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Know How, Know More

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community
3 Celery

DIY: Regrowing Celery

A fellow Illinois Extension colleague shared a blog last year titled " Kitchen Scrap Gardening ." You might have heard of these home kitchen experiments regrowing foods from leftover seeds, stems, and scraps. Using the stem leftover from my last post on freezing celery, I have been growing and documenting my journey of growing celery from "scrap." If...

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DIY: Red Pepper Flakes

Every summer, gardens at home are hit or miss on what grows and what doesn't. Sometimes a plant just grows and grows! This was the case for the gardener who brought me multiple bunches of hot peppers – jalapeños, poblanos, and lots of small red hot peppers. Just for fun, I decided to string and hang the red peppers to dry. For instructions on drying peppers on string, I recommend readin...

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Turkey Holidays

Turkey Q&A

How well do you know Thanksgiving turkey safety tips? Let's find out! Thanks to the " Turkey for the Holidays " website from UI Extension for these tips! Q: How long does a turkey take to thaw? A: Allow about 24 hours of defrost time for every 5 pounds of turkey. For example...

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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...

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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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Fiber: Beyond the Basics

One last week of American Heart Month, and one last topic exploring fiber and heart health. Sources of Fiber All plant foods contain fiber. Some have more than others. Processing of foods can change the amount of fiber in foods. For example, an apple may have 3g of fiber, while 100% apple juice will have 0g o...

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Fat: Beyond the Basics

It's still February and American Heart Month.  This week in "Know How, Know More" it is time to explore fats and heart health. Therapeutic Lifestyle Change (TLC) Eating Plan Heart-healthy choices and managing blood markers of cholesterol can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as high cholesterol and stroke. Learn more ab...

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Sodium: Beyond the Basics

In this "Know How, Know More" series, decide how you want to learn, be it reading, watching, and sharing content about sodium and heart health. (February is American Heart Month, by the way.) The DASH Diet - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension High blood pressure (or hypertension) increases risk of heart events, such as heart...

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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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Lunchbox Fun

Parents, teachers, and students: welcome back to school! Along with education, social engagement, and student personal growth, food is a major part of school culture. Consider the different times foods can pop up during the school day: Breakfast – at home, on-the-go to school, or a school-provided meal Lunch – a meal packed at home or provided by the sch...

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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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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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Drying Apples

This summer has been focused on freezing and dehydration programs, as part of our line of food preservation classes from UI Extension. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great resource for information on freezing and drying foods. If you still have summer crops giving their last, consider drying those for use in recipe...

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Salsa by Three

So many things make us feel summer. The heat of course, but all the different fresh fruits and vegetables you taste…ah, it is summer! In all the heat, salsa is a refreshing snack option, an addition to a recipe, and a way to use up extra ingredients. It is probably not a surprise that salsa has its own variations, and not all of them include tomatoes. Salsas can help you get in...

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Gardening Roller Coaster

If you are an amusement park enthusiast you are familiar with the feeling of great anticipation as you are fastened into your roller coaster car. With your shoulder harness securely fastened, the anticipation builds with click, click, click, as you ever so slowly climb to the top of one of the coaster peaks. Eak! Will you be met with an accelerated descent, a loop-the-loop or a sharp curve? Garden...

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Drying Tomatoes

The next line of food preservation classes from UI Extension are on freezing and dehydration. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a great resource for information on freezing and drying foods. Past years, the focus has been on home canning. This summer is about preserving fruits and veggies in other ways. And sampling som...

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A Peck of Pepper Problems

The untold story of Peter Piper's Peppers: peppers can be hard to grow! Growing your own peppers makes perfect sense if you are a gardener. Whether you chop, dice, roast, stuff, pickle, grill or dry the brilliant colored vegetable, they are handy to have in your kitchen. You may have wandered the farmers market or supermarket and noticed they are a little pricey! Maybe Peter Piper knew growing...

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Simple Summer Kitchen

With so much produce growing in summer, this is a great time to enjoy the warmer weather, savor flavors, and keep recipes simple. The tastes of all those summer fruits and veggies will do most of the work in making your recipes shine. I recently taught the "Your Diet, Your Decade" class, designed to highlight nutrition needs across different age groups. Our 60+ year young crowd prepared...

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Grocery Tours

The last few months, I have gotten a chance to partner with County Market and assist with grocery store tours to several groups. This is an opportunity for participants to get their questions answered about different foods in the store, gain skills to make healthier picks, and become more savvy shoppers. As some commented: "Thank you for this class. Very helpful!" –tour p...

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Spring Salad Greens

With the price of everything including groceries climbing higher and higher all the time, I highly recommend brightening your spring table with some salad greens you can proudly proclaim you grew yourself. It's really not difficult at all, and it's economical. I grew up thinking iceberg lettuce was the only kind of lettuce people ate. This was way before so many greens options were read...

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Make it at Home: Sauerkraut

Our unit's do-it-yourself (DIY) series is still going strong. I am excited to report a successful sauerkraut class. Everyone was excited to get their hands in the cabbage and work together. There are still more classes in the series, so c heck out our remaining classes . What is...

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Grafting for the Homeowner

Grafting is the technique of combining two plants to create one more desirable plant. Just as people have different strengths, so do plants. One variety might produce fantastic tasting fruits, another variety might tolerate poor soils, while another might be known for being a more compact plant. Grafting is one way to combine good qualities of different plants to create a better harvest....

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