What’s New

the hands of an aging individual use a paring knife to peel the skin from an orange. [credit: pixabay.com, conger design] Aging Healthy: Making Smart Food Choices (4/23/2024) by Maria Portelos-Rometo - In our last Aging Healthy post, we talked about physical activity, its benefits and how to be successful in your activity routine. In this post we will take a look at making smart food choices. Do you ever get overwhelmed with all the different diets? Choosing what to eat for our health can be confusing.… more
Spice Up Your Life: A Beginners Guide to Growing Thyme (4/23/2024) by Julia Sirchia - Are you a fan of fresh aromatic herbs in your dishes? If so, growing herbs right at home may become your new favorite hobby. In this guide, we'll delve into how to grow thyme right at home.  Commonly Grown Varieties Thyme is a versatile herb known for its earthy flavor and aromatic qualities. It's a… more
Dog kiss Gator alumni-led company recognized for decade of compassionate growth (4/22/2024) by Megan Winslow - Every year for the past 10 years, the University of Florida’s Gator100 program has honored the fastest-growing businesses in the world owned or led by UF alumni. In the decade since the program’s inception, only one business has managed to appear on the list every year: Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice. UF College of Veterinary… more
Combatting Food Waste: Practical Tips for Every Home (4/22/2024) by KGriffin - During the month of April, we are shining a spotlight on food waste. Did you know that in the United States alone, 30-40% of all food produced goes to waste? This is a surprising statistic when you consider the impact that food waste has on both the environment and our communities. Food waste is about… more
Reporting Sightings of Tagged Horseshoe Crabs in Hernando: A Citizen Science Opportunity (4/18/2024) by Brittany Hall-Scharf - Since 2018, volunteers in Hernando have been diligently tagging horseshoe crabs as part of an ongoing statewide effort to study and conserve these fascinating creatures. Horseshoe crabs are known to come ashore during the new and full moons at high tide during the spring and fall months, and sightings of tagged individuals provide valuable data… more
a woman wearing a red jacket rides a bike briskly past parked cars in an urban setting. [credit: unsplash.com, kieran sheehan] Aging Healthy: Checking Our Physical Health and Activity (4/18/2024) by Maria Portelos-Rometo - In our last Aging Healthy post, we introduced the behaviors that are part of healthy aging: being physically active, food choices, sleep, quitting unhealthy habits, and visiting your healthcare provider. There is a lot of information to cover with physical health, so we’ll break it down into smaller sections. Let’s begin by talking about our… more
Go Bananas on National Banana Day! (4/17/2024) by Brenda Marty-Jimenez - Bananas are a popular food item and a favorite of many people. Many write the word – “bananas” on their grocery list week after week. Bananas are a long-standing fruit staple item in many households and are affordable.  I remember my grandparents eating them, declaring they were getting a source of potassium for the day,… more
Científicos de UF/IFAS lanzan una encuesta sobre el uso del agua para mejorar la conservación de este recurso en todo el estado (4/16/2024) by Luz Bahder - Creado por Lourdes Mederos, gerente de relaciones públicas en español para el Departamento de Comunicaciones de UF/IFAS. ¿Busca alternativas que le puedan ayudar a ahorrar dinero en la factura del agua de su hogar? ¿Se pregunta con qué frecuencia debe regar sus áreas verdes? Quizás usted esté considerando el uso de tecnologías que le ayudarán… more
Pink background with a person wearing a pink and white checked blouse. This person is holding a grean bucket with cleaning supplies and fruits and vegetables in it. Spring Clean Your Diet: Tips to Declutter Unhealthy Eating Habits and Introduce Fresh, Nutritious Springtime Foods (4/16/2024) by Elizabeth Shephard - The glow of the sun, longer days, and flowers in full bloom announce that spring has arrived. One of our favorite seasons is here, and for many, it's a time for thorough cleaning of our homes. But why not "clean" our diet as well? Here are some tips to leave behind those not-so-healthy eating habits… more
closeup of an older woman's eyes, with a puzzle overlay and missing puzzle pieces. [credit: pixabay.com, gerd altmann] Aging Healthy: What Can We Control? (4/16/2024) by Maria Portelos-Rometo - Have you ever opened a magazine or turned on the television only to be bombarded by advertisements promoting a youthful appearance and promising an active lifestyle with a pill? Do those lotions, creams, and pills create the fountain of youth? Many factors influence healthy aging. Some, such as genetics, are out of our control. Fortunately,… more
