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REND LAKE COLLEGE OFFERS COURSES CELEBRATING EARTH WEEK
INA, Ill. - Rend Lake College will be holding Community Education courses themed around Earth Week as well as Local Foods. Earth Week is April 16-22 and is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Local Foods is a collaborative effort to build on the local food economy to enhance a community's economic, environmental, and social health. The goal of Community Education is to provide lifelong learning opportunities for professional development, personal challenge and leisure enjoyment for students of all ages.
Rend Lake College will begin Earth Week classes with a gardening class. Gardening Basics will be held 6-8 p.m. Monday, April 16 at the Historic Schoolhouse on the RLC main campus. Master Gardener instructors will explain the basics of the "Square Foot Gardening" method. This organic method produces a productive, attractive garden in any amount of space and makes the most of garden space to conserve the amount of water, soil conditioners and labor needed to produce the maximum amount of food in that space. Beginning and seasoned gardeners are welcome to attend. The registration fee is $5.
Composting will be held 6-8 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Historic Schoolhouse on the RLC main campus. Composting is a great way to not only reduce the amount of waste that needs to be disposed of, but it also converts waste into an organic product that is useful for gardening, landscaping, and house plants. Composting is easy, can save money on fertilizers, makes the best soil amendment, and is good for the planet. Participants will learn the basics to beginning a composting project, including what should and shouldn't be added to compost. The registration fee is $5.
The environment is increasingly being polluted and garbage is congesting our landfills. Kids can help make a difference and help protect limited resources such as water, energy and animals. Recycling for Kids will be held 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, April 21 at the Historic Schoolhouse on the RLC main campus. This fun, educational class will show kids how they can help conserve our natural resources and what they can do to help make a difference on our planet while making a "recycled" craft project. Students are asked to bring an empty, clean 2-liter soda bottle to class. The registration fee is $10.
Local Foods classes will begin with a class on learning how to can. This May class is timed perfectly for ripe, delicious berries! Preserving Strawberries From Canning to Freezing will be held 1-4 p.m. Saturday, May 19 in the Student Center Culinary Lab on the RLC main campus. For those who have never canned, this is the perfect class to learn about the fundamentals of hot water bath canning. Participants will make and take home strawberry jam. Those attending will also learn tips on the best way to freeze strawberries. The registration fee is $5. All supplies for this class are included.
Participants can learn about places to get locally grown, organic food products produced in Southern Illinois. Southern Illinois Local Foods Tour will be held from 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23. The tour will include visits to some area farms, ranches, and orchards. This tour was designed to help people learn more about sustainable and organic growing methods for vegetables, fruits, and meats. The tour will also include a stop at a local farmer's market and a specially created local foods lunch at Cristaudo's in Carbondale. The registration fee is $25 and includes lunch, transportation, tour fees and gratuity.
Salsa in one of the most popular condiments in America and it's easy to make and safely can. Viva Salsa will be held from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, July 28 in the Student Center Culinary Lab on the RLC main campus. July is the perfect time to learn how to make salsa with garden fresh tomatoes. Participants will learn how to prepare and water bath can two different types of salsa using tested recipes. Both a traditional tomato/green chile salsa and a fruit salsa will be made during class. Students will be sent home with samples. The registration fee is $15. There is an additional supply fee of $15 payable to the instructor at the beginning of class.
The above events are provided in part by grant funds from the Illinois Green Economy Network.