December 07, 2023

Calendar: Backyard Poultry Workshop

Chickens peck around for food in Andy Atwell's backyard in unincorporated Barrington.

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — The Backyard Poultry Workshop will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 9 at the Jackson County Extension office, 402 Ava Road, Murphysboro.

While chickens are a popular choice for backyard poultry, you may consider turkeys, ducks, geese, or even quail. Join Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Katie Bell as she explores the different options.

Register by calling 618-687-1727 or visit

Day of Discovery

NEW HARMONY, Ind. — The Posey County Extension Homemakers present Day of Discovery 8:30 a.m. to noon CT March 6 at the Posey County Community Events Center at the Posey County Fairgrounds, 111 Harmony Township Road, New Harmony.

Informative sessions include: Herbs in the Kitchen, Balance and Exercise, Technology: iPhone and Android Tips and Tricks, Spring Lawn Care 101, Meal Planning, and Open Class/Fair Exhibit Guidelines. Participants will take home a spring craft.

Pruning and grafting

WINAMAC, Ind. — Learn how to prune fruit trees to improve fruit production at the Fruit Pruning and Grafting Workshop, 2 to 4 p.m. ET March 6 at at the Peaceable Primate Sanctuary, 6415 N 800 W, Winamac.

Get hands-on experience in grafting fruit trees. The cost is $20 for grafting and includes materials. The educational portion of this program is free.

Register at

Joint Annual Meeting

SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Cattlemen’s Association and Washington County Pork Producers will hold a joint annual meeting March 6 at Southern Hills Church, 1645 IN-135, Salem. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET with a meal. Reservations are required by calling the Washington County Extension office at 812-883‑4601.

Anyone interested in the beef and pork industries is invited to the annual meeting and to join one or both of the organizations. The Washington County Cattlemen’s Association annual membership dues are $20 per household and the Washington County Pork Producers annual membership dues are $10 per household. Dues may be paid at the annual meeting or by contacting the Extension office.

RSVP by calling 812-838-1331.

Ag Outlook

COVINGTON, Ind. — Farmdoc,, and University of Illinois Extension present All Day Ag Outlook at 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 7 at the Beef House Restaurant, 16501 IN-63, Covington.

The event will feature experts in ag economics, grain outlook, crop health, crop insurance and weather.

Cost is $30 per person and includes both coffee and rolls in the morning and a Beef House lunch.

For more information and to register, visit at

Sew Day

AUBURN, Ind. — The DeKalb County Extension Homemakers Sew Day will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET March 7 at the DeKalb County Office Building, 215 E. 9th St., Auburn.

Come and help make baby blankets for the hospital. There are five sewing machines you can use so you don’t have to bring your own. You don’t have to be a seamstress to participate — there’s cutting, pressing, and hand stitching to help with. Bring a dish to share.

Home Composting

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Basics of Home Composting will be 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. March 7.

Home composting is a great way to support our environment by introducing a sustainable, gardening component that builds healthy soils while reducing the volume of waste going to landfills. Discover the fascinating ins and outs of the decomposition process and learn how to turn waste into valuable organic matter by starting a compost pile at home.

Register for this Four Seasons Gardening program by visiting

Vegetable Wars

FRANKLIN GROVE, Ill. — Vegetable Wars will be the March youth lesson in the Lee County Master Gardeners Big and Small Gardening series.

Youth will taste test two vegetables and vote on the best.

The program will be 4 to 5 p.m. March 7 at the Winfred Knox Memorial Library, 112 S. Elm St., Franklin Grove.

The Bg and Small Gardening series is on the first Tuesday of each month with alternating months offering a youth program at 4 p.m. or an adult program at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact University of Illinois Extension Program Coordinator Marilyn Kemmerer at 815-857-3525.

Seed and Plant Choices

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Growing Great Vegetables: Seed and Plant Choices will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 7.

Planning, design and layout are key elements to successful gardening. Learn about hardiness zones, frost and freeze dates, how to order plants or seeds from a garden catalog or locally, reading and selecting seed packets, and starting plants from seed. Presenters Jennifer Fishburn and Sarah Vogel, Illinois Extension horticulture educators, also will cover soil testing and amendments, fertilizer, manures, mulch, watering and weeding.

Register at

Clutter Free

AUBURN, Ind. — Empower Me to Be Clutter Free will be 6 p.m. ET March 7 at the DeKalb County Office Building, 215 E. 9th St., Auburn.

Join Angela Sorg, Extension health and human sciences educator, and the DeKalb County Extension Homemakers for this educational program that provides decluttering strategies and discusses the emotional barriers that often prevents us from letting go of our things.

Register by calling 260-925-0617.

Green Conference

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — The Gateway Green Conference will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 8 at the Gateway Convention Center, 1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville.

The educational program will feature three tracks: building sustainable landscapes, conservation stewardship, and tree care.

Cost is $80, with discounts for active master gardeners and master naturalists. Continuing education units to maintain a variety of certifications will be available.

Register at For more information, contact Sarah Ruth at 618-344-4230.

Emergency Medicine

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Emergency Medicine: Perspectives from a First Responder will be noon to 1 p.m. March 8.

Emergency Medical Services can be a complicated system for prehospital care, with many lines of communication needed to care for someone experiencing a medical emergency. Learn more about how EMS works, how to advocate for yourself and your loved ones when interacting with 911 dispatchers and first responders, and what information to have ready in case of an emergency.

Register at

Addressing Ageism

MARION, Ill. — The Addressing Ageism and Promoting Inclusivity workshop will be noon to 1 p.m. March 8 at the Marion Senior Center, 507 W. Main St., Marion.

It is not uncommon for those living in the third stage of life to be categorized as the 55 or 60 plus group, which can subtly suggest that they are so similar they can be “lumped” together. Generalizations or stereotypes can lead to ageism, or discrimination based on a person’s age. The truth is, we are all aging, but ageist attitudes influence how we think of others and even ourselves.

Learn more about ageism, how it impacts our society, and ways to promote inclusivity in our communities.

This program is free, but registration is encouraged by calling 618-997-9019.

Pressure Canning

VINCENNES, INd. — The Pressure Canning Class will be noon to 4 p.m. ET March 8 at the Vincennes University Shircliff Humanities Building, Room A204, 130 E. Harrison St., Vincennes.

Learn canning basics, food safety guidelines for home canning, and where to find resources. The class includes lecture, handouts and hands-on practice in the kitchen. Participants will take home their own sample of home-canned product that they make.

Cost is $25. For registration information, visit

For more information, call 812-882-3509.

Bargain Gardens

BUDA, Ill. — The program Bargain Gardens will be 2 to 3 p.m. March 8 at the Mason Memorial Public Library, 104 W. Main St., Buda.

Find out how gardens can be simple, fun and inexpensive. You’ll learn gardening tips and ideas that will save you time and money.

Register for this free program at

Successful Vegetables

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. — The online program Successful Vegetable Gardening will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 8.

University of Illinois Extension master gardeners will discuss early- and late-season extension, benefits of good cultural practices, scouting, and identifying common insects and weeds.

This program is part of the 2023 Garden Learning Series presented by University of Illinois Extension, Lake County Forest Preserve District and Solid Waste Agency of Lake County.

Register at

Seasonal Change

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association will present the webinar Observing Seasonal Change from 7 to 8 p.m. ET March. 8

Learn more about phenology, the changes we are seeing, and how you can help scientists learn more about phenology in Indiana while you are out enjoying nature.

Register at

For more information, contact the Indiana Forestry & Woodland Owners Association at 765-496-5013.

Forest Management

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — Forest Management for the Private Woodland Owner will be 6 to 9 p.m. ET Wednesdays, March 8 to April 26, at the Morgan County Administration Building, 180 S. Main St., Martinsville.

The series will include eight indoor sessions and two field tours providing information on the biology and management of Indiana woodlands. Instruction will be provided by Purdue Extension specialists and natural resource professionals.

Cost is $50. Register at

For more information, contact Lenny Farlee at 765-494-2153

Soil Health

GENESEO, Ill. — The program Soil Health and Your Farm will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 9 at Raelyn’s Pub & Eatery, 217 N. State St., Geneseo.

Healthy soil is the key to productive, sustainable agriculture. By working with the land, you can not only reduce erosion, maximize water infiltration, and improve nutrient cycling, but you can also save money on inputs.

Learn more about the role of soil health and programs to help offset the cost of implementation at this lunch-and-learn event which will feature soil health specialist Dr. Stacy Zuber, Henry County farmer Brian Corkill, Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy expert Rachel Curry, and Precision Conservation Management specialist Lou Liva.

Register at

Pollinator Questions

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Tricky Pollinator Questions and Answers will be 1 to 2 p.m. March 9.

Are my annual plants “junk food” for bees? Can I help pollinators by not mowing my lawn? How can I help pollinators thrive if I don’t have a garden? This presentation will explore pollinator questions that have nuanced, uncertain, or controversial answers. Learn what the latest science has to say about some of your most challenging questions. Looking for an answer about a pollinator-related topic? Submit your pollinator questions prior to the webinar to be included in the discussion.

Register at

Success with Seedlings

HILLSBORO, Ill. — The program Success with Seedlings will be 2 to 3 p.m. March 9 at the Montgomery County Extension office, 1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro.

It’s time to get a head start on the upcoming garden season by starting seedlings indoors. Growing quality seedlings requires proper planning for adequate conditions to start seedlings off right. Join University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger as he presents various techniques for starting seeds indoors.

Register at

Pruning Workshop

NORMAL, Ill. — The Pruning Workshop will be 3:30 to 5 p.m. March 9 at the Refuge Food Forest, 701 E. Lincoln St., Normal.

When pruning at home, follow these pro tips for trimming ornamental or fruit trees:

• Start with the 3 D’s: Dead, Dying, Diseased.

• Always prune outside a branch collar for healthy healing.

• Sanitize tools between every tree pruned.

• Remove less than one-third of growth for healthy tree recovery.

Register at

Tree Pruning

DECATUR, Ill. — Are you ready to learn how to prune a fruit tree? Macon County master gardeners are hosting a fruit tree pruning class from 10 a.m. to noon March 10 at the Crossing Healthcare Garden, 320 Central Ave., Decatur.

Learn why, when, and how to prune. Pruning techniques will be demonstrated.

Register at

All Walks of Leaf

BELVIDERE, Ill. — The tree-identification program All Walks of Leaf will be 11 a.m. to noon March 10 at the Ida Public Library, 320 N. State St., Belvidere.

Illinois has many native and non-native tree species, and leaves are not the only way to identify them. Learn how to recognize tree species based on the size, shape, and appearance of tree parts.

This is part of the winter free programs offered through Illinois Extension master gardeners of Boone County. Register by calling the library at 815-544-3838.

Ag Day

SULLIVAN, Ind. — Sullivan County Ag Day will be 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET March 11 at the Sullivan County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 E County Rd 75 N, Sullivan.

Cost for in-person pancake and sausage breakfast is $3; to-go orders are $5 per plate. The Pedal Tractor Pull begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Silent Auction at 10:45 a.m. There will be more than 60 vendors at the event.

Ag Day scholarships will be awarded to Essay Contest winners.

For more information, call 812-564-0444.

Home, Lawn and Garden Day

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Home, Lawn and Garden Day will be 8 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. March 11 at Central Catholic High School, 1201 Airport Road, Bloomington.

A morning of gardening sessions will include a keynote presentation by gardening expert Melinda Myers, “Using Low Maintenance Gardening Plants for High Rewards in Beauty and Health;” and a morning program, “Waking Up Your Garden: Getting Ready for Spring” by local certified arborist and horticulturist Ella Maxwell of Hoerr Nursery.

Cost is $30. Register at

Garden Day

DANVILLE, Ill. — The Vermilion County Master Gardeners 2023 Garden Day will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 11 at the DACC Bremer Center, 2000 E. Main St., Danville.

Join the master gardeners as they celebrate butterflies, blooms and birds at this year’s Garden Day. This popular event has been a tradition for over 25 years and has everything plant lovers enjoy — exceptional speakers, vendors, a delicious hot lunch, silent auction, donation baskets and door prizes. It is a great way to shake off the winter blues and get inspiration for this year’s garden.

The $30 registration fee covers four speaker sessions, a lunch prepared by the Danville Area Community College Culinary School, and a Garden Day bag filled with treats and speaker handouts.

For those who cannot commit to a whole day, the spring festival is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at no charge.

All are welcome to come browse garden-themed vendors, donation baskets and the silent auction items.

For more information and to register, visit

Weather Watchers

JOLIET, Ill. — Do you enjoy weather watching? Are you always curious on the rain totals for your area? Why not become a citizen scientist weather watcher?

The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network Program will be 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. March 11 at the Will County Extension office, 100 Manhattan Road, Joliet. Retired National Weather Service hydrologist Bill Morris will discuss why measuring precipitation is so important and how participating in this program helps the National Weather Service get a more accurate picture of how widely varied our rain, hail and snow events can be. Homeowners who participate purchase a special rain gauge and then report daily rain totals to the website.

The program is free to attend but pre-registration is required. If you choose to participate in the Citizen Scientist CoCoRaHS program, there is a specific rain gauge that is $44.

Register at Contact Nancy Kuhajda, Extension program coordinator, for more information at or call the Will County office at 815-727-9296.

Livestock & Dairy Judging Contest

DU QUOIN, Ill. — Southern Illinois 4-H and FFA Livestock and Dairy Judging Contest will be 9 a.m. to noon March 11 at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, 655 Executive Drive, Du Quoin.

Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. and the contest begins at 9 a.m. Dairy will start at 10 a.m. Youth will be judged in the following categories:

• Junior 4-H Division Livestock Judging & Question Contest, open to grades 3-8.

• Senior 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging & Question Contest (non-reasons), open to high school students.

• Junior 4-H Dairy Judging, open to grades 3-8.

• Senior 4-H/FFA Dairy Judging, open to high school students.

Register at For questions, call 618-357-2126.

Gardening for Food, Flowers and Fun

ROCKFORD, Ill. — Gardening For Food, Flowers and Fun 2023 will be 9 a.m. to noon March 11 at NIU Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford.

The program will include fresh horticultural ideas, insights and techniques. The event will feature a keynote presentation by Martha Smith, retired Extension horticulture, and two breakout sessions.

Cost is $20. Register at

4-H Foundation Dinner and Fundraiser

CHATHAM, Ill. — The Sangamon County 4-H Foundation Dinner and Fundraiser will be 5:30 p.m. March 11 at the Prairie View Reception Center, 8865 State Route 4, Chatham.

Tickets are $20 per guest and include grilled pork chop meal. 50/50 raffle tickets are $5 each or five for $20.

If you would like to donate an item for the silent auction, contact Katie Mendenhall Wilson at 217-685-1740.

For ticket reservations, visit