Making Choices Count: Achieving a Healthy Weight (4/15/2024) by Lori Johnson - You will find many suggestions when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, but which is the best for you? Losing the term “diet” and focusing on a “healthy lifestyle” is key. If it's not something you can do for the rest of your life to maintain health, it won’t help you achieve your health… more
New Episode from Naturally Florida Podcast: “Mosquito Season is Coming!” (4/15/2024) by Lara Milligan - Are you itching for answers to the pesky mosquitoes starting to make their presence known? In this two-part episode, we explore the mosquitoes of Florida, covering everything from mosquito biology, types of mosquitoes, mosquito surveillance and control, and ways you can yourself from these important, but sometimes pesky insects. Mosquito season in Florida coincides with… more
Claudia and her mother outdoors in front of a large black UF sign. A Regulation Intrigue: Investigating E. coli’s Path onto Dropped and Drooped Strawberries and Grapefruit (4/15/2024) by Jessie Erwin - We are pleased to welcome Claudia Pegueros to our FSHN Research Journeys series, which follows graduate students' research in the Food Science and Human Nutrition program at The University of Florida. Claudia is a food science master's degree student committed to researching how to make our produce safer. In her research project, she studies E. coli contamination… more
St Lucie County 4-H 4-H Community Service-Learning Project (4/14/2024) by johnferguso - A worthy volunteer month highlight! William Kicklighter's Community Service-learning Project. William is a Beef Builders 4-H Club member, a prospective Eagle Scout recipient, and an aspirant to the University of Florida College of Engineering. As a member of the UF/IFAS Extension 4-H Youth Development team, we all love to see when 4-Her’s “Interest or Spark.”… more
Florida Land Steward Update, April 12, 2024 (4/12/2024) by Chris Demers - PUTNAL TREE FARM TOUR APRIL 5: THANKS FOR JOINING US! Our tour last week at the Putnal family’s Tree Farm was a success. Thanks everyone who joined us and made the event possible. Congratulations once again to Terry Putnal, his father Howard in memoriam, and the whole family for their recognition as the 2023 Jon… more
Tax Prep April 15 Tax Deadline: Penalties Depend on Whether You Owe (4/11/2024) by Lisa Leslie - The April 15, 2024, tax filing deadline  comes with the potential of two types of penalties for people who owe money. (For residents of Maine or Massachusetts, the tax deadline is Wednesday, April 17, due to Patriot’s Day and Emancipation Day holidays.) The two penalties are a failure-to-file penalty and a failure-to-pay penalty. If you… more
Gardening Successfully in Florida’s Summer Heat (4/11/2024) by Julia Sirchia - Welcome to the Sunshine State! If you've recently made Florida your home or if you're diving into gardening in this unique climate for the first time, you're in for an adventure. Florida's summers are famous for their intense heat, humidity, and frequent rainfall, making it a challenging season for traditional vegetable gardens. But fear not!… more
therapeutic horticulture UF therapeutic horticulture program generates zen for students (4/10/2024) by Megan Winslow - Every spring, vehicles converge at the intersection of Mowry Road and Gale Lemerand Drive as green thumbs arrive for the annual Wilmot Botanical Gardens plant sale. Although they may not know it, much of the greenery they load into their vehicles is propagated by a select group of students for whom horticulture has become therapy.… more
UF/IFAS scientists launch landscape water use survey to enhance water conservation efforts, programs statewide (4/10/2024) by Lourdes Mederos - Looking for ways to help save on your household water bill? Wondering how often to irrigate the lawn? Perhaps you are looking at the use of technologies that will help you gauge when and how often to irrigate. A team of University of Florida researchers at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has… more
Volunteers are the Heart of Extension (4/9/2024) by Andra Johnson - April 21-27 is National Volunteer Week. It's a great opportunity to celebrate the people who lend their time, effort and talents to make a difference in their community! In UF/IFAS Extension, we would be lost without our volunteers. They act as the facilitators and ambassadors of our mission to bring science-based education to the people… more
