Skip to main content

Know How, Know More

Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers and Community

Latest Posts

When was the last time your well was inspected

A properly constructed and maintained water well can provide many years of trouble free service, but a well can deteriorate or become damaged allowing surface contaminants to enter the water in the well. In addition, groundwater can become contaminated. The safety of a family’s drinking water is very important, so important that public water systems must monitor their water’s safety at least monthly. However, if you have a private well, regular testing is your responsibility. Annual...
Read more

Preventing Avian Flu in Your Small Flock

In the past three weeks, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected wild birds in the central U.S. flyway. The HPIA strains being detected are Eurasian H5 and Eurasian H5N1. Confirmed cases of HPIA have been confirmed in commercial and small flocks in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Michigan, so far none in Illinois. Protecting your Flock First, keep infected wild waterfowl (ducks and geese) and gulls from interacting with your poultry flock. Avian flu circulates in the wild...
Read more

When should I sow seeds for my vegetable garden?

With spring right around the corner and seed catalogs pouring in, many gardeners are anxious to get their hands in the soil, myself included. It may currently be a little early and damp to put shovel to ground, but it’s never too early to plan what vegetables and herbs you might grow. Gather your materials now and start planning your growing space. You may choose to forego the indoor jungle and winter sow seeds that...
Read more

Recycling Your Real Christmas Tree

Are you wondering what to do with your fresh-cut Christmas tree now that Christmas is over? How about recycling it? If you have a landscape recycling center or compost facility nearby, take it there and it will be converted into a renewable mulch or compost. Before you recycle your tree, it must be undecorated – no ornaments or lights or tree stand. In the Macon County area, people can drop off their undecorated trees at the Macon County Composting Facility. For more information, call the...
Read more

Prepare your bees for winter

When temperatures start getting cold in late fall, it's time to make those last-minute preparations that help your bees have the best chance of surviving the winter. Check for Varroa mites This is your last chance to treat for Varroa mites. In the late fall, your Varroa mite sampling should show less than 1 mite per 100 bees, otherwise, you need to treat. A very useful tool for determining the best strategy for managing Varroa mites is the Honey Bee Health Coalition’s (HBHC)...
Read more

Tree Frogs are Hopping

I have been noticing tree frogs for the past month and a half. First, I saw a green one back in September on the porch door and then several on the kitchen window in the evening. This past Sunday, I noticed a gray tree frog sitting inside a storage shed. Locally, I have heard reports of people seeing numbers of them on the side of their houses. As I have learned, the gray tree frogs come in many colors and they range in size from 1.25 - 2.5 inches in length. The juvenile gray tree frog is...
Read more

A Strange Looking Insect - Wheel Bug

This is the “wheel bug.” While it resembles something out of a horror movie, it is actually one of the “good’ insects. The semi-circle crest of this bug resembles half of a cog wheel, hence the name. It is a member of the Assassin bug family and they feed on soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars, moths, aphids, and leafhoppers. Do not pick them up, they can bite. Just leave them alone and let them feed on some of...
Read more

Factors to consider when choosing tree species

Trees and shrubs are valuable elements in both public and private landscapes, and the wise investment of time and careful selection will only increase their value. Though there are several non-native species that do well in our fertile Illinois soils, we encourage the use of native species to promote disease resistance, suitability to native soils, and mitigating the spread of invasive species (even unknowingly). Factors to take into consideration when choosing a tree species light...
Read more

Preventing storm damage to trees

With frequent summer thunderstorms, we should be diligent in scouting for tree issues that could become a larger problem. Proper preventative care can greatly increase a tree’s longevity. Important first steps  Preparing a tree for weather-related disasters happens before the tree ever goes in the ground by making wise site and species selections. A tree in an unsuitable site can take years to fail, often time by which it’s a costly removal or worse- damage to persons or property. Consider...
Read more
Blog Authors