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Community News Archives for 2022-02

Garden fair scheduled for March

Celebrate the coming of spring at the Putnam County Master Gardener Association’s Garden Fair from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on March 19th at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.  Garden Fair is free and has something for everyone: education, garden-related shopping, kids’ activities, free trees and a chance to buy a tasty homemade lunch made by our master cooks.

Fairgoers will be treated to three fabulous speakers who will be sharing their knowledge of shrubs, annuals and mushrooms.  Bill McKnight, aka The Mad Botanist, will be speaking at 10 AM. He is the author of Rantings of a Mad Botanist: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening and Land Use in Central Indiana.  McKnight will be discussing his favorite shrubs for Central Indiana. Expect to be entertained and introduced to unique shrubs that are well suited for our area. At 11:30 AM, Master Gardener and popular speaker Colletta Kosiba will help us put the “bling” in our gardens using annuals that give us that “pop” of color. Colletta believes that there is a whole world of annuals to choose from besides marigolds and petunias. The third speaker of the day is Nathan Edwards, a resident of Putnam County and a Master Gardener with a passion for mushrooms. Edwards has photographed Indiana's wild mushrooms for decades and he began cultivating mushrooms as both a hobby and an extension of his garden. Folks who attend Edwards’ 1:30 PM presentation will come away knowing how to cultivate mushrooms at home.

Throughout the day, fairgoers will be able to browse local vendor booths for plants, produce, local honey, garden art and gifts. Native Plants Unlimited (https://nativeplantsunlimitedshop.com/) will be selling hard-to-find native flowers, grasses and sedges that support pollinators. John Chapin of Tree Frog Gardens will have plants, trees and shrubs for sale. American Mushroom and Spice (https://www.americanmushroomandspice.com/) will offer fresh and dried mushrooms as well as kits to grow mushrooms at home. Aquatic Design (https://www.aquaticdesign.net/) will also be there.  They specialize in building and maintaining ponds, aquaponics and hydroponics. There will be yard art, made from upcycled materials by Rusty Windmill (https://www.facebook.com/RustyBloomers/). There will be other vendors as well, selling a variety of gardening-related things, including locally produced honey. Shop the Master Gardeners’ Shed sale for gently used gardening tools, pots, books, and other gardening-related items.

Youngsters are encouraged to attend Garden Fair as well.  They are invited to visit the popular Kids’ Corner, which offers gardening–related activities that have been created especially for their interests.

And finally, everyone should pick up a free redbud sapling or a white pine sapling.  The popular tree give-away is once again sponsored by the generous folks at First National Bank.

The return of the Putnam County Master Gardener Association’s annual Garden Fair is a wonderful opportunity for gardeners and would-be gardeners to celebrate the end of winter and the coming of spring.  Everyone is encouraged to come, visit the vendors’ booths, buy all kinds of gardening-related things, pick out special plants, choose a baby tree to plant in their yard, attend the presentations, treat themselves to excellent food, and get inspired for spring.  Plan to come on Saturday, March 19th.  We hope to see you there!

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local

Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

 

Upcoming Events:

March 10 – Agronomic Tools for Tight Margins webinar, 12 Noon, Register at
        https://tinyurl.com/AgTools

March 12 – Ag Day Breakfast & Mini Farm Fest, 8am breakfast ($2), 9am program,
        9:30am-noon free Mini Farm Fest

March 15 – April 26 – Gardening: Here’s the Dirt webinar series, 12 Noon on Tuesdays,
                         register https://tinyurl.com/2uhfxvrc register by March 11

March 19 – Garden Fair, 9am-3pm, free, Fairgrounds

March 21 – Putnam Co. Remove Invasive Plants meeting, 5:00 pm, SWCD Office

April 4, 11, 18 & 25 – Be Heart Smart, 5pm, virtual, $5, register by March 25th at
                        765-653-8411

April 13 – ServSafe 1-Day Class & Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at
      www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

Understanding food insecurity and food resources in Putnam County

One in nine Americans struggle to have access to enough food, also known as food insecurity.  Putnam County has a 12.9% projected insecurity rate for 2021 (Feeding America), or 4,560 people in the county are estimated to be food insecure.  When households have trouble getting enough food, this can lead to stress and other health problems.  Many resources can provide help to get food.  One of the most well-known food resources is a food pantry.

