Welcome to Better Kansas. Where every Thursday we shed light on events, resources and other information designed to make your life, businesses, communities and state better. Don’t forget to hit subscribe! – Mary Lou Peter firstname.lastname@example.org
Better Living, Better Communities
MANY OF US HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH SUGAR and most of us know the difference between table sugar and powdered sugar, but there’s a lot more to that sweet carbohydrate than some of us knew. And it comes in so many forms! There’s your coarse sugar and your fruit sugar and your brown sugar and your turbinado sugar?! … You get the picture. Get the scoop in Sugar: More Than Just a Sweetener to learn about sugars and sugar substitutes such as aspartame and stevia, plus information on the function of sugar in foods. I never knew that in frozen foods, low temperatures tend to numb the taste buds and sugar acts to enhance flavors. Am I the only person who’s never heard of the Maillard reaction?
I’LL BE THE FIRST TO ADMIT, I NEED AN OCCASIONAL REMINDER to stick to a budget, use credit wisely and to be savvy about saving. For many of us baby boomers, our thoughts have shifted to thinking less about saving for a wedding or making it to the kids’ volleyball tournament and a lot more about planning our next weekend getaway and how to make our money last through a long, healthy 😊 retirement. The article Keys to Embracing Aging: Financial Affairs is full of reminders of things to consider as we age, plus do’s and don’ts we may not think about, especially regarding consumer protection. My own family remembers a relative who was incredibly smart but fell prey to a company that took advantage of him as he grew older. It can happen to anyone.
ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS ABOUT BEING NEAR A MAJOR UNIVERSITY is easy access to informational sessions presented by an array of experts – and sometimes you don’t even have to be a student. A visual and insightful treat is in store for anyone who attends the Henry C. Gardiner Lecture Series at K-State Oct. 14. That’s when Dennis Dimick, the former executive environmental editor for National Geographic will speak about the challenges of living in the modern human era in his presentation “Living in the Human Age.” The free lecture, in the university’s McCain Auditorium, is open to the public. While at National Geographic, Dimick worked on more than 90 projects that addressed climate change, public lands, freshwater scarcity, coal and natural gas as energy supplies, and the effects on water supply from drought and snowpack loss in the United States. While on campus, he and National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson will speak to students and other campus groups. More information, plus a Q&A is available online. Plus, more information is available about the Henry C. Gardiner Global Foods Systems Lecture Series.
Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening
THEY COME BACK EVERY YEAR TO WOW US WITH THEIR BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS, but even daylilies need a little TLC. This is the time of year to consider dividing daylilies, especially if it’s been a few years (or ever?) since the last time they were divided. Dividing them every 3-4 years helps keep them looking their best and we’ll be the lucky recipients of that for years to come. Check out the Dividing Daylilies section of a recent K-State Horticulture Newsletter and take a look at the video Dividing Daylilies.
YOU MAY KNOW KANSAS AS THE WHEAT STATE but did you know there are many varieties of wheat grown across the state? What grows well in western Kansas does not necessarily grow well on the eastern side of the state because of differences in average precipitation, soil type and other factors. To help farmers determine what varieties grow best and where, which certainly comes in handy when making decisions about seed purchases, K-State’s Agronomy Department and partners have just issued the NEW 2019 Kansas Performance Tests with Winter Wheat Varieties. It’s just a tad important since about one-fifth of all wheat grown in the United States is grown in Kansas.
By the way, university agronomists make public information on other crops too, such as corn, soybeans, canola, sunflower, grain sorghum and others. More on those later.
WHAT DO YOU CALL TWO SPIDERS THAT JUST GOT MARRIED? NEWLY WEBS! I’ve not met an entomologist yet that doesn’t have a sense of humor and that humor surfaces frequently in the Bug Jokes section of the K-State Extension Entomology blog. The scientists get down to serious business, too, as they conduct research and work with Kansans to scout farm fields, identify insects in homes and businesses and share information about how to manage them. By the way, the photo is of a longhorn milkweed beetle.
For more resources and activities, contact the K-State Research and Extension office in your area. Check out our other blogs and subscribe to our weekly emails here: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/blogs/