New study shows seafood waste less profound than previously thought (4/9/2024) by Megan Winslow - A new study shows seafood food loss and waste in the United States is approximately 22.7%, a drastic decrease from previous estimates of between 43% and 47%. The study, conducted in part by researchers from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS,) provides an in-depth estimate of food loss and food… more
A tabby cat hides in the leaves from a house plant Celebrate National Pet Day Safely: A Guide to Pet-Friendly Plants and Avoiding Toxicity Risks (4/8/2024) by Olivia Zugay - Written by Samantha Walter-Cano, Edited by Olivia Zugay April 11th marks National Pet Day, a wonderful occasion to celebrate our furry companions and raise awareness about their well-being. As we cherish our pets, it's crucial to be mindful of common household plants and ornamentals that can pose risks to their health. Holiday Plants and Their… more
St Lucie County 4-H Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week – the Heartbeat of Extension. (4/7/2024) by johnferguso - St. Lucie County 4-H association celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week from April 21 - 27. This week is dedicated to honoring the invaluable contributions of our dedicated 4-H volunteers. They tirelessly donated their time, skills, and passion to positively impact our community. We recognize and celebrate the following individuals. Direct volunteers (trained, certified, screened, and working… more
Planning for the 2024 Eclipse (4/7/2024) by Brenda Marty-Jimenez - I’ve been pondering something recently. What will I be doing and thinking about during my 2024 Eclipse experience on April 8, 2024? Those of you that know me, know that I’m a thinker and a planner.  I was fearful of the 1979 eclipse. All I could think of was staying inside to protect my eyes… more
4-h youth and mentors laugh around a campfire 4-H youth grow radishes and create compost (4/5/2024) by Randy Penn - From seed to salad and beyond, radishes have been big this year at UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County. It started with our 4-H youth development program. Each year, our 4-H program partners with the school gardens program, the Sarasota County 4-H Foundation, and Master Gardener volunteers on a radish growing project aimed at teaching third-grade students… more
customers walk past downtown storefronts, in this photo-illustration for the sarasota county green business partnership. [credit: uf/ifas extension sarasota county] Please welcome our newest green business partner, Sarasota Green Group (4/5/2024) by Randy Penn - Sarasota Green Group is a company that believes you shouldn’t have to choose between products that work and products that are safe for people, pets and the planet. Our team proudly manufactures pesticides using only safe ingredients like sea salt, rosemary oil, thyme oil and citric acid. Our products are highly effective and always free… more
sarasota county extension volunteers and staff pose for a group photo at after a county commission recognition ceremony. [credit: sarasota county, steve dawson] Extension, County Volunteers Honored at Ceremony (4/5/2024) by kgeis - UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County honored a suite of high-performing volunteers at a March 19 ceremony, ahead of global volunteer month in April. At the event, held in the Sarasota County Commission chambers and including volunteers with other county departments, Extension staff highlighted five of its volunteers for outstanding achievement in 2023: Linda Collins June Haley… more
Miami-Dade County 4-H Teen Ambassadors Present at National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C. (4/4/2024) by Kenan Bridges - Washington D.C. – Three exceptional Teen Ambassadors from Miami-Dade County 4-H made their mark at the 2024 Ignite by 4-H conference, an annual gathering that drew over 1,200 teen delegates from across the United States. Supported by a generous scholarship from the Walmart Foundation, these young leaders were selected to present their innovative workshop, "Igniting Sparks… more
puzzle pieces Investigadores de Suecia y de University of Florida conectan al microbioma infantil con el desarrollo de autismo y TDAH (4/4/2024) by Luz Bahder - Creado por Megan Winslow, especialista en relaciones públicas de UF/IFAS.  Un estudio, el primero de su tipo, ha identificado bacterias en el contenido de los microbiomas de los niños que se considera podría contribuir al desarrollo de trastornos del neurodesarrollo, años antes de que a los niños se les diagnostiquen con estos trastornos. Los cambios… more
