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Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community
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CSA Week 4: Kohlrabi's Back!

Our fourth week's CSA share arrived with sweet corn, broccoli, onions, grape tomatoes, kohlrabi, and green bell peppers. For those who not been following along on the CSA Insider or social media ( @nutritiondmp ), what are you waiting for? Kohlrabi: What...

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CSA Week 3: Corn

Our third week's CSA share arrived with sweet corn, green heads of lettuce, shallots, broccoli, and green bell peppers.  For those who not been following along on the CSA Insider or social media ( @nutritiondmp ), join us! We want to hear what recipes and informati...

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CSA Week 2: Kohlrabi

Our second week's CSA share arrived with more heads of lettuce, leeks, broccoli, kohlrabi, basil, Napa cabbage, and green bell peppers. For those who not been following along on the CSA Insider or social media ( @nutritiondmp ), join us! We...

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CSA Week 1: Garlic Scapes

Our first week's CSA share arrived last Monday with purple and green heads of lettuce, white and red bulb onions, heads of garlic, mint, and garlic scapes!  For those who not been following along on the CSA Insider or social media ( @nutritiondmp ), join us!  We...

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CSA Insider Starts Summer 2018

Our office bought a CSA share! Never head of a CSA – or community supported agriculture? Fellow extension educator, Andrew Larson, wrote a summary of this newer area of agriculture . Each week this summer, we are sharing our experiences using our CSA items, from recipes to farmer tips, and more. Follow along on...

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Brown Moths are Flying

Recently people have been noticing large numbers of brown moths fluttering around flowering trees and resting on the sides of homes. These are newly emerged Armyworm Moths . According to Kelly Estes at the Illinois Natural History Survey, these are the moth stage of this sprin...

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Warm Season Plants and Frost-Free Date

As we approach the end of April and the temperatures warm into the 70's, we get the "itch" to plant our gardens. But when is it safe to plant our warm-season vegetables and to move our tropical house plants outside? Our warm season vegetables like cucumbers and squashes need a soil temperature of 70 deg. F.  Tomatoes and green beans need soil temperatures in the mid-50's and minimum te...

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Garlic in Oats

Garlic in the Oats Cover Crop

With winter in retreat, the garlic in my garden is growing well after a rather rough winter. From the picture, you can see what looks like dead grass stems on either side on my garlic row. Well those are my spring oats that I planted at the end of August when I formed my garlic row beds. At the end of September, I planted my garlic cloves on the top of the row beds. It is the cover crop I plant ah...

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Winter Feeding of Your Bees

With the recent long period of below normal temperatures, have you thought about whether your hive of honey bees is needing food? Now may be a great time to give your bees supplemental food or a winter feeding. Honey bees do not hibernate during the winter, but instead consume food reserves to stay warm throughout the winter months. When temperatures within the hive drop below 50 deg. F...

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October is National Apple Month

Fall is here and with it comes apples. October is National Apple Month. Did you know that the average American eats about 17.5 pounds of fresh apples each year, and an additional 30 pounds of apples in other products such as juice; canned and frozen products; and dried. In 2016, Illinois had over 1700 acres of apples in production which resulted in over 40 million pounds of harvested ap...

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Pawpaws, a Native Fall Fruit Taste Delight

If you have never eaten a pawpaw, try this tasty, fall fruit. While the pawpaw, Asimina triloba , is the largest...

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Cicada Killer - The Big Wasp

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been getting many phone calls from people describing giant wasps in their yards. These have turned out to be the Eastern Cicada Killer (Sphecius speciosus), which is a mild mannered wasp. The stinger on the female wasp is used to paralyze cicadas and the male has no stinger. The adult cicada killer is an impressive looking wasp measuring up to 1.5 i...

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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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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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Information on Using Pesticides Safely In the Lawn & Garden

Every year, people have a lot  of questions about identifying pests around the lawn or garden; which pesticide to use or not to use; how to apply it and how much should be applied. Pesticides used correctly are one of the tools a gardener can use to control pests. Candice Hart and Doug Gucker, Extension Educators in Horticulture and Local Foods Systems, have created a series of short v...

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Beware of the Invasive Teasel Plant

As you travel along Illinois highways this time of the year, you may have seen a tall, dried, spiny plant with huge showy seed heads . You might have even considered taking some seed or seed heads home to plant and use as an accent flower or for use in dried flower arrange...

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Bees and Pesticides in the Garden

" Bees and Pesticides in the Garden " is the title of a recent article by Ric Bessin, Extension Entomol...

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Keeping the Garden Weed-Free

As everyone is finishing planting their gardens, their attention turns to controlling the weeds. Unfortunately, this is backwards, we need to focus on garden weed control before the first seed is planted. All this was brought to mind, after viewing a large local vegetable garden, where the gardener was focused on getting plants in the ground. Yet, weeds were growing on the earlier plant...

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Water Splash

Muddy, Carbon, Water

Can you figure out what the words above have in common? Take your time, I don't have anywhere to be. Did you come up with footprints? We are familiar with muddy footprints as we return from a soggy garden. You may think about your carbon footprint as you drive to and fro and when you figure out how far a given product has traveled to reach the store shelf. A water footprint? Is that...

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Recycling Your Christmas Tree

Now that the glory of your Christmas tree has faded, what are you planning to do with your tree? How about recycling your tree? Here are some suggestions for recycling your Christmas tree on your own property. You can have it mulched into wood chips for use in your community or around your house. It can be reused as an outdoor bird feeder, but remember to remove...

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It's Thanksgiving - Thank A Farmer

At the holidays, it is often easy to forget about the people who produce the food we eat. I understand this can happen, especially here in central Illinois - in the heart of the Corn Belt, where we see a lot of corn and soybeans growing. As I often have to remind my neighbors, we raise a lot more than "corn and soybeans" around here. One example, pictured on one of the accompanying p...

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Delight in Fall

The morning now greets us with a crisp chill and the darkness of the evening comes sooner than many would like this time of year.  For some, fall is a much anticipated time while others skip this season already dreading what follows - winter. As we bring in the final garden harvest for the season, decorate with corn stalks & pumpkins, and begin planning for fall activities there is...

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No Squash Bugs on this Pumpkin

Are you looking for a winter squash that squash bugs do not like? Take a look at the Hopi Orange squash. I have been growing this squash off and on over the past 10 years.  I have never a problem with squash bugs when I plant Hopi Orange squash, but I do if I plant any other winter squash (or pu...

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Feed People First

A few weeks ago we talked a bit about the less than perfect produce that is naturally occurring in our gardens. Although it may not be perfect, it is edible and nutritious!...

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Fields of Wheat

Wheat is growing here in Piatt County! A group of 4-H kids joined UI Extension on a farm tour all about wheat. For all the different products wheat is used in, the visit to a wheat field and elevator was a great opportunity to explore local wheat....

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