1. Caring For Your Christmas Cactus

    Dec. 18, 2014

    Many families have a specimen Christmas cactus plant that is many years old.  If you have such a family heirloom, it is easy to pass starts along to other members of your family. Just break off a segment, let it dry for a few days, and then place it in barely moist vermiculite; pot up several so everyone can have one.  In fact, all the true Christmas cactus plants are a clone of a single hybrid of two native species produced in the 1840’s.  The original plants came from a small area near the coast in the tropical rainforest of Brazil.

  2. Over the River and Through the Woods

    Dec. 12, 2014

    Does the rush of the holiday season make you feel as if you might be missing something?  With so many things to do and places to go, it is so important not to overlook elderly family members.  For many, the holidays are filled with celebrations and festivities with family and friends, but it can be a difficult time for those who have difficulty getting around, or are confined to their homes.  Many seniors normally report feelings of loneliness and isolation, and these feelings can be exaggerated during the holidays.  Seniors might choose to forego family celebrations and festivities for...

  3. 4-H: Preparing Youth for a Brighter Future

    Dec. 12, 2014

    This week I have received several phone calls from parents inquiring about the Butler County 4-H program.  If you happen to be a parent or grandparent that has often wondered about the benefits of the 4-H program, I highly invite you to continue reading this article about a program that has a long history that continues to make a brighter future for our youth.  The Butler County 4-H program consists of 62 4-H clubs with a total enrollment of 1,236 youth.  4-H is an educational program for boys and girls to gain numerous learning experiences from club meetings, social activities, tours,...

  4. The Ginkgo - A tree with lots of reasons to recommend it

    Dec. 12, 2014

    If you are thinking about what to plant to replace that large ash tree in your landscape, consider the Ginkgo biloba.  This tree is also known as the maidenhair tree because its leaves closely resemble the leaflets of the maidenhair fern.   It has a fascinating history, thrives in even adverse conditions, and is resistant to almost all insects and diseases. 

  5. Are Stink Bugs Bugging Your Soybeans?

    Nov. 24, 2014

    Now is the season to look out for stink bug damage.  The Extension office has received several calls about possible stink bug damage both in home garden situations, as well in Butler County soybean fields.  In Soybean fields, according to Andy Michel, Raman Bansal, and Ronald B.

  6. Emotional Cues and Eating

    Nov. 24, 2014

    Do you ever find yourself eating and realize that you don’t even feel hungry or don’t know why you started eating in the first place?  If so, don’t feel guilty; you are not alone.  Recent studies suggest that over 75% of overeating is caused by our emotions.  Instead of eating due to physical cues from our bodies, such as a growling stomach, emotional eating is when our feelings trigger us to indulge and typically cause us to eat unhealthy foods.  Studies show that we turn to comfort foods that are sweet, high-fat foods in response to emotional stress.  Many of us are programmed to turn to...

  7. Dragons Can Fly

    Nov. 24, 2014

    Late summer is the ideal time to observe dragonflies and damselflies in our area.  More than 64 species of these insects in the order Odonata have been identified in Butler and Warren counties and more than 164 in the state of Ohio.  They love Ohio because of our many rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands and these are the ideal areas to observe them.  If you see a winged insect with huge eyes in proportion to their head and a very long abdomen, it is almost certainly a member of the order Odonata. 

  8. Teen Driver Safety Education Program

    Nov. 24, 2014

    Summer is officially over now that Labor Day holiday celebrations have concluded, the school kids are back in school, everyone is getting focused on the new iPhone 6 release and all the holidays coming up this fall.  Also, more teens are on our roadways during the school week.  More teens are settling into the new school year with homework, extracurricular activities, and going to work.  This week I would like to focus my article on teen drivers.  How many of you know what the 4-H CARTEENS program is all about?  The 4-H CARTEENS’ primary purpose is to decrease the number of repeat juvenile...

  9. Putting your Garden to Bed for the Winter

    Nov. 24, 2014

    The 2015 garden year is about to begin.  Many folks think of next year’s garden as beginning next spring but, it really should begin in the fall of the previous year for the most success next year.   Here are a few ideas to get ready for next spring:

  10. Strengthening Families over Dinner

    Nov. 24, 2014

    To some it may seem old fashioned, or a thing of the past, but family meals are a proven way to help strengthen families.  Years of research has found that the more children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they were to smoke, drink or use drugs.  Why?  Eating dinner together has a positive effect on social development, family communication, nutritional intake and the development of the family structure.  The conversations that go hand-in-hand with dinner help parents learn more about their children’s lives and help them better understand the challenges their kids face each...