What is a food pantry?

A food pantry is a place where individuals or families can receive food items for free.  Food pantries are different from grocery stores in a few ways.  Food pantries are usually open only a few hours each week.  Also, some pantries let people choose the foods they can take, but some pantries provide a container of foods already selected.

Who can shop at a food pantry?

Some food pantries have rules about who can receive food to make sure that food goes to those most in need.  Contacting the local food pantry (some have websites/social media) is the best way to learn about who can use its services.  In Putnam County, we have a Pantry Coalition.  A list of participating pantries can be found on the Putnam County Pantry Coalition Facebook page.

Where does food pantry food come from?

Food pantries receive foods from food banks, which are warehouses that store donated food.  Food banks receive food from local and national resources, such as food drives and donations, extra products from businesses, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), or a national hunger-relief agency such as Feeding America.  To find out more about local pantries in Putnam County, contact Mindy Duckett at duckett@purdue.edu.

What food choices are right for families?

Many factors affect what foods are right for each person.  Age, food allergies, mental health, and other health conditions all affect the food choices people make.  Instead of focusing on “right” or “wrong” food choices, think of foods as providing energy for daily activities and helping to feel satisfied.  Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, meats, and beans are all great sources of easy and more affordable food people can find year-round.

Who can help sort out myths and facts about food choices?

Every state has agencies that provide free education about food, called Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed).  These free programs help navigate community-specific food resources.  To find local SNAP-Ed agencies, visit https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/state-snap-ed-programs.  Trained nutrition experts can also help sort out nutrition needs.

For more information about local pantries participating in the Putnam County Pantry Coalition, consider “following” and “liking” the Putnam County Pantry Coalition Facebook page.

Reference: Purdue University Extension HHS-844-W

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

March 12 – Ag Day Breakfast & Mini Farm Fest, 8am breakfast ($2), 9am program, 9:30am-noon free Mini Farm Fest

March 19 – Garden Fair, 9am-3pm, free, Fairgrounds

April 4, 11, 18 & 25 – Be Heart Smart, 5pm, virtual, $5, register by March 25th at 765-653-8411

April 13 – ServSafe 1-Day Class & Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

Greencastle schools call off Thursday after school programs

Greencastle schools will not hold after school programs on Thursday, February 17.

 

Programs are canceled today due to impending weather.

 

Students who would normally be bussed to a program will be bussed home.

Indiana FFA celebrates National FFA Week, Feb. 19-26

The Indiana FFA Association and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture will celebrate all things blue and gold for National FFA Week from February 19 - 26, 2022. National FFA Week remembers more than 94 years of FFA tradition and history while also highlighting and celebrating the success stories of the 735,000 members of the national organization.

 

“I am incredibly proud of the work FFA members do year-round to support and promote Indiana agriculture,” said Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture. “National FFA Week is a great opportunity for our FFA members to show their community, schools and neighbors what FFA and serving others is all about. I am excited to see the work completed by these young leaders during this weeklong celebration.”

 

Starting in 1948, the National FFA Board of Directors designated a weeklong celebration to recognize George Washington’s example and legacy as a leader and farmer. For the past 74 years, FFA members across the country have taken part in agricultural, leadership and service-based activities during National FFA Week.

“FFA has a strong history in agriculture and in community service,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. “This week is a great opportunity for FFA members to give back to their community and their school and to recruit new members to join this outstanding organization.”

Tamara Ketchen, Director of the Indiana FFA Association, is looking forward to seeing all the work done this week in FFA chapters across the state.

“National FFA Week is a time for local chapters to highlight their programs showcasing their success and passion for agriculture,” Ketchen said. “We also use this as an opportunity to recognize community supporters and broadcast the mission of the organization.”

 

During the week, chapters host a variety of events to educate, advocate and celebrate the agricultural industry. From a school petting zoo to a farmer’s breakfast, these activities pay homage to the dedication and commitment of today’s agriculturalists. During National FFA Week, the Indiana FFA State Officers travel the state to participate in activities with local FFA chapters and their communities.

