July 23, 2014 Healthy Living

Cooperative Extension Lends a Helping Hand

Interested in gardening but not born with a green thumb? Or maybe you are a skilled grower on the brink of a big project and just looking for a little guidance. Either way, it’s good to know you have a nearby knowledgebase that can offer an assist.

Tap into Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and benefit from a solid grounding in the science of coaxing life from the earth. CCE is a publicly funded offshoot of Cornell University, and has dozens of county branches across the state, all for the purpose of helping New Yorkers be more successful at growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs, houseplants, and lawns.

CCE experts can help you assess your soil, connect you with youth activities, advise you about safe pest control, and provide evidence-based information about growing conditions in your area.

And it doesn’t end there. Once you have a kitchen full of fresh veggies, will you know what to do with them? Once again, CCE comes to the rescue with classes on healthy food preparation.

CCE also provides a great way to give back to the community. If growing is a passion for you, consider volunteering as a master gardener. This program is not a course or certificate, although you will receive horticultural training. In return, you would offer your time as a volunteer consultant for a certain number of hours. Talk to your county’s CCE office to learn more.

Meg Hughes
About the Author

Meg had been with the CDPHP communications department since 2000 and recently retired from her position as the senior editor. Her previous editorial service includes more than a decade with health plans Kaiser Permanente and CHP and four years with a weekly newspaper. Meg is also a long-time gardener and former horticulture professional with experience working for area greenhouses and growers. Meg earned a bachelor’s degree in English from St. Lawrence University.

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