Season of Change

Three red apples

Indiana orchards are still harvesting fun

Monday, October 5th, 2020

Leaves are changing, the air is cooler and Hoosiers are still looking for fun and safe things to do while we follow pandemic health and safety standards. From picking apples and pumpkins to firing apple cannons and getting lost in a corn maze, Indiana’s orchards provide fun activities for all ages to enjoy, even if they do look slightly different than past years.

In addition to changes due to COVID-19 precautions, farm visitors will notice that there are fewer apples to pick this year. A late frost blanketed the state this past April and had a devastating effect on the apple crop.

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“Peter Hirst, Purdue Extension fruit specialist, speaks with Calvin Beasley, owner of Beasley’s Orchard, during filming of the virtual fruit and vegetable field day.”

Purdue Extension steps in to help Hoosier fruit growers

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

From juicy red strawberries to sweet apples and melons, Indiana is home to many fruit growers. While each year presents its challenges in the field, this year Indiana faced an unfortunate late frost event, causing crop damage during a crucial point in the growing period. Outside of the fields, growers faced another challenge, creating a safe and healthy environment for employees and customers.

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4H student with sheep

Indiana 4-H’ers demonstrate resilience

Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Each year, youth from Indiana’s 92 counties learn and fulfill the 4-H pledge, vowing their hands to larger service and their health to better living from their club to their community. They participate in club meetings, community service activities, leadership events and more while completing a project of their choice. Each project is a collection of hard work and hands-on learning experiences, resulting in new skills that prepare youth to be leaders in their communities.

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Virtual field days present challenges and benefits

Friday, August 21st, 2020

Hundreds of green industry professionals gather every summer for Purdue’s Turf and Landscape Field Day. As COVID-19 spread, so did the realization that 2020’s event would look different.

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Family chatting via computer

Managing Mental Health in a Summer of Change

Tuesday, July 7th, 2020

Angie Frost had been hearing from youth and adults that they needed more mental health resources. So the Healthy Living Extension Specialist for Indiana 4-H Youth Development trained a group of Teens as Teachers early this year to lead other youth in practicing social and emotional wellness. “We focused on that in February, without at all knowing what we’d be going through a month later.”

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Agritourism offers safe summer fun during COVID-19

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

By day, Marshall Martin is a professor of agricultural economics, the senior associate director of agricultural research and graduate education and assistant dean in the College of Agriculture. In the evenings, he’s known to many customers as just the “blueberry man.”

While much at Martin Acres LLC, the West Lafayette farm he manages with his wife, Berdine, remains the same this year, they are taking precautions due to COVID-19. Martin is basing these necessary safety adjustments on guidelines for U-pick operations published by Purdue Extension.

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How Hoosier farmers markets are coping with COVID-19

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Farmers markets in Indiana are organized at the local level, subject to county health authorities and regulations. Under normal circumstances, these rules don’t differ much from town to town, Tamara Benjamin, assistant program leader for diversified farming and food systems for Purdue Extension, said.

In the era of COVID-19, however, the regulations dictating safety standards to vendors and visitors can vary drastically.

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