Live well utah FROM Utah State University Extension
pick the best produce
your own garden boxes
your pest problems
Upcoming events mark your calendars
Utah Prepare Conference & Expo Saturday, April 13, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. South Towne Expo Center 9575 South State Street, Sandy, Utah utahprepare.com
BABY ANIMAL DAYS Friday, May 10, 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. USU Botanical Center 875 South 50 West, Kaysville, Utah babyanimaldays.org
4-h aggie adventureS FOR KIDS June through July Day camps for kids grades 1 - 8 utah4h.org/aggieadventures
publication TEAM Senior Editor: Mike Whitesides Editors: Donna Falkenborg and Lynnette Harris
Graphic Design and Layout: Logan Perez and Olivia Yeip Publication Advisor: Scott Boyer
Photo Credits: Logan Perez, Todd Reese, istockphoto.com
Writer: Julene Reese Copyright 2013 Utah State University Extension
In This Issue 2 | Teaching Children to Garden Has Many Benefits
3 | Simple Steps to Build Your Own Garden Box 4 | Gardening is Homegrown Security 6 | Tips for Selecting Fresh Produce 8 | “A Guide to Common Gardening Questions” 9 | When the Lights Go Out 10 | Gardening Resources 12 | EFNEP Program Helps Improve Nutrition and Health
6 4 3
10 1 | Live Well Utah
Teaching Children to Garden Has Many Benefits Gardening with children is a perfect way to teach responsibility and ownership of a project and to help connect them with where their food comes from. In addition, research shows that kids are more likely to eat vegetables they help grow. That alone can make it worth the effort. USU Extension 4-H leaders have had great success teaching youth to garden using the Salad Table™ and Salad Box™, created at the University of Maryland. The two types of container gardens bring fresh, flavorful greens close to the back door and don’t require digging in the soil. “We did these because they are perfect for kids who may not have space for a garden,” said Stacey MacArthur, USU Extension assistant professor. “They can be placed on a porch or balcony of an apartment and are perfect for gardeners of any age, size and ability.”
Research shows that kids are more likely to eat vegetables they help grow.
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The basic steps
• Build a Salad TableTM or Salad BoxTM . Directions and plant recommendations are on the website referenced below.
• Water regularly to keep the growing medium moist. • Sprinkle with fertilizer after seedlings emerge. • Remove extra seedlings so that plants are 1 to 2 inches apart.
• Place it on a level, convenient spot.
• Harvest salad greens with scissors.
• Select the greens you want to grow.
• Plants will re-grow for a second cutting. After the second
• Fill the box with a growing medium.
cutting, remove the spent plants and sow another crop.
• Plant the seeds.
From the University of Maryland website at growit.umd.edu/
The Salad TableTM is a shallow,
support. The table can be moved
The Salad BoxTM is a smaller
wooden frame with a large
to capture sunlight in spring and
version of the Salad TableTM and it
surface area and a mesh
fall and to avoid the sun and high
works especially well for children
bottom that allows water
heat of summer. The height makes
and those who have limited
to drain. Legs of any length
gardening comfortable at waist
can be attached or it can be
level and helps avoid problems
set on a saw horse or other
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Gardening is homegrown security Since the downturn in
time caring for the garden or
and European plums are often
the economy, many people
preserving food for future use.
self-fruitful. Japanese plums
have become more mindful
One thing my grandparents
and cherries generally are
of preparing for the future.
had in order to do this, that
not, but with some research,
One way to do this is through
most of us do not have today,
varieties can be found that
home gardening. Over the
is plenty of land. However, with
are. Apples are not self-fruitful
last few years, many garden
some creativity, much can still
with the exception of Golden
centers have seen an increased
be produced in today’s smaller
Delicious. Fortunately, there are
demand for food-producing
so many apple trees around that homeowners can often get away
plants as people have For those who want to grow
with planting just one in their
fruit trees, look for semi-dwarf
yard because it will be pollinated
Though it is more unusual now,
or dwarf varieties, Beddes said.
by a neighbor’s tree.
historically, raising a garden
In many instances, varieties
and livestock to meet a family’s
can be found that are self-
food needs was commonplace,
pollinating so that a second
said Taun Beddes, Utah
tree of the same species is
State University Extension
not needed. Peaches, apricots
horticulturist for Cache County. “My grandmother’s vegetable garden was nearly a half-acre in size and she also grew fruit trees, raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, currants and other crops,” he said. “For much of the year, she spent the bulk of her
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As far as vegetables are concerned, Beddes said cool season crops such as lettuce, radishes, peas, broccoli, onions, chard, cabbage and other cabbage-family crops can be planted outdoors in most areas of the state starting the first few weeks of April, especially with warmer weather. These can then be replaced, after they have been harvested, by warm season crops like tomatoes, peppers and squash after danger of frost has diminished. In late summer, cool season crops can be planted again for a fall harvest. For more information about when to plant, visit extension.usu.edu/htm/growing. The information is primarily for the Wasatch Front but can easily be adjusted for other locations. Most county Extension offices offer free or low-cost food preservation classes on how to preserve and use the food so that gardeners can be efficient with what they have worked hard to grow. Local Extension office information is available at extension.usu.edu/counties/. Otherwise, if gardeners have extra, many local food banks accept fresh produce donations. Extra produce can also be composted to improve the soil for next year.
