March 03, 2024

Calendar: I-Pollinate Training

YORKVILLE, Ill. — In-person I-Pollinate training will be from 1 to 2 p.m. May 15 at the Kendall County Extension office, 7775B IL Route 47, Yorkville.

I-Pollinate training will teach you how to determine types of pollinators, identify monarch caterpillar stages and collect data for the different projects.

Volunteers can join up to three projects:

• Monarch response to garden variability — Collect data on monarch egg and larva abundance in order to better understand gardens’ roles in monarch conservation

• Pollinator attraction to ornamental flowers — Observe pollinator visits to ornamental flower species to help evaluate which species attract pollinators and create the best environment to host butterflies, bees and flies.

• Bee demographics and distributions — Take photos to help the BeeSpotter program establish long-term monitoring of Illinois honey bee and bumble bee populations. Learn more at

I-Pollinate is a community science research initiative of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Register at

Inciardi Tomato Sale

ST. CHARLES, Ill. — The Inciardi Tomato Transplant Sale will be from 9 a.m. to noon May 14 at the Kane County Extension office, 535 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

The Inciardi tomato is a paste tomato first brought to America from Sicily by Henry Inciardi and his family. The seeds were sewn into their clothes to prevent them from being confiscated at Ellis Island. Henry Inciardi settled in Chicago working for General Electric, and the family continued growing the seeds for decades. After it nearly went extinct, the tomato was brought back by a handful of local gardeners, notably Vicki Nowicki, founder of the Downers Grove Seed Library, who continued to grow and save the seeds. Today, it is grown almost exclusively in the Chicagoland area and is said to make one of the best tomato sauces.

For more information, call the Extension office at at 630-584-6166 or email

Plant Sale

MATTOON, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension master gardeners serving Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Moultrie and Shelby counties invite the public to their annual Spring Plant Sale and Garden Fest from 9 a.m. to noon May 14 at Lytle Park, 500 S. 32nd St., Mattoon.

The sale will feature hanging baskets, vegetable plants for your garden, herbs and houseplants. Gardening gloves, garden decor and gently used gardening items will also be offered for sale.

Master gardeners will be available to answer lawn and gardening questions and give suggestions for planting and landscaping. For more information, visit

Fort Wayne Eco Fest

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Eco Fest will be from noon to 5 p.m. ET May 15 at the Lincoln Financial Pavilion at Headwaters Park East, 333 S. Clinton St., Fort Wayne.

Eco Fest was created to celebrate being green. Its mission is to create awareness, educate the community, create a platform to promote sustainability, and inspire individuals and businesses alike to move towards a more sustainable future.

There will be retail and nonprofit vendor booths, live music, food, workshops, and activities for kids. Visit

To volunteer or for more information, contact Blane Ryan,, 260-623-6808.

Hydroponic Production

NEW HAVEN, Ill. — The program Hydroponic Production will be from 6 to 8 p.m. May 16 at Little River Farm, 326 County Road 1200 E, New Haven.

Robin Holloway of Little River Farm is teaming up with University of Illinois Extension to host the first of four Summer Twilight meetings. Holloway will share his experiences as a beginning farmer growing hydroponic lettuce, tomatoes and strawberries. He will focus on production techniques within his two high tunnels, including his experiences with different hydroponic systems for lettuce production, the use of bumblebees to improve pollination and his high tunnel heating and cooling systems.

Kacie Athey, specialty crops entomologist, University of Illinois Crop Sciences, will discuss different biological insect control options.

For more information, visit

Other programs in the Summer Twilight Series will be Value-Added Products from Orchards, 6 p.m. June 20, Glacier’s End in Johnston City; Pasture-Raised Eggs and High Tunnel Production, 6 p.m. July 11, Feather’s Farm in Waterloo; and Pasture-raised Livestock, 6 p.m. Aug. 15, The Flock Farm in Anna.

