February 26, 2024

Calendar: Winter Wellness Family Event

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Explore ways to be healthy in mind, body and spirit at the Winter Wellness Family Event, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Watch Tower Lodge, Black Hawk State Historic Site, 1800 46th Ave., Rock Island.

This year, the focus will be on lessons learned from the Blue Zones which are regions of the world where people are known to live longer and experience higher rates of well-being. Most Blue Zones have diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes which provide essential nutrients and contribute to overall health. Visitors will get to sample these ingredients as they build their own flavorful Mediterranean bowl and warm up with a selection of hot tea and hot chocolate.

Participants will explore interactive stations offering insights on reducing food waste, creating eco-friendly cleaning products, and learning heart-healthy practices. There will be an indoor obstacle course for children, who also can participate in 4-H and AOK Network activities.

For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/bde6stjm.

Nursery School

MOLINE, Ill. — The 25th annual Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening Symposium will be 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at Vibrant Arena, 1201 River Drive, Moline.

Participants will learn from horticulture experts, explore new gardening ideas, and connect with fellow gardening enthusiasts.

Program topics wil include:

• This Isn’t Your Grandparents Gardening WeatherKeynote address by Duane Friend, Illinois Extension state master naturalist and climate change specialist.

• AAA Winners: The Secret Ingredient to Gardening Success — Diane Blazak, executive director of All-America Selections.

• Seed Starting — Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle, Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

• Hunters of the Night: The Owls of Iowa and Illinois — James Wiebler, naturalist and research coordinator at Nahant Marsh.

• Beneath the Canopy: Exploring Spring Ephemeral Flowers — Emily Swihart, Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

• Organic Vegetable Gardening — Ken Johnson, Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

• Climate/Weather Tools for Gardening — Duane Friend.

• New Plants and Inspirations for the Spring Season — Molly Blogg, manager, CEO, co-owner of Hornbaker Inc.

• Culinary Herbs in Your Garden/Kitchen — Chris Enroth, Illinois Extension horticulture educator; and Elly Voss, chef from Nest Café.

• Enrich Your Yard with Native Plants — Amy Loving, director of education at Nahant Marsh.

Cost is $70. For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/ywhctyms.

Fun with Flowers

MOUNT CARROLL, Ill. — Carroll County master gardeners will present the program Fun with Flowers, 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 10 at the Mount Carroll Library, 208 N. Main St., Mount Carroll.

Learn the art of preserving the beauty of flowers through pressing. Discover which flowers are perfect for pressing and master the technique of drying them. In this class, you’ll have the chance to create a unique bookmark using the dried petals, making a great gift.

For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/c8mnkth8.

Forest Management

SEYMOUR, Ind. — Forest Management for the Private Woodland Owner will be 6 to 9 p.m. ET Tuesdays, Feb. 12 through April 2, at the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, 12985 E. U.S. Hwy 50, Seymour.

Topics will include Forest Resource and Tree Identification, Forest Biology and Ecology, Forest Management, Marketing Timber, Wildlife Management, Managing the Woodland Investment, and Management Resources.

Cost is $50 and includes thumb drive of all publications, tree measuring stick, course materials and snacks.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/mryt4xcz.

4-H Day at the Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS — 4-H Day at the Statehouse will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Feb. 13 Indiana Statehouse, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

Seventh- through 12th-graders will learn about their state government through a day full of civic engagement and leadership. Participants will tour the statehouse, meet representatives, and have the opportunity to serve as student pages.

For more information, contact Sthele Greybar at 574-533-0554, or sgreybar@purdue.edu.

Navigating Changes

OREGON, Ill. — The program Navigating Changes as We Age will be 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 13 at the Rock River Center, 810 S. 10th St., Oregon.

Everyone is aging, and many changes happen along the way — physically, mentally and financially. Kara Schweitzer, University of Illinois Extension family life educator, will discuss some of those changes and how to adopt a more accepting mindset that will result in improved well-being and possibly new opportunities.

To register for this free workshop, call Rock River Center at 815-732-3252.

