April 14, 2024

Calendar: 650 exhibitors at Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The 51st annual Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show will be Feb. 29-March 3 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Feb. 29 and March 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 2, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 3.

The event will feature over 650 exhibitors with products and services for kitchen, bath, landscaping, interior decor, bedding, windows, siding, roofing, gutters, patios and driveways.

Show features will include Garden Gallery Displays, The Extreme Raptor Show, Indiana Wild Animal Experience, Chainsaw Carving Demonstrations, Piglet Races, Show Bucks Giveaways and $1,000 Cash Giveaway. For more information, visit home-gardenshow.com.

Purdue Extension and the Allen County master gardeners will present at lecture series at the show from noon to 7 p.m. Feb. 29. Each session will last 45-60 minutes. Topics will include: Planting and Maintaining a Cut Flower Garden at Home, Vegetable Gardening for All Seasons, Which Pine is Mine (Conifer Identification), and Growing Giants in the Garden. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/mwpsppkd.

Equipment Diagnostics

LEBANON, Ind. — The Ag Equipment Diagnostics Workshop will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Feb. 24 at Bane-Welker Equipment Training Center, 1944 Indianapolis Ave., Lebanon.

The agriculture equipment diagnostics program is designed to teach high school students skills to become a technician working in the ag equipment industry. All workshop participants must provide their own safety glasses, closed toed shoes/boots and other personal protective equipment. No loose-fitting clothes allowed.

This event is sponsored by Purdue Extension/Indiana 4-H and Bane-Welker Equipment as a pilot program in 2024 and will be evaluated for expansion in 2025.

Cost is $25. For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/3runexhr.

Climate Tools

SALEM, Ill. — The Agriculture Climate Tools Workshop will be 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Marion County Extension office, 1404 E. Main St., Salem.

Today’s weather isn’t your grandparents’ weather. Growing seasons are shifting — storms, floods, droughts, and wildfires are becoming more common. Connect with agricultural climate experts, explore resources, and discuss real-world scenarios at this climate-smart farming workshop. Leave with a better understanding of local growing conditions and weather monitoring tools, and feel confident planning for crop planting, fertilization schedules, irrigation, and more for the 2024 growing season and beyond.

The workshop is open to specialty growers; commercial agriculture, horticulture, and landscape professionals; as well as Natural Resources Conservation Service and Soil and Water Conservation District personnel.

The workshop is free and includes lunch. Register at http://tinyurl.com/y4n7fbfk.

The program will be repeated Feb. 28 at the Sangamon County Extension office 700 S. Airport Drive, Springfield; and Feb. 29 at the NIU Conference Center, 8500 E. State St., Rockford.

Success with Seedlings

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. — Success with Seedlings will be 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 26 at the Jerseyville Public Library, 105 N. Liberty St., Jerseyville.

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.

In this workshop, you’ll gain valuable insights into the art and science of seedling cultivation. From creating optimal growing conditions to mastering the skill of nurturing seeds into robust plants, this workshop is your passport to a bountiful harvest.

Register for this free program at http://tinyurl.com/3bsw8uh6.

Tree Care

MILAN, Ill. — The Tree Care Workshop will be 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 26 at the Rock Island County Extension office, 321 2nd Ave. W, Milan.

The program will include the opportunity to discuss local tree issues and identify needs in individual communities. Continued education units are available to those who qualify.

Cost is $20. Register at http://tinyurl.com/3rzyvd3h.

Farmers Market Meeting

SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Farmers Market Board of Directors is hosting a meeting for past, current and potential market vendors for 2024. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. ET Feb. 26 at the Washington County Government Building Meeting Room, 806 Martinsburg Road, Salem, and will cover information such as the 2024 vendor contract and market updates.

For more information, call the Extension office at 812-883-4601 or email Danielle Walker, ANR educator, at dhowellw@purdue.edu.

Garden Conference

COVINGTON, Ind. — The Bi-State Garden Conference will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 27 at the The Beef House Banquet Hall, 16501 IN-63, Covington.

It’s not too early to make plans for your garden, and the annual Bi-State Garden Conference will give you the tools you need to get started. With topics covered by experts from University of Illinois and Purdue University, you’ll gain valuable knowledge to get this year’s growing season off on the right track.

Topics will include:

• Jumping Worms — Robert Bruner, Purdue Extension entomology, exotic forest pest specialist.

• Weed Management tips for Gardeners Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle, Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

• Organic Lawn Care — Lee Miller, Purdue assistant professor and Extension turfgrass pathologist.

