Looking for something new, or maybe something out of the ordinary to add to your landscape? Uncommon, Unusual & Underrated Landscape Plants will give you plant ideas that maybe you haven't seen before. University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, Chris Hilgert, will talk about some of his favorite landscape plants. These plants are not the popular landscape plants you see every day. These are plants that will make people stop and ask "What is that?" Uncommon, Unusual and Underrated Landscape Plants will be held on Tuesday May 2 at 1:00 PM.
Have a spot in your garden that doesn't get much sunlight? Tired of impatiens and hostas every year? You need to attend Shade Gardening, a program that will offer you many other possibilities for your low-light landscape. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator, David Robson will talk about annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs that thrive in shady areas. Shade Gardening will be offered on Tuesday May 16 at 1:00 PM
The sessions will be held at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office at 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville, IL. The cost for each session is $1 and advance registration is recommended. Phone or email the local U of I Extension office for more details at, 287-7246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next county-wide parenting class will be held on Tuesday, May 9, in the U of I Extension Christian County office, located at 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville.
Stephanie Heberling, PREP/PAT/Even Start Trainer, will speak on "Homemade Educational Toys–Birth Through Kindergarten."
A light supper will be served at 6:00 p.m. with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Certified Christian County SafeSitters will provide childcare at no cost for all parents needing assistance.
We must have 10 participants registered by the May 4 deadline.
For more information or to make a reservation, call Linda Smith at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office at 287-7246.
Since the introduction of the microwave oven for consumer use, this appliance has grown in popularity from almost nothing in the early 1970's to one of necessity in the 21st century. Anyone under the age of 25 has grown up using the microwave. Today, microwave ovens are considered a fundamental appliance in today's kitchen.
Some companies are offering various new features on some of their microwave ovens including four way cooking, circular wave technology, and/or self instruct programs as well as new cabinet designs and super large capacity ovens. What do these new features offer? Can your favorite conventional recipes be adapted for microwave cooking?
"Microwave Cooking for the 21st. Century" is a train-the-trainer lesson, and is being sponsored by the Christian County HCEA and University of Illinois Extension. It has been designed to provide individuals with general microwave cooking and safety guidelines, information on the latest features, and includes a variety of recipes.
This topic will be presented by, Jananne Finck, Extension Nutrition & Wellness Educator, on May 24 starting at 9:30 a.m. in the U of I Extension Christian County auditorium, located at 1120 N. Webster, Taylorville, IL.
Please call 287-7246 if you need reasonable accommodations to attend this class and to reserve your space in the class.
It's once again time to get ready for the gardening and canning season.
The U of I Extension annual canner testing day will be held on Tuesday, June 6 at the Extension office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Bring only the lid from dial-gauge canners to the office, and we'll test them for accuracy while you wait and at no charge.
A parts list will be available from Presto if you need to order gauges, gaskets, etc.
Do you can or freeze foods? Do you dry your fresh fruits and vegetables? Charts to help you determine the correct processing times for canners, blanching times for freezing, and drying times (in an oven or a dehydrator) for fruits and vegetables will also be available.
The Dudley Smith Farm in Christian County will be the host site for a Beef Cow-Calf Field Day on Thursday, June 8 beginning with registration at 9:30 a.m., program at 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
The field day will place special emphasis on pasturing of cattle, rotational grazing with focus on forage quality, winter through summer grazing for 2005 – 2006, current research topics: improving pastures, annual cow costs for the herd, winter brassica performance, and managing cool season grasses.
Featured presenter will be Jason Tower, Superintendent of the Southern Indiana-Purdue Ag Center.
Ed Ballard, retired U of I Extension Animal Systems Educator, will update participants on the cattle grazing project.
Ben Tracy, U of I Assistant professor of Agroecology, Crop Sciences Dept. will give an update on Agronomic and Soil Health Issues of the Dudley Smith Project.
Lunch will be provided to all who register by noon on Monday, June 5. A tour of the research facilities will follow lunch.