A Career for Impact: Microbiology and Cell Science (4/3/2024) by Elizabeth Gadsby, Ph.D. - An education in Microbiology and Cell Science opens many opportunities to make a difference for human and animal health, the environment, and the future! A master’s degree in the field not only bolsters pre-health and Ph.D. applications, but propels career trajectories for advancement to more influential and senior levels. Recent global events, notably the pandemic,… more
Webinar: Federal Income Taxes and Your Paycheck (4/3/2024) by Lisa Leslie - Join us for this upcoming webinar! Federal Income Taxes & Your Paycheck: An IRS representative will demonstrate the Tax Withholding Estimator. This online Estimator is a free tool that can help you make sure the right amount of money is taken from your paycheck. This webinar is approved by Association of Financial Counseling & Planning… more
puzzle pieces UF and Swedish researchers connect childhood microbiome with development of autism, ADHD (4/3/2024) by Megan Winslow - A first-of-its-kind study has identified bacteria in the contents of children’s microbiomes that are believed to contribute to the development of neurodevelopmental disorders – years before the children are diagnosed with the disorders. Changes to the microbiome, the community of microorganisms inside the body, were correlated with future neurodevelopmental disorder diagnoses, as well as environmental… more
Minimizing Food Waste in Urban Landfills (4/2/2024) by Lorna Bravo - Article by UF/IFAS Extension Broward County Urban Horticulture Agent  Lorna Bravo   Did you know that Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic estimates that approximately 40% of food produced annually is never consumed in the United States, resulting in 62.5 million tons of food going to landfills?     Did you know that… more
2024 Master Gardener Volunteer Recruitment & FAQs (4/2/2024) by Clarissa Chairez - Do you love gardening? Or maybe you just want to learn more? Are you interested in being a part of a community of volunteers and sharing your gardening training with the residents in our county? If so, you’ve come to the right place! Find out what is involved in becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV)… more
sunflowers against a blue sky background Growing Gardeners, A Starter Kit (4/2/2024) by Mindy Hanak - Looking to garden in Sarasota, FL but unsure where to start? Worry not, because UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension has resources you can put in your toolkit that can get you started AND keep you growing for years to come. These resources belong in your toolkit because you can return to them again and again as… more
Spice Up Your Life: A Beginners Guide to Growing Oregano (4/2/2024) by Julia Sirchia - Are you a fan of fresh aromatic herbs in your dishes? If so, growing herbs right at home might just become your new favorite hobby. In this blog we break down how to cultivate Oregano, which is native to the Mediterranean. In this guide we explore how to grow oregano varieties that do well in… more
Food Delivery Safety (4/1/2024) by Nelly Nelson - With many Americans working longer hours, working side jobs, commuting back to the office, and getting busier in general, people are looking for ways to make their lives easier. This need for convenience has led to a significant increase in subscription meal kits, grocery deliveries, and restaurant food deliveries, but how do you know if… more
free tax prep image Home Sale: Will You Pay a Capital Gains Tax? (4/1/2024) by Lisa Leslie - If you sell an asset such as a stock or a property and make a profit (AKA a capital gain) you are subject to a capital gains tax on the net profit. Luckily, in the case of the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude a relatively large capital gain. The exclusion… more
Picture of Florida-Friendly yard. Can I Plant This? A Guide for Newcomers to Southwest Florida (4/1/2024) by Ashley Ellis - Welcome to the lush landscapes of Southwest Florida! As you settle into your new home, you might find yourself drawn to the idea of adding some greenery to your surroundings. But before you start digging, it's essential to understand the unique environment of this region and embrace sustainable landscaping practices. Let's dive into what you… more
13 QUICK TIPS TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE: Just do it! (4/1/2024) by Brenda Marty-Jimenez - Food waste prevention is a big deal. A lot of money is lost each year linked to food waste. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723314/  Food waste prevention steps can save money, reduce hunger in our communities, help you get your food supplies better organized and nutritionally healthy, protect the environment, and engage the family in group food waste prevention… more
