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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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  • Look out for Anthracnose in trees
    Monday, August 14, 2017 4:00 AM

    As we enter the month of August, you’ll notice some changes that come with the season: shorter daylight hours, drier weather, tasseling corn, and bright, sunny days. You may also notice some changes in your backyard. This time of year is typically stressful for the lawn and garden, with more infrequent rainfall and higher temperatures. Alarmingly, you may notice trees with blemished leaves or trees that have lost their newer leaves prematurely!

    What you’re seeing could be a case of anthracnose, a term used to describe a complex of symptoms that is caused by a variety of fungal pathogens in trees. These symptoms can range from blotchy leaves and blistered twigs to leaf cupping and leaf drop. Many tree species native to Indiana suffer from anthracnose infections throughout their lives, including white oak, ash, maple, walnut, and hornbeam. Anthracnose is caused by host-specific pathogens, meaning that each species of tree has one, or a few, fungal species that cause anthracnose. In maples, for example, four different fungi cause anthracnose. Fortunately, anthracnose is generally not harmful to trees in the long run. Anthracnose might be comparable to the common cold in people – it rarely causes permanent damage, but certainly causes some unpleasant symptoms.

    Anthracnose is most common when weather is cool and damp. Early spring is prime time for infection as trees begin to push out new leaves and shoots, which are particularly susceptible. Mature leaves are less susceptible to infection, but can still acquire anthracnose if leaves become damaged, such as through insect feeding. We have had cool, dry weather lately in Montgomery County, but any rain we receive could potentially open up the floor for anthracnose fungi to gain a foothold on susceptible trees.

