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Monday, December 10, 2018
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  • Wednesday, December 5, 2018 4:00 AM
    Americans tend to gain about one to two pounds during the holidays. While this doesn’t sound like much, research tells us that this adds up over the years. If you gain 1 to 2 pounds each year and never lose from the year before, this can result in a 10 pound weight gain. And it is so much harder, and less fun, to take off than it was to put on. 
    Don’t skip meals.
    We often take the mentality of skipping meals so that we can save the calories for a later meal, that we know is going to be high in calories. This is a bad idea. This can actually cause you to eat more. Just like you have heard since childhood, never skip breakfast. People who consume breakfast tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day. Make sure you are including high fiber foods. Fruits and Vegetables can be eaten in larger quantities to satisfy hunger, while being low in calories. 
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  • Students at Hoover Elementary join 4-H and Google in Computer Science Challenge
    Wednesday, November 28, 2018 4:00 AM
    The 2018 4-H National Youth Science Day inspires kids to “Code Your World” in a four-part experience. Offered through the Montgomery County 4-H program, students in Coding Club at Hoover Elementary, joined more than 150,000 children across the country in leading the 11th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) challenge throughout the last several weeks. This year’s challenge, Code Your World, teaches young people computer science skills through four engaging hands-on activities.
    Youth in Hoover’s Coding Club, learned various computational thinking concepts, as well as the language used by computers and coders. Computational thinking concepts that youth explored include decomposition, algorithm design, pattern recognition, and abstraction. They were able to bring their name to life by building a customized animation code, including music and sound. Youth also explored computer language and the specifics of writing detailed code. 
    Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, this hands-on experience includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform, as well as three unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games and interaction. Code Your World is perfect for first-time and beginner coders, ages 8 to 14.
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  • Sunday, November 18, 2018 9:23 PM
    The month of November is typically a time of giving, being thankful, and supporting those in the community. Today, I am thankful for the great financial opportunities that the 4-H program provides to help youth pursue their passions and dreams. One of the many ways that 4-H gives back to youth, is through awarding scholarships. In partnership with the Indiana 4-H Foundation, the Indiana 4-H Youth Development program annually awards more than $125,000.00 in scholarships to 4-H members to purse post-secondary education. Scholarships are awarded to recognize youth participating in Indiana’s 4-H Youth Development Program on their achievements and life skill development resulting from their participation in a variety of 4-H experiences. The variety of 4-H experiences is vast and reaffirms that there is something for everyone in the 4-H program!
    4-H youth can start applying for scholarships through the 4-H program starting as early as 10th grade! To assist current 4-H members in filling out their scholarship applications for the Indiana 4-H Youth Development program, I will be hosting a Scholarship Workshop on Tuesday, December 12th from 6:00-7:30 pm. This workshop will take place in the Exhibit Hall at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds. This workshop is for 4-H youth currently in grades 10-12 and will focus on completing the Indiana 4-H Scholarships. Participants will get a packet with tools and information that will help guide students on how to properly fill out scholarships to enhance their application. Please call the Extension office at (765)364-6363 by Monday, December 10th. Parents/guardians are welcome and encouraged to attend. Information for completing the Indiana 4-H scholarships can be found at https://extension.purdue.edu/4h/Pages/scholarships.aspx.
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  •  What makes for good peak color?
    Thursday, November 8, 2018 4:00 AM
    Montgomery County is closing in on peak fall color – that time of year where the majority of deciduous trees are displaying their most vibrant colors. We are just a bit behind schedule from our average peak color time, which tends to fall in mid-October. But how fun that we get to enjoy near-peak color during Halloween and early November!
    The factors that drive color change in trees include the length of our days, daytime and nighttime temperatures, and autumn rainfall. Color change occurs in trees when they sense the right combination of factors, like shorter days and cooler nighttime temperatures. Those two factors in particular signal to the tree that winter is coming and that it is time to turn off photosynthesis for the year.
