Category: March 2019

Walk Kansas: Your Cure to Those Winter Blues!

What is one of the best things you can do for your body, mind and spirit? You guessed it – move your way, every day! K-State Research and Extension is pleased to offer Walk Kansas, a health initiative designed to help you move more, eat better and live life to the fullest. Walk Kansas is a team-based program, meaning that you are part of a 4-6 member team and together you will select a goal (challenge) to work toward during the 8 weeks (March 17-May 11, 2019). Here are the options for your team:

  • Challenge 1: 8 Wonders of Kansas! This journey requires each person to get 2 ½ hrs of activity per/wk.
  • Challenge 2: Cross Country, which requires 4 hrs of activity per person/week.
  • Challenge 3: Little Balkans to Nicodemus –This requires 6 hrs of activity per person/week.

This year, each Post Rock District Walk Kansas participant will receive 2 complimentary day passes to the NCK Wellenss Center in Beloit! Walk Kansas 2019 will go from March 17th until May 11th and registration is now open at or by visiting any Post Rock District Extension office.  If registering online, be sure to choose “Post Rock District” as your county/district. Registration for Walk Kansas is $8 per participant and orange or navy Walk Kansas T-shirts are available for $9. If you’re looking for something motivating and fun to beat those winter blues, join us for Walk Kansas 2019!

By:  Ashley Svaty

Fruit Tree Workshops

Come learn how to care for your fruit trees and help them succeed in our unpredictable Kansas climate!

Saturday, March 23 at 9:00am and 2:00pm
SAME DATE… but offering two different locations and times!

Morning Session
Mankato Christian Church
102 E. South Street
Mankato, KS 66956


Afternoon Session
St. Mary Catholic Church
301 E. 1st Street
Glasco, KS 67445

Featured Speaker:
Ward Upham, K-State Research and Extension Specialist and Master Gardener Coordinator

Practice hands-on pruning techniques!

New and experienced gardeners are welcome, free to participate but please RSVP to Post Rock Extension, 785-738-3597 by March 18th.

For more information, go to:

By: Cassie Homan

Indoor Gardening with Kids

If the winter is dragging you down and you’re eager to get into the garden, check out this hands-on project. Nora Rhoades and Cassie Homan show us a wonderful indoor gardening activity to enjoy with children. Kids love to engage in playful sensory activities with adults. Growing little grass haired people is a proven winner with children. Have fun with this easy, low-cost project!

By:  Nora Rhoades

Eating Healthy Can Equal Cost Savings

Sometimes putting dollars behind the message can really motivate people to change behaviors. That’s what a study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found regarding the reduction of health costs when eating a quality diet. This study is the first of its kind to associate cost savings to healthy eating.

They study looked at two eating patterns recommended by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They included the Healthy US-Style and the Healthy Mediterranean-Style diets. Health issues evaluated included reductions in cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and hip fractures.

The overall results showed cost savings ranged from $16.7 billion to $31.5 billion. This is based on a 20 percent increase in following the Mediterranean diet and Healthy US-Style respectively. That increase reduced cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes when following a Healthy US-Style diet and these same diseases plus Alzheimer’s disease and hip fracture reductions when following the Mediterranean diet.

I think we all can use a little extra money in our pockets!


By:  Ashley Svaty

Forcing Stems of Woody Plants for Indoor Bloom

This winter seems like it will never end. So in the meantime here is a fun activity you can do indoors to have some pretty blooms before spring fully arrives.

Stems of a number of woody plants can be forced into bloom for indoor display. Of course, some are easier to force than others. Three of the easiest are forsythia, pussy willow, and flowering quince. These plants have now gone through enough cold weather to satisfy their chilling requirement and should bloom if given the right conditions.

Choose a day that is above freezing for collecting branches for blooming. Keep the stem length to 3 feet or less. As you cut, place the stems in a bucket of water. Once you have the number of branches you want, bring them into the house and soak them in warm water for several hours — a bathtub works well for this. This ensures that the stems and buds are fully hydrated. Next, place them in a container that has a warm, preservative solution and place them in an environment with high humidity and plenty of light.

Make your preservative solution by dissolving packets of floral preservative in water.  These packets can often be obtained from your local florist. You can also make your own preservative by adding a tablespoon of Listerine per gallon of water, but commercial preservatives are preferred. Floral preservatives accomplish two functions; they prevent bacterial growth in your water and provide nutrients and energy for the life processes of the plants.

Many times our houses have a very low relative humidity during the winter. These low humidities can lead to dehydration of flower buds and blossoms. To raise the humidity around your plants, mist the plants or drape a dry cleaner’s bag over your stems. If a cleaner’s bag is too small, use a painter’s clear plastic drop cloth. Humidifiers can also help raise humidity levels.

Normally, forsythia will take about nine days to flower, quince will require between 12 to 20, and pussy willow needs from five to 15 days. The time required will vary depending on indoor conditions and how late in the winter the branches were collected. Most woody plants should be in flower within three weeks of collection and will remain in flower for about a week before blooms start to fade.

By: Cassie Homan

Save the easy way… automatically!

Never miss a beat when it comes to savings. Make it so easy you never have to think about it by setting aside money for savings automatically.  Learn how to set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account, or have part of your paycheck automatically deposited into a savings account.  Already saving automatically? Find ways to automate other aspects of your financial life in 2019 at

By:  Nora Rhoades

Healthful Whole Grains!

Whole grains provide energy for daily activities and reduce the risk for developing many major disease such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers. Whole grains are delicious and can be added into your meals or can be the main ingredient! When shopping for whole grains, look for the Whole Grain Stamp, shown in the photo and make sure the item states “Whole Grain”. Check out our issue of Building Strong Families for more tips to incorporate more whole grains into your diet and for a delicious and easy overnight oats recipe!

By:  Ashley Svaty