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 Annie's Project course, "Women Marketing Grain," will be offered August 11 & 12 at Lincoln Land College, 700 S Spresser, Taylorville, IL.
The first day will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and the second day will run from 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
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.
The University of Illinois Extension office has a public use computer site on a high-speed internet line. It is available during regular working hours—between 8:00 a.m.—4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. The U of I Extension office is located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville.
Retirement Housing Options
If you were born between 1946 and 1964, you're one of nearly 80 million American baby boomers. What do you have in common with the rest of those boomers? You've probably crunched some numbers to see how long it will be before you can retire! As you prepare mentally and financially for retirement, one of the most important things you should consider is where you're going to live.
For some boomers, this decision may be easy – you may want to stay where you raised your children and would never consider "leaving home." But others may be more adventurous and want to start a "new life" somewhere else – even another part of the country!
Your "home" throughout your retirement years must provide support for all your physical and personal needs. So it's important to give this decision careful consideration.
To help you plan your retirement living environment, University of Illinois Extension is hosting the program, "Where Do You Want to Live When You Grow Up? Your Retirement Housing Options". It will be held Thursday, August 27 at 9:30 a.m. at the Christian County Extension office, located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville. Pat Hildebrand, University of Illinois Extension Family & Consumer Economics Educator from the Effingham Center will be the speaker. The program is offered free of charge to the public, however, seating is limited. Registration is suggested by calling 287-7246.
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, uses existing technology in residential heating as well as 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.
The Christian County 4-H Foundation is selling copies of the 2009 Christian County Plat Book published by Rockford Map Co. Copies will arrive some time in August and will be available at the U of I Extension Office, Soil and Water Conservation District office, and Christian County Farm Bureau for a cost of $35.
The topics for the Fall "4 Seasons Gardening" sessions being offered in September & October, 2009 at the U of I Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville are:
Tuesday, September 15, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, September 17, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 29, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, October 1, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 13, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, October 15, 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.
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.
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).
Illinois Manure Share Website: A program that benefits horse owners, small livestock operations, gardeners, landscapers, and the environment is now available online, courtesy of U of I Extension.
"Illinois Manure Share" http://www.manureshare.illinois.edu is a free service. It is a manure exchange program that brings gardeners and landscapers searching for organic materials to use in composting or field applications in contact with livestock owners who have excess manure.
The website includes registration forms for both livestock producers wishing to dispose of manure and for gardeners and landscapers seeking the product. There are also links to federal and state rules and regulations affecting the process.
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 now 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.
Laundry detergents come in many forms, each having its own benefits. Select the form that best meets your specific cleaning needs.
· General-Purpose Detergents: Full-strength detergents that can be used with many types of fabrics/textiles.
· Light-Duty Detergents: These detergents can be used when washing fabrics by hand or in your washing machine. They're used primarily for delicate fabrics, such as those requiring special care, or lightly-soiled items; ideal for hand washing baby clothes.
High Efficiency (HE) Detergents—Detergents (both liquid and powder forms) designed for use in both front-and top-loading HE washers. These products are formulated for use in low water volume. *
Liquid Detergents—Especially effective on food and greasy and oily soils. They are also good for pretreating spots and stains prior to washing. * and **
Powder Detergents—Ideal for general wash loads. Powders are especially effective at lifting out clay and ground-in dirt, making them ideal for children's play clothes. * and **
Ultra Detergents—Concentrated detergents are available in liquid or powder forms. They come in smaller packages, yet are designed to offer the same cleaning power as similar products in larger packages. You'll need less ultra detergent than with an unconcentrated product, so follow label instructions and use the measuring cap or scoop that comes with the product. *
Single-Use Detergents—Compacted and/or concentrated powder, liquid, or tablet detergents that come in unit-dose sizes for measuring accuracy and laundering convenience. *
Fragrance or Dye-Free Detergents—Many laundry products are now fragrance-free and/or dye-free. Read the labels for details. *
Soap Bars—Formed detergent bars are generally made from tallow or a combination of tallow and cocoa (coconut oil). They were the precursors of the chip and powder forms of detergent. *
Combination Detergents—One detergent formulated to do two jobs. Look for: Liquid or powder detergents with built-in fabric softeners; powder detergents with color-safe bleach; liquid detergents with bleach alternative. *
Source: The Soap and Detergent Association, www.cleaning101.com