March 07, 2021

Calendar: Keeping feral swine out of Illinois

The Byron Forest Preserve District will be offering a free winter lecture via Zoom at 2 p.m. Feb. 14.

Peggy Doty, environmental and energy educator, University of Illinois Extension, will talk about feral swine, also known as Eurasian boar or feral hogs. These invasive animals are not native to North America and pose a huge threat to native ecosystems and agriculture operations. While there are no known feral hog populations currently in Illinois, increasing feral swine populations in neighboring states are making their appearance in Illinois more and more likely in the future.

This program will provide information about the history of feral swine in America and the concern regarding their impacts on Illinois land, fish, wildlife and farming if these animals arrive. The talk will also cover current research on feral swine and successful method of removing them.

To access this lecture, email the Byron Forest Preserve District at info@byronforestpreserve.com to register and receive the link and password for join this Zoom program. For more information, call 815-234-8535, ext. 200.

Growing plants from seeds

The La Salle Public Library will be virtually hosting University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Natalie Martin as she demonstrates how to get started in growing your garden plants from seeds.

Starting your plants from seeds, instead of buying seedlings from the nursery, can seem daunting if you’ve never done it before. But starting from seeds, can be the most cost-effective way to grow your own food. Martin will go through the step-by-step process, giving suggestions for every budget, so that when it’s time to start seeds for this spring, you will know where to begin. At the end of the program, Martin will answer audience questions via live chat.

This free program at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 be presented in an easy-to-use virtual format. Interested individuals can email Rachael Blomquist at the La Salle Public Library at rblomquist@lasalle.lib.il.us in order to register and receive the link to the program and viewing instructions.

For more information, call the La Salle County Extension office at 815-433-0707.

Dollars and Sense - Money Matters for youth

The two-day consumer education program Dollars and Sense - Money Matters for Youth will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and Feb. 18.

On Feb. 16, youth will test their knowledge of the cost of different items in a fun game, then take on an engineering design challenge by making a coin sorter.

On Feb. 18, participants will learn about banking careers from a local banker. They will learn how to use debit cards and checks, and tackle a second engineering challenge to store money.

This program, geared for ages 8 to 12, is free, and previous 4-H membership is not required. Register at web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=22.

Introduction to Beekeeping

Explore the fascinating world of honey bees and the steps to becoming a beekeeper at Introduction to Beekeeping. This series is designed for someone interested in starting beekeeping or would just like to learn more about honey bees. Topics that will be covered by experienced beekeepers includes life of the bee, common pests and diseases, bee equipment, how to assemble bee equipment, new package installation, how to inspect a hive, and care of the colony.

This year’s six-part series will be offered via Zoom from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 18, Feb. 25, March 4, March 11, March 18, and March 25. In addition to the weekly sessions, participants will be encouraged to listen to pre-recorded videos and review reading material. If current guidelines permit, sessions may also be held in person. In addition as guidelines permit, a couple of in-person hive viewing sessions will be held.

This program is sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Logan-Menard-Sangamon Unit, Sangamon County Farm Bureau, and Prairie State Beekeepers.

Registration fee of $45 includes copy of First Lessons in Beekeeping book, shipping of book is an additional charge. Register by visiting web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=22961. For more information, call 217-782-4617.

The Nuts and Bolts of Regenerative Grazing

The Regenerative Grazing: Fundamentals for Farmers virtual series will be from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 18 and Feb. 25. This series will feature Kent Solberg, a livestock and grazing sSpecialist with the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota, as well as Illinois graziers Jill Vonder Haar and Jim Isermann.

Learn about the details of regenerative grazing, including paddocks, fencing, water, forage basics, and grazing cover crops. Register at thelandconnection.org/event/grazing-series.

The series is supported by the Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District, The Land Connection, University of Illinois Extension, and The Pasture Project at the Wallace Center.