Highlight Blog Posts
Shiitake mushrooms growing on inoculated logs

Grow your favorite fungus at home: How to cultivate shiitake mushrooms

Growing mushrooms is a time honored tradition. Cultivation of shiitake mushrooms on hardwood logs dates back at least 1000 years in Japan. After button mushrooms, the shiitake mushroom is the most commonly cultivated mushroom in the world, according to Cornell University. Despite their high retail cost, growing shiitake mushrooms is achievable at home without great expense. Shiitake mushrooms...
Apple hanging from an apple tree

Growing apples in your home orchard

There is a lot of interest by home gardeners to raise and produce organic fruit. The good news is it can be done! Home growers need to be attentive to their fruit trees and know when to apply control measures. Producing fruit that is relatively free of discoloration and damage from diseases and pests requires the use of various control measures- cultural, mechanical, and...
Recent Blog Articles

Grow & gift cut flowers to brighten someone's days

Life can be stressful. Even the neighbor who plans perfectly feels hardships of life from time-to-time. With a bundle of fresh flowers, the mood of friends or strangers is guaranteed to be uplifted, according to university research. In fact, this little dose of nature actually affects our...
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Trillium: Good things come in threes

In my last blog post, I shared my affection for bloodroot and boldly claimed that “among the myriad of spring blooms, few thrill me as much as Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).” That sentiment was sincere, however, I must confess that there are others that are equally as exciting. This...
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Tips for Pasture Management

  Feed costs represent the greatest percentage of total costs for cow/calf producers. Thus, focusing on opportunities to reduce feed costs will lend to the greatest cost control for cow/calf operators. Improving management of permanent pastures is crucial to profitability. Increasing land costs,...
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A nutritional comparison of ground turkey and ground beef

Which is healthier, ground turkey or ground beef? Most people will tell you ground turkey, and they’re not wrong per say. But is it really that much healthier? First, when comparing one meat to the other, you must level the playing field and compare the two using the same number of ounces and the...
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5 money saving tips for traveling on a budget

I have wonderful memories of family vacations from when I was a child, but it wasn’t until I was a parent that I realized how expensive those special family moments can cost to create. Not all vacations have to be expensive, however. These five tips can help you stay within your budget while still...
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Identifying Timothy, a cool-season grass

When I was a kid, we had guinea pigs as pets, Hershey, Graham, and Tristan. One regular part of their diet was hay. Each pig absolutely loved eating the fluffy little grass pieces included in the hay – it turns out those favorite pieces were Timothy. Timothy, Phleum pratense, is a popular...
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Personal Finances

Illinois Extension can guide your family through all of life's stages.
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Great retirements don't happen by accident. Tips for saving and investing your money.

Plan Well. Retire Well.

university of illinois graduate

Money talk by college students, for college students.

Be Centsible

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Develop and maintain thoughtful and effective financial behaviors using these trusted methods.

Fearless Financial Future

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Find the financial balance that fits your personal budget and financial planning goals.

Finding Financial Balance


In today's hectic lives, families find themselves raising children, caring for elders, and working.

Read these timely resources for wellness across the lifespan.

Family Files


Living well means taking time for ourselves so we can be healthy for others who need us. 
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Take steps to living a healthier life.

To Your Health

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Genuine, sustained self-care is an art.

Refill Your Cup with Self-Care

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A journey of wellness dedicated to awareness and the power of knowledge to help you on your health and wellness journey.

Walking the Line to Wellness

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Empowering people to make healthy, respectful and responsible choices.

Community Health: Empowering People

Nutrition and Wellness

Eating healthy shouldn't be this hard.
healthy foods on table

Healthy information for better living

Live Well. Eat Well.

healthy food on table

Nutrition information you can use.

Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy

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Highlighting food, recipes, and ideas for a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Eats and Repeat

healthy food on table

Helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Community and Economic Development

Illinois Extension helps communities develop strategies to thrive.
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Strategies for strengthening local economies.

Building Entrepreneurial Communities

government building

Participants in Illinois Extension Illini Science Scholars Program share their experiences in this unique opportunity. 

Scholars Speak

Natural Resources

We have one planet. Let's work together to ensure its future and ours.

Dig deep into the types of grasses and their uses in our world.

Grasses at a Glance

world globe made of paper

Read the latest news in natural resources.

Naturalist News

field buffer

The Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy guides efforts to improve water quality at home and downstream.

Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy


Weather impacts food production, transportation, homes, and lives.

All About Weather


From the flowers you enjoy to the produce you eat to the plants that add value to our life, we offer help for growing strong.

Keeping you (and your garden) growing with good ideas.

Good Growing

garden shed

Gardening in Illinois including everything from vegetable gardening to native plants.

The Garden Scoop

garden path

Where northern Illinois gardeners come to find out what's happening out in the yard.

Over the Garden Fence


Local and statewide information on a variety of current topics for home gardeners and market growers.

Flowers, Fruits, and Frass

garden path

Helping new and experienced gardeners develop their skills and knowledge while encouraging everyone to enjoy the outdoors.

Illinois River Horticulture


Archive of the most popular blog articles from Illinois Extension

Our Greatest Horticulture Hit Blogs

Local Food Systems

Growers are diverse, from urban agriculture and beginning small farmers to farmers markets and organic agriculture.
farmers market

Learn new resources for urban growers.

Local Foods | Local Farms | Local People


The "Jungle" refers to Elizabeth Wahle's personal St. Louis Metro East garden and it provides the backdrop for her writings about building and sustaining viable food webs and ecosystems within the home landscape.

Welcome to My Jungle

squash soup

A blog for growers, consumers, and backyard gardeners to grow, eat, and connect in the local food system.

Raise, Grow, Harvest, Eat, Repeat

man holding onion

Connecting you with your food, farmers and community.

Know How. Know More. Connecting Food, Farmers, and Community

carrots in the ground

Ramping up local food production in the second-most populous county in the US.

Cultivate Cook County


angus bull

The cattlemen's connection to timely topics, current research, and profitable management strategies.

The Cattle Connection


All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.

Acres of Knowledge


Current topics about crop production in Western Illinois, including field crops research at the NWIARDC in Monmouth.

Hill and Furrow

Youth Development

We're the friend you've been looking for.
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4-H’s learning opportunities are intentionally designed around four essential concepts necessary for positive youth development: a sense of belonging with a positive group, independence and self-determination, a spirit of generosity toward others, and a wide variety of opportunities to master life challenges.

Our Stories from Illinois 4-H

family standing on beach

Timely information, activities, and resources to help you stay connected to loved ones, the world around you, and yourself.

Connection Corner: Activities for Families