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#Living

DAKOTA GARDENER: The Birds and the Trees

I love feeding the birds in the winter. We set out several different types of feeders in the backyard and get a variety of birds: blue jays, black-capped chickadees, nuthatches, four different kinds of woodpeckers. It’s a pleasure watching their dance. The woodpeckers go for suet and the ...

Prairie Fare: Consider a resolution to recycle more often

“Mom, I used to pull all-nighters to get projects done,” my older daughter said matter-of-factly. “We are going to finish this.” I wanted to take a break from reorganizing our cupboards. My daughter was behaving more like she was my mother. “But I’m tired,” I whined ...

Managing difficult insect pest on houseplants

A sticky substance on plant leaves, plant stands, and the floor are often the first clue alerting gardeners to a problem. If a closer look reveals bumps on the upper and lower surface of leaves and stems, it means scale insects have moved in to dine on your houseplants. Severe infestations can ...

Dakota Gardner: Gardening in the Winter

Gardening catalogs are arriving in the mailbox and my inbox is flooded with emails from seed companies touting the newest vegetable cultivars. I’m starting to get the itch to get my hands dirty, but my garden is covered in 6 inches of snow. What can a gardening addict do? Grow microgreens ...

PrairieFare: 5 questions about cold temps and our health

One morning my eyes snapped open at the sound of a familiar rumbling engine outside my window. I glanced bleary eyed at my alarm clock. The time was 5:25 a.m. I thought my neighbor was snow blowing. However, the sound was directly under our window. I usually do not jump up at such an ...

Testing leftover seeds for viability

The beginning of a new year finds many gardeners preparing for the growing season ahead. Clearing space to start seeds indoors, inventorying seeds and supplies, and ordering seeds, plants, and more are usually part of the process. While organizing, you may uncover seeds from past seasons. Do ...

Let’s Cook: Tapioca and Relaxation

As many of you know, we are fans of celebrating the 12 days of Christmas. We often prepare special meals, set our table with dishes from the past and present, and each evening enjoy the timeless holiday classic of sitting in the presence of the lighted Christmas tree while enjoying some quiet ...

Prairie Fare: Set a health goal for the New Year

As we all experienced, 2020 was a year for the history books in many ways. Back in October of 2020, we had an unseasonably early storm. The snow blanketed the region with several inches of snow, which melted to form a layer of ice. I recall walking like a penguin to put my work bag and ...

Making New Year’s resolutions that stick!

Approximately 40 percent of American make a New Year’s resolution. In the hopes of maintaining long-lasting change, it is common for people to empty their pantries of tempting foods, lace up their jogging shoes, buy a yearly planner or trade sugary drinks for big bottles of water. These ...

Save time and increase success by creating a garden calendar

Ringing in the New Year is filled with resolutions that usually involve dieting and exercise. Gardening is a great way to help accomplish those two resolutions, while also improving your mood, reducing blood pressure, managing anger, maintaining flexibility and much more. So, gather anyone ...

Cooking class focuses on ‘Healthy Swaps’

Trinity Health’s Nutrition Services Department will offer a cooking class, “Healthy Swaps,” Tuesday, Jan. 12, from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Trinity Health Community Conference Room at Town & Country Center. The class will focus on creative ways to make meals more nourishing by switching ...

Winter care for houseplants

Holidays are filled with new plants and decorations that often find our houseplants relegated to any out of the way available space. Be sure to keep your houseplants looking their best with proper winter care. Make sure houseplants receive sufficient light now and throughout the winter. The ...

Prairie Fare: Are you sitting too much?

As I rose from my office chair after a day filled with Zoom meetings, I felt like the Tin Man with stiff joints in the “Wizard of Oz.” Fortunately, my joints didn’t creak and squeak audibly. A can of oil was not necessary. I walked slowly to ease the stiffness from too much ...

Let’s Cook: Moments to Savor

A year ago, who would have thought that our lives would be dramatically changed in the first quarter of 2020? As I sit down to write this column on the Eve of the Winter Solstice, I think of the long, long year we all have endured. There is a long list of the many things we miss doing due to ...

Do-it-Yourself Holiday Centerpiece

Dress up your holiday meals with a centerpiece crafted from greens, colorful stems and seed heads collected from your garden. Or purchase fresh materials you need from your favorite garden center or florist. Most gardeners spend some time gathering a few blossoms and creating a bouquet or ...

Prairie Fare: Watch out for miracle nutrition promises

“Just 1 cup before bedtime,” the text message said. “Take off your huge stomach.” I read it to my daughter. “Your stomach isn’t huge,” she responded teasingly. I’m not sure I liked her emphasis on “huge.” At least she didn’t restate the message to say “massive” ...

Cottagecore holidays: Decorations with a homespun vibe

Along with bread-baking and closet reorganizing, another nesting trend on the home front is “cottagecore” style. “The cottagecore aesthetic swarmed the internet this year with its revival of traditional ideals and the glorification of a simple yet charming cottage lifestyle,” says ...

Prairie Fare: Say cheese and smile

“What’s that smell?” I thought to myself. I was just a child at the time. I decided to investigate. I followed my nose into the kitchen and found my dad and uncle huddled at the kitchen counter. They were enjoying saltine crackers spread with Limburger cheese. They were relishing ...

Toxic and not-so-toxic holiday plants

Tis the season to be decorating for the holidays. Colorful poinsettias, holly plants with spine-tipped leaves and fast-growing amaryllis bulbs brighten our homes. Anytime that I mention poinsettias, the question arises as to their toxicity to people and pets. People widely assume that this ...

Let’s Cook: Cookies from Home Ec 204

Once again, we are starting to stir things up for Christmas. What comes to your mind when you reflect on preparing for Christmas? As a child, a big part of getting ready for Christmas for me was dreaming. Yes, dreaming, of what the tree would look like, what part would I have in the church ...