    Usually we see green leaves on trees because they are chock full of chlorophyll, the molecule that drives the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the way plants make food from sunlight and carbon dioxide. Chlorophyll molecules don’t last forever, however, so trees must manufacture chlorophyll throughout the year to keep the photosynthetic factory working at full tilt. When fall weather starts to roll in, trees begin going dormant by halting production of the chlorophyll molecule. Since no more chlorophyll is made, the chlorophyll still present in tree leaves breaks down and leaves only pigments behind, which gives us our brilliant fall foliage. Eventually, trees shed the leaves entirely. In order to shed them safely, without opening up any wounds on the tree that would expose the bark to disease, a process called abscission takes place. Trees form a layer of special cells at the base of each leaf stem, or petiole. When this layer is fully formed, leaves fall away from the tree leaving a small scar behind. This is the leaf scar, which is distinctive from tree to tree. Leaf scars are one of the most important characteristics used to identify trees in the winter.
    Before we make it to winter, however, we have a lot of colorful foliage to enjoy! Weather plays a role in whether fall foliage looks beautiful or turns prematurely brown and crunchy. Here’s what a few different situations can do to fall leaf colors:
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  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018 9:19 PM
    Halloween is here, and every parent’s nightmare is about to come true. Kids running around the house screaming, and perhaps even getting sick from their sugar high. Every child, and maybe adult, is going to eat some candy and sugar on Halloween. That’s ok, Halloween is meant to be a fun day filled with costumes, scary stories, and candy. 
    Halloween, and really any day of the week, is all about balance. This candy-filled holiday is just one day of the year; so allow your children to eat the candy, but think of some ways to incorporate some nutrition into their day as well. For example, make sure your children eat healthy meals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hopefully those nutritious foods will leave less room for candy. There are a lot of great ideas out there to make Halloween-themed, healthy snacks. Make guacamole that is green slime, or white chocolate covered strawberry’s that look like ghosts. 
    For those sweet treats that are being offered, think about the portion. Get mini-sized candy bars, cupcakes, and cookies. Serve your children the treats instead of leaving them out, where hands can grab and eat as many as they want. 
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  • Thursday, October 18, 2018 4:00 AM
    Fall is one of my favorite times because it is 4-H ENROLLMENT TIME! I do a wide variety of 4-H recruitment events throughout the community and get lots of great questions about what 4-H is, do you have to live on a farm/own an animal to be in 4-H, and what does 4-H offer. These are great questions and frequently asked. Therefore, I hope to answer some of that below. 
    The 4-H organization is America’s largest youth development organization and continues to grow each year! 4-H provides a wide variety of opportunities that empower young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. Youth do not have to live on a farm or own an animal to be in 4-H. Youth collaborate with caring adult mentors to lead hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture and citizenship. Mentors provide a positive environment where youth learn by doing. This 4-H experience is delivered by a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation. In Indiana, Purdue University delivers the 4-H experience to close to 140,000 youth! 
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  • Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:09 PM
    By now, you’ve probably become familiar with that strange smell – a little like coriander, a little like burnt rubber, and just overall pungent and off-putting. As soon as that smell wafts under your nose, you know what to look for: little shield-shaped, grayish brown insects with stripey antennae. Yes, it’s everyone’s favorite friend in the fall, the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).
    BMSB is an invasive species introduced from east Asia, where it is an agricultural pest. Unsurprisingly, the bug has become an agricultural pest here in the Midwest as well. First seen in Pennsylvania around 1998, BMSB has spread throughout the US and Canada. It’s not to be confused with our native stink bug, but it seems like they’re not as commonly seen these days as the non-native one. 
    Stink bugs typically become active in late spring to mate and lay eggs. The nymphs that hatch from these eggs will cause agricultural damage as they feed (they will eat anything from tomatoes to soybeans). By the time fall rolls around, these nymphs will have reached adult stage and will start looking for a place to spend the winter.
    BMSB seeks entry into structures and homes beginning in late September and early October. They might hitchhike on your shoulder or shirtsleeve before flying to a wall or resting on the carpet. They may also crawl in through window seals and doorframes, particularly if they aren’t well-sealed. Similar to the Asian lady beetle, these insects will congregate on hot surfaces (like brick on the south side of a home), sometimes making it difficult to enter the home without a swarm of bugs following you inside. 
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  • Thursday, October 4, 2018 10:11 PM
    Walking is one of the best types of physical activities because it is accessible to almost anyone, doesn’t require specific skills or equipment, is inexpensive, can be done in a variety of settings (in your neighborhood, at the mall, around a track), and can be performed at any chosen intensity. As the weather starts to cool off, don’t let that scare you from getting outside. Just add an extra layer and enjoy the beautiful fall colors. The sugar creek trail provides a beautiful setting for fall walking. 