Dr. Joeva Barrow in a white lab coat, laughing in a laboratory, molecular nutrition | Food Science and Human Nutrition UF/IFAS Alumni Feature: Joeva Barrow, Ph.D., R.D. (4/1/2024) by Jessie Erwin - We welcome Dr. Joeva Barrow to our Discover FSHN Series! Dr. Barrow is an alumna of the Master of Science-Dietetics Internship program in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida. An Assistant Professor of Molecular Nutrition and Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, Dr. Barrow studies… more
Egg-cellent Celebrations: Safeguarding Springtime Traditions with Egg Safety Tips (3/28/2024) by Melanie Thomas - Springtime brings warmer weather and festive occasions like Easter, Passover, and graduations. And what's a spring celebration without eggs? From cooking all the traditional recipes to preparing for the annual egg hunt, it's important to handle eggs with care to prevent foodborne illnesses, such as Salmonella Enteritidis. Here are some essential guidelines to ensure that… more
Fertilizer Fundamentals: The Best Time to Fertilize (3/28/2024) by Julia Sirchia - When to Fertilize So, you’ve read How to Choose a Fertilizer, and How to Apply Fertilizer, but what about when to apply fertilizer? Depending on what you plan to fertilize, the timing application may differ. For example, it is best practice to apply fertilizer to turfgrass only when it is actively growing. Turf will not… more
Half sunken boat abandoned at the dock STEM TO STERN (3/27/2024) by cgooding - Organized and sponsored by Florida Sea Grant, the "Stem to Stern" workshop in November 2023 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center marked a significant gathering in marine conservation and management. This event drew together legal experts, representatives from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), local marine resource coordinators, law enforcement, and industry stakeholders… more
Johnson Beach at the Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola, Florida, photographed for the Naturally Escarosa phone application. UF/IFAS Photo by Tyler Jones. Withstanding the Heat (3/27/2024) by Amanda Quintos - Heat and humidity are such iconic aspects of Florida weather that they are sometimes easy to take for granted. They may become topics of conversation with friends and family if temperatures become unseasonably high, or if humidity makes a walk around the block feel more like an unwelcome swim. Importantly, heat and humidity can sneak… more
Trees, Streets, and Sidewalks (3/26/2024) by Hannah Wooten - From a society standpoint, we are encouraged to think about the greenhouse gas removing qualities of trees, specifically, their ability to take up a lot of carbon dioxide. Running quick numbers, 1 cubic foot of concrete results in about 150 pounds of CO2 emissions, while one mature tree can sequester up to ~50 pounds of… more
Bone Health for Seniors (3/26/2024) by joshuapayne - Ever wonder what foods to eat to promote bone health? As we age, we are at risk of losing bone and muscle mass. Luckily, the food we eat and being active can help slow down this process! Come learn more at the Bone Health BINGO class held at the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County Office. A… more
Learn to grow sustainable food gardens anywhere South Florida at the free South Florida Community Garden Hub on April 13 (3/26/2024) by Lourdes Mederos - Community gardens come in all shapes and sizes. They offer a bounty of benefits that bring the farm-to-table concept to life when established effectively to meet sustainable food demands. By growing food on a small scale, using venues such as small rooftops, balconies, community grounds, small urban farms, and even a small parcel of land,… more
Spice Up Your Life: A Beginners Guide to Growing Parsley (3/26/2024) by Julia Sirchia - Are you a fan of fresh aromatic herbs in your dishes? If so, growing herbs right at home might just become your new favorite hobby. In this guide, we'll explore how to grow parsley from the comfort of your own home, including some commonly grown varieties that do well in Central Florida. We’ll also highlight… more
Keep It Fresh (3/25/2024) by Hillary Ayers - Welcome to our guide on preserving the freshness of your fruits and vegetables! Whether you're a seasoned chef or a newbie in the kitchen, keeping your produce fresh and vibrant can sometimes be a challenge. However, with a few simple tips and tricks, you can extend the life of your fruits and veggies, reduce waste,… more

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