2020 has been quite a year for all of us with all the changes that have been thrust upon us. This includes our farmers who supply fresh produce and meats to our local markets. With the health restrictions, many farmers had to quickly change from face-to-face market sales to online sales with delivery or pick-up. Other farmers had to quickly find new markets for their lost restaurant sales and still, others had to make changes so that customers could safely come to their farms.
Fields are turning to browns and golds and harvest has begun. With farmers across Illinois spending long hours in the fields, they and their farm families are shifting mealtime from the kitchen table to the field.
Being in the middle of a field without kitchen conveniences like microwaves, refrigerators, and sinks requires farmers, workers, and farm families to get creative with meals and snacks.
If you enjoy those sweet tender vegetables of spring, then you get another opportunity to enjoy them during the cooler temperatures of fall. The catch is that you have to plant them now during the month of August.
Why does a fall crop need to be planted in August? Daylight and temperature.
Spring has sprung, the weather is gorgeous, and everyone wants to get outside. However, social distancing measures prevent many of us from being in public spaces. We can’t gather with others, but we still care about our families and our community. What a perfect time to revisit the victory garden and give a whole new meaning to the word VICTORY.
If you love having vases full of fresh flowers around the house, but not the price tag cut flower gardening is for you! A little planning now will have your home full of unique floral arrangements all summer long.
First off, what is a cut flower? A cut flower is simply any flower or flower bud that is cut from the plant and used decoratively in fresh or dried vase displays, wreaths and garlands.
One of the secrets to getting fruit out of your home orchard year after year is annual pruning during the dormant season. This early-spring task can increase fruit quality, reduce the occurrence of diseases and improve tree health in the long-term, but many people are nervous about pruning or too heavy-handed with the clippers.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."