    How much walking and physical activity do I need?
    The current U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. This activity should be accumulated 10 minutes or more at a time. 
    How to get started
    • Start slow and easy, walk 10 minutes to start.
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  • Tuesday, October 2, 2018 10:01 PM
    Fall is here, which also means that there are lots of fun activities for families to take part in. One event that I hope you and your family will consider is our 3rd annual Spooky Science event on Saturday, October 20th from 6:00-7:00 pm at the Montgomery County 4-H Fairgrounds. 
    This FREE event is open to all ages and we encourage families to bring their youth in Halloween costumes and trick-or-treat at all of our fun Spooky Science stations. There will also be livestock animals there for families to learn about. We will be serving a FREE chili dinner and have hayrides starting at 6:45 pm. Youth do not have to be in 4-H to attend. We welcome all families and community members of Montgomery County to come out for a fun and relaxing evening together. 
    New for this year, we will have other organizations be a part of the fun. We are excited to welcome the Carnegie Museum, Crawfordsville District Public Library, Rotary Jail, and Youth Services Bureau to our community-wide event. They too will have a Spooky Science station and information about how they serve community members of Montgomery County.
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  • Thursday, September 20, 2018 9:47 PM
    Are you ready to get moving, improve your health and enjoy life more? Get WalkIN’ is a free e-mail based walking program being offered through Purdue Extension Montgomery County. Participants can sign-up, walk on their own and receive e-mailed support and information. Get WalkIN’ support will take place October 2nd through December 18th. It is designed to encourage individuals to learn more about the health benefits of walking and encourage individuals to get moving.
    Walking is a popular form of physical activity—and good for your health! Only half of all American adults get the recommended amount of physical activity. Lack of physical activity is directly related to the occurrence of adult obesity and overweight. Regular physical activity can lower risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, and falls in older adults. Walking is an excellent way for most people to increase their physical activity. It is an easy way to start and maintain a physically active lifestyle. 
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  • Friday, September 14, 2018 4:00 AM
    Is it healthy? That’s a question many of us ask ourselves when selecting what to eat. Some of us analyze everything we put into our mouth, basing it on the statements on the food packaging and claims we hear in the news or find on the internet. Food producers and marketers also throw “healthy food” around to try to get you to buy their products. This can make the simple act of eating, a necessity to live, frankly quite stressful. 
    So what is a healthy food? Healthy used as an adjective to describe the food we eat, describes food that is beneficial to our health and would contribute to improving or maintaining a person’s overall health. While the word unhealthy used to describe food means the opposite, food that is harmful or may promote a poor state of health. So, in simple terms, healthy food is good for our health and unhealthy food is bad for our health. But still, what defines a healthy food? 
    If we look at pizza, for example, it’s often considered an unhealthy food. Pizza in its most basic form is bread with some tomato sauce topped with cheese, none of which are detrimental towards our health. Yes, eating too much fat can be problematic, so let’s assume pizza is only eaten occasionally and in moderation. Then why is pizza considered unhealthy? 
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  • Extension Office: Think Spring? Sure, with Fall Bulbs!
    Wednesday, August 29, 2018 4:00 AM
    It might not feel like it with high heat and humidity in our last few dog days of summer, but fall is just around the corner (thank goodness!). In just a few short weeks we will begin seeing corn and soybean harvest, cool overnight low temperatures, leaves hinting at autumn hues, and a crisp breeze or two as we head toward October. 
    Now is the perfect time to consider planting choices for flowering bulbs. I never turn down an excuse to look at a seed catalog, and it can be especially fun to browse through the bright and beautiful blooms afforded by a bulb book. Making decisions on which bulbs to order is often difficult and overwhelming with so many options available, especially if you’re a beginner. Here, we look into a few considerations to make to help you make good choices and have a successful spring bloom.
    • Hardiness – Bulbs are categorized by their hardiness. Hardy bulbs are those that can overwinter underground and actually require those cold winter months for proper growth and development. Tender bulbs are those that must be dug up before soil temperatures reach freezing. A good rule of thumb is to dig up tender bulbs after light frost (you’ll notice that foliage starts to turn yellow and die off). Tender bulbs should be cleaned, left to dry, and then stored in a cool (50°F), dry, dark place until the last hard frost of spring. Some examples of tender bulbs include gladiolus, dahlias, and tuberous begonias.