5 | Live 5 | Well Live Utah Well Utah
Tips for selecting fresh produce
Choose plump tomatoes with smooth skins that are free from bruises, cracks or blemishes. Depending on the variety, ripe tomatoes should be completely red or reddish-orange.
Look for fruit free of blemishes and breaks in the skin since these can bring on spoilage and decay. For optimal quality, purchase apples in season. Most ripen in September and October, so if you buy them during the summer, chances are they are last year’s stock. While they will be edible, they will not be as crisp and may be better cooked than fresh.
For best quality, select bananas that are evenly colored, are slightly green at the tips and are free of bruises and soft brown spots.
Select round, well-shaped fruit free of bruising or discoloration. It is okay if there is a “bleached” side. Look for fruit with evenly distributed, corky “netting,” which will be buff or light tan on either a green, yellow or grey background. Look for a clean, smooth break at the stem. It should be slightly soft to the touch but not spongy.
When selecting corn, look for green husks that are tight and fresh looking. Pull the husk open to make sure the ear contains tightly packed rows of plump kernels. If you pinch a kernel of corn, milky juice should squirt out.
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For more information on these produce varieties and more, please visit livewellutah.org.
Select grapefruits that are heavy for their size and are free of squishy brown spots. Avoid those with dull or wrinkled skin. Make sure the poles (sides of the grapefruit with the holes) are flat. White, Pink/Red and Star Ruby/Rio Red are the three major varieties. All are similar in taste, but pink and red grapefruits contain the highest vitamin amounts.
Select mushrooms that look firm, moisture-free (but not dry), have unblemished caps and are free of mold. For best results, place purchased loose mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator, as airtight plastic bags tend to retain moisture and will accelerate spoilage. Properly stored mushrooms will last for about 5 days.
When selecting fresh potatoes, select smooth, firm potatoes free of soft or green spots. Varieties include white, yellow, purple and red. Each variety may have a slightly different flavor or texture, but can be used interchangeably.
For best quality, select peaches that are firm to slightly soft and free from bruises. The best sign of ripeness is a creamy or golden undertone, called â€œground color.â€? Fresh peach fragrance also indicates ripeness. Avoid peaches with a green ground color, as they lack flavor and usually shrivel and become tough rather than ripen. 7 | Live Well Utah
â€œA Guide to Common Gardening Questionsâ€?
Wormy apples and pears are caused by the codling moth larvae.
Pears (other than Asian) do not ripen properly on the tree. Harvest
They feed in fruit, usually near the core. Fruit
while fruit is still firm, fully sized and has
must be protected to harvest a quality crop.
started to color. Fruit that is ready to be picked
Insecticides are the main control tactic, and
will easily separate from the branch when
correct timing is essential.
lifted and twisted. Creamy white inside flesh
and dark brown seeds indicate maturity. After picking, let fruit ripen in a cool place.
Winter squash and pumpkins
take 45-55 days to mature from
flowering. Harvest before a heavy frost, when
fruit is fully colored and vines begin to die
back. Mature fruits are harvested with the
Blossom-end rot is occurring in tomatoes or peppers when a
leathery tan, brown or black spot appears on the blossom end. Ensure uniform soil moisture
in the root zone by monitoring water. Mulch
plants to help conserve soil moisture. Fertilize with moderation. Give additional water to plants during excessive heat.
Now available for purchase for $14 at extension.cart.usu.edu
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When the Lights go out! By Teresa Hunsaker, USU Extension family and consumer sciences agent
Losing power is likely the most common and widespread emergency Utahns will face. Weather-related power outages are the most common. Keep these things in mind:
• Call the utility company to report a power outage and ask
about the estimated time of restoration.
• Dress to stay warm in cold weather. If necessary wear coats,
hats and gloves indoors.
• Avoid opening your refrigerator.
• Unplug major appliances and electronics. When power comes
back on, it could cause a power surge and damage equipment.
• Do not use kerosene heaters or barbecue grills inside your home.
They create poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide that could be deadly.
• Avoid downed power lines in your vicinity.
• Learn how to manually override your electric garage door opener.
• Close all curtains, shutters and blinds to help hold in heat in cold weather.
