Signup to receive email updates

or follow our RSS feed

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Know How, Know More

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community
Local Farms
flower pepper - Copy

CSA Weeks 15-16: Winter Squash and Sweet Potatoes

We got 2 week's worth of food again this week from the CSA. And it's the last share of the season!  We got sweet corn, popcorn, cipolini onions, butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squashes, shallots, sweet potato, and fun-shaped sweet bell peppers. The sweet potato in our share was a LARGE 3.25 lb one!  We had a fun time weighing it....

Read More >

CSA Weeks 13 and 14: Vegetable Broth

We got 2 week's worth of food this week from the CSA.  CSA Week 13 and 14 included sweet corn, green bell peppers, eggplant, green beans, baby sweet bell peppers, spaghetti squash, watermelon, and yellow summer squash. As there were no "new" foods - that is, foods we had not seen in previous weeks - this week we made veggie broth with food scraps....

Read More >

Squash Meatballs - Copy

CSA Week 12: Jalapeños and Spaghetti Squash

CSA Week 12 had sweet corn, red bell peppers, jalapeños, spaghetti squash, and watermelon. Week 12 Recipes . Download the recipes here , and watch videos of these recipes on social media (...

Read More >

IMG 0519

CSA Week 11: 4-H Teen Cuisine

CSA Week 11 had green beans, sweet corn, green bell peppers, yellow summer squash, orange tomatoes, watermelon, and a variety of small, flat onions. The Piatt County "Teen Cuisine" 4-Hers - partnering with Bergie's Place in Monticello - had the CSA box this week. They got a chance to work on their knif...

Read More >

Chowder - Copy

CSA Week 10: Peppers

CSA Week 10 had lots of veggies!  Sweet corn as always, along with green beans, cucumbers, green bell peppers, mini colored sweet peppers, eggplant, and green and yellow zucchini. Week 10 Recipes . Download the recipes here...

Read More >

orzo - Copy

CSA Week 9: Watermelon and Potatoes

CSA Week 9 had more fruit - a watermelon bigger than either cantaloupe from previous weeks .  Along with watermelon, we got green beans, cucumbers, sweet corn, onions, chives, and potatoes. This was a diverse food week! Week 9 Recipes . Download the recipes...

Read More >

zuch carrot bars - Copy

CSA Week 8: Halfway

Our eighth CSA share is the halfway point this summer!  It was a classic box with cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, yellow summer squash, corn, and bell peppers. Week 8 Recipes . Download the recipes here , and watch videos of these...

Read More >

Eggplant Dip - Copy

CSA Week 7: Eggplant

Our seventh CSA share arrived with cantaloupe, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, bell peppers, zucchini, sage, and heads of cabbage.  No corn this week. Cantaloupe Pickles. We got another HUGE cantaloupe in our box this week. If you haven't tried any of last week's recipes, this is the week. Or try these...

Read More >

Corn bean salsa - Copy

CSA Week 6: Cantaloupe

Our fifth week's CSA share arrived with cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, bell peppers, and sweet corn.  Plus we got peaches from a local orchard. Fruit on a Sandwich. When you get a lot of the same food - like the huge cantaloupe from this...

Read More >

Zuch and Corn Casserole - Copy

CSA Week 5: Summer Squash

Our fifth week's CSA share arrived with zucchini and yellow summer squash, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and sweet corn.  We also asked for green tomatoes for a recipe. Taking Care of Leftovers. There was broccoli from last week that ha...

Read More >

IMG 8757

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...

Read More >

Corn 1

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...

Read More >

IMG 8658

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...

Read More >

IMG 8645

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...

Read More >

The CSA Insider - jpeg

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...

Read More >

Armyworm Moth

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...

Read More >

Last Frost Date
click image to view 3 more

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...

Read More >

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...

Read More >

click image to view 2 more

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...

Read More >

click image to view 2 more

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...

Read More >

click image to view 4 more

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...

Read More >

Cicada Killer-DSwan-Smlr

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...

Read More >

click image to view 3 more

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...

Read More >

click image to view 2 more

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...

Read More >


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...

Read More >