Knowledge for Life

June 2023

Delivering research-based information

you can trust to be accurate and unbiased.

Meet the newest member of the Extension team

We are happy to welcome Anthony Reardon as the new Horticulture – Small Farms agent for Johnson County.

Anthony (pictured on the left at the Sunset (formerly WIC) Community Garden) joins Dennis Patton (pictured on the right) as the second Horticulture agent in the Johnson County office.

Anthony grew up in Dodge City, KS, spending a good portion of his youth working in the turf industry. Attaining his bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Kansas State University, he ventured into the realms of ornamental horticulture, landscape maintenance, design, greenhouse, and fruit and vegetable production. His previous work includes six years as the horticulturist for the City of Garden City, KS, where he was tasked with designing, implementing, and maintaining public landscapes, and two years with the West Plains Extension District as their horticulture agent.

Anthony greatly admires the vast array of work being done with specialty crops in Johnson County and he is very enthusiastic about partnering with and assisting local growers and at-home gardeners.

... more Horticulture

Become An Extension Master Gardener

Now is your chance to come grow with us as an Extension Master Gardener (EMG). The yearly training program starts this fall. Applications are due June 30.

As an EMG you will contribute to your community, learn, and enjoy quality time with like-minded gardeners. 

Learn more about the EMG program.

Ready to go for it?

Download an application here.

Photo: Shawnee Town Herb Garden, maintained by Extension Master Gardeners

International Master Gardener Conference:

Public Events (June 17-22)

Garden Thyme Marketplace Trade Show

Monday, June 19:

Noon - 7:00 PM

Tuesday, June 20:

10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Wednesday, June 21:

10:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Location: Overland Park Convention Center

Cost: Free and open to the public

The marketplace is your opportunity to browse, shop, and enjoy nature-related products from nearly 100 local and regional artists and tradespeople.

The trade show is part of the International Master Gardener Conference hosted by Johnson County Extension Master Gardeners. The conference will bring more than 1,100 people to Overland Park from June 18 to 22. 

Learn more

Tour Six Stunning Spots on our Garden Tour

What better way to spend a relaxing day than visiting six beautiful gardens on either June 17 or 18?

Cost is $45 for the self-guided tour. Tickets are limited and expected to sell out.

Buy tickets here.

Photo: Rufenacht and Lara Garden, one of the six stops on the garden tour

Conference featured speakers will inspire and entertain

Sit back in comfort and listen to any or all of the three featured conference speakers:

  • Leigh Hunt, Royal Horticultural Society, London England
  • Sara Dykman, Johnson County native and first person to bike alongside the monarch butterfly migration to Mexico
  • Daniel J. Hinkley, preeminent American horticulturist and garden designer

Learn about gardening in England, the monarch migration, and garden design. You'll be inspired!

Buy tickets here.

Contact the Gardening Hotline for answers to your lawn and garden questions.

call: (913) 715-7050 email: [email protected]

Hotline hours: Monday - Friday, 9 AM to 4 PM

Home & Family

June 2023 Financial Check In

Here's your monthly roundup of tips for financial well-being from our Family and Community Wellness Agent, Joy Miller:

  • This month, choose an inexpensive or free outdoor activity to try.

  • It may also be time to create or review your will.

  • Finally, fun-filled summer months can mean unexpected expenses, from sunscreen to lawn/garden care, and even higher utility bills. Remember these expenses to help stay in financial balance.

Read more

Credit Report: Have You Done Your Annual Check-up?

Reviewing your credit report as part of your financial routine is like doing an annual physical with your doctor each year by catching problems early.

Even if you do not plan on seeking out new credit, check your report once a year.

Read more

Natural Resources

They're here... It's tick time

In warm months we tend to spend more time outdoors, and that means you should be aware of how to prevent tick bites.

Read more

Wonders of Discovery: A day to celebrate the importance of pollinators

Friday, June 23

9 AM - 2 PM

Location: Pollinator Prairie in Olathe

Cost: free


Learn about caterpillar defense strategies, native bees, hummingbirds, bats and so much more. If you haven't been to the prairie, come out for a day of nature and fun!


