Special note: As of April 29, 2022, Richard Hentschel has retired from University of Illinois Extension with nearly 30 years of service as a Horticulture Specialist and Educator in northern Illinois.
Richard Hentschel offers programs for horticulture education in DuPage, Kane, and Kendall counties in northern Illinois with a wide demographic having a diverse interest in many aspects of commercial and homeowner horticulture.
Commercial connections include Homeowner Associations working to better their landscapes through updates to the current design and existing plants including lawn care. Sustainability is woven throughout these updates. Consultations with park and forest peserve districts, retail nurseries and garden centers ultimately benefit the homeowner.
Statewide programing for commercial horticulturists includes the Pesticide Safety and Education Program where the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Extension provide training annually with current updates on products, any regulations, state and federal that impact their operations.
Homeowners see Extension in a number of programing efforts throughout the year on-line, in group settings, open garden days and individual problem solving situations. Garden clubs request subjects through our Speakers Bureau utilizing Volunteer Master Gardeners. Homeowners see Extension at Farmers Markets, Community events, donation, community and Demonstration Gardens. With growing your own vegetables on the rise, insect identification, vegetable disease control and learning how to build,manage and utilize a compost pile are topics of interest. Planting a home orchard is second to the vegetable garden interest. Key learning points include fruit varieties besides apples are cherries, plum and pear, cross pollination, organic and inorganic spray programs and proper training for good fruit production are just some of what the hobby orchardists learn. Plant and weed identification happens through email, visits to the Extension office and at community events.