Spring 2021 Newsletter
Information You Can Trust
From the Desk of the Director
Spring is a Time for Emergence

This time of year always presents a sense of renewal, but this year we’re emerging from so much more than the doldrums of winter. No matter how you frame it, our community has struggled through a solid year of hardship. So many more of us now know the effect of prolonged social isolation – and we have seen an increased appetite for its remedy.  Consider how you can involve others in this season of renewal because it seems like this awakening means so much more than it ever has. Read more.
Community Development
Enhancing Douglas County's Agricultural Economy
Learn about the partnership between K-State Research and Extension - Douglas County and the Douglas County Food Policy Council to set priorities for economic development within the agriculture sector - and see how you can contribute your thoughts to the process.
Data from this project can be useful on many fronts. From a response to the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Strategic Growth Initiative to informing the work of local organizations and food system policy making, our goal is to complement the elements of the Douglas County Food System Plan aimed at enhancing our food system. Read more here.
Popular Grant Workshops
Offered Online
K-State Research and Extension Community Development has been working with individuals and community organizations to strengthen their success in securing grant funds. Participants who attended the workshop we hosted with our partners at the Lawrence Public Library and Douglas County Community Foundation on March 3, 2020 reported securing $212,719 after the workshop. Interested in trying your hand at securing external funding? Learn how through one of the upcoming online Grant Writing Workshops.
4-H Youth In Action
Douglas County 4-H Youth are "Serving Better Together"
Since the start of the 4-H Club program in 1902, members have learned from an early age the importance of civic engagement. Research shows 4-H'ers nationwide are four times more likely to give back to their communities. In March, the Douglas County 4-H Program launched a community service campaign to encourage 4-H Community Clubs, Project Clubs and County-wide groups to organize youth-led service learning projects. Learn more about the effort here.
School safety expert shares social media dangers with parents
Parents should have open conversations with their children about content on social media and take steps to monitor their use, says the director of the Safe and Secure Schools unit of the Kansas Department of Education. Read the full article here.
Nutrition and Health
Local efforts draw resources to increase the availability of healthful food
Consuming more fruits and vegetables is something we all should get behind, and farmers' markets are a great place to get fresh and in-season fruits and vegetables while simultaneously supporting our local economy and food systems. Many may think that shopping at farmers' markets is too expensive and is not an option for households with a limited food budget. However, the Double Up Food Bucks Program breaks down barriers that may be keeping limited resource families from shopping at farmers' markets. Read more here.
Sign Up for The 20th Anniversary Year of Walk Kansas

Walk Kansas is an eight-week long that encourages individuals to move more, eat better, and manage stress daily in order to live a healthier lifestyle. This year, Walk Kansas aims to educate participants on how physical activity and eating habits can be utilized in the assistance and prevention of commonly faced challenges, such as mental health; heart disease; osteoporosis; Alzheimer’s disease and brain health; obesity; diabetes; and cancer. Read more here...

Lawn and Garden
Garden Tour to Highlight Best Practices
Mark your calendar for the first weekend in June! The Douglas County Extension Master Gardeners will be hosting their 2021 Garden Tour and Native Plant Sale. Seven gardens will be on display for the public to tour throughout Lawrence and the surrounding area. This is also your chance to source native plants from a selection of carefully curated offerings - and support the mission of the Extension Master Gardeners. Read more here!
Upcoming Webinar: "Get Started Growing Veggies"
Knowing what to plant is part of the equation, but also think about when and how to get things started. From preparing the site to managing soil nutrition, there is no shortage of technical know-how all gardeners must consider. Whether you are a seasoned gardener, market farmer or just getting started, we have the resources you need. K-State Research and Extension's most popular publication is the Kansas Garden Guide available here for free - or you can pick up a copy at our office for $5. Interested in a more personal approach to learning? Sign up for the upcoming webinar set for March 30 from 4:00 - 5:15 PM. Learn more here.
Pro Tip: 2 Simple Homemade Tools for the Vegetable Garden

Read here for quick tips on how to make your own planting guides to aide your early success in the vegetable garden. The String Line and planting board are hardly sophisticated tools, but having them on-hand can be a difference maker. This one-minute video tells you why!
Crops and Livestock
Beginning Farmer Resources

Interested in starting a small farm full of fruits, vegetables and livestock? Check out the Farm Beginnings Recorded Webinar Series to see how you can start growing your own food today. Read the full article here.
Pond Management

Pond management and maintenance can be a tricky but rewarding process. There are several key factors to keep in mind that can help you keep your pond healthy and make sure it remains a fun place to be this summer. Read how here!
Online classes will help enthusiasts ID wild mushrooms
K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Agriculture will be hosting two classes to help people earn the necessary approval to sell wild morel mushrooms Learn more here.
Soil Tests = Soil Management
Regardless of what you're growing, understanding soil chemistry - delivering what your plants need - is an important step toward success. For as little at $9.00, we can provide a set of recommendations based on the analysis of a sample of your soil. If you're interested in how well you are managing soil organic matter, we recommend Soil Analysis Package #2 which is available for $14.75. We can also analyze heavy metal content in the soil if you're concerned about possible contamination from previous land uses. Visit this page to learn how to take a good sample, then prepay for your test by visiting our new storefront!
Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.