The topics for the summer "4 Seasons Gardening" sessions being offered in June & July, 2009 at the U of I Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville are:
Don't Blame the Plant—Abiotic Disorders
Tuesday, June 30, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, July 2, 7:00 p.m.
Landscaping on the Wild Side
Tuesday, July 14, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, July 16, 7:00 p.m.
Please call 287-7246 one week in advance of the specific presentation you would like to attend. A prepaid registration fee of $2 will be assessed for printed handout materials.
In recognition of the contributions agriculture makes in Christian County, the Christian County Agriculture Group, the Christian County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Christian County Fair, and the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office are hosting the 10th Annual Agriculture Appreciation Dinner during the Christian County Fair on Thursday, July 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
A lasagna, garlic bread, salad, drink, and dessert dinner will be served by Angelo's and Christian County 4-H members.
Bob McLeese, USDA-NRCS State Soil Scientist, the keynote speaker, will present, "Bridges Over Money Creek … Leaving a Legacy." Bob is a native of Towanda, IL in McLean County, and gives numerous presentations throughout Illinois each year. He always leaves his audiences inspired, informed and fully entertained by combining learning and laughter with the common theme of conserving and sustaining our natural resources.
The meal is free, and tickets are now available at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, the Christian County Farm Bureau, and the Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District office.
Please make your reservations and pick up your tickets by noon on Thursday, July 2 as tickets cannot be obtained the day of the event.
The next Safe Sitter class for girls and boys ages 11 to 13 will be held on Tuesday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 22, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Christian County Extension Office.
The two-day Safe Sitter program is being sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Christian County, the Christian County Home and Community Education Association, and Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
During the course, students get hands-on practice in basic life-saving techniques so they are prepared to act in a crisis, with medical information taught by a certified professional.
Safe Sitter participants also receive helpful tips to make them more confident caregivers, learning safety and security precautions, such as what to do if a stranger comes to the door and when and how to call for help. Information on child development and age-appropriate activities, and the business aspects of babysitting are also taught.
To become a certified Safe Sitter, students have to pass a rigorous practical and written test to show they have mastered the key concepts and have the skills necessary to handle an emergency.
For a registration form or information, call the Christian County Extension office at 287-7246. There is a limit to the number of participants we can accommodate in the class, so register as soon as possible. The registration fee is $30, and pre-paid registration is due by Friday, July 17, 2009.
Registration fees will not be refunded for cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance.
The Christian County 4-H Foundation is taking orders for the 2009 Rockford Map Plat Book with expected delivery some time in August. Pre-orders will be taken until July 10 with a discounted pre-pay price of $30. Copies of the new 2009 Christian County Plat Books will be available at the U of I Extension Office. After July 10, the 2009 Christian County Plat Books will be for sale at a cost of $35.
One of the greatest challenges for Illinois farmers is marketing corn, soybeans and wheat commodity crops. Marketing commodity corn, soybeans and wheat is as much an art as it is a science. Annie's Project—Education for Farm Women begins to teach farm women about the basics of farm marketing, and now the second level course Women Marketing Grain will be offered August 11 & 12 at Lincoln Land College, 700 S Spresser, Taylorville, IL
The first day will be from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the second day will be 9:00 to noon.
The first day will be devoted to a review of the basics, and then an overview of option markets and crop insurance products as part of a marketing plan. The second day will continue with crop insurance products and an exercise to let women practice forward contracting decisions and crop insurance choices.
Instructors for the course include Ruth Hambleton, President of Annie's Project—Education for Farm Women; Cathy Ekstrand, Commodity Broker for Sterward-Peterson, Elmwood, IL; and Peggy Duesterhaus, Farmer Marketing and Crop Insurance representative for Ursa Cooperative in Mendon, IL.
Hambleton currently helps her father manage his 320 acre crop share farm in Lee and Bureau counties. Cathy Ekstrand is a grain marketing instructor for Annie's Project, and Peggy Duesterhaus works for Ursa Cooperative as well as farming with her husband in Adams County.
The registration fee for this program is $35. To register or for further information, please call the Christian County Extension office in Taylorville at 287-7246, or register online at http://christian.extension.uiuc.edu. Class size is limited to the first 15 who register.
A telenet program, "From Field to Furnace—Using Miscanthus as an Alternative Energy Source," will be held on August 31 at 1:30 p.m. and repeated at 6:30 p.m. at the U of I Extension Christian County office.
