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Buckets, Bales, & Bushels

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers, and Community
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Garden gone awry? How to Control Aggressive Garden Plants

Posted by Candice Hart - Gardening

Aggressive, invasive, and my personal favorite, a garden thug are all terms commonly used by gardeners to describe those garden perennials that tend to overtake their intended areas. It all starts with good intention. Usually a garden friend who wants to share a division of a plant they have an abundance of, or a gorgeous plant at the garden center whose label fails to note its aggressive growt...

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Soil Health – Why is it Important?

Soil health is getting a lot of attention and it well deserved. Do you know why? First, the most well-known and essential benefit of healthy soil is food production. Healthy soil is full of organisms that turn dead matter and minerals into vital plant nutrients. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated it another way, "A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself." Second, healthy soi...

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Eco-Dye

Posted by Beth Allhands -

Don't we all wish we could capture the beauty of summer, with its lush growth of greens, yellows, purples and pinks? Recently, University of Illinois Piatt County Master Gardner Kristi Pyatt shared a different way to preserve those colors and shapes of growing plants; Eco-Dying! A small group of people were lucky enough to attend a presentation on Eco-Dying at Allerton Park and Retreat...

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Blender Salsa

Salsa in the summer? Yes please! I like salsa as part of my lunch during summer as a way of getting vegetables in my diet in a different way from my usual bell pepper slices. My trouble with jarred salsa I buy is that the sodium amount is higher than I would like. I also prefer my salsa less chunky than I can usually find in jars, or even sometimes as fresh salsa in the deli. So making...

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Water Less with Self Watering Containers

Posted by Candice Hart - Gardening

What do you do when you want to grow veggies at an office surrounded by gravel with no available growing space? You create containers! This was the dilemma this spring at our Clinton Extension Office. The summer Junior Master Gardener program was starting and we needed a way to...

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Watch Out for Queen Anne's Lace Look-Alikes

At this time of the year, the wildflower, Wild Carrot or Queen Anne's Lace , is in bloom. It is known for its beautiful white compound umbels of flowers that measure 2 to 5 inches across and is the source of our cultivated carrots. People will pick these flowers for...

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Summertime Heat: Wither-or not

Posted by Beth Allhands -

  Many people long for summer during the winter months, but then…the heat waves hit and it's hard not to feel withered. To help you and your living landscape, I've comprised a few tips to help combat the heat and summer blues that hot dry conditions can inflict on your lawn. First, try not to worry too much about your lawn's dry appearance. Most of the cool season grass cultivar...

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