How Insects Survive Winter

Ever wondered how insects survive freezing temperatures during winter? Learn how from Nebraska Extension Entomologist Jonathan Larson in his blog post “How Do Insects Survive Winter?

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Save on Winter Heating Costs

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the February 1, 2018 edition of the Oldham Era.

tips to help save money

Tips to Save on Winter Heating Costs

With the winter we have had thus far, chances are you’ve seen at least one or two high heating bills. While home heating costs can put a strain on your wallet during the winter, you can do certain things to save money on these expenses while still keeping your home warm.

Sunlight, even in the winter, is a great way to add natural, free warmth to your home. Open your blinds and curtains during the day, particularly on south-facing walls as they get the most exposure to the sun. As the sun sets, close them to help trap in the warmth.

Leaks in your windows and doors can allow warm air to escape and cold air to come inside. Check your home for air leaks, and fill gaps and cracks with caulk or insulation. Air can also escape through your chimney. When you are not using it for warmth, close your fireplace’s damper to keep in warmth. Use area rugs on tile, wood or laminate floors to help trap in heat.

Turn your thermostat down when you leave the house for work or other extended periods of time. This keeps you from paying for heat you are not using. When you return, set the thermostat to the lowest comfortable setting. For every degree you lower the thermostat, you can save about 3 percent on your heating costs. Wear layers of clothing inside, and add extra blankets to your bed or to help you stay warmer at a lower temperature.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Alex Elswick, Extension Associate for Family Resource Management.

10-Minute Bean Soup Recipe

healthy fast bean soup recipe

Soup Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped • 2 (15.8 ounce) cans of great northern beans, rinsed and drained • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano • 1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth • 4 cups kale, torn into small pieces • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic and onion for 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, and broth to saucepan. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add kale and cook until tender, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese just before serving. Optional, garnish with finely chopped fresh basil or dried basil.

Recipe Variations:

  • Cooked dried beans may be substituted for canned beans. Using prepared dry beans in place of canned will reduce sodium in this dish.
  • If you can’t find diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, use regular diced tomatoes and add dried versions of these seasonings.
  • Opt for vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make a vegetarian 10-minute bean soup. Make the soup vegan by leaving out the Parmesan cheese.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
Cost per recipe: $6.52
Cost per serving: $1.63

Nutrition facts per serving: 400 calories, 8 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 62 g carbohydrate, 15 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 24 g protein, 140% Daily Value of vitamin A, 160% Daily Value of vitamin C, 40% Daily Value of calcium, 30% Daily Value of iron

Source: Caroline Durr, Area Nutrition Agent for Kentucky Nutrition Education Program, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service

Stay Warm For Your Health

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the December 28, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

Keep Warm This Winter

As the mercury drops on the thermometer, remember to stay warm both indoors and outdoors for your health. This is particularly true for older adults as they tend to lose body heat faster than younger adults.

Not staying warm enough can lead to hypothermia. This condition occurs when your body temperature drops too low. For older adults, that number is around 95 degrees F. Hypothermia can lead to many other health problems including heart attack, kidney problems and liver damage. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all hypothermia-related deaths are in adults 65 years and older.

You may not notice early signs of hypothermia. They include cold hands and feet, a puffy or swollen face, pale skin, confusion, anger and sleepiness. Later signs of hypothermia include trouble walking or clumsiness; stiff, jerky arm and leg movements; slow heartbeat; slow, shallow breaths and blacking out. Shivering can be an early sign of hypothermia but is not a guarantee. In fact, some people experiencing hypothermia do not shiver at all.

Being outside during cold weather or even inside a chilly house can cause hypothermia. Try to stay inside on chilly days, especially those that are also windy and damp. If you cannot stay in, remember to dress in loose fitting layers to keep yourself warm and wear a hat and scarf as you tend to lose a lot of body heat from your head and neck. Keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees F or higher to make sure you stay warm enough inside during the winter. Remember to also wear warm clothes while inside and use blankets for additional warmth. If you are worried about heating costs, close off doors and vents in unused rooms. Keep the basement door closed at all times, and put rolled up towels by doors to block drafts.

stay warm for your health

Medical conditions including thyroid disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, memory loss and arthritis can make it harder for you to stay warm. Some prescription and over-the-counter medications can also affect body heat. Talk to your doctor about ways to stay warm if you have these conditions and before you start or stop any medication.

