About Kristina Zill

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So far Kristina Zill has created 42 blog entries.
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Energy Reduction Workshop

Please join Transition Catskills on Wednesday, May 25th, 7 to 9 pm for a free Energy Reduction Workshop at the Andes Roundtable, Hunter Tavern, 288 Main St., Andes, NY Together, we will study the Energy chapter of the Transition Streets workbook. Transition Streets is an award-winning behavior change project designed to reduce the amount of energy we use to fuel our lives. Participants will learn techniques to reduce their carbon footprint, and how energy-saving techniques also result in dollars saved on expenses. We'll demonstrate how to use a Kill-a-Watt meter to monitor the energy drain of individual appliances within the home. Attendees will receive a free LED lightbulb to jumpstart their energy savings.

By |August 30th, 2016|Event|0 Comments
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Delicata Squash – an heirloom delicacy

Delicata squash gets its name from its rind, which is delicate for a winter squash. It won’t keep as long as butternut or acorn varieties, which may last until April or May, but you can still have that taste of summer in mid-January if you store the squash in cool, dark conditions. The thin rind also makes Delicata easy to work with. It’s a small, oblong squash, pale yellow with dark green stripes. The flesh is orange, fine textured and sweet (another name for the plant is “sweet potato squash.”)  It’s easy to grow and it ripens early. The cultivar most likely originated in Europe. The French naturalist and botanist Charles Victor Naudin illustrated the squash in 1856. It was introduced to Americans in 1894 by Peter Henderson & Co., a seed purveyor in New York. If you’ve never tasted a Delicata squash, you’re in for a treat. An Internet search yields hundreds of recipes - grilled, stuffed, roasted, baked and sautéed - along with mouth-watering photos. We’ll be giving out Delicata squash seeds at the Spring on Main street fair in Margaretville, Saturday May 14th from 10 am to 3 pm. Come by, say hello, and take home some seeds to get your garden growing. See you at the fair!

By |May 11th, 2016|Food|1 Comment
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Spring on Main

Saturday, May 14th - 10 am to 3 pm Join us at Margaretville's "Spring on Main" street fair this weekend. Stop by our booth to receive a free Delicata squash seedling to get your garden started. Home Goods of Margaretville is sponsoring a rhubarb cookoff with two categories: sweet and savory. Drop off your best recipe by 1:30 at Home Goods. Judging will take place at 2 pm. The top three winners will be awarded prizes. Kids can enjoy pony rides, there will be a fly casting demo, the Catskill Mountain Artisans Guild will be conducting a craft workshop, and there will be live music by Ben Rounds. See you at the fair!  

By |May 11th, 2016|Event|0 Comments

Heirloom Vegetables – the Unbroken Chain

Thousands of years ago, our Stone Age ancestors domesticated food plants. Seeds from the best performers were selected for replanting and shared with others. Thus, the seeds that gardeners hold in their hands today form an unbroken chain of living links stretching back to antiquity. An Heirloom is a seed that was bequeathed to us from past generations. The Heirloom pedigree To qualify as an heirloom, a plant must meet certain requirements. Its heritage must pre-date 1951, when hybrid varieties were introduced by seed companies It must be open-pollinated by natural mechanisms such as wind, insects or birds It must breed true to type – the offspring must be identical to the parent Flavor vs. convenience Hybrid seeds are the result of scientists cross-breeding plants to develop certain traits. Hybrids were designed to meet the needs of the commercial grower, which are often in direct opposition to the preferences of home gardeners. For instance, whereas a commercial operation benefits if all of the produce ripens at once, the home gardener wants successive waves of ripe vegetables over the course of the summer. Scientists gleefully sacrificed flavor and nutrition to engineer produce with more bountiful harvests and thicker skins that would withstand long-distance shipping (one example is the uniformly red, tasteless blobs that are fobbed off as tomatoes.) By contrast, flavor and nutrition are everything to the home gardener. Breaking the chain Many hybrids are sterile, requiring human intervention to reproduce. Those hybrids that are fertile are genetically unstable – they do not breed true to type. Gardeners who are unaware that they’re growing hybrids can be in for a big surprise if they save and plant the seed. Should it germinate at all, the seed would revert [...]

By |May 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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Calling All Gardeners!

The 2nd annual Countywide Seed Swap is on at all Delaware County Public Libraries, now until June 1st. Bring in your partially used seed packets and file them in the designated card catalogue drawer under the appropriate letter (B for Beans). Then find some seeds you might want to try (H for Heliotrope) and use one of our nifty envelopes to help yourself to the number of seeds appropriate for your garden. It's an excellent way to expand your garden without having to spend a fortune. To get the party started, Transition Catskills has donated heirloom vegetable seeds to each library. Library addresses and hours are as follows: Andes Public Library, 242 Main St., Andes, NY (845) 676-3333 Monday, Tuesday: 1 pm - 6 pm Wednesday: 11 am - 4 pm Thursday: 5 pm - 8 pm Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm Saturday: 10 am - 12 pm closed Sunday Bovina Public Library, 33 Maple Avenue, Bovina Center, NY  (607) 832-4884 Tuesday, Thursday: 10:30 am - 3 pm Wednesday: 1 pm - 7 pm Saturday: 9 am - 2 pm closed Sunday, Monday, Friday Cannon Free Library, 40 Elm St., Delhi, NY  (607) 746-2662 Tuesday, Thursday: 9:30 am - 7 pm Wednesday, Friday: 9:30 am - 5 pm Saturday: 10 am - 1 pm (till March 31st) closed Sunday closed Saturday from April thru October Skene Memorial Library, 1017 Main St., Fleischmanns, NY  (845) 254-4581 Tuesday - Friday: 1 pm - 5 pm Saturday: 10 am - 2 pm closed Sunday, Monday Franklin Free Library, 334 Main St., Franklin, NY  (607) 829-2941 Tuesday: 9 am - 12 pm; 1 pm - 5 pm; 7 pm - 9 pm Wednesday: 10 am - 2 pm Thursday: [...]