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  • Monday, August 07, 2017 4:00 AM
    It is that time of year again when the garden is putting out plenty of produce. We want to make sure we can eat that produce year-round. So, we dust off the canners and pull them out for a summer full of food preservation. But I have to stop and ask myself, “What methods are safe for which foods?” 
    If you’re looking to “can” produce from your garden, there are only two safe methods: boiling water bath canning and pressure canning. Boiling water bath canning is safe to use when canning high–acid foods, which are the majority of your fruits and pickled foods. Pressure canning is required when canning low-acid foods, which includes most vegetables and meats. 
    Low acid home canned foods are associated with Clostridium Botulinum. It has an 8 percent fatality rate and patients require hospitalization. Botulism toxin is a neurotoxin; it attacks nerve cells and paralyzes them. Symptoms appear 4 to 8 hours after eating contaminated food and begin at the head and work slowly downward. The danger of Clostridium Botulinum is the number one risk to our home canned foods, and why we must ensure proper canning techniques are being used. 
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  • Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:00 AM
    It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and the 2017 Montgomery County 4-H Fair is in the books! I just would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of the individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and efforts to the Montgomery County 4-H program. In making plans for the upcoming year, we are focusing our efforts on growing the Montgomery County 4-H program and creating new and exciting opportunities for youth to become engaged in the program. With approximately 753 youth enrolled in the Montgomery County 4-H program, it takes many volunteers to support those youth. We are ALWAYS accepting applications to become a 4-H volunteer. Below are some ways that YOU can get involved! 
    SPARK Clubs are new hands-on educational workshops for youth in grades 3-12, which are designed to SPARK interest in various fields. Youth do not have to be 4-H members to register to participate in a SPARK Club, but will become 4-H members with their payment of the $15 State program fee. Do you have a hobby or skill that you would like to share? Then starting a SPARK Club may be a great way for you get involved. Other SPARK Clubs that have been offered are Scuba Diving Club, Chef University and Garden to Grill. Please contact the Purdue Extension-Montgomery County office at (765)364-6363 if you have an idea and are interested in starting a SPARK Club. 
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  • Some like it hot - how much do you know about peppers?
    Friday, July 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    Hot pepper season has arrived just in time for high temperatures and sweltering humidity. Whether you like to add heat to your food with hot peppers or not, these plants have a fascinating array of shape, color, flavor, and uses.
    Hot peppers have long been grown throughout the world for their ability to add flavor and heat to food. Hot peppers, along with milder sweet and bell peppers, are members of the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, and tobacco. The wild ancestor of today’s pepper plants, known as the bird pepper, is native to the western hemisphere. Humans have spread peppers throughout the world and have bred dozens of different varieties. In warm climates where frost is never an issue, pepper plants are actually perennials that can grow to the size of a small shrub in just a few years!
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  • Tuesday, July 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    There are plenty of opportunities for people of all ages at the Montgomery County fair this year. The Fair begins Friday, July 14 with the popular Booth Machinery Excavator Rodeo and concludes Thursday July 20 with the 4-H Livestock Auction. Throughout the week of the fair don’t forget to take in an animal show, enjoy a lamb burger, revel in being colored green during the fun run, or learn a little more about gardening. 
    The 4-H Color Me Green Walk/Run is going to be July 15 at 8:30 a.m. Registration for adults is $10 and children $5. The run is part of the Five by 5K sponsored by Franciscan Health Crawfordsville. Registration can be completed ahead of time in the extension office or by printing the registration form from our website: extension.purdue.edu/montgomery. Race day registration will be from 7:30 to 8:30 outside the Purdue Extension office.
    The Montgomery County Open Class sponsored by the Extension Homemakers is open for people of all ages to join. Project Check-in is Friday, July 14 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or Saturday July 15th from 7a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Closed judging will follow immediately after check in on Saturday. Registration is $4 per item. Participants only pay for the first 5 items. Classes include flowers, flower arrangements, container gardens, gardening, culinary arts, food preservation, fine arts, garden art, needlework, sewing, quilting, other arts, weaving, photography, and woodworking. Bring your special talent out for all to see. 
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  • Monday, July 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    You may have noticed over the past couple of weeks that a pesky bronze and green beetle has appeared in your lawns, gardens, and farm fields. The Japanese beetle has emerged and is ready to wreak havoc by eating garden plants, trees, and ornamentals.
    Japanese beetles have been found in the United States for over one hundred years. They were first discovered in a plant nursery in New Jersey in 1916 and have been spreading through the rest of North America ever since. It only took 16 years for this pest to make its way across the eastern half of the country to Chicago. This rapid movement has resulted in the Japanese beetle successfully colonizing many parts of the world over the years. Their distinctive bronze elytra (the protective shell covering their wings), shiny green heads, and six tufts of white hair along their abdomens make them unmistakable.
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  • Thursday, June 22, 2017 4:00 AM
    It’s that time of year again . . . fair season! This year, just like years in the past, the Montgomery County fair will be holding an open class. Don’t know what the open class is? Well, the open class is an opportunity during the Montgomery County fair for everyone to bring in a project or projects and have them judged. Open class is a great opportunity to show the community of Montgomery County what your passions or hobbies are. Maybe you try something new in open class and find out that you are naturally talented in that area. A champion will be chosen from each of the 18 classes, and all ages are welcome to participate, even those already participating in 4H. There is something for everyone, some of the classes include: culinary arts, flower arrangements, fine arts, garden art, sewing, photography, etc. 
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  •    Early summer brings beautiful bloomin’ Basswoods
    Thursday, June 15, 2017 10:48 PM
    Early summer means rising temperatures, popcorn thunderstorms, and blooming basswood trees. The American basswood (Tilia americana) is a member of the linden tree family and is native to the eastern United States. This tree is commonly referred to as a lime tree in Europe, not because of the fruit, but because of the bright green color of the bract that accompanies its flower clusters. The flowers produce one of the most pleasant aromas of early summer and they are also a favorite of bees. When not in flower, basswoods can be identified by their unique, oddly-shaped leaves that are somewhat heart-shaped overall and asymmetrical at the base. In fall, basswood leaves range from bright yellow to golden.
    In terms of wood products, basswood is used for a variety of purposes, including veneer, pulp, and hand carving. Although this tree is a hardwood, its wood is relatively soft and easy to work, making it ideal for carving and other artistic purposes. Its pale color makes it easy to paint. Because of its relatively light weight and affordability, basswood is commonly used in low-cost to midgrade electric guitar bodies. However, it is not very durable when used outdoors and can easily rot. This is obvious when observing older basswood trees; they tend to have open cavities in their trunks that provide excellent nesting areas for mammals and birds. Squirrels, chipmunks, and mice eat the seeds.
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  • Monday, June 05, 2017 4:00 AM
    Summer is a great time for kids to enjoy a variety of indoor or outdoor activities. Whether you have a young child or a teen, learn ways to keep your kids safe and healthy while they enjoy the summer fun.
    Fun in the sun:
    To prevent sunburn for children under 6 months of age, the American Association of Pediatrics recommends dressing your child in light weight long pants, long sleeved shirts, and a brimmed hat. Parents can also apply small amounts of sunscreen to the baby’s face and back of the hands. 
    For children over 6 months, the best way to prevent sunburn is to apply SPF 15 sunscreen every day to the face, neck, and exposed arms. Reapply sunscreen every two hours to be sure your skin is protected. Finally, the best way to prevent sunburn is to cover up (lightweight clothing) and stay in the shade during sun intensity hours from 10am-4pm.
    Heat- related illnesses:
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  • Tuesday, May 30, 2017 9:59 PM
    The Purdue Extension-Montgomery County office is excited to announce an opportunity for youth in grades 3-12 called, Garden to Grill! The Garden to Grill club will teach youth how food is grown through a hands-on gardening experience located at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds. Youth will be responsible for maintaining and caring for the garden at the fairgrounds. They will also learn about plant biology, weed management, and what plants grow best for central Indiana. 
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  • Sunday, May 21, 2017 10:20 PM
    Chances are you’ve noticed some new sights and sounds in the landscape with the warming temperatures. Bullfrogs are croaking, robins are singing, and tree frogs are chirruping. You’ve also probably seen hummingbirds flitting from tree to tree in backyards around the area. Hummingbirds are easily recognizable by their unique way of hovering (and humming), their distinctive ruby-red throats (on males), and their chaotic, frantic peeps and chirps. These tiny masters of flight overwinter in Central America and return to eastern North America for the summer breeding season around mid-April. 
    The distinctive ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is the only species of hummingbird that breeds and nests in Indiana. Nests are very tiny, no bigger than a thimble, and are composed of thistle, dandelion, spider silk, and pine resin. Oftentimes you can see bits of moss or lichens lining the outside of the nest, allowing it to blend in well with the bark of its preferred nesting trees: birch, hackberry, hornbeam, oak, or poplar. Nests may be difficult to find as they are often placed anywhere from 10 to 40 feet above ground. The birds will lay from 1-3 eggs in each brood and incubate them for about 2 weeks. After hatching, the tiny hummingbird chicks remain in the nest for up to 22 days before venturing out.
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  • Spice up your plate
    Wednesday, May 10, 2017 12:17 AM