If you think yourself or a loved one is experiencing hypothermia, seek immediate medical attention. For more information on weather-related issues or healthy aging, visit the Oldham County Extension office, located at 1815 North Highway 393 in Buckner.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Amy Kostelic, UK Extension Specialist in Family Life Education.

Extension Builds Healthy Kentuckians

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the November 9, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

extension builds healthy Kentuckians

FCS Extension Builds Strong, Healthy Kentuckians

In Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension, we help individuals develop the skills they need to improve quality of life for themselves and their families. We offer a variety of educational programs throughout the year, including cooking and nutrition classes, sewing workshops, financial stability talks, and much more. In the past programming year, we reached more than 1.6 million Kentuckians.

These programs have made a meaningful impact across the state. Our Truth and Consequences Program, which focuses on the realities of substance abuse, has changed the lives of young Kentuckians. In a recent survey, more than 400 of them reported that they know of peers who no longer engage in substance abuse because of the program.

tips for getting healthy

Extension offers health-related programs for all age groups that focus on eating healthy and increasing physical activity. Due to these efforts, more than 12,000 Kentuckians made a lifestyle change to improve their health. FCS Extension agents also work closely with local farmers markets to promote fresh produce consumption. By conducting Plate It Up Kentucky Proud food demonstrations and offering recipe cards during the markets, agents increased Kentucky farmers market sales by more than $17,000. Oldham County FCS Agent Chris Duncan partnered with Oldham County Fiscal Court to bring food demonstrations and nutrition tips to Oldham County TV. “Cooking With Chris” can be found online by visiting www.oldhamcounty.net/oldham-county-tv.

Educating low-income families on the benefits of healthier eating and buying fresh foods resulted in redemption of more than $61,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Women, Infants and Children; or senior benefits at the state’s farmers markets. To help support individuals and families in tough economic times, Oldham County Extension partners with the Dare To Care Food Bank to provide economic cooking and nutrition classes using the foods donated to the mobile pantry. Participants learn about preparing healthy recipes, meal planning, buying vegetables and fruit in season, and other ways to stretch a food budget.

Oldham County Extension also brings nutrition education to inmates in the substance abuse program at Roederer Correctional. Lessons focus on preparing the men for a healthier lifestyle upon returning to their families.

Through various career preparation programs, we spread knowledge that helps Kentuckians attain employment or find a more fulfilling job. In the past year, more than 43,000 people used practical living skills learned through FCS Extension to advance their education or employment.

We are home to a vibrant group of Extension Homemakers. These members engage in numerous outreach projects to better their communities and Kentucky. One such project is the ovarian cancer screening fundraising program. Each year, Extension Homemakers contribute to this UK Markey Cancer Center program, which provides free ovarian cancer screenings to Kentucky women. Since fundraising began 40 years ago, Extension Homemakers have given $1.4 million to that effort. Oldham County Extension Homemakers also contribute to Oldham County Community Scholarships, Oldham County 4-H Camp, Coins for Change, and WaterStep.

For more information on local Family and Consumer Sciences programs, contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service via (502) 222-9453 or lauren.state@uky.edu. You can also visit us online at oldham.ca.uky.edu.

extension food safety classes

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Jennifer Hunter, Interim Assistant Director of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, and Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Supporting Oldham County Agriculture

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources articles originally published in the 2017 Report to the People and reprinted in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

“If it wasn’t for 4-H I do not think I would have developed the skills that have helped me take care of my own horse, and I would not have gained the knowledge that is helping me [study pre-veterinary science.]”
– Oldham County 4-H alumni

Supporting Oldham’s #1 Ag Commodity

The 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey reported a total value of Oldham County’s equine and equine-related assets of $163 million. Oldham County ranks 4th in Kentucky in value of equine sold, 5th in equine operation income, 6th in value of equine and equine acres, and 7th in equine population.

Oldham County Extension supports farm managers and horse owners through site visits to help troubleshoot problems and improve pastures and horse health. This includes improving pastures through reseeding, fertility management, weed control, and grazing management; improving horse diets; and hay testing.

The Extension Service also provides equine programs on worming, pasture management, vaccinations, showmanship, and tack care. Between July 2016 and June 2017, the county 4-H and agriculture agents, as well as numerous community equine professionals and veterinarians, taught seven educational sessions to 4-H members and horse owners. Thirty-six repeat attendees learned valuable horse care information that improved health and safety of both horse and rider.

oc 4-h horse club

Oldham County 4-H’ers at the Kentucky State 4-H Horse Show.

