Cornell Cooperative Extension offers container garden kits to the public 

During this pandemic we are spending a lot more time at home and one great activity to do at home is gardening. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County and our regional CCE Extension offices are excited to share our gardening skills and nutrition knowledge with our entire community. With the help of a New York State Ag and Markets grant, we have made a do-it-yourself gardening kit, complete with everything you will need to grow tasty and healthy lettuce and herbs indoors. The kit includes three planting containers and potting mix along with sweet Italian basil, green onion, and lettuce seeds.

There were 1,200 kits assembled to be distributed to households in the five counties of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates and Tioga. Please contact the agriculture educator in your county for information on how to receive one of these free kits. Phone numbers and emails are listed on our container gardening website at

CCE wants your gardening experience to be successful so we have included a brochure with complete planting instructions in each kit. The container gardening website also offers instructional videos, SNAP-Ed New York recipes for the herbs and lettuce, and plenty of gardening resources.

If you encounter questions about your plants, we have created a project Facebook group where you can get your answers as well as fellow gardener suggestions. It is also a great place to share photos of your successful container gardens. This group is located at:

If you are interested in helping the community though gardening, each county offers a Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) program.  This group offers an in-depth training on the many facets of gardening for anyone at any level or experience.  After training, volunteers have a minimum amount of volunteer hours to accomplish within the community to continue the CCE mission of expanding research-based education for all.  Possible volunteer projects could include presentations, Garden Hotline hours, community garden participation, workshops, and beyond. The training courses are offered once a month from September to April, minus the months of January and February.  Because of the ongoing pandemic, the training methods and curriculum may change during the 2020/2021 season, but all of the educators within the Southern Tier MGV training program are working hard to make this transition happen.

You can also visit the CCE Steuben gardening website page at for information on container gardening, Integrated Pest Management, creating compost, and more!