Conservation Tree Planting

SAN PIERRE, Ind. — The Conservation Tree Planting webinar will be 1 to 4 p.m. ET Feb. 13. The workshop will cover subjects such as ordering trees, planting trees, spacing, which species to use, soil types, weed control and other related subjects.

Participants will receive a digital packet of information containing the latest tree planting information and forest industry bulletins.

Email questions about the tree planting workshop to jaspernursery@dnr.IN.gov or call Jasper-Pulaski Tree Nursery at 219-843-4827.

To register, email jaspernursery@dnr.IN.gov with your name, number of attendees and your email address. Before the workshop, all registered attendees will be emailed log-in information.

Insects to Know

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Insects to Know: Spotted Lanternfly and Periodical Cicadas will be 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 13.

Learn about the biology of these insects and what their arrival means for gardeners and farmers.

Register for this Four Seasons Gardening program by visiting http://tinyurl.com/yck3subc.

Seed Starting

NORTH UTICA, Ill. — The Seed Starting workshop will be 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Utica Public Library, 224 Mill St., North Utica.

Participants will learn the basics for successful seed starting, including soil, moisture and planting basics.

Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/4k43xe8c.

Reptiles and Amphibians

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The webinar Indiana Reptiles and Amphibians will be 7 to 8 p.m. ET Feb. 13

Reptiles and amphibians are an important and oftentimes abundant part of forest communities. However, their presence in the woods are often overlooked. Learn about the biology, identification, and habitats of many reptile and amphibian species found in and around your woods.

Presenter Brian MacGowan has been an Extension wildlife specialist with the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University since 1999. His most recent research and educational programs focus has been on forest management, human-wildlife conflicts, and wildlife habitat management. He’s a certified wildlife biologist and a member of The Wildlife Society, the professional organization of wildlife biologists.

This session is part of the Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association winter webinar series. Upcoming webinars are Population Ecology of Deer and Fragmented Abundance at 7 p.m. March 12, and A Virtual Woodland Tour at 7 p.m. April 9.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/yknzvf9x.

Garden Learning Series

GRAYSLAKE, Ill. — The online Lake County 2024 Garden Learning Series will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month, Feb. 14 to Dec. 11.

The Feb. 14 program topic will be Seed Starting, presented by the University of Illinois Extension master gardeners.

Other topics in the free series will be Vegetable Gardening March 13; Landscaping with Native Plants April 10; Adding Color With Annuals May 8; Edible landscaping June 12; Northern Illinois Trees July 10; Healthy Yard, Healthy Home, Healthy Planet Aug. 14; Soil Health Check-up Sept. 11; Healthy Hedges (Buckthorn Eradication) Oct. 9; Starting Native Plants from Seed Nov. 13; and Houseplant Propagation Dec. 11.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/bdhmuet8.

Crop Conference

SYCAMORE, Ill. — The 2024 Crop Management Conference — Sycamore will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the DeKalb County Farm Bureau Building, 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore.

Make the most informed decisions you can for your farm by getting the latest research updates from crop science experts at University of Illinois.

Program topics include:

• Insect Management in Corn and Soybeans, Nick Seiter, University of Illinois assistant professor and faculty Extension specialist.

• Making Weather and Climate Information Work: Existing Tools and Monitoring to Help Agriculture Decision Making, Trent Ford, state climatologist, Illinois State Water Survey at University of Illinois.

• What do “The Data” Really Tell Us? — Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Extension agronomy specialist, professor emeritus.

• Navigating a New Era: Understanding the Endangered Species Act and its Impact on Pesticide Regulation — Aaron Hager, University of Illinois Extension weeds specialist, professor.

• White Mold and Nematodes, Oh My! What’s Going on with Soybean Diseases — Chelsea Harbach, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, plant disease diagnostician.

• From Field to Sky: Drones are Transforming Agricultural Input Applications — Dennis Bowman, University of Illinois Extension digital agriculture specialist.

• Profitable Regenerative Agriculture: Focus on Incorporating Perennial Biomass Crops into Annual Cropping Systems — Emily Heaton, University of Illinois Extension regenerative agriculture specialist and professor

Cost is $100. Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/y4xhs482.