Through monthly educational meetings, 4-H horse club members build social and emotional skills like accountability, empathy, leadership, and confidence.

Beef Field Day

In Oldham County, pasture makes up 32% of available farmland and provides grazing for livestock. Livestock are important to Oldham County’s economy, with cattle alone representing over 2.4 million dollars in sales in 2012, according to the Census of Agriculture.

Because of the importance and prevalence of cattle production in the area, agriculture extension agents in Oldham, Trimble, Henry, and Shelby Counties have organized and held annual Regional Beef Field Days for farmers since 2005. These field days offer farmers an opportunity to see how production practices work on other farms. Field days also promote implementation of new practices that improve production efficiency while protecting natural resources, which are goals outlined in the county plan of work.

In 2016, this event was held at an Oldham County Farm. During the field day, 250 Louisville area producers attended and learned about:

  • Heavy Use Feeding Areas and Other Conservation Practices that Protect Soil and Water
  • Proper Handling Facilities to Minimize Animal Stress
  • Good Herd Health Practices and Update on Antibiotics Use

Farms make up one-half of total land acreage in Oldham County.

“Looking at the handling facilities setup helped me decide on changes needed for my own system.”
– Oldham County farmer

Written by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent; and Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Youth Development Agent.

2017 Winter OC Extension Events

The following calendar originally printed in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension newsletter.

All activities are held at the Oldham County Extension office unless otherwise noted. Please call to RSVP for classes held at extension offices.

December Extension Calendar

1 Louisville Area Homemakers Council, John Black Center, 10 am
1 4-H Teen Club
4 4-H Robotics Club
5 OC Homemakers Executive Board, 10 am
5 Cattlemen’s Association, 6 pm
7 Leaders of the Pack 4-H Dog Club
8 Beef Quality Assurance Training/Certification, 9 am
8 OC Beekeepers, 6:30 pm
11 Green Thumbs Garden Club, 9:30 am
11 4-H Cloverbud Club
12 Green Thumbs 4-H Horticulture Club
14 Private Pesticide Applicator Training/Certification, 9 am
14 Busy 4-H’ers of Oldham County
18 Delicious Delights 4-H Cooking Club
18 Santa’s Workshop

December 22 – January 1: Office Closed for Winter Break

January Extension Calendar

4 OC Homemaker Council, 10 am
4 Leaders of the Pack 4-H Dog Club
8 Green Thumbs, 9:30 am
8 4-H Robotics Club
8-9 KY Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference, Lexington
9 Ornamental Grasses, 10 am
11 Green Thumbs 4-H Horticulture Club
11-12 KY Cattlemen’s Convention, Lexington
12 OC Beekeepers, 7:30 pm
14-17 American Forage & Grassland Council Conference, Louisville
15 MLK Day, Office Closed
15 4-H Cloverbud Club
15 4-H Teen Club
16 Plant Propagation, 6 pm
17 Master Haymaker begins, Shelby Co. Extension
18 4-H Council
19 Shade Gardens, 10 am
20 Curing The Winter Blues With Succulents, Oldham Co. Conservation District, 10 am
22 Come Sew With Us: Serging, 10 am–2 pm
22 Come Sew With Us: Repair & Up-Cycle, 3–8 pm
25 Homemaker Lesson: Vegetarian 101, 10 am
25 Busy 4-H’ers of Oldham County
26 Private Pesticide Applicator Training, 9 am
29 Delicious Delights 4-H Cooking Club

February Extension Calendar

1 OC Extension Council & District Board
1 Leaders of the Pack 4-H Dog Club
5 “Spit Polish,” 10 am
5 4-H Robotics Club
7-10 Kentucky Volunteer Forum
9 OC Beekeepers, 7:30 pm
12 Green Thumbs Garden Club, 9:30 am
12 4-H Cloverbud Club
15 Green Thumbs 4-H Club
16 Oldham County Cultural Arts
16 4-H Teen Club
19 Delicious Delights 4-H Club
20 Garden Myths, 6:30 pm
22 Alfalfa/Stored Forages Conference, Cave City
22 Homemaker Lesson: Ins & Outs of Downsizing, 10 am
22 Busy 4-H’ers of Oldham County
23 Louisville Area Cultural Arts
24 Fruit Production
26 Come Sew With Us: Kitchen Accessories, 10 am–2 pm
28 Flower Photography, 6:30 pm

Note: The printed version of the newsletter listed nutrition classes at Dare to Care food pantries. As of November, Dare to Care will no longer be conducting a mobile pantry at the LaGrange Community Center. Dare to Care will continue to contribute to pantries such as HighPoint in La Grange and Grace and Glory in Goshen.