 

FFA encourages the next generation of leaders who will change the world. FFA members are our future leaders, our future food suppliers, our future innovators and more! Whether it is through service projects or community gatherings, National FFA Week is a time for FFA members to raise awareness about agricultural education and the role the National FFA Organization plays in the development of agriculture's future leaders.

"Exploring 4-H" for grade 2 kicks off February 24th

Eligibility in the regular 4-H program necessitates one must be in Grades 3 through 12 as of January 1 of the current year. However, second graders can get a taste of 4-H by signing up for the “Exploring 4-H” or mini 4-H program. Exploring 4-H is a program for children who are not yet old enough for 4-H. Any youth in the second grade as of January 1 of the current year is eligible.

This year to plan appropriately for health and safety guidelines, we really need to have everyone sign up ahead of time so planning can occur. There will be three meetings leading to a field day during the summer months for Exploring 4-Hers and ultimately project exhibition during the Putnam County 4-H Fair during July 22-29. With help from the Junior Leaders, the meetings include an introduction to the 4-H program, individual project instruction, recreation, and a snack. Additionally, the youth in this program typically have entered their own float in the fair parade which will likely occur again this year if the group so desires.

Project choices for Exploring 4-H youth include collections, crafts, drawing, farm animals, foods, photography and wildlife. Collections, photography and wildlife are poster projects while drawing is submitting a framed picture, foods involves entering no bake cookies, and crafts is hands-on construction creating a small standing or hanging exhibit. Information and registration forms were sent home with all second-grade school students during recent school visits.

Parents may sign up their second graders now for one of seven projects. Enrollment is simple. The cost is ten dollars and forms are available at the office or one may enroll online at https://v2.4honline.com/#/user/sign-in and pay with a credit card there as well. The first meeting will be between 6-7 pm on Thursday, February 24th at the Putnam County Fairgrounds in the York Automotive Community Building.

Other meetings will occur on March 31st, April 27th and the field day will be on June 29th. The meetings are typically 6-7 pm, the field day is during the afternoon starting at 1 pm, and all events are at the fairgrounds. Project check-in at the fair will be July 19th anytime between 4-7 pm and the “Fun at the Fair” scavenger hunt will be at 5:30 pm on July 27th.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

Feb. 21 – Farmland for the Next Generation, virtual, 5-sessions, 6:30-8:30pm, $50, register at https://tinyurl.com/FarmNext22 by Feb. 14

Feb. 15 - Farm and Family Business Succession Strategies to Stay on Track, virtual,
               3-sessions, 12:00-1:30 pm, $30, register at https://cvent.me/xwg8qr

Feb. 24 – Exploring 4-H (Grade 2) Program kickoff, 6 pm, York Auto Building Fairgrounds.

AG Rokita warns consumers to be aware of scams ahead of Valentine's Day

As Valentine’s Day approaches, love is in the air — but so are romance scams, and Attorney General Todd Rokita wants Indiana consumers to be on the lookout.

“More people are going online these days to look for that special someone,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Many do so without a problem, but in some cases, folks are finding scammers instead. We want to protect Hoosiers from falling victim to fraudsters intent on taking advantage.”

In romance scams, perpetrators prey upon unsuspecting matches by creating fake profiles to take advantage of victims online. They go to great lengths to pose as prospective romantic partners with similar interests in order to lure people into providing gifts, money, or personal information.

Over recent years, these scams have been on the rise. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2021 U.S. consumers reported $547 million in losses to romance scams — up about 80% from 2020.

Here are a few warning signs that someone might be more interested in your money or personal information than your affections:

  • Your new romantic interest sends a picture that doesn’t look realistic. Rather, the person looks more like a model from a fashion magazine.
  • The relationship is moving fast, and the other person quickly professes their love for you.
  • Their story seems suspicious or off.
  • The person attempts to isolate you from friends and family.
  • The person requests inappropriate photos or financial information that could later be used against you.
  • The person asks you for money and requires specific payment methods such as a wire transfer, preloaded gift card or cash.

If you ever suspect a scam of any type, file a complaint at indianaconsumer.com or call Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office at 1-800-382-5516.

Getting Ahead: Free financial training starting Thursday, February 10

Feeling stuck? Tired of barely surviving? Ready for a change? Ready to start thriving? Join Getting Ahead, a free program, with a new training group starting Thursday, February 10, 2022, 6pm to 8pm at Gobin Church.

