Fittest loser

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  • Soaking seeds helps speed germinationMar 5, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. I have heard that soaking seeds helps them germinate quicker. Is this true?

  • Antioch Community Garden:Mar 5, 2014 12:00 AM
    Plots are available in the Antioch Community Garden, Depot and Orchard streets across from Antioch Elementary School.

  • WHO NEEDS SOIL: A new trend that’s just getting started is tillandsia, an air plant that needs no soil to grow, but absorbs water from the air or rain. Its spiky appearance creates a unique look and contrast with other plants.

    Floral designer shares latest trendsMar 5, 2014 12:00 AM
    Want to give your floral arrangements the pizzaz that only seems to come from a professional’s hand? World-renowned floral designer Deborah De La Flor will reveal new trends and share other tips for creating unforgettable florals at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show.

  • Retired teachers meet:Mar 3, 2014 12:00 AM
    Lake County news digest for Tuesday, March 4.

  • Lead can have long-lasting health effects when it is inhaled or ingested in large quantities. Removing the toxin from homes requires respirators, protective clothing and numerous safety precautions to ensure no ill effects occur for removers.

    35 years later, suburban homes still have lead paint Mar 2, 2014 12:00 AM
    Federal law banned lead in paint 35 years ago, but the toxin still threatens children today.Illinois has one of the highest rates of lead poisoning in the nation. And the Kane County Health Department lists childhood lead poisoning among its six biggest health threats to residents. “Over the years, a lot of property owners have just simply painted over the lead,” said Sarosh Saher, a senior planner with Elgin.

  • Garden columnist Jan Riggenbach will present “A Change of Scenery (big ideas for less landscape labor)” at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 12, at the Lake Bluff Senior Center, 100 E. Old Mill Road, Lake Forest.

    Popular garden columnist Jan Riggenbach to speak in Lake ForestFeb 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Garden columnist Jan Riggenbach shares a potpourri of ideas to enhance your landscape without enlarging your to-do list during her presentation at the Woodlands Garden Club on Wednesday, March 12.

  • Doris Christopher, CEO and founder of the Pampered Chef

    Pampered Chef restructures, lays off workersFeb 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Addison-based Pampered Chef, whcih is owned by Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway, said Monday it has restructured its local office and warehouse.

  • Millburn School and Community Garden is raising funds to increase the educational opportunities associated with the garden, including an outdoor classroom.

    Millburn hopes to grow its educational gardensFeb 24, 2014 12:00 AM
    Millburn School and Community Garden is raising funds to increase the educational opportunities associated with the garden to include an outdoor "classroom." Educators say gardening can improve test scores in math and other areas and promotes teamwork.

  • Warmer temperatures mean melting snow and ice — a possible flooding.

    5 ways to keep your house from floodingFeb 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    The mountains of snow keep shrinking and the puddles keep growing. With heavy rain forecast Thursday, flooding is serious concern for suburban homeowners. Experts say a few preventive steps can help homeowners minimize the chance of water damage. Here's what you can do to try to prevent it.

  • Lily Cherry, 8, cleans her bathroom as her mother, Andrea, supervises at their home in Kingwood, Texas. Cherry has passed on her childhood practice of doing chores to her own children believing it gives them a sense of family responsibility.

    Should busy, stressed-out kids have to do chores?Feb 16, 2014 12:00 AM
    It’s the dirty work of home life: dusting the shelves, mopping the floors and doing the laundry, load after load. Yet asking kids to help has gotten harder for some parents, caught up in the blur of today’s competitive, time-pressed, child-focused world. “Parents feel very conflicted about getting their kids involved in housework,” says child psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, who sees a wide range of what kids are asked to do and how strongly the completion of chores is enforced.

  •  The contemporary styling, colors and patterns from Enchanted Home Pet are designed to be inviting and comfortable for pets while offering aesthetic appeal to their human owners as accent pieces that will look nice in a well-appointed home.

    Pet-owner challenge: Buying new furniture Feb 11, 2014 12:00 AM
    Sydney Masters’ dog Angus has white fur. But he loves to play and dig in the mud, so his paws are often brown. And that was a factor in Masters’ choice of sofa. “We didn’t choose the lovely white sofa that I wanted. No! We chose a rich dark brown leather couch,” said Masters, who shares a Manhattan apartment and a home in France with her husband, who is French, and with Angus, a West Highland terrier. Finding furniture that dogs and cats won’t ruin is a challenge for pet owners. Here are some things to think about when you’re buying furniture, along with some ideas for protecting it from fur, stains and scratches.

