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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
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2014 Year in Review

University of Illinois Extension horticulture programs inspired citizens in local communities to grow their own food and improve their home landscapes. Here are a few examples of how our programs impacted the residents of Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties ion 2014. High quality, impactful programs taught homeowners how to create energy efficient landscapes using sustainable practice...

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Sugar cane in Dominican Republic
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Sugar – is it sugarcane or sugar beets?

Do you know where the sugar you used to bake your Christmas cookies comes from? Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, says that sugar is available in many different forms. According to Ferree, the sugar we use comes from two different plants: sugar beets or sugarcane. Worldwide, 70 percent of our sugar comes from sugarcane. Sugarcane is a tall grass...

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Decorate Christmas tree for the birds after holidays

Disposing of Your Christmas Tree

Once the Christmas holiday is over, the chore of taking down and disposing of the cut Christmas tree remains. Today, because of solid waste regulations, most communities will no longer permit the used Christmas trees to be hauled out with the garbage and sent to the sanitary landfill, reports Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension. However, Christmas...

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dragonfly with quote
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Do You Pinterest?

Pinterest is a rapidly growing social media site where you can get great ideas on many topics. Basically Pinterest is a digital bulletin board. You create board for various topics and then "pin" links and pictures you like onto that board. Personally I use Pinterest as a recipe saver. I also have boards for great garden ideas, everything tea, nature books, and more! My professi...

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Champion Cherrybark oak (Quercus pagodaefolia). Heron Pond in Southern Illinois
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Garden Trend 12 – TREE-mendous

Our last gardening trend of 2014 is TREE-mendous! A 2012 US Forest Service research study found that urban tree cover has been declining at a rate of about 20,000 acres per year or about 4 million trees per year. This greatly impacts the numerous benefits trees provide related to air and water quality, air temperatures, energy use, social well-being, and human health. Let's look at a few benef...

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JP CDL 12-12-09 Poinsettias numbered for judging at U of I  s Winter Wonderland Poinsettia Open House
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Poinsettia History

Many plants are holiday symbols, but few say Christmas as well as the poinsettia. Did you ever wonder why this came to be? If you've done much traveling, you've probably noticed that poinsettias grow naturally as large shrubs in tropical locations. The history of how this tropical plant came to the US and became a holiday symbol is quite interesting. The plant's common name came from J...

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Christmas tree production in Oregon

Christmas tree know-how: Choosing the best variety

News source/writer: Ron Wolford, 773-233-2900...

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