• Have easy-to-prepare foods on hand that require minimal preparation and fuel such as canned
meats, instant foods, foil pouch products and freeze-dried foods. • Be sure to also have a manual can opener, disposable plates, cups, eating utensils and some kind of
portable camp stove such as propane or butane for short-term meal preparation. • If you have a backup generator, store the gasoline carefully and correctly so it will be ready when you
need it. • To minimize the risk of fire during a power outage, battery-powered flashlights and lanterns are
recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rather than candles, gas lanterns or torches. • CDC also recommends that people make an emergency plan as well as a disaster supply kit. This kit should include enough water, dried and canned food and emergency supplies (flashlights,
batteries, first-aid supplies, prescription medicines and a digital thermometer) to last at least 3 days.
9 | Live Well Utah
Gardening Resources USU Extension offers a plethora of gardening information through classes, advisories, newsletters, manuals, websites, a hotline and testing and diagnostic services. * To subscribe to the Utah Integrated Pest Management pest advisories and the Utah Pests News quarterly newsletter, visit utahpests.usu.edu/ipm/htm/subscriptions.
• Tree Fruit, Small Fruits & Vegetable and Landscape IPM pest advisories are published weekly or
biweekly during the growing season.
• Turf IPM pest advisories are published in the spring, summer and fall.
• Utah Pests News is published four times a year.
* Visit garden.usu.edu for gardening tips, fact sheets and information on classes and events.
• To subscribe to the Garden View monthly newsletter, visit the subscription link on garden.usu.edu.
Here you will find gardening tips, news, upcoming events and a list of classes at the Utah State
University Botanical Center and Ogden Botanical Gardens.
* Visit youtube.com/usuextension to see more than 40 videos that provide gardening tips and information.
Gardening Resources for sale online at: extension.cart.usu.edu
Vegetables, Fruits and Herbs Book - a compilation of 58 research-based fact sheets
written by USU faculty and students. Each contains recommended varieties, growing details,
pest control information, harvest and storage options and frequently asked questions. $14
Common Weeds of the Yard and Garden guidebook - a 116-page, full-color gardening resource that contains information on 50 plants and helps identify common weeds in the home landscape. $10
Vegetable Garden Wheel - features 16 vegetable varieties with planting and growing
10 | Live Well Utah
information in an easy to read format. $1.20
Gardening Services Soil Testing - The USU Analytical Laboratories (USUAL) services are available at usual.usu.edu. The only soil testing lab in Utah open to the general public, USUAL can assist in solving many gardening, lawn, plant and animal feed problems. Submission forms are available on the website, and testing prices vary. Pest Diagnostics - Just $7 gets your insect identified or plant problem diagnosed. Visit utahpests.usu.edu for submission information. Ask a Master Gardener â€“ For answers to gardening questions, email email@example.com or call 385-468-4828 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. About the Utah Plant Diagnostic Lab The Utah Plant Pest Diagnostic Laboratory is located in the Biology and Natural Resources building on the USU campus in Logan. Lab diagnosticians provide accurate identification of insects and their relatives, such as spiders and ticks, as well as plant health problems, including pathogenic diseases and environmental stresses. The lab serves all sectors of plant production in the state, including commercial farms, home gardens and landscape care industries. The lab provides current recommendations on pest management focusing on integrated pest management and reduced pesticide options. Numerous resources for pest identification and management are available on the website at utahpests.usu.edu.
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EFNEP Program Helps Improve Nutrition and Health For Mercedes Baraja of
change the way I cook,” she
people with limited-resources
Clearfield, the USU Extension
said. “Spanish foods use a lot
to acquire the knowledge, skills,
Expanded Food and Nutrition
of oil and after learning about
attitudes and changed behavior
Education Program (EFNEP)
cholesterol, I use canola oil and
necessary to create nutritionally
has helped bring about positive
olive oil more now.”
nutritional changes for her family, and she feels it has
In addition, she has learned
improved her family’s diet.
how to properly care for meat to avoid the growth of bacteria,
First introduced to the program
how to include more grains
by a friend, Baraja has been
in her cooking and ways to
attending the classes for 6
include citrus fruits such as
months and can already see the
grapefruits and clementines in
benefits to her family.
her family’s diet.
Baraja said her husband, Israel, and their children, Maximiliano, age 7, and Valeria, age 11, have definitely benefitted from the program because of her increased knowledge. “My mom has learned to cook much better for our family,”
“The program is very good,
The USU-sponsored EFNEP
and I feel it has helped me
program is designed to assist
EFNEP is designed to assist limited-resource audiences in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sound diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total family diet and nutritional wellbeing. Free nutrition lessons are available to families and youth. For more information on EFNEP visit utahefnep.org.
12 | Live Well Utah
Baraja said the EFNEP program has also helped them
“The program is very good, and I feel it has helped me change the way i cook.”
learn about proper exercise, and her daughter received a hula-hoop through the program to help encourage physical activity. Elizabeth Tinti, the USU Extension nutrition educator working with Baraja, said it is exciting to see the significant changes Baraja is making.
“Even more exciting is that their children will grow up with these new, healthy habits,” she said. Baraja currently attends the Davis Community Learning Center studying English and volunteers for the Head Start Program, where she hopes to work when she completes her studies.
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