Cooking with Herbs

THOMSON, Ill. — Carroll County master gardeners will present the program The Art of Cooking with Herbs from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 16 at the Thomson Library, 1005 W. Main St., Thomson.

Learn how to grow, harvest and cook nutritious meals using herbs. Master Gardener Nancy Gmitro will create some herbal appetizers to share with the group. Recipe cards will be available to take home.

Register by calling the library at 815-259-2480.

Cooking Under Pressure

OXFORD, Ind. — The program Cooking Under Pressure will be from 5 to 6 p.m. ET May 17 at the Benton County Co-op, 109 E. Smith St., Oxford.

Included will be a recipe for pressure cooker carrot cake.

For more information, call the Benton County Extension office at 765-884-0140.

Cut Flower Gardening

BREESE, Ill. — The program Cut Flower Gardening for the Home will be at 6 p.m. May 17 at the Clinton County Extension office, 1163 N. 4th St., Breese.

Learn about the practice of growing cut flowers and how to choose different varieties for both sun and shade.

Cost is $5. Register at

Natural Lawn Care

DANVILLE, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension Educator Ryan Pankau will present the free program Natural Lawn Care at 6 p.m. May 17 at at the Danville Pubic Library, 319 N. Vermilion St., Danville.

Register at For more information, call the Vermilion County Extension office at 217-442-8615.

Container Gardening

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. — The program Container Gardening with Vegetables will be from 2 to 3 p.m. May 17 at the JCH Wellness Center, 412 Maple Summit Road, Jerseyville. University of Illinois Extension Educator Andrew Holsinger will discuss some of the best cultivars for growing in containers.

Register for this free program by visiting

Hosta Plants

ROCKFORD, Ill. — The Summer Gardening Series program Hostas: Ordinary or Extraordinary? will be from 6 to 7 p.m. May 18 at the Winnebago County Extension office, 1040 N. 2nd St., Rockford.

Master Gardener Constance McCarthy will discuss plant selection, care and companion plants, and how to maximize the potential of hostas in your garden.

Register at

African Violets

A webinar discussing the care and maintenance of African violets and the gesneriad family of plants will be at 7 p.m. ET May 18. Register at

Raised Bed Gardening

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — The program Raised Bed Gardening will be from 2 to 3 p.m. May 19 at the Taylorville Public Library, 121 W. Vine St., Taylorville.

Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger will introduce techniques used in raised bed gardening, which will help you produce the most from your gardening space.

Register for this free program by visiting

Plant Sale

YORKVILLE, Ill. — The Kendall County Extension Master Gardener Plant Sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 at the Kendall County Extension office, 7775B IL Route 47, Yorkville.

The sale will feature 15 varieties of tomatoes and nine pepper varieties, along with native plants and nursery-stock perennials. Master gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. In addition, visitors also can stop by the 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors’ Rain Garden Open House to learn about native plant species and about how rain gardens help fight water pollution.

Plant Sale

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. — The Lake County Extension Master Gardener Spring Plant Sale will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 21 at the Lake County Extension office, 100 S. Route 45, Grayslake.

The sale will feature nursery-grown plant varieties, new cultivars of perennials, grasses, pollinator-friendly plants, and a variety of home-grown vegetables and herbs. For a full plant list, visit

Shop for new and gently used items to enhance your landscape and home, including yard art, garden tools, decorative containers and gardening books. Master gardeners will be available to answer your gardening questions, help with selection of plants and offer gardening advice.

Plant Sale

DANVILLE, Ill. — The Vermilion County Master Gardeners Plant Sale will be from 7 to 11 a.m. May 21 at the First Presbyterian Church, 100 N. Franklin St., Danville. There will be a wide selection of annuals, perennials, tomatoes, peppers, herbs and houseplants. Many of the plants are grown by master gardeners from seed, and you’ll have the opportunity to talk with the gardener who grew the tomato or pepper plant you take home to plant in your garden.

For more information, call the Vermilion County Extension office at 217-442-8615.