• Greenhouse Production of Landscape Plants — Kelly Allsup, Illinois Extension.

The cost is $30, which includes lunch. Register at http://tinyurl.com/ym6sb52b.

Canning Class

MILAN, Ill. — The Sweet Hearts Canning Class will be 2 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Rock Island County Extension office, 321 2nd Ave. W, Milan.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day and Heart Health Month, participants will create the perfect fusion of decadence and health — Chocolate Cherry Jam. This canning workshop will showcase both the steam canner and the new Presto Precise digital pressure canner.

Cost is $5. Register at http://tinyurl.com/7uj9ekdv.

Where Will You Garden?

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Where Will You Garden? will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 27.

Growing a vegetable garden is hard work and, sometimes, the hardest part is knowing where to start. Build a garden using whatever space you have. Learn about traditional garden plots, raised beds, salad tables, container gardening, growing vertically, and more.

Cost is $10. Register for this Growing Great Vegetables series program by visiting http://tinyurl.com/5t524zeb.

Sourdough and Pie Crust

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The Back to Basics program Sourdough and Pie Crust will be 6 to 8 p.m. ET Feb. 27 at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville.

Love freshly baked bread? So “dough” we! Learn heritage skills that were once common and put your newly acquired knowledge into practice. Participants will take home sourdough bread starter and pie crust.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/43vndzcc.

For more information, contact Susan Peterson at 317-776-0854 or speterson@purdue.edu.

Navigating Difference

SPENCER, Ind. — Navigating Difference: Cultural Competency Training will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Feb. 28, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 29, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 1 at Canyon Inn in McCormick’s Creek State Park, 451 McCormick Creek Park Road, Spencer.

Purdue Extension’s Navigating Difference: Cultural Competency Training is an intensive workshop to deepen cultural awareness, understanding knowledge, interaction, and sensitivity. This is a professional development workshop for those who work across diversity in communities and want to improve their intercultural effectiveness.

The cost of this retreat experience is $450, and includes lunch for all three days and all materials and instruction. The registration fee does not include lodging. Make your hotel reservations separately with the Canyon Inn by calling 877-922-6966.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/42jm98dj.

Pollinator Garden

BENTON, Ill. — The February session of Rend Lake Pollinator Garden Stewardship Days will be 8:30 to 11 a.m. Feb. 28 at the Rend Lake Project Office and Visitor Center, 11981 Rend City Road, Benton.

Volunteers will receive training of how to care for pollinator gardens, assist with garden stewardship, assist with garden education (as needed), meet other volunteers, and have fun. Volunteer sessions begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Sessions include two hours of garden stewardship tasks and a 30-minute educational program.

Future sessions will be March 27, April 24, May 22, June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, Sept. 25, and Oct. 23

Register at http://tinyurl.com/24b8nn7p.

Seed Starting

CHERRY VALLEY, Ill. — The Seed Starting Class will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Cherry Valley Library, 755 E. State St., Cherry Valley.

Learn the secrets to successfully growing your plants from seeds. Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, this class is perfect for all plant enthusiasts.

During this in-person event, participants will be guided through the entire seed-starting process, from choosing the right seeds to nurturing the seedlings. You’ll gain valuable tips and tricks to maximize germination rates and ensure healthy plant growth.

Register for this free class by calling the Cherry Valley Library at 815-332-5161.

Urban Farming

INDIANAPOLIS — The Urban Farming Signature Program will be 6 to 8 p.m. ET Wednesdays, Feb. 28-April 17.

The workshops will be held Marion County Extension office, Indiana State Fairgrounds Discovery Hall, 1202 E. 38th St., Suite 201, Indianapolis.

Learn how to cultivate food safely from planting to harvest in an urban setting while using best practices to nourish the soil, the environment, and your community. This program is meant to strengthen your readiness for urban farming and provide an opportunity to network with others pursuing similar projects.

Topics will include:

• Identify urban farming challenges and opportunities.

• Ground your vision to form goals specific to your operation.

• Understand and manage urban soil health.

• Develop a crop plan.

• Manage pests.

• Understand the fundamentals of permaculture and site design.

• Consider various planting techniques, including season extension and controlled environment growing.

• Identify local resources for growing

Cost is $97 and includes a workbook. Register at http://tinyurl.com/yc3hj6fs.

Small Farm Conference

DANVILLE, Ind. — The Indiana Small Farm Conference will be Feb. 29 to March 1 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds, 1900 E. Main St., Danville.

