Category: October 2017

Brainy Babies – Fall Program Offerings

Brainy Babies in an interactive child + parent story hour for children birth through age 3. Through playful learning activities, each child and adult will grow and learn together. The interactive series encourages and stimulates learning while enhancing the relationship between adult and child. Brainy Babies programs are scheduled to take place at the public libraries in Kensington, Lincoln, and Sylvan Grove throughout the fall. The Post Rock District is also involved with the Sprouts 0-3 program at the Osborne library. For complete details about Brainy Babies visit:

  • October 16 – 5:15-6:15pm – Kensington Community Library
  • October 18 & 25 – 5:30-6:15pm – Sylvan Grove Public Library
  • November 9 & 16 – 5:30-6:15pm – Lincoln Carnegie Library

By:  Nora Rhoades

Fall is the Perfect Time to Plant a Tree

You may have heard the Chinese Proverb “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”  Trees offer shade and beauty in our landscapes as well as reducing utility costs and providing food sources and habitat for wildlife, and the fall season is an excellent time to plant trees. In the spring, soils are cold and may be so wet that there isn’t enough oxygen for adequate root growth. Fall soils are warm and moist which encourages growth. When planted in fall, the tree becomes established well before a spring planted tree and is able to withstand summer stresses.

Learn how to pick the perfect tree at:

To learn how to properly plant a tree, watch this short video:

By: Cassie Homan

Youth Enrichment Offerings

The Post Rock District has a variety of opportunities to collaborate with educators and community leaders. Our supplemental activities will provide hands-on learning for students and help you meet academic standards. Youth enrichment offerings are scheduled with the presenting agent on a first come, first serve basis throughout the school year. To view the 2017-2018 youth enrichment offerings contact your local Post Rock District Office or visit

By:  Nora Rhoades

Painted Lady Invasion

If you take a walk outside in the Post Rock area, chances are you will see a painted lady butterfly fluttering around you.

Often confused with the Monarch butterfly, painted ladies have been invading our streets, lawns, and gardens. Painted lady butterflies are an intense reddish- orange color that varies from butterfly to butterfly. They have a somewhat pointed forewing that has distinctive white dots in the upper regions. Monarchs, on the other hand are a lighter orange color with a more recognizable black, orange, and white pattern on their wings. An easy way to tell if you are looking at a Monarch or painted lady is to determine the butterflies size. Painted ladies have a wingspan of about 2 to 2 ½ inches, monarchs are almost double the size with a wingspan of 3 to 4 inches.

Learn more at:

By: Cassie Homan

Tips for Creating a Household Inventory

In 2017, throughout Kansas we’ve already experienced drought, wildfires, a spring blizzard, flooding, tornadoes, hazardous wind, and extreme heat advisories. Disasters do not plan ahead, but that doesn’t mean you can’t!

Being prepared for the disasters that may affect your home, business and community is important. Taking inventory of what you have and recording it is a good place to start. After all, you do not know where to get back to if you don’t know where you started, right?

Checkout “Tips for Creating a Household Inventory” on the Post Rock District Blog.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Fall Mums

Nature always gives us signals as seasons change. When summer starts to shift toward fall, the leaves begin to change colors. Another sure sign that fall is right around the corner is the arrival of colorful and beautiful fall mums in garden centers.

Now is the time to plan how and where to use these plants effectively around your home and landscape. A newer trend for growers is to mix colors in containers, so be ready for even more decisions.

Watch this video for information on how to get your mums to last through the winter:

By: Cassie Homan

Do You Wash Your Hands Enough?

Regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and running water is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. Use a hand sanitizer or hand wipe only if soap and water are not available.

These are key times to clean your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
  • Clean your hands anytime they are dirty.


By:  Ashley Svaty

Follow, Like & Subscribe to Connect with K-State Research and Extension

K-State Research and Extension is a great place to access resources you can trust. Follow, like and subscribe to “K-State Research and Extension” on social media today!

By:  Nora Rhoades

History of the Pumpkin

References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was nasalized by the French into “pompon.” The English changed “pompon” to “Pumpion.” Shakespeare referred to the “pumpion” in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin.” The “pumpkin” is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Cinderella.

Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them. The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

Want to learn how the Jack-O-Lantern came to be? Click here:

By: Cassie Homan

Say No to Open Kettle and Oven Canning

Open kettle canning has not been recommended for 30+ years. Open kettle canning involves heating the food to boiling, pouring it into the jars, applying lids, and allowing the heat of the jar to cause the lid to seal. The food is not heated adequately to destroy the spoilage organisms, molds and yeasts that can enter the jar while you are filling the jar, and it does not produce a strong seal on the jar. This method is not safe! Just because the lid seals, doesn’t meat it’s safe. The time saved with open kettle canning is not worth the risk of food spoilage or illness.

Oven canning may sound simple, but oven heat is not the same as heat from a boiling water bath or from steam in a pressure canner. Placing jars in the dry heat of the oven may cause the glass to crack and shatter causing injury to you. Dry heat is not comparable to the moist heat of a boiling water bath. Processing in an oven will not heat the contents in the coldest part of the jar in the same way as boiling water. Oven heat will not increase the temperature inside the jar above boiling to be adequate to destroy botulism spores in low acid foods. Oven canning is not safe!

This article is borrowed from the October issue of You Asked It! found here.


By:  Ashley Svaty