Extension Teaches Food Safety & Nutrition Classes

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources and Family & Consumer Science articles originally published in the 2017 Report to the People and reprinted in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

Food Safety in Oldham County

Oldham and surrounding counties are home to many farmers markets, roadside farm markets, and community supported agriculture sites. Additionally, some farms sell to grocery stores and restaurants. A concern for producers and consumers is safe production, harvest, handling, and storage of food to minimize risk of microbial and other contaminant-related sicknesses.

farmers market produce

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Department of Agriculture developed Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) guidelines to reduce the likelihood of produce contamination. It focuses on safe techniques and inputs on all levels of the farm to fork food chain. Farmers that utilize GAP principles in their production proactively take steps to reduce the possibility of producing unsafe food products. County Extension Offices provide GAP training to producers throughout the state.

From 2008 to 2017:

  • Oldham County Extension has provided 15 GAP training sessions to 56 producers.
  • These producers sell products in at least 44 markets, community supported agriculture sites, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • These producers sell in Oldham, Jefferson, Henry, Shelby, Trimble, and Barren counties.

At a conservative estimate of 500 consumers reached through each market, this represents a minimum of 22,000 consumers purchasing foods that have been safely produced by local farmers. GAP is an ongoing training program offered periodically throughout the year at Oldham County Extension, with training verified through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

oc canning classes

Oldham County Extension also targets food safety during canning classes. Following Canning Boot Camp in June 2017, twenty-five Oldham Countians reported that they could identify research-based methods for home food preservation, safe methods of canning low and high acid foods, and signs of spoilage in home canned goods. Participants with intermediate to skilled canning experience indicated plans to increase the amount of food that they canned.

Stretching Your Food Dollars

Although Oldham County is one of Kentucky’s healthiest and wealthiest counties, over 5,100 residents live in poverty. Struggling Oldham County residents learn food budgeting tips at the Oldham County Extension office.

Over the past year, the FCS agent taught a series of seven Economical Entrée classes for Extension Homemakers and the general public. This “train the trainer” program reached more than 1,533 people in Oldham and surrounding counties. Post-lesson survey results showed that 99% of participants understood the entrée’s role according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 95% could identify economical proteins, and 94% felt confident planning meals using economical entrees. A six month follow-up survey revealed 89% of participants use new skills to prepare economical entrees at home and estimate saving $25.00 or more on monthly food expenses.

economical entrees

Extension programming emphasizes utilizing available resources to help provide nutritious food for a growing family. In 2013, Sheila N. attended a series of “Cooking on a Budget” classes that were held at the Oldham County Extension office. Her husband being an avid hunter, Sheila was looking for ways to make meals with the wild game that her family would find more appealing. Along with meal planning and money-saving strategies, the FCS agent provided easy and economical recipes that included venison and other wild game. Recently, Sheila reported that her family now boasts that they have the most delicious meals using wild game. Plus, Sheila has been able to be a stay at home mom and provide care for her children.

To help support individuals and families in tough economic times, Oldham County Extension partners with the Dare To Care Food Bank to provide economic cooking and nutrition classes using the foods donated to the mobile pantry. Participants learn about preparing healthy recipes, meal planning, buying vegetables and fruit in season, and other ways to stretch a food budget. Of the 70 plus families that receive supplemental food each month, more than 40% report using recipes and tips to save an average of $20.00 a week.

Inmates Pursue Healthier Lifestyles

The National Institute on Drug Abuse asserts that successful addiction treatment helps an addict become drug-free, stay drug-free, and be productive member of the family. In an effort to address the latter, the Oldham County Extension EFNEP assistant partnered with Roederer Correctional Complex to bring nutrition education to their substance abuse program. Lessons from the Healthy Choices curriculum focus on helping prepare inmates for a healthier lifestyle upon returning to their families.

Since the fall of 2016, approximately 60 participants have learned how to use nutrition labels to find healthy food choices for their families, proper food safety techniques, and stretch food dollars. Extension also provides low-salt, low-sugar versions of common recipes, such as Bean and Corn Salsa for healthier tailgating.

healthy food choices

Multiple participants noted the importance in keeping a daily food journal, especially in the case of previous health issues. One man expressed his hope that his diabetic wife could use this strategy to improve her eating habits.