 

Good and decent paying jobs are for the educated. Education is for those who come from wealthy families or have never had to struggle financially. Right? Or maybe, you came from a wealthy home, had a good education, and had a good job. But then Covid-19 happened. Or, you are someone you love fell into addiction.  All you want is to be on your feet, supporting yourself and your family, without fear of paying bills, but that seems impossible.

 

It’s not.

 

Imagine graduating with a Bachelors Degree, paying off your vehicle, buying a home, or even starting your own business. Imagine creating your future story and making it a reality. Not only is this all possible, but it’s happening in this community right now. People are joining Getting Ahead, taking the training, and finding their place of happiness and stability.

 

Getting Ahead is a community of people who will support and challenge you as you envision a better future. It begins with a 12-week work group that investigates the impact poverty has had on you, how to build your personal resources, ways to open doors for work, how to budget your money,, how to improve your communication skills, how to network in the community, and provides you with a sense of community you may not even realize you needed.

 

You are not alone in the process. You are supported by those going through this with you, those who have gone through it before and made it to the other side, and by allies who care and will connect you to the resources in the community. Best of all, this is completely free. No hidden fees, no cost to pay back.

 

Getting Ahead meets at Gobin Church every Thursday from 6pm to 8pm.  You don’t have to worry about finding time to make your family dinner or figure out who will watch the kids while taking this life changing step. Dinner and childcare are offered at no cost to you.  

 

Call Lori Miller at 765-710-0973 for more information.

PURDUE EXTENSION PROGRAM AIMS TO HELP FARMERS ACQUIRE MORE FARMLAND

Ready to grow your farm operation, but unsure how to acquire more land?  The Farmland for the Next Generation program currently being offered by Purdue Extension will help you achieve your land acquisition goals.

Farmland for the Next Generation is an interactive program series that addresses three paths to land access: leasing, purchasing, and receiving land through inheritance or gift.  It utilizes a skills-based approached that focuses on what people need to be able to do, not just on what they need to know.  This 5-session virtual workshop series will be offered on Monday evenings from February 21 – March 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm EST (5:30 – 7:30 pm CST). 

Purdue Extension Educators and industry professionals will be presenting a variety of topics throughout the 5 sessions that will help you achieve your land acquisition goals.  Some of the topics they will cover include:

  • Financial Readiness
  • Paths to Land Access
  • Finding Farmland
  • Assessing Farmland Suitability

The registration fee for this workshop is $50.  Individuals wanting to participate in this virtual workshop can sign up at .  The deadline for registration is February 14.

This curriculum was created by the American Farmland Trust, supported by a four-year Educational Enhancement grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development program.

For more information, or if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact Kathryn Weiss at 219-285-8620 ext. 2800 or weiss44@purdue.edu prior to the program.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local

Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

 

Upcoming Events:

February 12 – 4-H Grows Knowledge, Cloverdale High School

Feb. 21 – Farmland for the Next Generation, virtual, 5-sessions, 6:30-8:30pm, $50, register
     at https://tinyurl.com/FarmNext22 by Feb. 14

Feb. 15 - Farm and Family Business Succession Strategies to Stay on Track, virtual,
               3-sessions, 12:00-1:30 pm, $30, register at https://cvent.me/xwg8qr

It's time to enter the Historic Preservation Photo Contest

Get out your cameras and head for your favorite historic destination.

The annual Historic Preservation Month photo contest, sponsored by the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA), is underway.

The subject of entry photos must be in Indiana, be at least 50 years old, and be something that was designed/built by people. It can be a building that’s been restored to perfection or one that needs some love. The idea is to show the value of historic preservation. Photos of exclusively natural elements are not eligible.

The complete rules and guidelines and the required entry form are at: on.IN.gov/preservation-month .

 

The photos should be JPEG files (less than 10MB). Each photo and the required entry form should be emailed to aborland@dnr.IN.gov as attachments.

Photographers can submit up to three photos, but can submit only one photo and entry form per respective email.

Follow the DNR Instagram account (@Indianadnr) May 1-7, when the DHPA will be doing a takeover for a week and featuring selected photos and contest winners.

The contest deadline is Friday, April 1.

 

 

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