Better Kansas – Ideas for Living, Growing and Succeeding

Tag: food preparation

Better Kansas – March 12, 2020

This week in Better Kansas, we share a unique learning event focused on food and healthy eating, information on spices, growing blueberries, agricultural law and help with farming activities via Kansas AgrAbility to help make your life, businesses, communities and state better. This is a small glimpse of what K-State Research and Extension across the state has to offer. Share on social media and subscribe! – Mary Lou Peter

Better Living, Better Communities

WE ALL EAT! and that’s the idea behind a free hands-on learning event planned in Sedgwick County Thursday, March 28 aimed at demonstrating ways to keep our tummies happy while eating foods that are good for us. WE ALL EAT! will happen 2:30-6:30 p.m. at the Sedgwick County Extension Education Center, 7001 W. 21st Street in Wichita. Cooking demonstrations and activities are planned for all ages so bring the kids to visit more than 50 organizations and booths. Some lucky attendees will win door prizes and other giveaways. Hmmmm… wonder if one of them is a personal chef who comes in and whips up a wonderful, healthy dinner for me every night. We’ll call him Andre´ 😊. Just kidding! WE ALL EAT is a collaboration of K-State Research and Extension, Dillons Food Stores and organizations that make up the Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita. The event is free but also FEEL free to bring peanut butter and canned fruit in juice for donation to the Kansas Food Bank.

Don’t live near Sedgwick County? K-State Research and Extension locations around the state offer all kinds of nutrition information and education. Check with yours to see what’s coming up.

WHILE WE’RE ON THE TOPIC OF FOOD, I’ll just say that it’s really helpful that some stores sell spices in much smaller quantities than they used to. Remember buying that huge jar of chopped chives or marjoram for just a teaspoon or two in one recipe….. ummm 10 years ago? And the rest is still taking up space in the spice cabinet? I guess it’s time to let it go! Okay, just a little humor to spice up this post. Check out Spice It Up, for good useful information on herbs and spices.


LET’S KEEP THE FOOD THEME GOING on a topic that’s controversial in some circles and enlightening and welcome in others. Alternative Protein Sources is a short new fact sheet that addresses the difference between meat as a protein source and plant-based protein sources, including nutritional considerations, plus how each is regulated by the government. My immediate work group includes omnivores, vegans and vegetarians. Planning our frequent potluck lunches is always an interesting exercise as we want to make sure everyone has plenty of the type of food they can or are willing to eat.

Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening

I NEVER REALLY HAD A FULL APPRECIATION FOR BLUEBERRIES until recent years, but now I’m hooked. Oh, yes … there were always those delectable blueberry muffins, but they’re also so good in yogurt, on cereal, in

Highbush blueberries

pancakes and by themselves! They’re a good source of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K, and represent minimal calories (85 calories in 1 cup). Plus, the antioxidants in blueberries offer inflammation-fighting and cell-protecting properties. And you can freeze them and they don’t turn mushy like some other fruits! One health website calls them a nutritional powerhouse. This super fruit is not native to Kansas and not always easy to grow, but it can be done, particularly on the eastern side of the state. The March 3, 2020 Horticulture Newsletter provides a video with tips for growing blueberries, plus two written segments, including one on growing them in containers. The newsletter edition also includes several articles on turfgrass. Take a look.

MANY LAWS ARE ON THE BOOKS – SOME NEWER AND SOME FOR A LONG TIME – that affect agriculture, farmland ownership and more. Periodic updates by a Washburn University professor of agricultural law are available via Agriculture Today podcasts. Check out a couple of recent podcasts that include a ruling on the interest rate to be applied in a farm bankruptcy reorganization and the tax code provision called the Qualified Income Business Deduction, and questions he routinely receives from farmers and other landowners about it.

MAKING A CAREER IN AGRICULTURE CAN BE TOUGH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, but even harder if a farmer or rancher has been injured, has a health condition or a disability. Kansas AgrAbility is available to directly assist the state’s farmers and ranchers as they navigate barriers to continue making their living helping grow our food supply. Kansas AgrAbility specialists combine their knowledge of agriculture with assistive device expertise to give farmers, ranchers and workers with health conditions or disabilities the specialized services they need to safely accommodate activities in everyday operations. Take a look at this fact page or call 1-800-KAN DO IT (1-800-526-3648). The program is part of a national network funded and administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA).


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:

Better Kansas – June 13, 2019 – Ideas for Living, Growing and Succeeding

Header image for the Better Kansas Blog

Welcome to Edition 2 of the Better Kansas blog from K-State Research and Extension, written by yours truly Every week we’re shedding a little light on events, resources and other information designed to make your life, your businesses, your communities and state better.

For many more resources and activities, check with the extension office in your area. Watch for Better Kansas on Thursdays. In the meantime, check  for archived entries. Share it with friends, family and colleagues!

Better Living, Better Communities

CALLING ALL FOODIES (and others who cook either for the love of it or out of necessity :). Check out the latest edition of You Asked It. This month it covers Food Science vs. Food Myths, Ace the (Food) Waste, Pressure Canner Testing, What is the Cloud Point of Cooking Oil,  Mixing Matters and more.

WHERE’D THEY GET THE MONEY FOR THAT? Ever wonder where the money came from for that new set of benches at your neighborhood park or how local firefighters got certain equipment? It’s possible the funding came through a grant. K-State Research and Extension is holding workshops in communities large and small to help Kansans develop their grant writing skills. Nonprofit organizations, church boards and others can learn the ins and outs of writing effective grant proposals. More information is available online or by contacting Nancy Daniels at 785-410-6352 or

SHOP LOCAL, BE SOCIAL: It’s June and activity at farmers markets across the state is buzzing. It’s hard to imagine a better way to find locally-grown foods, meet the farmers who produced them and see your friends and neighbors. Some even have music! What’s not to like? For great tips on shopping at your local market, take a look at Shopping Safely at Farmers Markets. Check out a list of farmers markets and if you’re selling fresh produce or other products, read Food Safety for Kansas Farmers Market Vendors: Regulations and Best Practices cover to cover!

Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening

COPING IN CHALLENGING TIMES: Though average net farm income rose in Kansas last year, many farmers are experiencing a string of tough financial years, the likes of which haven’t been seen in a long time. And recent flooding and delayed planting only compound the problem. No matter the difficulties, confidential help is available through the Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services and the K-State Research and Extension Farm Analyst program … let me say that againconfidential. The Farm Analyst program offers one-on-one consultations with people trained in business analysis specifically for farmers and ranchers and KAMS  can assist with legal, financial and mediation services. To reach either, call 1-800-321-FARM.

THE RIGHT WHEAT: Combines will soon roll through Kansas harvesting this year’s winter wheat crop. But how do you know which wheat varieties work best in your part of the state? Take a look at the K-State Department of Agronomy 2018 Kansas Wheat Performance Tests.

THIS YEAR’S PRECIPITATION HAS BEEN GOOD FOR A LOT OF PLANTS, INCLUDING WEEDS! All of you corn, soybean, grain sorghum and sunflower growers will want to check out the Weed Management Field Day set for July 2 in Hays. Can’t make it to this one? We know it’s a big state! Check with your local county or district extension office to see if there’s one closer to you and what other resources are available.

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