April 14, 2024

Calendar: Grow your own cut flowers

MONTICELLO, Ill. — The program Grow Your Own Cut Flowers will be noon to 1 p.m. March 19 at the Piatt County Extension office, 210 S. Market St., Monticello.

Illinois State Master Gardener Specialist Candice Anderson will discuss how to grow a variety of cut flowers in Illinois, the benefits of having cut flowers in the garden, and how to condition them to be long-lasting. She will discuss her favorite flowers to grow and share tips and tricks for success.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/yc6skm6j.

Pancake Day

SPARTA, Ill. — Randolph County Foundation Pancake Day will be 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 16 at the Sparta VFW Post, 1911 N. Market St., Sparta.

Breakfast includes pancakes, sausage and an assortment of beverages. The breakfast is made and served by local 4-H members. Carry-out plates also will be available.

Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-10. Children 3 and under eat for free. Proceeds from the all-you-can-eat breakfast will help support Randolph County 4-H. For more information, call 618-443-4364.

Ag Equipment Diagnostics

RENSSELAER, Ind. — Ag Equipment Diagnostics will be 8 a.m to 4 p.m. March 16 at three sites:

• Jasper County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2671 W. Clark St., Rensselaer.

• Churubusco High School, 1 Eagle Drive, Churubusco.

• Decatur County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1645 W. Park Road, Greensburg.

The Agriculture Equipment Diagnostics program is designed to teach high school youth skills to become a technician working in the ag equipment industry. Participants will learn about electrical systems, and after being given a scenario will use their knowledge, skills and equipment to diagnose the problem and write a work order, same as if they were working at an equipment dealer.

Cost is $25. Register at https://tinyurl.com/2ce39pma.

An adult 4-H or FFA coach must attend the workshop with youth. 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.

Garden Patch

PONTIAC, Ill. — A Day in the Garden Patch will be 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 16 at the Livingston County Extension office, 1412 S. Locust St., Pontiac.

Learn how you can improve your well-being through gardening:

Cooking Healthy with Herbs: Do you have an herb garden but are unsure how to incorporate it into your meals? Jenna Smith, Extension nutrition and wellness educator, will discuss how herbs can greatly enhance the flavor of food while reducing the use of salt and sugar. Participants will receive recipes and tips on buying, storing, and using herbs and spices. Master gardeners will share growing tips.

• Create a Sensory Garden: Surrounding yourself with plants in a garden can be a wonderful sensory experience. From sight, smell, touch, sound and taste, sensory plants can connect garden visitors with nature. Brittnay Haag, Extension horticulture educator, will discuss how to incorporate various plants to provide sensory benefits into your garden environment.

• Wellness in the Garden stations: Spending time in nature can benefit your mental and physical well-being. Discover some simple activities to foster your experiences in the natural world to improve your overall well-being at activity stations led by the Livingston County master gardeners.

The $30 registration fee includes herbal refreshments, two workshops, and materials from the well-being activity stations. Check-in and light refreshments will be available at 8:45 a.m., with the workshops beginning at 9 a.m.

Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/4tdu75p4.

Plant Hardiness Zones

MATTOON, Ill. — Master Gardener Andy McNitt will talk about the new Plant Hardiness Zone Map and how these changes may influence growing decisions. Among the topics discussed will be how growing zones have shifted, the influence on rainfall, and the influence of micro-climates on plants.

The program will be 10 to 11 a.m. March 16 at the Douglas-Hart Nature Center, 2204 Dewitt Ave., Mattoon.

For more information about this free program, visit https://tinyurl.com/j7kmhwp7.

Sewing Saturdays

RISING SUN, Ind. — Sewing Saturdays will be 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET March 16 and March 23 at Geneva Quilts, 4154 St. Rd. 56N, Rising Sun.

Youth participants will leave with a completed pillow case to exhibit at the 2024 Ohio County 4-H Fair.

Cost is $15. Register by calling the Ohio County Extension office at 812-438-3656.

Raised Beds

BUDA, Ill. — The program Vegetable Gardening in Raised Beds and Containers will be 2 to 3 p.m. March 16 at the Mason Memorial Public Library, 104 W. Main St., Buda.

Learn how to use above-ground growing systems for safe and fruitful production of your favorite backyard vegetables. Methods to increase production by maximizing your space, recommended soil and fertilizer practices and construction material options will be reviewed.

For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/4fdfxky3.

Wildlife Workshop

WOODSTOCK, Ill. — The Fish and Wildlife Workshop will be 10 a.m. to noon March 16 at the McHenry County Farm Bureau Auditorium, 1102 McConnell Road, Woodstock.

Kelly Ishmael, wildlife inspector for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, will discuss wildlife identification, wildlife protection laws, and the role of a wildlife inspector.

Sessions will be at 10 a.m. for youths 10 and under, and 11 a.m. for older youths.

Register for this free program by visiting https://tinyurl.com/yvvbcbk8.

