, Aliva Roberts Miss District of Columbia 2022 and 4-H Aluma, and many others. They spoke about finding their spark and how acting upon it has impacted their world.

Besides the actual conference, there was time set aside for visiting national monuments and a trip to the Smithsonian Museums. Most of conference time was spent on workshop sessions, in which youth learned about a variety of things ranging from agriculture to healthy living to STEM. Youth could choose which sessions they wanted to attend based on their interest. I would definitely recommend going to Ignite National Youth Summit in the future, especially if you don’t know what you are interested in. The speakers and conference sessions are so varied and inspiring that you’d be hard pressed to not find something you are interested in.

I was able to attend because of my pollinator project, in which I and other youth are planning to create pollinator gardens and educate other youth about the importance of pollinators with the help of other organizations in our community.
California Youth Delegates with chaperones pictured on the steps of the Internal Revenue Service building.
California Pollinator Habitat Teen Ambassadors pictured on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument in the background.
Central Sierra 4-H Avian Bowl Teams

The California State Avian Bowl qualifier event was held February 25th, 2023 in Fresno, California in conjunction with the Gold Coast Society of Poultry Fancier’s show.

Central Sierra 4-H was well represented with both a junior team (top), The Fancy Feathers (Madelyn Hardie, Emma Beseg, and Lexi Himmel), and a senior team (bottom), The Impeckable Peeps (Cecilia O’Geen, Anna LaSavio, and Lily Himmel).
The teams were challenged in their knowledge of raising turkeys, poultry breeds and classification, non-food uses of eggs, egg terminology, and poultry anatomy to include the circulatory, respiratory, skeletal, and muscular systems.

The competition this year was excellent and while neither of our teams took the top prize, this event provided an outstanding opportunity for our youth to connect with other poultry enthusiasts, work as a team, and build our knowledge of the poultry industry. Some of our team members also came home with new show birds! Thank you to all of our parents and volunteers that made this event possible.
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.
Planting Your Summer Garden
Saturday, April 8, 2023 | 9:00AM-12:00PM

Spring is right around the corner, and it's time to start preparing for a summer garden. Whether you envision a small herb garden or building raised beds for a bountiful harvest, this class will provide valuable information and resources for gardening success.

  • Learn about preparing your soil, timing of vegetable planting, and seeding tips
  • Learn considerations for planning and planting your vegetable garden to get the most from the space you have, for improving your soil, using water efficiently, and controlling garden pests
  • Learn how to build a raised bed
  • Add a pollinator garden
Is Propagating Veggies on Your Mind? 
Tips from UCCE Master Gardener of El Dorado, Elissa Bunn
Bottom watering is very important for building strong roots and helps keep plants at optimum moisture levels: drinking not drowning! To do this you can get a bin or tote or tray, set your pots in it, fill it with some water and the pots will "drink" the water from the bottom. After a couple hours, if you have excess water dump it out. Do this when your plants are light and thirsty, but don't wait until they're crispy fried dry!

Once your seedlings have at least one set of true leaves, you can start a diluted fertilizing schedule. (Elissa starts off with 25% diluted liquid fish emulsion once a week and works up to 50% after 2 weeks.)
Lights, lights, light! Let them shine! Please make sure your plants are getting adequate light. If they are leaning towards your light source or getting stretched out and leggy, the source of light is too far away or not strong enough. If you don't have lights and are using a window with leaning plants you can help them out by rotating them around. Make sure to give them some down time (i.e. dark sleepy time) for a few hours as well. If you placed your planted seeds on heat mats to encourage propagation, it's time to take your seedlings off their heat mats. 
Seedlings need exercise! If you have some kind of sustained wind blowing device (like an oscillating fan from the thrift store) and you can have it blowing on your seedlings to simulate wind, it encourages thicker, stronger stems! Or you can lightly brush or pet them a few times a day if you don't have a fan available to you.

If/when the weather improves, start hardening off your seedlings by giving them field trips outside to experience real life and the elements! Start with an hour or two in "cool" sunlight and work your way to cooler, brighter, and longer outside times.
Open Garden Days

Each Friday and Saturday is Open Garden Day at Sherwood Demonstration Garden 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. Every Saturday at 9:00 AM, volunteers are on site offering tours. The garden is located across from the Folsom Lake College Placerville Campus at 6699 Campus Dr. Placerville, CA 95667. There are 16 individual demonstrations gardens ranging from the Shade Garden to the Rock Garden and everything in between!

As Master Gardeners, we are committed to educating the general public on sustainable horticulture and pest management practices based on traditional, current, and evolving research. It is our goal that the Sherwood Demonstration Garden will 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.
Annual Plant Sale: Two dates, two different kinds of plants! 

Shopping for edibles for your garden this year? Saturday, April 15, 2023 is your exclusive time to shop at our annual plant sale. Fruit, veggies, herbs, tomatoes, etc. 

