Wildcat Connection February 2019 - Page 14

Jacob Weber



Our 2019 Farmer’s Market Regional Workshop is scheduled for February 2, 2019, which coincidentally is Groundhog Day. This day-long event is especially tailored to meet the interests of local, direct-market food producers. Beginning with our first Farmer’s Market Workshop, held in Pittsburg, Kansas on March 29, 2014, this program has evolved into series of annual state-wide events hosted at several locations. Planning for this year’s workshop began soon after last year’s workshop was over; Gayle Price, Southeast Area Family and Consumer Science specialist organized several committee meetings in the months following. Classes for the 2019 workshop include increasing vendor’s profits, regulations regarding the selling of eggs and meat products, morel mushroom identification which includes vendor certification to sell the mushrooms, specialty crop production, and a review important food safety issues. This year’s workshop is being held at the Southeast Kansas Research and Extension Center in Parsons.

Sporadic spring-like weather interrupting the typical northwesterly blasts of bone-chilling, mid-winter cold snaps has fueled my desire to get outside and into the garden! Although it’s a bit early for gardening (spring is still a couple of months away) I know that the inevitable calls to Wildcat Extension District offices for gardening advice will soon begin. I’ve taken advantage of this “down time” to organize educational opportunities for our District’s clientele. In an effort to encourage the love of gardening in youngsters, I along with Jeri Geren, James Coover and the Wildcat District 4-H agents Katie Townsend, Julie Traxson, Will Morris, and Cheri Nelsen, have put together an event called the “Gardening Institute.” This event targets kids enrolled in 4-H; however, all kids (and their parents) are encouraged to participate. The event has been conveniently scheduled to coincide with spring break in an effort to encourage greater youth participation. The two-hour program will be presented on consecutive days during spring break week in each of the four counties of the Wildcat District. The first meeting is in Fredonia on Monday, March 11, 2019, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (Tuesday – Parsons, Wednesday – Independence, and Thursday – Girard). Please contact any of the offices in the Wildcat District for sign up information.

As always, I’m available to help you with your gardening problems; please give me a call at any of the Wildcat District offices. You can listen in on the live interviews on Coffeyville’s KGGF (690 AM) radio station every Wednesday morning beginning at 7:40 a.m. I and other Wildcat District agents discuss current topics of interest and give updates on upcoming events. You can also catch our pre-recorded Extension Minutes and Ag News Reports that air throughout the week on KGGF and KKOW (860 AM) radio stations.