Top Trial Plants

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Top Trial Plants will be noon to 1 p.m. March 18.

Champaign County Master Gardener Ann Tice will discuss the top performers from Proven Winners plant trials.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/yc74v4a6.

Easter Egg Hunt

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The Community Easter Egg Hunt, sponsored by Hamilton County 4-H junior leaders, will be at 6 p.m. ET March 18 at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville.

The hunt will begin at 6:05 p.m. for children 2 and under, 6:10 p.m. for ages 3 to 5, and 6:15 p.m. for ages 6 to 8. Bring your own basket. Farm animals will be available for petting.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/mvyrxwuf.

Forming an LLC

URBANA, Ill. — The online Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms program Forming an LLC will be 7 to 8 p.m. March 18.

Rachel Armstrong, executive director of Farm Commons, will discuss why a limited liability company is a good risk management tool, best practices for implementation, and the regular obligations needed to keep the LLC in top legal shape. Farmers who have had an LLC for years can learn a few things about preserving their resilience.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/r7r8rh4j.

Beneficial Insects

BELVIDERE, Ill. — The program Beneficial Insects will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 19 at the Ida Public Library, 320 N. State St., Belvidere.

Learn about the most common beneficial insects with Boone County Master Gardener Barb Wych.

Register for this free program by calling the library at 815-544-3838.

Backyard Beekeeping

URBANA, Ill. — The Four Seasons Gardening Webinar Series program Backyard Beekeeping will be 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. March 19.

Beekeeping is a growing and rewarding hobby that can be enjoyed by backyard gardeners looking to expand into new ventures. Jennifer Fishburn, Extension horticulture educator, will discuss the basics of starting a backyard colony, understanding honeybees, and hive management techniques.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/3m39t8yr.

Seed Starting

ROCKFORD, Ill. — The free Seed Starting program will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 19 at the Winnebago County Extension office, 1040 N. 2nd St., Rockford.

Master Gardener Shelby Leick will discuss common problems and various equipment used in seed starting.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/38ftw8b5.

Ag Day Breakfast

FRANKLIN, Ind. — The Johnson County Ag Day Breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. ET March 20 at Scott Hall, 100 Fairground St., Franklin.

The 2024 Johnson County Farm Family of the Year will be an announced, and an open house will showcase Purdue Extension in Johnson County.

Cost is $2. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/mw4enbpc, or call 317-736-3724.

Air Frying 101

FREEPORT, Ill. — Air Frying 101 will be 1 to 2:30 p.m. March 20 at the Freeport Public Library, 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport.

Air frying can be a creative way to stretch your food dollars, and it can be a healthy alternative to other cooking methods. Participants will leave with a few healthy and tasty recipes to try at home.

Cost is $5. Register for this Healthy Cooking at Home Series program by visiting https://tinyurl.com/bp6z6ma9.

Deer Hunting Rules

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Natural Resources Commission will hold a public hearing on Indiana’s deer hunting rules before it votes on the proposed changes. Most proposed changes intend to simplify Indiana’s deer hunting rules so they are easier to understand.

The public hearing will be from 4 to 8 p.m. ET March 20 at the Fort Harrison State Park Inn, 5830 N. Post Road, Indianapolis. To attend the public hearing online, go to Microsoft Teams and enter Meeting ID: 296 491 887 327, Passcode: xTCuyW starting at 4 p.m. ET on March 20.

For more information on the proposed rule changes, visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ rule and regulations changes web page at https://tinyurl.com/4f7p8r3n, call 812-334-3795 or email indeerhotline@dnr.IN.gov.

Raspberries, Blackberries

ELIZABETH, Ill. — Brambles: From Raspberries to Blackberries will be from 1:30 to 3 p.m. March 21 at the Jo Daviess County Extension office, 204 N. Vine St., Elizabeth.

Raspberries and blackberries can be an essential small fruit to grow when you have limited space. With management and selection, you can have a patch consistently producing each year. Illinois Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Grant McCarty will provide information on selection, pruning, general management, and integrated pest management.

Register for this Spring Break Gardening Series program by visiting https://tinyurl.com/rs5jrjtp.

Breakfast with a Forester

LOOGOOTEE, Ind. — Breakfast with a Forester will be 8 to 10 a.m. ET March 22 at Stoll’s Lakeview Restaurant, 15519 US Highway 231, Loogootee.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources District Forester Eric McDonald and other consulting foresters and Purdue Extension specialists will answer your questions regarding forestry and timber marketing.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/bdw7rmy4 or call 812-482-1171.

Garden Design

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — The Garden Design Workshop will be 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. March 22 at the DuPage County Extension office, 1100 E. Warrenville Road, Naperville.

This master gardener-led program will cover basic principles, general considerations, and helpful tips for flower bed and garden design.

Cost is $5. Register at https://tinyurl.com/yc5ps398.

Backyard Food Gardening

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The online Lunch and Learn program Backyard Food Gardening will be noon to 1 p.m. ET March 22.