Hours are 8:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET Feb. 29, and 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 1.

Since 2013, the Indiana Small Farm Conference has been the premier annual event for Indiana’s small- and diversified-farm community — helping them experience continuing education and enjoy farmer-to-farmer networking.

The conference was developed in response to a gathering of Indiana small farmers and stakeholders at the Purdue University campus in the fall of 2011. The Purdue Small Farm team hosted the inaugural conference in 2013 and has had continued success thanks to the support of Indiana farmers and organizations. The conference now hosts over 500 attendees, 50 exhibitors, and several national speakers.

For more information about the event, visit http://tinyurl.com/4nbmb52s.

Selling Meat

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Selling Meat in Illinois will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 29.

While having the skills to raise your livestock is important, another crucial piece is determining how you will market and sell your meat. Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension local foods systems and small farms educator, will provide an overview on the rules and regulations when it comes to working with meat processors to sell meat within the state.

The program is part of the Livestock Production and Principles for Beginners Webinar Series. Cost is $5. Register at http://tinyurl.com/27prb2s2.

Weekend Gardener

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Weekend Gardener will be 8:15 a.m. to noon March 2 at the Madison County Farm Bureau, 900 Hillsboro Ave., Edwardsville.

Explore the world of gardening with expert speakers and engaging discussions. Topics include:

• So You Can’t Grow Lavender in Illinois? — Kim Hansen and Kris Straub, Tenderloin Farms.

• The Joy of Seeds — Elizabeth Wahle, Extension educator.

• Edible Landscaping: The Plants That Make It Possible — Matt Lebon, Custom Foodscaping.

• Bringing Conservation Home: Partnering with Mother Nature — Charlie Pitts, U of I master naturalist.

• How to Attract Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to Your Own Backyard Pollinator Garden — Kim Rohling, Extension horticulture educator.

• Plant Identification: Then and Now — Ned Siegel, U of I master naturalist.

Cost is $20 and includes breakfast. Register at http://tinyurl.com/34rnktbf.

Spring into Gardening

CHARLESTON, Ill. — Spring into Gardening will be 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 2 at the Wesley United Methodist Church, 2206 4th St., Charleston.

The event will include engaging speakers, door prizes, a silent auction, and tasty refreshments.

Topics will include:

• Wildflowers for the Home Garden — Chris Benda, botanist.

• Pollinators in the Urban and Suburban Environment — Brodie Dunn, Extension specialist.

• Making the Most of Small Spaces with Raised Bed Gardening — Chelsea Schmid, Macon County master gardener.

Cost is $25. Register at http://tinyurl.com/3fc2wymr.

Home and Garden

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Home, Lawn, and Garden Day presented by McLean County master gardeners will be 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 2 at Central Catholic High School, 1201 Airport Road, Bloomington.

The morning will be filled with a variety of topics that cover all four seasons of gardening. Find sessions on perennials, annuals, food production, and nature-engagement. For hands-on learners, keep an eye out for “Make It, Take It” workshops.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/29k25fpp.

Forest Conference

FREEPORT, Ill. — The Tri-State Forest Stewardship Conference will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 2 at Highland Community College Student Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport.

The conference is sponsored by Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin Extension Services. This year’s keynote speaker will be Jason Meyer, executive director of the White Oak Initiative. Meyer will discuss the importance of white oak ecologically and economically along with efforts underway to sustain white oaks on the landscape.

Other topics on the agenda include bottomland forest management, timber harvesting, forest taxes, invasive species control, prescribed fire, tree diseases and pathogens, wildlife management, tree physiology, streambank erosion, forest soils, tree identification and silvopasture.

The conference is designed specifically for forest landowners in the Midwest, but forestry professionals, consultants, volunteers, master naturalists and students are all encouraged to attend.

Cost is $40. Register at http://tinyurl.com/4ata59wx.

Plant Expo

MONTICELLO, Ill. — The Seed and Houseplant Expo will be 10 a.m. to noon March 2 at Monticello Tractor Supply, 200 W. Burnside Drive, Monticello.

Drop in and have fun with gardening at activity stations hosted by 4-H and master gardeners. Also, learn about The Little Free Seed Library, the Monticello Area Community Garden, and the many gardening resources available from the University of Illinois Extension. There will be free seeds and garden giveaways. Sharing seeds from the garden or cuttings from a favorite houseplant is a great opportunity to meet other gardeners.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/yc5xsbem.

AgriNews Staff

AgriNews Staff

The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses. We give readers information they can’t get elsewhere to help them make better farming decisions.