April 14, 2024

Calendar: Sharpen and grow: Garden tool maintenance

FARMER CITY, Ill. — Sharpen and Grow: Garden Tool Maintenance will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 26 at Outreach, 701 E. Clinton Ave., Farmer City.

Get ready for spring gardening by learning how to prepare your garden tools. Do garden shovels need to be sharpened? How should loppers be cleaned? What should you consider when purchasing pruners? This workshop will cover what to look for in purchasing quality garden tools, the best cleaning and sharpening methods, and the best practices for storage.

The program is part of the Garden Workshop Series. Other topics will be Herb Gardens, 6 to 7 p.m. April 30; and Growing Great Tomatoes, 6 to 7 p.m. May 28.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/2u92p3bx.

Dairy Judging

DU QUOIN, Ill. — The Southern Illinois 4-H and FFA Livestock and Dairy Judging Contest will be 9 a.m. to noon March 23 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 and Question Contest, open to grades 3-8.

• Senior 4-H/FFA Livestock Judging and 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.

4-H and FFA team names can be emailed to rkshuber@illinois.edu or individuals or teams can register online at go.illinois.edu/LivestockDairyJudging.

UAV Training

LOOGOOTEE, Ind. — Become a certified drone pilot by attending the Purdue Extension UAV Technology Program, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET March 25 and March 26 at the Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds and Event Center, 2668 US Hwy. 50, Loogootee.

Topics will include FAA test preparation, flight instructions, camera settings, flight plans and recordkeeping, data management, image quality and troubleshooting, sensors and AI, and emergency preparation.

Cost is $200. To register and for more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yc6mb37y.

QLC Class

AUBURN, Ind. — All 4-H youth enrolled in a livestock project must be Quality Livestock Care certified or have a Youth for the Quality Care of Animals online completion certificate.

If you choose to complete the YQCA option, you will register for the online course at https://yqcaprogram.org. After completing the course, you must email the 4-H educator your certificate to receive credit.

If you prefer to take the QLC in-person course, the cost is $3 per child and will be located at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 708 S. Union St., Auburn, on the following dates: March 25 at 1 p.m. ET, April 20 at 9 a.m., May 4 at 9 a.m., and Aug. 10 at 9 a.m.

For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/yc3xj8wa.

After attending the course or submitting a YQCA online training certificate, you will be marked complete in the DeKalb 4-H Fall Fair checklist.

Cooking with Veggies

THOMSON, Ill. — Cooking with Veggies will be 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 25 at the Thomson Library, 1005 W. Main St., Thomson.

Explore the basics of planting, harvesting, and creating delicious recipes using fresh produce. Each month will feature a new vegetable, with Master Gardener Nancy Gmitro guiding participants through its cultivation and culinary possibilities.

Spinach will be the topic of the March 25 lesson, followed by asparagus on April 22.

To register, call the library at 815-259-2480.

The program will be repeated 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 28 at the Mount Carroll Library, 208 N. Main St., Mount Carroll. Call 815-244-1751.

Welding Workshop

STERLING, Ill. — Welding For Beginners will be 8 to 11 a.m. March 25 and March 26 at the Whiteside Area Career Center, 1608 5th Ave., Sterling.

This program for seventh- through 12th-graders covers shop and equipment safety, blueprint reading, and hands-on skills in operating shop equipment such as the band saw, oxy/fuel cutting torch, and SMAW welder. Participants will learn about fabrication and welding techniques.

For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/27wv28pk.

Mental Health First Aid

VINCENNES, Ind. — Adult Mental Health First Aid for Rural Communities will be 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET March 26 at the Vincennes University Agricultural Center, 4259 N. Purdue Road, Vincennes.

The course will teach participants:

• How to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

• Signs and symptoms for a variety of mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, substance use, trauma, and deliberate self-injury.

• Awareness and understanding of the impact mental health and substance use stigma can have.

• How to assist those in need to get help from a health professional.

Cost is $130, which includes manual, workbook and lunch. To register and learn more, visit https://tinyurl.com/5n6e4xaw.

Sowing Success

QUINCY, Ill. — Sowing Success: A Seminar for Women in Agriculture will be. 10 a.m. to noon March 26 at the Adams County Farm Bureau, 330 S. 36th St., Quincy.

Adams County Farm Bureau and University of Illinois Extension are partnering to provide a seminar focused on helping women with farm succession planning and navigating USDA FSA farm programs. University of Illinois Commercial Agriculture Specialist Meagan Diss will provide guidance, tips, and valuable resources to help plan for the future. USDA FSA staff will also provide an overview of farm programs.

To register, visit https://tinyurl.com/2z5hx7zr, or call Illinois Extension at 217-223-8380, or Farm Bureau at 217-222-7305.

Air Frying

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The Lessons for Living program The Do’s and Don’ts of Air Frying will be 10 to 11 a.m. March 26 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

How much do you know about air fryers? Did you know that they are not actually “fryers” at all, meaning they don’t actually fry. They mimic the results of cooking with hot oil. Air fryers are also faster than any other form of convection cooking. Most nonstick basket-type fryers take only a minute or two to clean. What’s not to like?

This class is presented in collaboration with the Macoupin County Home and Community Education Association.

