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Stray Kernels – The Things We Treasure

When you receive a greeting card or note from a friend or relative, what do you do with it? Are you the kind of person who reads it, thanks the giver for the sentiment, and then discretely places it in the recycling bin within a day or so? Or are ...read more

Green Thumb – Tomato Trials & Tribulations

I like to grow different tomato varieties, but I also like to find the top of my kitchen counter at harvest time. That is why I usually grow just four plants. Last summer I had 17.  Some of them were candidates for the compost pile, like the four-pack of desiccated ‘Jet ...read more

Around the Farm – A Spring that Un-Sprung Farmers

Every year around mid-April farmers start itching to get their fields planted, but ideal conditions must exist in order to do so. A wise man once told my father that if he goes out to a field, drops his drawers, sits on the dirt and doesn’t have the urge to jump ...read more

Stray Kernels – Responsibility: Opportunity or Burden

Earlier this year, my husband traveled out of state for several days for a family emergency. This complicated my already-shaky morning routine. We usually split the tasks of taking care of two dogs and making sure our kindergartner is ready for the school bus. So the first morning he was ...read more

Green Thumb – Springtime in the Garden

As gardeners, we have been patiently or perhaps not so patiently waiting for April and May and the beginning of the gardening season. We look forward to enjoying some of our old garden favorites but will also be interested in exploring new gardening trends and the new plants for this ...read more

Around the Farm – Planting Patience

Years ago, my mom received a coffee mug as a gift. All the adults hooted and hollered over it like it was the funniest thing ever. On it, it read, “God, grant me patience and I want it right now!” As a kid without a care in the world, I didn’t ...read more

Stray Kernels – Maybe We’ve Got It Too Good

When I was a teenager, my grandmother told me the story of how her brother got hurt on the farm as a boy. I don’t remember the details, but I know it wasn’t an injury that should have been life-threatening. I remember hearing the words “lockjaw” and “tetanus” and that he ...read more

Around the Farm – Multi-Hybrid Planting with Seed Prescriptions

Although the fundamentals to planting have generally stayed the same from when my grandfather farmed to now, a lot of things have changed – or progressed, as technology has. One of the bigger developments in the modern age of farming has been the ability to plant more than one crop ...read more

Ask a Master Gardener About Trees

Questions from University of Illinois Extension, DeKalb County Horticulture Help Desk   When winter finally ends we are eager to get out there and begin our planting projects. Mosquitoes, heat and humidity are a distant memory. We are excited about the new season and know it will be better than ever. Some of ...read more

Stray Kernels – Arm-twisting & Gratitude

January and February are intense months for me. Not gonna lie—sometimes my heart sinks when I think of all that needs to be accomplished during these months. Reaching 3,000+ elementary kids with meaningful Ag in the Classroom (AITC) experiences is a hefty project with many moving parts. Promoting the program to ...read more