Farm Forward Series

ELIZABETH, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension Crop Sciences Educator Kathryn Seebruck will present the program What 2023 Taught Us About Fertility, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Jo Daviess County Extension office, 204 N. Vine St., Elizabeth.

The program is the first in a monthly series titled Farm Forward: Turning Last Season’s Challenges Into Next Season’s Triumphs. The series aims to facilitate discussion of last season’s challenges, uncertainties and successes, and how those insights can be applied in the upcoming growing season.

Register for this free program by calling 815-235-4125 or visit http://tinyurl.com/b5w7ba83.

Garden Tool Maintenance

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — The program Garden Tool Maintenance will be 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Christian County Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville.

Ensure your tools remain sharp and free from rust, not only to extend their life span but also to make every gardening task more efficient and body-friendly.

Register for this free program by visiting http://tinyurl.com/2chkn22b.

Valentine’s Snacks

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — The 4-H Valentine’s Snack Workshop will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Collinsville Extension office, 1606 Eastport Plaza Drive, Collinsville.

Participants will create treats, and take home samples and recipes.

Cost is $8. For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/bdfdyzkd.

Introduction to Beekeeping

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The program Introduction to Beekeeping will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 15 to March 21 at the Sangamon County Extension office, 700 S. Airport Drive, Springfield.

This series is designed for someone who is interested in starting beekeeping or who would just like to learn more about honey bees. Topics that will be covered by experienced beekeepers include 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.

If weather permits, an outdoor hive viewing inspection will be held on the last night.

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

The series also will be offered online. Cost is $45. Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/yfvbkssf.

Garden Training

MATTESON, Ill. — The Cook County Virtual School and Community Garden Training Series will be 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 15, Feb. 22 and Feb. 29.

This three-part program will help you gain the knowledge and confidence to start your own school or community garden. All three sessions will be conducted over Zoom.

All are welcome and encouraged to attend this free program, but technical assistance is available only to garden sites in Cook County. You may choose to attend one, two, or all three sessions. Attendance at all three sessions is highly recommended for new gardens that are requesting on-site assistance from Illinois Extension in Cook County.

Program topics are:

Feb. 15: Introduction to Extension programs and resources; forming and leading a school or community garden; and garden volunteer engagement.

Feb. 22: Basic and advanced vegetable gardening.

Feb. 29: Ornamental plants, native plants and Conservation@Home; and incorporating educational opportunities.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/39kmj96v.

Winter Meeting

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — The Dudley Smith Farm Winter Meeting will be 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Christian County Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville.

Topics will include:

• Reducing Fertilizer Use on Cattle Farms.

• The Art and Science of Grazing.

• Timing is Critical for Cover Crops Success.

• Fertility Management and Drainage

Lunch will be provided. Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/mtnd2x7a. For more information, call 217-287-7246.

Crops Conference

ROCKVILLE, Ind. — The Parke County Crops Conference will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET Feb. 20 at the Parke County Extension office, 1472 N U.S. 41, Rockville.

Shaun Casteel, associate professor of agronomy at Purdue University, will discuss “pushing” your soybeans. Other speakers will include Extension educators Kurt Lanzone and Tabby Flinn.

For more information, contact Lanzone at 765-569-3176 or email klanzone@purdue.edu.

Ag Outlook Breakfast

SALEM, Ind. — Purdue Extension — Washington County’s 2024 Ag Outlook Breakfast will be 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. ET Feb. 21, in the Meeting Room of the Washington County Government Building, 806 Martinsburg Road, Salem. Breakfast will be provided through the sponsorship from Premier Ag.

The program is free to the public and is designed to help farmers, landowners and agribusiness managers make better business decisions in the coming year. Michael Langemeier, ag economics professor at Purdue University, will discuss grain and livestock market outlooks for the year ahead and factors impacting market trends. Scott Sharp, vice president of Crop Nutrient Operations for Premier Ag, will discuss the supply-demand relationship to input availability.

Register by emailing dhowellw@purdue.edu or call 812-883-4601.

Ag Outlook Luncheon

MITCHELL, Ind. — The Lawrence County Ag Outlook Luncheon will be 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. ET Feb. 21 at Premier Ag, 11955 State Road 37, Mitchell. Register by calling 812-849-2464.