  • Associated Press/Dec. 20, 2013 Shoppers passing through the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in Atlanta. Look no further than your dinner plate to understand how the sweeping farm bill affects you.

    What’s for dinner? Farm bill has a big impact Feb 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    About 15 percent of the money in the legislation signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama will go to farmers to help them grow the food you eat. Most of the rest of the money in the almost $100 billion-a-year law will go to food stamps that help people buy groceries. Five ways the farm law affects what is on your plate:

  •  Unwilling to follow others in their move west as soil turned fallow, George Washington employed techniques at Mount Vernon that today would be called sustainable. Vegetables were of special importance to George Washington; pictured at right is the kitchen garden at his Mount Vernon estate.

    Early presidents understood benefits of sustainable gardening Feb 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    Four of this country’s early presidents would probably be members of environmental groups today. All were dedicated gardeners, committed to caring for the soil by returning nutrients to it so that it would continue to bear fruit and by rotating crops to prevent depletion of the earth.

  •  Roy Diblik, who has been growing native grasses and flowers from seed since the late 1970s, will be one of the speakers at Garfield Farm Museum’s Prairie, Woodlands and Wetlands Managmenet Seminar, set for Saturday, Feb. 22.

    Learn how to use native plants on your own propertyFeb 3, 2014 12:00 AM
    Reservations for Garfield Farm Museum’s 29th annual Prairie, Woodlands, and Wetlands Management Seminar to be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, are now being taken.

  •  Twilight Turtle pillow lights up a bedroom’s ceiling with a starry pattern. Parents can download lullabies and stream them through the turtle via Bluetooth technology.

    Right at home: Products aim to help kids sleep Jan 31, 2014 12:00 AM
    Do your young ones balk at bedtime? Get gnarly at naptime? There are plenty of products aimed at parents looking to create the right mood in the nursery to send little ones off to sleep.

  • Arbor Day tree offer: Jan 29, 2014 12:00 AM
    Anyone from Illinois who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in February will receive 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees to plant when the weather turns warm, the organization said in a news release.

  • Rosario Telatorre, from right, Berta Telatorre and Veronica Gonzalez work on the mums at Leider Greenhouses and Garden Center in Buffalo Grove on Tuesday.

    Buffalo Grove's Leider greenhouse operation fends off subzero weatherJan 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    It was a delightful, sunny Tuesday at Aptakisic Road and Leider Lane in northern Buffalo Grove, where the temperature hit 75 degrees. At least that was the case in part of a mammoth indoor flower growing operation at Leider Greenhouses and Garden Center, where sweet aromas on a frigid winter's day seemed more like the Deep South when azaleas are blooming in the spring.

  •  Pope Francis presides over a Vespers ceremony Saturday at Rome’s St. Paul Basilica, at the Vatican.

    Pope: Women should play expanded role in Church Jan 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Keeping with the Vatican’s stress on so-called traditional families, Francis said families benefit from women’s “gifts of delicateness, special sensitivity and tenderness.”As the Vatican toils to shore up sometimes flagging faith among Catholics, Francis laid out how the church sees women as crucial for that.

  •  Dormant canola plants in a field near El Reno, Okla. U.S. farmers say the federal governmentís recent announcement that it wants to ban unhealthy trans fats could mean big things for the nation’s canola industry.

    Ban on trans fats would be boon for canola growers Jan 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Canola seeds produce oil with less saturated fat than many cooking oils and got a boost last fall when the Food and Drug Administration announced it was changing its view on trans fats. The FDA issued a preliminary decision that trans fat, also called partially hydrogenated oils, would no longer be listed as “generally recognized as safe” and began taking comment from the food industry on a timeline for eliminating their use.

  •  A pencil cactus, the common name for Euphorbia tirucalli, is an easy-to-care-for houseplant. A single plant looks like many slender, green pencils, each one or more stuck on the end, or growing off the side, of the one before it. A couple of small, elongated leaves perch inconspicuously and briefly at the end of the “pencils,” relegating photosynthesis to the succulent, green stems.

    Sap aside, pencil cactus is nice indoors and out Jan 25, 2014 12:00 AM
    Pencil cactus is a fitting common name for Euphorbia tirucalli, even though the plant would be useless for writing and is not really a cactus. A single plant looks like many slender, green pencils, each stuck on the end or growing off the side of the one before it. A couple of small, elongated leaves perch inconspicuously and briefly at the end of the “pencils,” relegating photosynthesis to the succulent, green stems.

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