By |March 18th, 2016|Environment, Event|0 Comments
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Green Drinks

Wednesday January 27th 5 to 7 pm Public Lounge—Roxbury Green Drinks are informal get-togethers where people who care about our beautiful green world meet up for cocktails and conversation. Come along, and you’ll be made welcome! A Green Drinks gathering is a great way of catching up with people you know, and also for making new contacts. These events are simple and unstructured, but many attendees have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and experienced serendipity. At our last Green Drinks, many innovative ideas were tossed around — including the Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, which just became a reality. What's the next wonderful idea for our region? Come add your voice to the discussion. Cash bar and food. For more information contact Kristina Zill — Coordinator for Transition Catskills — kz@transitioncatskills.org The Public Lounge is located at 2318 County Rd 41 (Bridge St), Roxbury, NY  12474

By |January 21st, 2016|Event|0 Comments
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Solarize Catskills

On Saturday, October 3rd, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, join us at The Andes Hotel for SOLARIZE CATSKILLS, a free solar energy workshop co-hosted by Transition Catskills and Southern Tier Solar Works. Space is limited! Please register:  http://eventbrite.com/e/solarize-catskills-tickets-18438353612?ref=ebtnebregn At this free workshop, you'll hear from solar professionals who will give a presentation and answer questions about: Discounted pricing Low-interest loans Federal and state tax credits New York State incentives Free solar site assessments The process of going solar Net metering - selling your surplus back to the grid Solar leasing Return on investment - what size system should you buy? After the presentation, you may choose a solar installer and start the process of achieving true energy independence. Did you know you can lease solar panels for as little as the cost of cell phone service? A 7,000-watt system costs about $70/month. And if you sell your home, the lease can be transferred to the new homeowner! Many tax incentives end in 2016, so the time to go solar is now! The Andes Hotel is located at 100 Main Street, Andes, NY. The workshop will end right about lunchtime. The restaurant at The Andes Hotel offers a regularly changing menu centered on farm-fresh food that captures the flavor of the Catskills.

By |September 25th, 2015|Event|0 Comments
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Stories from the Field

Saturday, July 25th, 6 pm Potluck dinner at the Bovina Center Community Hall. Burnett Farms and Transition Catskills present an evening of food, drink, song and story. If you grow plants or raise animals and would like to celebrate with others who do the same, then bring a plate or a bottle to pass, and come eat, drink, be merry, and share tales of endurance and sustainability. "As farmers, we experience life's great adventure as a daily occurrence. The challenges of survival, mindfulness, and problem-solving define our relationship to Nature, to ourselves and to those around us. As we labor, invent, wonder, fail, grow and ultimately bring in a crop, we have achieved a level of "sustainability" on the physical level, and also in body, mind and spirit." - Steve Burnett  The Community Hall is located at 1866 County Highway 6 in Bovina Center.

By |July 25th, 2015|Event|0 Comments
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Green Drinks

Wednesday July 15th 5 to 8 pm Summerfields—654 Main St—Margaretville Green Drinks are informal get-togethers where people who care about the environment meet up for cocktails and conversation. Come along and you’ll be made welcome! Just say, “Are you green?” and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. A Green Drinks gathering is a great way of catching up with people you know, and also for making new contacts. These events are simple and unstructured, but many attendees have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and experienced serendipity. Research has shown that the more opportunities people have to connect with others and share fresh ideas, the more creative and productive they are. So come mingle, have a cocktail and join the dialogue. You never know when a conversation will lead to synchronicity, transforming an idea into a reality. Cash bar and food. Although Summerfields is known as a steakhouse, they have added vegetarian and vegan fare to their menu—the vegetable paninis are fabulous! And they're offering $5 large pizzas to everyone in our group. For more information contact Kristina Zill — Coordinator for Transition Catskills— kz@transitioncatskills.org

By |July 13th, 2015|Event|0 Comments
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Possums are your best defense against Lyme disease

Lyme disease, which used to be a rare occurrence in the Catskill Mountains, is unfortunately becoming more common. As owners of cats and dogs will confirm, there has been a substantial increase in ticks over the last few summers... and ticks transmit Lyme. The consequences of misdiagnosed or untreated Lyme disease are so scary that a simple hike merits long sleeves, long pants and tube socks to cover bare skin, as well as a post-hike search for the tiny black specks that can ruin your life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if ticks had a natural foe that would keep their numbers in check? Enter the opossum: the scruffy creature with the sweet face, sharp teeth and unappealing tail. Although possums have a reputation as filthy critters, they in fact are compulsive groomers—who just happen to have a taste for garbage, carrion… and ticks. In a study published in the Royal Society’s journal Proceedings B, opossums were found to be veritable tick magnets that devour over 96% of the blood-hungry parasites. The study’s team of researchers, which included biologists, ecologists and foresters, were able to determine that the average possum is infested by as many as 5500 larval ticks each week. About 5300 ticks become snacks, while only 200 successfully feed and drop to the forest floor. That makes the opossum a very effective ecological trap for the removal of ticks. Other species that have a positive effect on tick removal are squirrels (over 80% of ticks eaten), and chipmunks and birds (over 70% consumed). Mice only ingest about half the larval ticks they harbor, which allows the other 50% to feed and go forth to make mischief. When preferred species aren’t available, ticks simply hitch a ride on whoever walks by. The research study claims that a forest's loss of [...]

By |June 5th, 2015|Environment|0 Comments