Looking for trees, shrubs, grasses, succulents, native and perennial plants? You’ll want to mark your calendar for Saturday, April 29.

The sale on both dates take place at the Sherwood Demonstration Garden 6699 Campus Drive, Placerville from 8:00AM-12:00PM. You can view the plant list at this link:
Cash or check is the preferred payment type, but Visa and Mastercard will be accepted.
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 
Giant Pumpkin Growing Workshop
April 22, 2023 | 1:00-4:00PM | Tuolumne County UCCE Office
52 N. Washington St., Sonora

Farms of Tuolumne County will host its first Pumpkin Growing Workshop taught by Carla Suehowicz, a champion pumpkin grower who has grown 1200lb pumpkins! Carla is offering her expertise to those interested in learning about growing these giant pumpkins and giving free seeds, valued at $12 each, to workshop participants.

Price is $10 for ages 12+ and $5 for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advanced at the UCCE Office in Sonora (open M-F 8:00-4:30 and closed for lunch from 12-1). Cash or check only, sorry we do not take credit or debit cards. For more information call (209) 928-3775.
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.
Juniors Making Jams and Jellies for the Fair

We’re thinking about Fair. Are you thinking about Fair? We’ve got two Junior Jams and Jellies days open for registration! Every year for over a decade, the UC Master Food Preservers of El Dorado County have hosted a hands-on Jr. Jams and Jellies class for young people, ages 5-18. Our goal is twofold: 1) to introduce young people to food preservation; and 2) to support our county fair by entering each young person’s jam or jelly into the fair. 

Master Food Preservers work with one or two children at a time to guide them as they make their jam and put it into jars. A Master Food Preserver processes the jars and explains the steam canning process. When the jars are out and cooled, the children get to take home one jar and the other jars are labeled for the El Dorado County Fair. 

This year the Jr. Jams and Jellies classes are being offered in Placerville. There are two dates to choose from: Saturday, April 22 or Saturday, May 20 and several sessions on each date, each limited to 6 participants. Classes are 45-minutes long. Pre-registration is required, limit one (1) class per child. If all slots are full, and you are still interested, please add your child to the waiting list--we will contact you if a spot opens up. For more information call (530) 621-5502 or email
How to Win a Blue Ribbon
April 15 | 2:00-3:00PM | via ZOOM

Curious about entering your preserves in the county fair competition? Wondering what exactly the judges are looking for? New to preserving and just interested in what the fair competition is all about? Please join UCCE Master Food Preservers of San Mateo and San Francisco Counties for a fun workshop dedicated to helping you win a ribbon in the Preserved Foods category at the County Fair.

We will discuss the general rules for entries in the Preserved Foods category, food safety, and the basics of acceptable entries. You'll be ready to preserve the bounty of the summer harvest and win a ribbon at the county fair too! Register Here
Make a Bloody Mary - Pickled Vegetables & Home Canned Bloody Mary Mix
April 22, 2023 | 9:00AM - 12:00PM

While it's too early in the year to preserve cucumber pickles, there are lots of other vegetables available that are fun to pickle! Join the UC Master Food Preservers of Amador/Calaveras County as they demonstrate how to pickle vegetables to serve with a home-made Bloody Mary mix or on a beautiful charcuterie board. Class demonstrations include a home-canned Bloody Mary mix, pickled cocktail onions, pickled dill beans, and a delicious roasted red pepper spread. For those new to canning, we'll explain the canning process and food safety aspects throughout the demonstrations. Coast is $5 per person, space is limited so pre-registration recommended. Register Here
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. This person will also coordinate efforts and serve as a liaison with other agencies providing related services in Central Sierra counties (Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, and Tuolumne), build and maintain formal and informal coalitions of partners, tailor special nutrition education projects, and maintain subject matter competence.

This position is a career appointment that is 100% fixed. Apply Now
April Harvest of the Month: Strawberries

California produced over 91% of the country’s strawberries in 2021, about 1.8 billion pounds of strawberries per year. Besides being sweet and delicious, one cup of fresh strawberries has about 50 calories and contains 160% of the RDA of vitamin C. Strawberries are also a good source of potassium, manganese, folic acid, and fiber.

Strawberries are fragile, and because of this, they aren’t washed before heading to market. All their little bumps and external seeds are places where bacteria can hide. Whether organic or conventional, bought from a farmer on the corner or in a clamshell on a supermarket shelf, strawberries need to be cared for properly before consuming. 

Fresh strawberries should be stored in the refrigerator (below 40º) and kept dry until ready to prepare. They should then be washed thoroughly with cold water immediately prior to serving and sliced on a sanitized surface with a clean knife. Washing berries removes dirt and can help reduce microbial contamination.

  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice

  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Flavors will blend if refrigerated for 30 minutes or more before serving.
  3. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
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.
 530-621-5502 | 888-764-9669 | |