Learn about plant variety, maintenance and harvesting techniques. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting, this event will inspire and empower you to create a thriving garden at home.

Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/mpca669y.

Forestry Field Day

CAMPBELLSBURG, Ind. — Forestry Field Day will begin at 8:30 a.m. ET March 23 at Ratts Road, Campbellsburg.

Topics include wildlife enhancements, forest stand improvement, brush management and utilizing forestry conservation programs. Light refreshments will be provided. After the event, lunch will be available at 12:30 p.m.

The event is hosted by the Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Purdue Extension, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Clean Water Indiana, and the Twin Creek-Lick Branch Watershed Project.

Register by calling the Washington County SWCD at 812-883-3006, ext. 3. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yyck3z5x.

Directions: Navigate to Pollock Cemetery on Ratts Road in Campbellsburg. Participants will use Ratts Road to access the property. Signage will be posted leading to the event location.

Wildlife Workshop

MADISON, Ind. — The Ohio River Valley Woodlands and Wildlife Workshop will be 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET March 23 at Clifty Inn at Clifty Falls State Park, 1650 Clifty Hollow Road, Madison.

The event will offer educational sessions on managing invasive plants, managing woodlands for birds, and the use of prescribed fire. The workshop is co-hosted by the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue FNR Extension and the Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association. Additional support is provided by the University of Kentucky Extension and Ohio State University Extension.

Cost is $65. Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/w6f3yrwn.

Garden Symposium

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Allen County Garden Symposium will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET March 23 in the Walb Classic Ballroom at Purdue University Fort Wayne, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd., Fort Wayne.

This year’s theme is sustainability. Cost is $40. For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/ms24kx2j.

Chainsaw Safety

MONTICELLO, Ill. — Beginner Chainsaw Safety Training will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 23 at 4-H Memorial Camp, 499 Old Timber Road, Monticello.

Participants will be trained in safe use of chainsaws, safety gear to use, chainsaw cleaning/maintenance and an opportunity to practice skills with experts.

Wear long pants and sturdy boots. Personal protection equipment and chainsaws will on hand to use, but participants can bring their own chainsaws and PPE — chaps, helmets, hearing and eye protection.

Cost is $15 and lunch will be provided. Register at https://tinyurl.com/ynx68pud. For questions, email cwevans@illinois.edu or call 618-695-3383.

Russel Allen Garden Day

LINCOLN, Ill. — Russel Allen Garden Day will be 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 23 at the Oasis Senior Center, 2810 Woodlawn Road, Lincoln.

The event is in honor of Russel Allen who was a Logan County master gardener program volunteer.

The keynote presentation will be provided by Lee and Anne Niepagen of Wendell Niepagen Greenhouses and Garden Center in Bloomington. Their topic will be New and Exciting Plants and Trends for the Coming Season.

Other session topics will include Spring Rose Pruning, Plant Alternatives, Growing Vegetables Isn’t Work — It’s Fun, and Designing a Flower Bed in Your Yard.

Cost is $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Register at https://tinyurl.com/2p8waejp. For more information, call 217-732-8289.


DIXON, Ill. — The Ready...Set...Grow Gardening Workshop will be 9 a.m. to noon March 23 at the Loveland Community House, 513 W. 2nd St., Dixon.

The keynote presentation will be Blooms of Brilliance: Nurturing Annuals for a Vibrant Garden by Tyler Hagemann from Hagemann Horticulture, Oregon.

Session one topics will include: Next Level Seed Starting by Vic Zaderej, Happy Leaf; Every Drop Counts — Xeriscaping, Chris Enroth, Illinois Extension horticulture educator; Veggie Visions: Unveiling New Flavors in 2024, Bruce Black, Illinois Extension horticulture educator; and Crafting Your Own Blend at The Tea Garden Experience, Nancy Gmitro, Carroll County master gardener.

Session two topics will include: Compact Orchard Delights: Container Fruit Gardening, by Bruce Black; Hydrangeas Demystified, Monica Putnam, Hidden Timber Gardens; Growing Ginger, Turmeric and Other Unique Crops, Chris Enroth; and Spring Forward, Jim Brown, Woodlawn Landscapes & Design.

Cost is $25. Register at https://tinyurl.com/8fs3rsrc.

Gardener’s Day

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — Gardener’s Day will be 9 a.m. to noon March 23 at the Morgan County Extension office, 104 N. Westgate Ave., Jacksonville.

Presentations will include: Invasive Plants and Native Alternatives, This Isn’t Your Grandparents Gardening Weather, and The Magic of Magicicada: Periodical Cicadas.

Cost is $5. Register at https://tinyurl.com/4sxabhbn.

Tack Marketplace

AUBURN, Ind. — The DeKalb County 4-H Horse and Pony Club Tack, Craft and Vendor Marketplace will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET March 23 at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 708 S. Union St., Auburn.

Vendor table rentals are available for $25. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/bde8amtp or call 260-927-5504.

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.