Many people are already thinking about canning, freezing and drying foods as work begins in the garden this spring. Understanding proper canning techniques is especially important to preserve food safely at home.
A "Canning and Home Food Preservation" program will be held on Tuesday evening, June 2 at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County, located at 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Jananne Finck, U of I Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator, will be discussing and demonstrating ways to can fruits and vegetables using both the boiling water bath and pressure canning methods. In addition, those attending will receive USDA materials on safely preserving foods at home.
Pre-registration is needed and the cost is $10 per person. To register, send a check payable to "University of Illinois Extension Christian County" at 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL 62568.
The deadline for registration is Friday, May 29. For more information, or if you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this program, please contact the Christian County office at 217-287-7246 in Taylorville.
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—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.
It's once again time to get ready for the gardening and canning season.
The annual canner testing day will be held on Tuesday, June 2 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. It's not necessary to bring lids from weighted gauge canners.
A Presto parts list will be available if you need to order gauges, gaskets, etc. 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.
Annie's Project, an educational program for farm women, will be offered Tuesday evenings on June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and July 7, 2009 from 6:00—9:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Land Community College Computer Lab, Room 107, located at 800 S. Spresser St., Taylorville, IL.
This program is being sponsored locally by First National Bank on Spresser and University of Illinois Extension Christian County.
Annie's Project is a series of educational programs for farm women wanting to learn more about farm management and improve their skills as business partners, and will be taught by Ruth Hambleton, retired UI Extension Farm Business Management and Marketing Educator.
Topics will include the basics of managing money, examining how property is titled, setting up farm leases, basic grain marketing, deciding on insurance products, and putting together a business plan which includes financial documents like balance sheets, income statements and cash flows.
The registration fee for this program is $50. For those who've participated in Annie's Project before, the fee is only $25. To register or for further information, please call the Christian County Extension office in Taylorville at (217) 287-7246. Class size is limited to the first 15 who register.
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:
Turf Disease - Tuesday, June 16, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, June 18, 7:00 p.m.
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.
Have you checked your food handler's license expiration date lately? Do you need to renew your Illinois Department of Public Health Food Safety Service Sanitation Managers Certification within the next few months?
If so, you can attend the five-hour re-certification refresher course on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office from 3:30—8:30 p.m.
According to Jananne Finck, UI Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator, "Anyone who holds a valid Food Service Managers Certificate that expires within in the next year should plan to attend this refresher course." Finck is a certified instructor licensed through the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The cost of the workshop is $40 and the registration deadline is on Friday, May 29. To register, call the Christian County Extension office at (217) 287-7246.
A photo ID is required at registration time. If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please call 287-7246.
Whether you're a recent grad, a UI graduate of many years, or just a good Illini fan, our 2009 tour to the University of Illinois on Thursday, June 11 will surely include some things you'll really enjoy.
We will leave the Extension office parking lot at 7:00 a.m. and travel to Champaign-Urbana by van, where we will tour the newly renovated Memorial Stadium, the home of Illinois football, which now includes luxurious hospitality facilities, a state of the art press box, and a new permanent seating addition in the north end zone.
From there we will head to the brand new Business Instructional Facility, filled with high-tech classrooms, counseling and career services, a state-of-the-art laboratory that simulates real-time market trading. This is the university's first "green" building in its 141-year history, and includes solar panels to help power the building, roof plantings that provide insulation and reduce water runoff, and a unique, energy-efficient heating and cooling system.
Our next stop will be the Activities and Recreation Center, the newest campus facility originally opened in 1971 as the Intramural-Physical Education Building (IMPE). In 1995, the IMPE Building was closed for a total renovation and is now one of the country's largest on-campus recreation centers at 340,000 square feet.
Our last stop will be the renovated Irwin Academic Services building, an 8,000 square foot building, formerly the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity house, which offers the very best in academic services to Illinois student-athletes.
Plans are to return to Taylorville by 5:30 p.m. Paid reservations of $25, which includes transportation, tours, and lunch, will be taken on a first come, first served basis to the first 15 people who call in reservations.
The deadline for paid reservations is Friday, June 5.
The Dudley Smith Farm will be the host site for a Beef Cow-Calf Field Day on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 beginning with registration at 9:30 a.m. Gary Letterly, U I Extension Christian County Natural Resources Management Educator, will provide updates and program introductions at 10:00 a.m.
Ed Ballard, retired UI Extension Animal Systems Educator from the Shelbyville area, will discuss the performance of cool season grasses in local grazing trials. Then, following up on the first year study on grazing corn stalks and supplementing with DDG's, Dr. Dan Shike, U of I Dept. of Animal Science, will share "What's New in 2009".
Mike Vincent, UI Department of Crop Sciences doctoral candidate, will give a brief update on the development of a tropical maize project for livestock feeding and as a potential bioenergy crop.
The field day will feature the research of Dr. Garry Lacefield, University of Kentucky Forage Specialist in the area of forage selection and management in rotational grazing programs for the "heart of America" (Illinois, of course).
Lunch will be provided by the U of I Extension Christian County office at noon. To attend and receive a complimentary lunch, please contact the University of Illinois Extension Christian County Unit office at 287-7246 by noon on Wednesday, June 24.
For additional details, contact University of Illinois Extension Christian County Unit at 217-287-7246.
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 sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Christian County, 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 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.
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.
"Beyond Impatiens and Petunias" is a new horticulture website added to our "Local Links" page. This website explains how some plants like it hot—some plants like it cool. Some gardens will shift from open, sunny sites, to sites that present considerable shade and are cooler with more moisture. Whatever your garden situation, there are annuals and perennials that can be selected to offer color and interest to even some of the most extreme gardening situations and this site will help make those decisions.
Information on this topics is available at the U of I Extension Christian County website located at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian. Click on the "Local Links" tab on the "Home Page," and scroll down to the Horticulture section.
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 through 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.
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.