University of Illinois Extension Christian County will sponsor two "Backyard Walks" early in September to help homeowners find solutions to lawn and garden problems.
The September 6th Backyard Walk will be held at the home of U of I Master Gardener, Deb Leahy, 310 N Foggit Street in Edinburg, starting at 6:00 and lasting until about 7:30 p.m. The home of Candace Gates at 808 Samuel Street in Taylorville is the site on September 7th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Both programs will cover similar topics related to home horticulture that reflect some of the challenges we faced this year in our lawns and gardens. Plenty of time will be allowed for Q & A during the evening. Christian County Master Gardeners will also be on hand to lend their expertise.
The evening programs are free but it would help our planning by calling (287-7246) about a week ahead to let us know that you would like to attend. No rain date–dress for the weather. If you would like a "backyard walk" program in your community, then contact Gary Letterly - University of Illinois Extension – Natural Resources Educator.
It is time for the final University of Illinois Extension fall gardening series. Minor Spring Blooming Bulbs, The Midas Touch and How Insecticides & Miticides Work will be presented.
Minor Spring Blooming Bulbs: Are you ready to move beyond tulips and daffodils? Join Horticulture Educator, Susan Grupp, to learn about specialty bulbs. There's nothing "minor" about these beauties! Snowdrops, anemones, alliums, and others can add color and unique interest to your spring landscape. This timely program will be offered on Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 1:00 p.m.
The Midas Touch: You may recall the story of King Midas, who turned whatever he touched into gold. Well, you can do the same in your flower garden, planting an entire garden or perhaps just add accents in a bed or corner with gold/yellow foliage. From a distance you will notice gold hues much more than burgundy or blue. Let Martha Smith, Horticulture Educator introduce you to yellow foliaged annuals, herbs, perennials, shrubs and trees. This program will be offered on Tuesday Sept. 26 at 1:00 p.m.
How Insecticides & Miticides Work: Do you know how and why insecticides and miticides kill plant-feeding pests? This is important to know in order to select the appropriate pest control material and achieve maximum effectiveness. Dr. Raymond Cloyd, Ornamental Entomologist, will present this informative and entertaining program.
Dr. Cloyd will discuss issues related to how pest control materials work including classifications (conventional vs. alternative) and types (contact, systemic, and translaminar), mode of action, and concerns associated with resistance. This program will be offered on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 1:00 p.m.
The Four Seasons Gardening programs 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.
If you're like most consumers, you haven't purchased a new kitchen appliance in 10-15 years. As you shop, you'll see many new features and new technology used in many ways in today's models. The great variety of appliances available reflects the wide range of consumers and their different needs.
"Today's kitchens are much larger than in years past, even though families are getting smaller," says Lois E. Smith, Consumer and Family Economics Educator with University of Illinois Extension. "It's a reflection of the changes in our lifestyles. The kitchen is used for more than preparing food. It has become the center of the home –for eating, lounging, even entertaining guests."
The purchase of any large appliance is a major expense. By doing your homework, you can find the right appliance to meet your needs and your budget. The "Large Appliance Update" explains new design, technology and performance for many appliances and includes a worksheet to help you evaluate each for cost, value and special features.
The educational program will be held on Thursday, September 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the U of I Extension office. The public is invited to attend and there is no charge. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Linda Smith at 287-7246.
New to the University of Illinois Extension Christian County website this month is a site entitled, "Recipes for Diabetes," a site designed to assist people with diabetes in preparing healthy foods. Karen Chapman-Novakofski has developed this new site with recipes on main dishes, side dishes and desserts.
Focusing on agriculture issues and related financial aspects, the first-ever Strengthening Farm Communities Conference is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7, 2006, in Decatur, and registrations are now being taken for the free event.
The free conference, co-hosted by Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka and the University of Illinois Extension, and sponsored by the Smart Women Smart Money Educational Foundation, gives participants the opportunity to hear from agriculture and finance experts and build their money management skills.
The conference is free, but reservations are required with an Aug. 28 deadline. The conference begins with check in at 8 a.m. and the program runs from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (with lunch provided) at the Decatur Conference Center & Hotel (the former Holiday Inn) at 4191 West U.S. Highway 36, Decatur. A farmers market will be on site with a variety of products.
Scheduled topics for the conference are agri-tourism, alternative agriculture, agriculture lending, and retirement/estate planning. Judy Barr Topinka is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.
For more information about the conference, visit the web site at www.state.il.us/treas and look for the SWSM logo. You may also call Janet Dobrinsky at 217-557-0885 or Kristen Zueck at 217-524-8881 for more information or to register.
How will you observe it?
1.Electrocutions usually involve getting machinery (grain augers) caught in power lines.
2.Hydraulic truck beds can come in contact with power lines before the hoist is stopped.