Learn more or check out the event on Facebook.

Kansas Wild Kids

Our local Junior Extension Master Naturalist series provides youth in grades 3-5 opportunities to learn more about our natural resources.

June: Pollinators

Cost is $15 for the month.

  • Wednesday, June 7: Birds
  • Wednesday, June 14: Entomology and Pollinators/Bees
  • Saturday, June 17: Field Study at Pollinator Prairie

Register for June

July: Water

Cost is $15 for the month.

  • Wednesday, July 12: Wonders of Water
  • Wednesday, July 19: Wonders of Water
  • Saturday, July 22: Field Study TBA

Register for July

4-H Youth Development

Meet our new Agent

Lexi Ray is our newest 4-H Youth Development Agent, joining Jessica Lawrenz and the rest of the Johnson County 4-H team.

Read more

Sew Easy! 4-H Sewing Camps

Tuesday, June 13 and Wednesday, June 14

Two days of sewing fun, offering classes for beginners (ages 9+) and those with sewing experience (ages 14+).

Register here

Health & Food Safety

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

What is the coolest vegetable?

A rad(ish)!

All jokes aside, we are enjoying all things fresh fruit and vegetables this month and are here to share why fruits and vegetables are important for our health, as well as some tips and tricks to help you increase your intake. 

Read more

Become an Extension Master Food Volunteer

We are looking for people who have a passion to improve the health, food safety awareness and quality of life of Johnson County residents by providing current, research-based information to the public. This is done with classes, food demos, and community events.

Learn more

Ready to apply? Apply online or download an application here. Applications are due by July 19.

Have nutrition, food safety or health questions?

call: (913) 715-7000 email: [email protected]

Community Vitality

Productive Groups: Encouraging Positive Dynamics

Productive groups are the foundation for accomplishing the work of formal organizations and less formal groups.

A productive group communicates with respect and openness, accepts, and supports differences, and works effectively together to achieve mutual goals. 

Read more

Extension Foundation

Tickets available for our Signature Event!

Saturday, August 26

5 - 8 PM

Arts and Heritage Center

Join us for our annual fundraiser-- an evening out with live and silent auction, delicious food and live music. All proceeds benefit the Johnson County Extension Education Foundation, which provides $20,000 in grants each year.

Buy tickets now

Upcoming Events

Horticulture Events

Tuesday, June 6: Drought Tolerant Lawns of Kansas - Warm Season Turfgrasses (K-State Garden Hour)

June 18-22: International Master Gardener Conference

Wednesday, July 5: Solutions to Your Top Garden Insect & Disease Problems (K-State Garden Hour)

Home & Family Events

June 2, June 16, July 14, August 11: WITS Workout (Ages 55+)

June 10: Get It All Together Now! Organizing financial and legal documents

June 12: Suddenly in Charge: Safety Skills for Sitters

June 13: Your Valuable Records (Ages 50+)

Natural Resources Events

June 7, June 14, June 17: Kansas Wild Kids: Pollinators

June 23: Wonders of Discovery

4-H Youth Development Events

June 13-14: Sew Easy! 4-H Sewing Camp

June 27-29: Cooking Camp: Session 1 (Ages 12-17)

July 30-August 5: Johnson County Fair

Health, Food Safety and Nutrition Events

June 6-9: Food, Fitness, and Fun Camp at the Shawnee Civic Center

June 8: Summer Pies (SOLD OUT!)

June 12 and June 22: Four-Course Living: Mini Quiche and Fruit Salad (for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities)

June 17: Safety Saturday Community Baby Shower ("Managing Mealtimes for Young Children")

June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18: Dining with Diabetes

June 21: Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts

Community Vitality

Friday, June 2: First Friday e-Call: K-State Child Care Community Assessment Tools & Resources

View all Events

We are dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong healthy communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education.

Facebook  Twitter  YouTube  Instagram  LinkedIn