Dig Safely

PEKIN, Ill. — The program Home Excavation Safety will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 25 at the Tazewell County Extension office, 1505 Valle Vista Blvd., Pekin.

Do you know the proper procedures to follow before digging in your yard? Learn about excavation safety and how to call J.U.L.I.E. before you dig.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/3thnmt4z.

Crochet Workshop

ALBION, Ill. — The Edwards County Beginning Crochet Workshop will be 4 to 6 p.m. March 25 at the Edwards County Farm Bureau, 15 S. 5th St., Albion.

Lesa Matthes and Tara Buerster will lead participants in making a dish cloth. 4-H members and nonmembers are welcome to attend.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/d4w9mdhr.

Design Tech Master Class

INDIANAPOLIS — The Design Tech Master Class will be 6 to 8 p.m. ET March 26, March 28 and March 30 at Discovery Hall, Farm Bureau Building, 1202 E 38th St., Indianapolis.

Participants will receive information, resources, and hands-on training on how to use free and accessible tools to make 2-D and 3-D creations, with a focus on 3-D printing and a laser engraver/cutter.

This event is geared toward 4-H adult volunteers, but volunteers from other Extension areas are welcome. Materials, snacks and drinks will be provided.

Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/bdzd4hdm.

Seed Starting

DANVILLE, Ill. — The Seed Starting program presented by Vermilion County master gardeners will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 26 at the Danville Public Library, 319 N. Vermilion St., Danville.

Spring is right around the corner, and gardeners look forward to spending time in their garden. With the current prices, seed starting can be a smart way to stretch your gardening dollar. It can also offer better germination rates and fewer pest issues than tiny seedlings would face outdoors. This program is the perfect opportunity to learn from the experts as they demonstrate seed-starting techniques.

Register for this free program at https://tinyurl.com/yfbujfjc.

Growing Vegetables

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Growing Vegetables with a Purpose will be 7 to 8 p.m. March 26 at the Extension Auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign.

Experts from the Idea Garden will share their collective knowledge and experience about vegetable gardening at the Idea Garden and elsewhere. Topics will include:

• Components of healthy organic soil.

• Best organic soil practices.

• Best variety selection, timing, and insects.

• Garden design for function and beauty.

• Garden maintenance from growth through harvest.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/ramsj9n4.

Rend Lake Garden

BENTON, Ill. — The March session of Rend Lake Pollinator Garden Stewardship Days will be 8:30 to 11 a.m. March 27 at Rend Lake Project Office and Visitor Center, 11981 Rend City Road, Benton.

Sessions include two hours of garden stewardship tasks and a 30-minute educational program. Volunteers will receive training of how to care for pollinator gardens, and assist with garden stewardship and garden education.

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

Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/yc2fpz8p.

Spring Cleanup

RIVER FOREST, Ill. — Spring Cleanup will be 10 to 11:30 a.m. March 27 at Thatcher Woods Pavilion, Chicago Avenue, west of Thatcher Avenue, River Forest.

Learn how to best prepare your landscape for a new year of growth while incorporating practices that promote sustainability and support local wildlife. Expert volunteers will share best practices and the “why” behind them.

This program is presented through Conservation@Home. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yfhcffrc.

Cacti and Succulents

MONTICELLO, Ill. — The program Cacti and Succulents will be 2 to 3 p.m. March 27 at the Allerton Public Library, 4000 Green Apple Lane, Monticello.

Learn how to grow cacti and succulents, the specific growing conditions for success, and some common succulent plants that are great to grow.

Register by calling the library at 217-762-4676.

Growing Tomatoes

FORSYTH, Ill. — Growing Tomatoes will be 11 a.m. to noon March 28 at the Forsyth Public Library, 268 S. Elwood St., Forsyth.

Macon County master gardeners will share their secrets to growing tomatoes at home.

Register by calling the library at 217-877-8174.

When It Rains, It Pours

URBANA, Ill. — The online program When It Rains, It Pours — Climate Change’s Impact on Precipitation will be 1 to 2 p.m. March 28.

How will you meet the challenge of heavier spring rains in the field? Explore changes in hydrology and climate due to human changes to the landscape and greenhouse gas emissions. Discover findings related to rainfall and other precipitation in the latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The presentation will also include hydrology research updates focused on how climate variations impact extreme surface water movement and how those changes, in turn, affect climate.

This is the first of four webinars in the 2024 Illinois-Indiana Climate Webinar series. Register at https://tinyurl.com/46fvh4nj.

Fisheries Meeting

WILMETTE, Ill. — The Illinois-Indiana Fisheries Meeting will be 6 to 8 p.m. March 28 at the Wilmette Harbor Club, 20 Harbor Drive, Wilmette.

Discussions will include bass telemetry, salmon forage trends, and Illinois Natural History Survey’s fishing update, along with question-and-answer time.

For those who cannot attend the in-person event, a virtual meeting and Q&A session with the speakers will take place the following week, 6 to 8 p.m. CT April 3.

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

Cottage Food Law

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The program Cottage Food Law at the Farmers Market and Beyond will be 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 28 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

Have you considered selling your homemade foods at a farmers market? There are basic guidelines that growers and vendors must observe in preparation for sales under the Illinois Cottage Food Law.

Learn about the latest legislation concerning Illinois Cottage Food Law and how to comply with safety standards.

For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/2et9nwam.

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.