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  • Wednesday, August 22, 2018 4:00 AM
    It is my favorite time of year, the fields are turning brown, but my tomatoes are turning red. Each and every year, I am faced with the same problem. I can’t eat all the tomatoes my garden produces. Tomato juice is always good to have around in the winter for making chili or other soups. I can always take the easy route, and throw it in the freezer, but my freezer is already full. When canning tomatoes it is important to follow a USDA approved recipe. Methods of canning depend on the acidity level of the food, and tomatoes are borderline to the 4.6 pH level. When selecting tomatoes, be sure to use disease-free, vine-ripened tomatoes. Do not can tomatoes from dead or frost-killed vines. 
    Tomatoes are able to be boiling-water-bath-canned under the condition that they are acidified. To ensure acidity in whole, crushed, or juiced tomatoes, add 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or ½ teaspoon of citric acid per quart of tomatoes. For pints, use half the quantity. 
    Most tomato products can be boiling-water-bath-canned with the exception of Seasoned Spaghetti Sauce, with or without meat and barbecue sauce. Again, using a USDA approved recipe is pertinent when canning tomatoes products to maintain an appropriate pH. 
    When canning tomatoes, the most important thing to remember is to never increase proportions or add vegetables that aren’t included in the recipe. These ingredients can always be added when serving. 
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  • Tuesday, August 21, 2018 4:00 AM
    The 2017-2018 4-H year is coming to a close and what a year it has been! This year, Montgomery County 4-H had 739 youth in grades K-12 enrolled in 4-H. We also enrolled 124 NEW 4-H youth this past year! We had 68 youth that took part in 4-H trips on the local and state levels. New programs for this year included a Makerspace Club at Hoover Elementary, a 4-H Robotics Club, and an afterschool 4-H Club at Pleasant Hill Elementary. Our youth were active in the community, taking part in various community service projects and taking on leadership roles in their local 4-H Clubs. Furthermore, at the great Indiana State Fair, we had many youth that had the tremendous opportunity to exhibit in the 2018 Grand Drive. To see the project exhibit results of how our 4-H members did at the Indiana State Fair, please visit the following link: https://extension.purdue.edu/4h/Pages/results.aspx. 
    Looking ahead to the 2018-2019 4-H year, I am excited to see what the next year will hold for Montgomery County 4-H. Want to be a part of this amazing youth-serving organization? Enrollment for 4-H will begin on October 1st and will conclude on January 15th. There are opportunities for youth to attend specialized 4-H trips on the local, state, and national levels, and earn awards and scholarships along the way. Youth will gain the life skills that will help them be successful now and in their future endeavors. 
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  • Saturday, August 4, 2018 4:00 AM
    This spring we planted our gardens with immense anticipation of the bountiful harvest we would have this summer. Now that we are faced with the limitless harvest of summer squash, we are begging our families, friends and enemies to take the produce as far away as possible. 
    Summer squash is very easy to grow and has a reputation for overwhelming production. Yellow squash and zucchini can yield anywhere between three to 25 pounds of squash per growing season. And will continue to produce all summer long until disease or frost kills the plant. So if you are like me and thought you needed the four pack of zucchini this spring, next year maybe adjust how many plants you purchase to one. Or do as I do, and wait for the people mentioned above, to beg me to take it away. 
    I digress, so what can I do with all this squash? There are many culinary uses for this nutrition packed vegetable. Whether you have crookneck, pattypan, yellow or zucchini be sure to select squash that are heavy for their size, glossy and small to medium size. Squash is paired well with pasta, onion, tomato, grilled pork, beef, chicken, rosemary and garlic. You could also incorporate zucchini into breads or cakes to add moisture and Vitamin A and C. Summer squash is used in many cultures, such as Vietnamese, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Mexico and Russia. It is eaten raw, fried and stuffed, or my favorite way, served with tzatziki (a cucumber, yogurt and dill dip).
    Squash is also very healthy food to eat. It is low in energy with about 19 calories per cup. It has beneficial amounts of folate, potassium and Vitamin A. Potassium is important for blood pressure, and folate helps treat anemia and is crucial for pregnant women to prevent neural tube defects. Folate is not made by the body requiring it to be consumed from our diet. Zucchini is also making a strong appearance on the culinary scene as a low carb alternative to noodles, “zoodles”. 
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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