3.Rubber tires insulate you, but stepping outside a cab means you become the ground.
4.Spray washers and mist of water can conduct a fatal current back to your wet clothes.
5.Electrocutious kill 150 farmers annually, and your family doesn't want to find you.
Source: Extension Update on Central Illinois Agriculture, Macon County
Where is lead found in the home?
Any surface first painted before about 1980 could contain lead. The most common places to find lead-based paint are areas where high durability was required: doors, door frames, windows, woodwork, and furniture. Lead-based paint becomes a hazard when it starts to wear, chip, peel or when it is removed by sanding or stripping.
Existing homes can be contaminated with lead (which used to be an ingredient in paint and pipe solder). Exposure to lead can occur through ingesting paint chips, inhaling lead dust, or drinking contaminated water. In addition, the soil around homes near roads may be contaminated with lead from years of exposure to gasoline exhaust fumes.
Lead can get into the home environment from: lead-based paint, dust contaminated with lead-based paint, soils contaminated with lead from paint, engines burning leaded gas, industrial uses of lead, water, lead-glazed ceramic pottery, lead solder on some food cans, and food products grown in lead-contaminated soils.
How does lead affect the human body?
Lead-based paint is a primary concern to home remodelers and occupants of older homes. Lead-based paint was used until the late 1970s, and was especially common before the 1950s. The greatest health threat is inhalation or ingestion of the dust from lead-based paint as it wears and disintegrates.
Lead exposure can damage the central nervous system, and even at low levels it can affect system development. In children, this can result in lowered IQ scores, and birth defects can occur if pregnant women are exposed. A blood test can determine a person's blood-lead level.
Lead "abatement", or removal, is usually NOT a "Do-It-Yourself' activity. Careless removal can pose serious health risks.
Home lead testing kits can identify sources of lead in a home, but these may not detect low levels. Specialized, licensed lead abatement contractors are trained in the safe removal or encapsulation of this pollutant.
It is often better to leave the lead-containing materials in place if they are in good condition, but they may need to be covered or sealed to reduce exposure. Removal of lead-containing materials is hazardous and generally best left to a trained professional; however, professional removal may be expensive.
How do you test for lead?
Lead-containing materials generally cannot be recognized by sight and identification by special testing is needed. Lead- (primarily lead-based paint) containing materials, if in good condition and left undisturbed, may pose little health threat. Deterioration of lead-containing materials increases the likelihood that residents of the home will be exposed to the health hazard. Disturbing lead-containing materials, such as during renovation, increases the likelihood of dangerous exposure.
While a do-it-yourself test kit is not as definitive as a lab test, you may be able to do a screening test of suspect paint with a kit. A cigarette-sized "swab" contains separate glass vials of the leaching and indicating solutions. By squeezing the swab where indicated, the vials are broken and the chemicals can mix. After shaking it for a few seconds and squeezing it, a drop or two of the yellow testing solution appears at the cotton tip. This is rubbed on an area of lightly sanded or cut paint.
If an unmistakable pink color forms on the tip of the swab or the surface being tested then lead is present at some hazardous level.
Where can the lead test kit be used?
This method offers a rapid and somewhat reliable test for lead in:
*Paint of any color on any surface.
*Dinnerware and food cans.
*Solder and plumbing fixtures.
If you find lead paint, how can you make your home safe?
Test the paint to determine if it is lead-based.
Replace the painted item, if it can be easily removed without creating lead dust; for example, install a new door or molding. If it is not practical to remove the paint, cover it, such as with new wall board, plaster, or paneling.
If it is necessary to strip the lead-based paint (for example, to maintain the historic integrity of molding), try to remove the item from the home for stripping.
Lead poisoning is a serious health risk, and in many cases lead bearing items and surfaces should be removed from homes. There is no substitute for professional testing by a certified lead inspector; however, lead test swab kits provide an economical and somewhat reliable first step.
Source: Susan Taylor, Extension Educator, Consumer and Family Economics, Matteson Center
Chlorine bleach is key to keeping white clothes their whitest and brightest, says The Soap and Detergent Association. The rules are simple; the results can be dazzling.
¨Check the care label to be sure chlorine bleach is safe for the fabric.
¨Use the correct amount of bleach for your load size and washer. Read and follow the instructions on the bleach bottle.
Whitest and Brightest–
For the brightest results:
¨If your machine has a bleach dispenser, pour the bleach directly into it.
¨No dispenser? Add detergent as the washer fills up with water. Add the clothes. Let the machine agitate for about five minutes so that the clothes are thoroughly wet. This time also allows the detergent enzymes to work. Dilute bleach in one quart of water and then add it to the wash water. Be careful not to spill any undiluted bleach directly on the clothes.
Source: SDA, Cleaning Matters