    My favorite thing about summer is smelling the charcoal being prepped and ready to grill up some good eats. I love the grill because it is so versatile, you don’t have to only grill meats, you can grill veggies for a delicious side, pizza for a healthy homemade dinner or fruit for a nice sweet after dinner treat. I love to experiment grilling with different foods, but you can really change things up by using herbs and spices. 
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  • 4-H youth give back to their communities
    Monday, May 08, 2017 4:00 AM
    The 4-H program continues to offer more to youth than just the week of the fair. Youth spend a majority of their year meeting with their local 4-H clubs or participating in after-school programs and activities. One of the major ways 4-H youth stay involved is by giving back to their community through a variety of community service projects. Within the 4-H pledge, youth pledge “their hands to larger service”. From the very beginning of their 4-H careers, youth learn the importance of giving back to the community and find the satisfaction in bringing joy to the lives of others. 
    Within the 4-H program, service is commonly defined as the voluntary action of an individual or a group without pay. Through research conducted by Tufts University, 4-H youth are four times more likely to give back to their communities and two times more likely to be civically active. Youth give back to their communities in a variety of ways and although it may seem like a small act of kindness, these small acts can have a large impact in Montgomery County. Just a small sample of some of the community service projects that youth are doing is the Clever Clovers 4-H Club recently spent an evening picking up trash at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds. Additionally, the Junior Leaders packed over 2,000 Easter Eggs and held a community-wide Easter Egg hunt for younger youth in the community. 
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  • Thursday, April 27, 2017 5:00 AM
    For many of us who have gardened for years, the name “Roundup” is synonymous with its active ingredient, glyphosate. This chemical is a non-selective herbicide, which means it kills almost anything green it lands on. Glyphosate can be used nearly everywhere that total kill of the vegetation is needed, such as in driveways, around trees, and where new lawns and gardens will be started.
    The name Roundup, though, has become almost a generic descriptor for “total weed killer,” just like people use the word “Coke” to mean any soft drink, or “Tylenol” for headache relief. And that can lead to many problems.
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  • On the hunt for the marvelous morel
    Friday, April 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    It is springtime in Indiana and that can mean only one thing: mushroom hunting season. We have seen many social media posts of people finding plenty of morels in our wooded areas of Montgomery County. Morels are fun to go out and find but are also yummy to eat. 
    Morel hunting is a time-honored tradition in the Midwest. They are known by many names, including dryland fish, miracle, sponge mushroom, and hickory chicken. These mushrooms generally pop up when the soil starts to warm and before trees have fully leafed out, usually between the end of March and the first of May. They are found in and around forested areas, sometimes at the forest’s edge. Look for dead or dying hardwood trees, such as oaks and ashes (if you can find them). It is said that they can be found more frequently just after a soaking rain. Early in the morel hunting season, look for them on south facing slopes, where the soil temperature will be warmer. Later in the season, look on north facing slopes, where soil temperatures are still cool enough to support the fruiting bodies. Be careful while hunting for mushrooms and going off of marked trails – it’s not unheard of to come across a copperhead snake (one of Montgomery County’s venomous snakes) while searching for morels.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
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