This program will share progress that has been made in addressing the specific challenges of utilizing this potential perennial grass crop. The session will highlight a practical demonstration of biomass heat and power being developed in Christian County.
The project - Biomass Heat and Power in Illinois: A Practical Demonstration and Foundation for the Future, is using existing technology in residential heating and identifying regional manufacturing partnerships to process perennial grasses (Miscanthus x giganteus and switchgrass – Panicum virgatum) into solid fuel pellets.
The outreach portion of this project has lead to innovations in residential heating, involvement of traditional row crop farmers to cultivate perennial grasses as energy crops, and raised public awareness of "bridge" uses of biomass as the promise of cellulosic ethanol inches above the horizon.
There is no cost to attend the telenet, but we request that you pre-register by contacting the U of I Extension Christian County office at 287-7246 by Friday, August 28.
Remember making funny cake, blond brownies or chocolate crinkles? Do you remember these goodies from your 4-H experience? These and many more recipes from 14 University of Illinois Extension 4-H foods project books can be found in a new "favorites" cookbook available from the Illinois 4-H Foundation.
More than 150 of your old favorites from 4-H foods project books such as: You Learn to Bake; ABC's of Food; Adventures in Cooking; It's Fun to Cook; Milk and Eggs; Meat in Your Meals; Pastry in Your Meals; and Yeast Breads in Your Meals are included in this 8 ½" x 11" spiral bound cookbook. Recipes are listed by 4-H project book, alphabetically, and by food category for easy reference.
The cookbooks are for sale at the U of I Extension Christian County office for $15 each, and proceeds from cookbook sales will support current 4-H foods project resources and 4-H volunteer training.
We will continue to send a paper copy to those who do not have e-mail access, but if you have access to e-mail and would like your Extension newsletter sent electronically, please send your name and e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Thank you again for your support of the University of Illinois Extension Christian County program.
Christian County Master Gardeners will be staffing a "Help Desk" for the public at the U of I Extension Christian County office each Monday afternoon from June through October, between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Anyone with questions or concerns about their flower or vegetable gardens, lawns or trees, may call 287-7246 or drop by the Extension office, located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville.
The "Help Desk" is being offered by Christian County Master Gardeners to help meet the constant demand for horticultural consumer information by Christian County residents.
The Working Families newsletter developed by educators in the West Central Region is now available on the web.
In these difficult economic times, it is important that each of us seek information we can use to help ourselves and others navigate the challenges that come along. While we are doing that, we must also maintain family relationships and parenting tasks. We think you'll find articles in the Working Families Newsletter that will provide direction to help you through some significant family challenges. To sign up to receive this newsletter, either on line or in the mail, call the U of I Extension Christian County office at 287-7246.
Is your money going down the drain? In a typical home, water leaks account for nearly 13% of indoor water use. Fix those leaks, and save money in the long run. If your water bill typically costs $35 a month, you could save over $100 in two years.
Keeping your financial papers organized can help you save money. Every day as you receive bills 1) open them, 2) check their accuracy, 3) throw out fillers, and 4) file bills in a To Be Paid file. Then, set aside time once or twice a month to pay all bills in the file.
Let your money work for you! Saving just $20/month for two years adds up fast. At 5% interest you'll be over $500 richer!
Money decisions affect everyone in your household. Plans to save money or cut debt will be accepted better when everyone has input. Try to have regular family meetings to discuss money issues. Encourage everyone to speak freely at the meetings, and be prepared to compromise.
Save money on your insurance costs. Pay your premium annually or allow automatic deduction from your checking account to save finance charges. Usually the less bookkeeping a company has to do, the lower your premium will be.
Check out the Plan Well, Retire Well website at www.RetireWell.uiuc.edu.
The secret ingredient to safely making and canning your own pie filling is the use of Clear Jel@. It is a very, very fine cornstarch mixture that gives the finished product a clear look just like the pie filling you buy in the store. Be sure to buy the regular Clear Jel@ and NOT the instant. We do have a limited supply at the office. The cost is $2.25 for 1 cup (directions included, approximately enough for 4 quart jars of pie filling), or you can order it directly from:
7009 Washington Ave. South
Edina, MN 55439
(Formerly Maid of Scandinavia)
Source for Clear Jel@, cake and candy supplies.