Happy Arbor Day!

Couple posed in front of tree planted for Arbor Day

Plant your own tree and make memories! My daughter and her date for prom posed in front the tree we planted for Arbor Day so many years ago – No longer a little tree, no longer a little girl!

Happy Arbor Day! The last Friday in April is Nebraska’s annual Arbor Day. This is a legal holiday in Nebraska.

There are so many reasons to plant trees. Trees clean the air, provide oxygen, help prevent water pollution and soil erosion, reduce our energy costs, shield our children from harmful UV-Rays, and give us wood for shelter. Trees produce food for both humans and wildlife. Trees can increase our property values, beautify and cool our streets and businesses, and teach us the importance of nuturing nature.
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Upcoming Household Hazardous Waste Info

If you live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, here are the upcoming household hazardous waste collection dates, times, locations:

The next Household Hazardous Waste for Lancaster County residents will be Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the South Wal-Mart, 8700 Andermatt Drive, (87th and Hwy 2).

The May collection is Saturday, May 17th at Zoetis, 601 West Cornhusker Highway

To reduce the amount of household hazardous wastes the following is suggested:

  • Buy the least toxic products to do the job.
  • Buy only the amount you need for the job.
  • Read product labels carefully.
  • Reuse or recycle household products, whenever possible.

For more information on disposal of specific items like medicine, paint, CFL and more, read Hazardous Household Waste – it was updated 4/25/2014.

To find out about Hazardous Household Waste collections in your community, contact your local extension office. Find your local office.

Have a great day!

Lorene Bartos, Extension Educator

Water and Food Security in Early Childhood -April 22, 3:00 p.m.

The Role of Water and Food Security in Early Childhood Survival and Development: A Global Perspective,” is the title for the 3 p.m. Heuermann Lecture Tuesday, April 22, in the Great Plains Room of the East Union, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

A 2:30 p.m. reception in the Union atrium precedes the free lecture.


Archived lectures in this series may be found at: http://heuermannlectures.unl.edu/


There are Worms Under My Sink: Vermicomposting!

I stopped by the office Sunday to check on the ducklings we hatched on 4-H Embryology EGG Cam (they are adorable!). After feeding the ducks, I popped into my office and checked my voicemail. One message – “Hi! I’d like some help getting started with vermicomposting!” Well, yes ma’am! We can help you with that! And, I love sharing the story of worms and compost!

Vermicomposting is the process of composting using worms – specifically redworms or “red wigglers” (Eisenia foetida). Vermicomposting can be done year-round and is another way you can reduce the amount of waste being sent to the landfill.

Vermicomposting bins have been kept in apartments, homes, businesses and schools. I’ve had a vermicomposting bin in my home for many years. We don’t have a garbage disposal and I didn’t want to throw green waste away. I also wanted a way I could compost year-round. Plus, it was a great activity for the entire family – everyone eats, everyone contributes!

My vermicomposting bin is kept under the kitchen sink! You may be cringing and initially, I had my doubts too! I thought I’d have all sorts of issues but I quickly found out when a bin is well-cared for, it is very low maintenance. My bins have never smelled “bad” (the smell is like freshly turned soil in the spring) and I never had a problem with pests getting into the bin. My bin isn’t large and is a bit bigger than a shoe box – think sweater box size. The bedding for the worms is shredded newspapers. The food? Non-fatty kitchen scraps. The redworms eat the bedding and the kitchen scraps, the resulting compost makes an amazing soil amendment.

Redworms are used because they are well-suited to a small bin kept at room temperatures. Because these worms are not native in Nebraska, we have to order them or try to find a bait shop selling redworms to fishermen.

If you’d like to try your hand, check out “Vermicomposting

“Vitamin N” is Good for You & Your Family

Child in Garden

Gardening with Children Reaps Many Benefits for Both Youth and Adults

What is “Vitamin N”? N = Nature.  I got my dose of “Vitamin N” yesterday when I had the good fortune to spend a few hours at my parent’s farm. The sounds and smells of nature always rejuvenates my soul and body. There’s nothing like getting your hands dirty! The smell of freshly turned soil in the spring… wonderful!

Research shows nature is good for us and has both long and short term mental and physical health benefits. The positive impact of exposure to nature and gardening is well documented. In 2008, University of Michigan researchers found that after an hour interacting with nature, memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent. University of Kansas researchers recently reported a 50 percent boost in creativity for people who were steeped in nature for a few days.

“Research also confirms, that nurturing plants is good for us: attitudes toward health and nutrition improve, kids perform better at school, and community spirit grows. Every April communities, organizations, and individuals nationwide celebrate National Garden Month. Gardening can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors, get physical activity, beautify the community, and grow nutritious fruits and vegetables.” — Lisa Franzen-Castle, UNL Extension Nutrition Specialist (Source: April is Gardening Month – Acreage e-News) Continue reading

What’s Bugging You?…Barb and Soni on KFOR

At 9 am (CDT) on Thursday, April 17, 2014, Soni Cochran and Barb Ogg, UNL Extension Educators-Lancaster County, will be guests of Cathy Blythe on her award winning radio show, Problems and Solutions, on KFOR 1240am. They will answer questions about insect and wildlife pest problems in southeast Nebraska in a segment called, “What’s Bugging You?”

Turn your radio dial to 1240 am or listen online live by clicking the button at: http://www.kfor1240.com/pages/4498752.php.  To find this P&S podcast later, click here: http://www.kfor1240.com/Problems-and-Solutions/5430870





May Issue of the NEBLINE is Online – Free Newsletter

Craig's cat

One of our on-line readers sent in a photo of his cat for this month’s issue! Thanks Craig from Lincoln, NE

The May 2014 Edition of the NEBLINE is now on-line! Find these stories and more at http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline:

  • The Cost of Invasive Species
  • Satisfying Main Dish Salads for May – Salad Month
  • Reading With Children Increases Literacy
  • Which compact fluorescent bulb (CFL) should I choose?
  • Healthy Trees – Avoiding Common Problems at Planting is Half the Battle
  • 2014: Year of the Echinacea
  • 4-H & Youth News & Announcements
  • … and so much more.

The NEBLINE is a free newsletter, published monthly (except December) and mailed to nearly 11,500 households in Lancaster County, Nebraska. It is also available on-line.

**The 4-H Clover College Registration and Schedule will also be included on-line on April 22. **


UNL Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere – http://lancaster.unl.edu