Highlight Blog Posts
Shiitake mushrooms growing on inoculated logs

Grow your favorite fungus at home: How to cultivate shiitake mushrooms

Growing mushrooms is a time honored tradition. Cultivation of shiitake mushrooms on hardwood logs dates back at least 1000 years in Japan. After button mushrooms, the shiitake mushroom is the most commonly cultivated mushroom in the world, according to Cornell University. Despite their high retail cost, growing shiitake mushrooms is achievable at home without great expense. Shiitake mushrooms...
Apple hanging from an apple tree

Growing Apples in your Home Orchard

There is a lot of interest by home gardeners to raise and produce organic fruit. The good news is it can be done! Home growers need to be attentive to their fruit trees and know when to apply control measures. Producing fruit that is relatively free of discoloration and damage from diseases and pests requires the use of various control measures- cultural, mechanical, and...
Recent Blog Articles

Managing fire blight in apples and pears at home

Apples and pears are popular trees to grow for people interested in growing their own fruit. However, they aren't without any problems. A variety of insect pests and diseases can plague them. One common and potentially serious disease is fire blight. What is fire blight? Fire...
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Ten suggestions for improved positivity and well-being

Our lives are bombarded with negativity, stress and countless threats to our emotional well-being. New research in neuroscience and positive psychology show that when we experience happiness and positivity, it turns on all the learning centers in the brain and fuels positive outcomes in all aspects...
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The down and dirty on soil carbon and carbon markets

Interested in joining a carbon (C) market, but not sure what it will mean for your field? With a large, diverse number of companies attempting to purchase C credits from farmers, what do farmers need to consider before selling? It is important to understand the details behind C credits and what can...
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Annual Bluegrass, a common garden weed

A couple of weeks ago I was working in a food donation garden, prepping raised beds in anticipation of planting early spring crops. Some of the raised beds were covered in weeds that needed to be removed. One of them happened to be Annual Bluegrass, Poa annua. This grass already had an...
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What is atmospheric stability?

As I reflect, it was Severe Weather Preparedness Week— March 6-10, 2023. We have already had severe weather this year, but it will become more frequent now that spring is around the corner. Sometimes when thunderstorms are forecast, you will hear weathercasters talking about the atmosphere being...
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Fuel for the Future

March is National Nutrition Month. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics created the annual campaign in 1973 (50 years ago), and it includes a new theme each year. This year’s theme is “Fuel for the Future.” But what exactly does that mean? Food is the fuel that our bodies need to keep our system...
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Wellness begins with you!

The saying “If you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.”  has resonated with many people recently. It is a simple reminder that prioritizing one’s health is important and that wellness begins with the individual. Often, we are busy focusing on others...
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Spring flowering trees and shrubs

Signs of spring are beginning to pop up if you look close enough.  In the last week or so, I’ve noticed harbinger of spring (Erigenia bulbosa) and spring beauties (Claytonia virginica) in natural areas. The beginnings of Virginia bluebells can also be found as their distinctly...
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Personal Finances

Illinois Extension can guide your family through all of life's stages.
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Great retirements don't happen by accident. Tips for saving and investing your money.

Plan Well. Retire Well.

university of illinois graduate

Money talk by college students, for college students.

Be Centsible

man helping couple with money issues

Develop and maintain thoughtful and effective financial behaviors using these trusted methods.

Fearless Financial Future


In today's hectic lives, families find themselves raising children, caring for elders, and working.

Read these timely resources for wellness across the lifespan.

Family Files


Living well means taking time for ourselves so we can be healthy for others who need us. 
woman doing yoga stretches in the park

Take steps to living a healthier life.

To Your Health

person sitting on couch with cup of coffee

Genuine, sustained self-care is an art.

Refill Your Cup with Self-Care

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A journey of wellness dedicated to awareness and the power of knowledge to help you on your health and wellness journey.

Walking the Line to Wellness

person sitting on couch holding someone's hands

Empowering people to make healthy, respectful and responsible choices.

Community Health: Empowering People

Nutrition and Wellness

Eating healthy shouldn't be this hard.
healthy foods on table

Healthy information for better living

Live Well. Eat Well.

healthy food on table

Nutrition information you can use.

Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy

person chopping banana for smoothie

Highlighting food, recipes, and ideas for a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Eats and Repeat

healthy food on table

Helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Community and Economic Development

Illinois Extension helps communities develop strategies to thrive.
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Strategies for strengthening local economies.

Building Entrepreneurial Communities

government building

Participants in Illinois Extension Illini Science Scholars Program share their experiences in this unique opportunity. 

Scholars Speak

Natural Resources

We have one planet. Let's work together to ensure its future and ours.

Dig deep into the types of grasses and their uses in our world.

Grasses at a Glance

world globe made of paper

Read the latest news in natural resources.

Naturalist News

field buffer

The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream.

Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy


Weather impacts food production, transportation, homes, and lives.

All About Weather


From the flowers you enjoy to the produce you eat to the plants that add value to our life, we offer help for growing strong.

Keeping you (and your garden) growing with good ideas.

Good Growing

garden shed

Gardening in Illinois including everything from vegetable gardening to native plants.

The Garden Scoop

garden path

Where northern Illinois gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.

Over the Garden Fence


Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

garden path

Helping new and experienced gardeners develop their skills and knowledge while encouraging everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

Illinois River Horticulture


Archive of the most popular blog articles from Illinois Extension

Our Greatest Horticulture Hit Blogs

Local Food Systems

Growers are diverse, from urban agriculture and beginning small farmers to farmers markets and organic agriculture.
farmers market

Learn new resources for urban growers.

Local Foods | Local Farms | Local People


The "Jungle" refers to Elizabeth Wahle's personal St. Louis Metro East garden and it provides the backdrop for her writings about building and sustaining viable food webs and ecosystems within the home landscape.

Welcome to My Jungle

squash soup

A blog for growers, consumers, and backyard gardeners to grow, eat, and connect in the local food system.

Raise, Grow, Harvest, Eat, Repeat

man holding onion

Connecting you with your food, farmers and community.

Know How. Know More. Connecting Food, Farmers, and Community

carrots in the ground

Ramping up local food production in the second-most populous county in the US.

Cultivate Cook County


angus bull

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies.

The Cattle Connection


All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.

Acres of Knowledge


Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.

Hill and Furrow

Youth Development

We're the friend you've been looking for.
children wearing rainboots

4-H’s learning opportunities are intentionally designed around four essential concepts necessary for positive youth development: a sense of belonging with a positive group, independence and self-determination, a spirit of generosity toward others, and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges.

Our Stories from Illinois 4-H

family standing on beach

Timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.

Connection Corner: Activities for Families