1. Published

    This spring has provided ample opportunity for DIY projects so here’s one more to add to the list.

  2. Published

    Food science is so fun! Like overmixing batter to see "tunnels" develop because of gluten. Or turning cream into butter or ice cream. And especially dyeing with food and plant pigments. Pigments are the compounds that make up the colors in food and plants.

  3. Published

    I’m a big tea drinker – chai, green jasmine, oolong – you name it, I probably have a secret stash of loose leaf squirreled away. And just in time for St. Patrick’s Day and all things green, I’ve recently succumbed to matcha madness.

    While matcha is traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, this powdered tea has been making its way onto coffee shop menus as green tea lattes and into baked goods for color and flavor. Check out our Matcha Yogurt Bowl and a Green Tea Matcha Latte recipes below! 

  4. Published

    Hydroponics continues to be a popular topic in the horticulture industry, but usually it is on a very large greenhouse scale.  

    Why is it so popular? Well, it's because your plants can grow 30% to 40% faster. And it is just pretty darn cool.

    Did you know that you can build a hydroponic system at home?

    This particular system you can build is a passive hydroponic system, meaning that nutrients, which are in a fluid solution, are drawn up and absorbed by the growing medium — a wick or some other device — and passed through contact to the roots.

  5. Published

    Suicide rates are higher for farmers than any other occupation

    Centers for Disease Control

    Think about that for a moment. 

    Farm life is stressful. Most pressures are constant and uncontrollable. Machinery breaks, weather delays work and commodity prices fluctuate. The work can be isolating. And between prices and trade wars, this has been an extremely difficult few years for Illinois farmers.

  6. Published

    Thanks to 4-H Memorial Camp in Monticello for hosting Illinois Extension and Monticello Elementary School for a day of education about pioneer lifestyle, including choosing items for a covered wagon journey, playing games, cooking and preserving foods, and learning about pelts and animals.

  7. Published

    Avid campers and hikers might keep jerky, or dried meat, with them when outdoors. Drying is one method of preserving food for longer storage. While you can buy jerky, you can also make it yourself!

    Our office had one last package of deer meat from previous recipes in our Wild Eats series, so we made jerky. 

    For more information on jerky, visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation through the University of Georgia. 

  8. Published

    Partnerships are a big part of Illinois Extension programs.  This one started with a conversation about deer hunting and turned into recipe videos and a blog series.  So many ‘thank you’s to Sara Wade, MS, RD, LDN, with Kirby Medical Center for sharing her experiences.

    Check out Healthy Eats and Repeats for Parts 2 and 3 of this series for more about cooking with venison and some easy recipes.


  9. Published

    On the heels of regrowing celery, I was inspired to regrow another veggie: green onions. For anyone looking for a fast return on investment, these green onions regrew quick!

    A quick cut, a quick soak, and a quick planting in soil has yielded weeks of regrowth on green onions, with no stopping yet. I recommend cutting off grown onions, even if you do not plan to use it, as this encourages new growth.

  10. Published
    The spring of 2019 has gone down in the record books as being one of the wettest in Illinois history. According a recent article by the Illinois State Climatologist's office, "As it stands now, spring 2019 will rank within the top four wettest spring seasons in state history (March–May), with May 2019 ranking as the third wettest May in state history."
  11. Published

    Farmer's market season has kicked off in many communities for the season.  We have a few tips for keeping your foods safe and at good quality.

  12. Published

    A fellow Illinois Extension colleague shared a blog last year titled "Kitchen Scrap Gardening." You might have heard of these home kitchen experiments regrowing foods from leftover seeds, stems, and scraps.

  13. Published

    Celery is one of the foods that tends to go limp in my refrigerator. I do not use celery as much in recipes as, say, onions or carrots. I never enjoy throwing out the limp celery, and set out to find a way to save as much as I could of my purchase.

  14. Published

    Most of us gardeners are itching to get gardening this time of year, which is why Extension offers lots of great programming in the winter to get gardeners excited and inspired! Next up on our gardening calendar is our new From the Ground Up program coming up at Allerton Park and Retreat Center on March 9.

  15. Published

    I once had a squirrel enter my house from an upstairs window, which promptly ran downstairs to finish my breakfast of eggs and toast on the dining room table. My dog and two cats watched from the sidelines incredulously; no doubt asking themselves why they didn't get invited to breakfast.

  16. Published

    Every summer, gardens at home are hit or miss on what grows and what doesn't. Sometimes a plant just grows and grows! This was the case for the gardener who brought me multiple bunches of hot peppers – jalapeños, poblanos, and lots of small red hot peppers.

  17. Published

    Kokedama String Gardens

    Get creative with your houseplant displays this winter and try hanging a few plants in the window to create a string garden. The term String Gardening is a term that has become attached to a style of Japanese bonsai known as kokedama, which literally means "moss ball" in English.

  18. Published

    Fudge, tea rings, macaroons, baklava, pralines, and brittles! These are some of the nutty holiday sweets we indulgence in this time of year. Besides these delectable offerings, unshelled nuts to be eaten in their natural state are common around the holiday season as well. I'm going to date myself, but stockings at my house didn't have toys, but a wonderful mixture of fruit, nuts and candy. The preponderance of nuts in the fall and early winter of course relate to the natural time of harvest- and a reason why so many holiday recipes call for them.

  19. Published

    How well do you know Thanksgiving turkey safety tips? Let's find out!

    Thanks to the "Turkey for the Holidays" website from UI Extension for these tips!

    Q: How long does a turkey take to thaw?
    A: Allow about 24 hours of defrost time for every 5 pounds of turkey. For example, a 20 pound turkey will take 4 to 5 days to thaw.

  20. Published
          A problem that seems to be an increasing across the area with oak trees is Bacterial Leaf Scorch. Up until about 2012 or so, this disease was considered a minor problem that oak trees typically overcame. Here recently, this disease is causing a slow decline of our older oak trees once they become infected.
          What do the symptoms look like? The first noticeable symptom is premature browning of leaves in mid-summer.