Written by Chris Duncan, Oldham County Extension Family & Consumer Science Agent; Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; Traci Missun, Oldham County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent; and Sherry Ragsdale, Expanded Food and Nutrition Program Assistant.

Oldham County 4-H Changes Lives

The following 4-H Youth Development articles originally published in the 2017 Report to the People and reprinted in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

Record Number Attends 4-H Camp

At Oldham County 4-H camp in 2016, 89% of campers practiced responsibility, 99% made new friends, 94% tried something new, and 95% learned something that helped them at school or home.

The program continues to grow with 226 campers attendees in 2017, increasing 10% from last year. To help support camp transportation, classes, and scholarships, Oldham County 4-H raised over $6,800, securing donations from businesses, schools, civic groups, faith-based groups, and extension clientele (including Green Thumbs, Master Gardeners, Cattlemen’s Association, Oldham County Homemakers, and Beekeepers).

Many of Oldham County’s leaders grew up in the 4-H camping program, experiencing life as a camper, teen leader, and now as an adult leader. The following quote epitomizes camp’s impact.

oc 4-h camp

“When my mom signed me up for 4-H camp, I was very nervous…I had the time of my life! I returned home and signed up for 4-H immediately. When I became a camp adult leader, I taught the caving class…[and discovered] I am good at training people…and I am now in my second year teaching secondary science. 4-H has made me the person I am today, teaching me to be kind, helpful, and how to live a successful life.”

Growing Up in 4-H

Teen Conference opened the door to career exploration for an Oldham County youth. Enrolling in the genetics workshop literally opened one teen’s eyes to a world of opportunity. She now works in the labs at the University of Kentucky on a weekly basis, running experiments and writing papers on genetics. A seven-year 4-H member, she has organized and taught eight project day events, all while remaining active in Shooting Sports and the Communications program.

oc 4-h project days

Teen 4-H’er testimonial: “4-H has taught me the important of goal setting, staying focused, and the ability to persevere through obstacles. Strong leaders are needed to move communities forward. It is very easy to sit back and let things happen around you. But I have learned through 4-H, speaking up and being a part of the solution is important but not always easy. But in the end, you can certainly be proud of the difference you make with your efforts.”

“4-H has made me a better leader, speaker, and teacher,” another 4-H teen leader told us. “I have gained not only public speaking skills but confidence. Teaching younger members has taught me patience and how to modify to meet the needs of different age groups.”

“As a 4-H member, I learned self-discipline, developed self-confidence, and mastered time management skills. As an adult Shooting Sports Coach, I developed effective communication skills, leadership skills, and the ability to maintain social responsibility. Participating in 4-H has had an incredible impact on my life, equipping me for the future, bringing me closer to other 4-H families, and ultimately, developing me into an upstanding member of society.”
– 4-H Shooting Sports coach

Written by Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; and Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Youth Development Agent.

Backyard Chickens 101

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources article originally printed in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Coming in March: CHICKENS 101

Keeping chickens continues to be popular for residents here. Production in Oldham County ranges from small backyard flocks to farms that raise over 500 meat chickens on pasture each year. If you’re thinking of getting chickens, make sure and take time to learn about required housing and care for them.

Oldham and Shelby County Extension Offices are offering a program in early March to provide information on caring for chickens. Space is limited, so contact us to reserve your seat for these free classes.

Breed Selection, Chick Care, Housing, & Predator Control
March 1, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Presented by Walt Reichert, Shelby County Extension Horticulture Technician, at Shelby County Extension.

Health & Nutrition
March 8, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Presented by Dr. Jacquie Jacob, UK Extension Poultry Specialist, at the John Black Community Center.

backyard chickens

UK Extension also developed a great site to provide information on raising chickens: www.smallflocks.org, which includes printed information and videos. At the very least, I’ll leave you with two important pieces of advice. The first is everything loves chicken, so a secure coop is needed to put chickens up for the night to prevent predation. The second is pay extra to purchase sexed chicks so that you only get hens. If you’re raising chickens for eggs, you don’t need any roosters. My grandma had no problem killing the ‘extra’ roosters for the dinner table, but many people are reluctant to eat something that has become a backyard pet.

Written by Traci Missun, Oldham County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.