For additional details on the Dudley Smith Field day to be held on June 8, contact University of Illinois Extension, Christian County Unit at 217-287-7246.
The Extension Family & Consumer weekly news column is entitled, "For Your Family" and is sent to all county newspapers. It covers a myriad of home and family-related issues. If there's a topic you would like me to cover and write about, just let me know by contacting Linda Smith at 287-7246.
Tune into Taylorville's radio station, WTIM, 97.3 on your dial for a five-minute radio broadcast covering U of I Extension Christian County issues and events.
You can hear the Christian County Extension report at 12:50 p.m., Monday through Friday, with Gary Letterly's Ag & Hort report on Monday's.
Other topics covered each weekday afternoon are:
·Linda Smith, Family & Consumer Economics
·Jodi Heberling, 4-H & Youth Development
·Nancy Briggs, Nutrition, Food Safety & Budgeting
The University of Illinois Extension Christian County website located at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian is a quick pathway to research-based facts and other information available from the University of Illinois.
New to the website this month are local links to "Lawn Talk," "My First Garden," "Family Works," "A Taste of Gardening," and "Disaster Resources." Check them out.
As we've already seen, springtime can spawn severe, damaging storms and heavy rains. Safe Electricity would like to remind people of the increased electrocution risks that springtime storms and flooding can cause, and offers safety tips to avoid serious injury or death when dealing with the aftermath of a major storm or disaster.
"The danger does not end when the storm does," says Molly Hall, director of Safe Electricity. "People can be hurt or killed by hazards left behind. It's wise to be cautious in any clean-up effort."
Stay away from downed power lines and be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all downed or hanging power lines as if they are energized. Warn others to stay away and contact the electric utility.
If using electric yard tools in clean-up efforts, do not operate them if it's raining or the ground is wet, or while you are wet or standing in water. Keep all electric tools and equipment at least ten feet away from wet surfaces.
"Before re-entering storm-damaged buildings or rooms, be sure all electric and gas services are turned off," said Jay Solomon, University of Illinois Extension Engineering Educator. "Never attempt to turn off power at the breaker box if you must stand in water to do so. If you can't reach your breaker box safely, call your electric utility to shut off power at the meter."
Never step into a flooded basement or other area if water is covering electrical outlets, appliances or cords. Be alert to any electrical equipment that could be energized and in contact with water. Never touch electrical appliances, cords or wires while you are wet or standing in water.
"Cleaning up and using water-damaged appliances also carry safety risks," said Solomon. "Electric motors in appliances that have been drenched or submerged should be thoroughly cleaned and reconditioned before they are put back into service. It may be necessary to repair or replace electrical appliances or tools that have been in contact with water. Do not use any water-damaged appliance until a professional has checked it out.
If after a storm or disaster, the power to your home is out for a prolonged period, know important safety rules, such as never using a charcoal or gas grill to cook inside! And if you use a standby generator, make sure a transfer safety switch is used or connect the appliance(s) directly to the generator output through an isolated circuit before you operate it.
This prevents electricity from traveling back through the power lines, what's known as "back feed." Back feed creates danger for anyone near lines, particularly crews working to restore power.
For more information on electrical safety, visit the www.SafeElectricity.org. Spanish versions of electrical safety information are also available on this web site.
Safe Electricity is a statewide electrical safety public awareness program. The program was created by a coalition of nearly three dozen organizations including the University of Illinois, rural electric cooperatives, and investor-owned electric utilities from throughout the state. All are members of the Illinois Electric Council, a not-for profit organization dedicated to promoting electric safety and efficiency.
Water gardens have become a trend in home landscaping. They can include fountains, waterfalls, containers, fish, elaborate lighting and rockwork.
Greg Stack, Extension Educator, Horticulture has developed this new website that will help home gardeners learn about aquatic plant selection and cultivation, container water gardening, as well as how to control algae problems.
This new site will be especially useful to Master Gardeners and home gardeners interested in water gardening.
You can visit this interesting new site at: