May 20, 2024

Calendar: Using goats to improve the land

SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Goat Association’s Annual Meeting will be 6:15 to 8 p.m. ET Sept. 25 at the Washington County Government Building, 806 Martinsburg Road, Salem.

The meeting will begin with virtual guest speaker Temple Grandin on the topic “Using Goats to Improve the Land,” followed by association business and updates on 2023 programs and activities. Association annual dues of $20 may also be paid at the meeting.

RSVP by calling the Washington County Extension office at 812-883-4601.

Monarch Madness

DECATUR, Ill. — Monarch Madness will be 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at the Rock Springs Nature Center, 3939 Nearing Lane, Decatur.

The event will include fun and educational activities to celebrate the monarch butterfly, including arts and crafts, games, butterfly yoga, a virtual reality butterfly simulation, a monarch life cycle obstacle course, butterfly wing selfie station, and an area to watch monarchs be tagged and released.

Register for this free event at

Farm Stroll

CRYSTAL LAKE, Ill. — The McHenry County Farm Stroll will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

A total of 12 farms will be part of this educational agriculture-centric tour. Fruits and vegetables, dairy and beef cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, horses, honeybees, perennial plants, and more will be featured within these 12 farms.

Because this is a family-friendly, free, self-guided tour, there is no beginning or end of the route — just choose the farms that interest you and visit them during the designated time frame from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Farm Stroll is organized by the McHenry County Farm Bureau, University of Illinois Extension, and the Center for Agrarian Learning at McHenry County College. McHenry County Extension master gardeners and 4-H volunteers will be onsite to assist farm families in accommodating guests and conducting demonstrations and tours.

There is no charge for the Farm Stroll, but most farms will be selling food, produce or other farm-related products. Bring cash to purchase items directly from the farmers. Bring a cooler, too.

These are working farms: dress appropriately, and supervise children at all times. A few farms will have toilet facilities, but most do not.

Visit McHenry County Farm Bureau for more info at or call 815-338-1520. Also visit University of Illinois Extension at or call 815-338-3737; and McHenry County College at

Farms on the stroll include:

• Piscasaw Gardens, 9306 Lawrence Road, Harvard.

• Wanda Farm, 17419 Hebron Road, Harvard.

• Hephzibah Farms, 13202 Hebron Road, Hebron.

• Vanderstappen Farm, 12908 Hebron Road, Hebron.

• Patyk’s Farm Market and Greenhouse, 8519 Route 173, Richmond.

• Soulful Prairies, 4706 Alden Road, Woodstock.

• Terra Vitae Farms, 2208 Greenwood Road, Woodstock.

• Sun Berry Orchard, 2318 Greenwood Road, Woodstock.

• Lazy K Ranch, 18209 Collins Road, Woodstock.

• Cody’s Farm and Orchard, 19502 River Road, Marengo.

• Broadview Farm and Gardens, 18720 IL Route 176, Marengo.

• McHenry County College Student Farm, 8900 US Highway 14, Crystal Lake.

Fall Fair

AUBURN, Ind. — The DeKalb County Free Fall Fair will be Sept. 25-30 at the fairgrounds, 708 S. Union St., Auburn.

The event will include livestock shows, crop exhibits, a parade, showmanship competitions, queen pageant and entertainment.

Extension Homemakers Day at the fair will include the Bundt Cake Contest in the Exhibit Hall at 9 a.m. ET Sept. 28.

For more information and schedule of events, visit

Salsa Season

HILLSBORO, Ill. — The program Salsa Season: Can My Salsa! will be 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Montgomery County Extension office, 1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro.

Youths ages 8 to 18 will make homemade salsa using a variety of tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Participants also will practice home canning.

Cost is $5. Register at

Fall Bulbs

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The program Fall Bulbs, Lilies and Iris will be 10 a.m. Sept. 25 at the Kankakee County Extension office, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais.

Learn all about these great fall plantings. Cost is $10. Register at

Apple Lessons

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The Lessons for Living program Fall in Love with Apples will be 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 26 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

This lesson will include apple recipes, nutrition, and preservation.

Register at

Flower Art

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The program Using Dried Flowers In Art will be 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Champaign County Extension Auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign.

Using dried flowers to make interesting designs can be a fun way to get more use out of our gardens once we pass the traditional bloom season. In this program, you will learn:

• Tips and tricks for drying flowers and other botanicals.

• The process of creating a balanced collage.

ª Approaches to ethical foraging.

• Ideas for how to get started making your own natural portrait.

Register at

Garden in a Jar

FAIRBURY, Ill. — The program Garden in a Jar will be 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Dominy Memorial Library, 201 S. 3rd St., Fairbury.

Whether you’re new to food preservation or want to update your food preservation knowledge, join University of Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Jenna Smith for this free, timely, seasonal program all about canning. You’ll learn the step-by-step process to canning with a boiling water bath canner, steam canner and pressure canner.

For more information, contact smith at

Charcuterie Board

PRINCETON, Ill. — Gain a new insight on how to map and build your own charcuterie board from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Bureau County Senior Center, 16 W. Marion St., Princeton.

Participants will:

• Learn how to swap calories and fats, but not the flavor.

• See a display of charcuterie boards.

• Take home resources and recipes.

• Enjoy a taste of charcuterie board foods.

Register at

The program will be repeated 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 27 at the Putnam County Library, 214 S. McCoy St., Granville. Register at

Dividing Perennials

URBANA, Ill. — Dividing Perennial Beds for More Blooms will be the topic of the Four Seasons Gardening Webinar Series from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 26.

Discover the three main reasons to divide perennials during this presentation, including more blooms. Explore steps to increase vigor and generate low-cost plants while giving them room to grow. Participants will learn the types of root systems to consider before dividing and tips for aftercare of perennials.

Register at

Low-Fat Chestnuts

NORMAL, Ill. — The program Crack Open a Chestnut will be the topic of Tours and Tastings, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at The Refuge Food Forest, 701 E. Lincoln St., Normal.

A low-fat, high-starch food, chestnuts are unlike other tree nuts. Its texture resembles a hard cheese rather than a typical nut crunch. Learn techniques to grow and harvest this spiny treat.

Register at

Bird Habitat

KANKAKEE, Ill. — Building a Habitat for Birds will be the topic of the online Wilderness Wednesday program, 6 p.m. Sept. 27.

Register at

Garden Cleanup

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The program Garden Cleanup for Another Season will be 3 to 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Carlinville Public Library, 510 N. Broad St., Carlinville.

Fall may end this year’s gardening season, but it is the perfect time to begin preparation for next year. Taking care of a few details now means fewer chores, pests and problems next spring.

Learn how to prepare for next year by using the proper techniques to reduce disease for next year’s crop.

Register at

Canvas Painting

BRIDGEPORT, Ill. — A canvas painting workshop will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Free Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 437 E. Chestnut St., Bridgeport.

Paint and take home your very own fall masterpiece. Register at

Addressing Ageism

URBANA, Ill. — Addressing Ageism and Promoting Inclusivity will be the topic of the online Lessons for Living, 10 to 11 a.m. Sept. 28.

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

Register at

Using Fresh Herbs

AMBOY, Ill. — Using Fresh Herbs will be the topic of the Growing Horticulture in Northwest Illinois Series, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Lee County Extension office, 280 W. Wasson Road, Amboy.

Learn more about harvesting and preserving your herbs to enjoy in recipes year-round. Register at

Baby Food

PRINCETON, Ill. — Learn about making homemade baby food from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Zearing Child Enrichment Center, 633 E. Masonic Drive, Princeton.

Learn the benefits, what to serve, steps, prep and storage. Take home recipes and resources. Register at

Fall Landscaping

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Your Landscape in the Fall will be 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 28.

University of Illinois Extension staff and master gardeners will discuss what your garden and lawn need in the fall to prepare for winter. Tips will include conventional and environmentally friendly gardening tips — both important for a happy and healthy landscape.

Register at

Stockmanship Program

DUBOIS, Ind. — Purdue Extension, the Indiana Forage Council, the Indiana Beef Cattle Association, and the Indiana Sheep Association are hosting two “Stockmanship with Curt Pate” programs at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agriculture Center, 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois.

Pate is an industry expert from Ryegate, Montana, with many years of personal and professional livestock experience. During these programs, Page will highlight the economic benefits of handling livestock correctly.

The program focusing on beef cattle will be 1 to 7 p.m. ET Sept. 29. The sheep and goat program will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

Cost is $30. A meal will be served at both programs. Register at

Hunger Walk

PEORIA, Ill. — The Tri-County Hunger Walk will be 9 to 10 a.m. Sept. 30 at the OSF Center for Health, 8800 North State Rt. 91, Peoria.

Entry fee is one healthy, shelf-stable food item per walker. Register at