By Susan Howe
Radon is a radioactive, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the decay of uranium. It can accumulate in homes and where it can cause lung cancer. This type of lung cancer risk is preventable, and the only way to know if a home has elevated concentrations is to test for it.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has an action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/l) of air. If a home is found to have radon concentrations at or above 4 pCi/l, action should be taken to reduce radon levels, reducing the risk of lung cancer. Living in a home with a yearly average of 4 pCi/l poses a similar risk of developing lung cancer as smoking about half a pack of cigarettes a day. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates radon causes 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, killing more people than second-hand smoke, drunken driving, drowning or home fires.
In Lyon County, 29% of homes tested have elevated radon concentrations. The highest concentration found in Lyon County is 135 pCi/l (in Yerington), which is second to the highest in the state, 195 pCi/l (found in Washoe County).
From Dec. 1 to Feb. 29, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free radon test kits (normally $7 each) at the Lyon County Cooperative Extension office, 504 S. Main Street and at other locations throughout the state. Educational presentation(s) will be be held. If your community group is interested in hosting a presentation or if your group is having a function where we could distribute free test kits, email Joy Paterson.
This week’s vegetables are blueberries and zucchini.
Neither of these are exotic, but they are foods that a lot of people have never tried fresh. Blueberries are great by themselves, added to a salad, or using them in baked goods is always popular. The blueberry council has great information, recipes and activities for kids and adults that relates to blueberries. Zucchini is often baked, fried or shredded for use in baking, but it is also great sliced thin into a salad or with a dip instead of chips. Vegetable gardens often have an abundance of zucchini. It can be preserved by dicing or shredding it into cubes and freezing to last into the winter months. Dehydrated slices can be used in soups or stews to add some fiber and sweetness.
by Kate Schnoor
Lyon County 4H is proud to announce our Leader of the Month for October is Linda VanPelt. Linda has been volunteering with 4H for 18 years and has played a crucial role in the Lyon County 4H Program. “I was not a 4-H’er as a youth but when my daughter wanted a guinea pig I suggested she join 4-H to learn how to take care of it and that was the beginning of my family’s 4-H career.”
Linda has been involved with numerous 4H clubs throughout her years as a volunteer; including, Clover buds, Community Club, Toe Painting, Cake Decorating, Dog Club, WHEP and Leaders Council. “I started as a 4-H leader when my little girl was 6 years old. Her Clover Bud Leader moved away and there wasn’t anyone to take her place. That was in 1997, and so it started.”
As leaders left, Linda stepped in so the 4H clubs wouldn’t close. “When the Toe Painting leader quit I became that leader, and when the Community club leaders left I once again stepped in with Windi Goodman. We are the” FCC” duo or “Laurel and Hardie” as we like to refer to ourselves.” If you have met Linda and Windi, you instantly see their friendship and love for working with youth.
Lyon County 4H has a program referred to as Leaders Council; this is a group of 4H Leaders who help with fundraisers, 4H events, fairs, awards and contests. Linda has been involved with this group for the past 6 years as the Treasure and secretary.
“I was awarded into the Lyon County Hall of Fame in 2010 and also at the state level in 2009. I have had a great experience with all the kids, they make me smile and make it worth all time and effort. I have met many wonderful parents and leaders all over the state. I liked being involved at the state level very much and hope those opportunities are available again to all the amazing, involved and caring leaders that are stepping up and moving our kids forward into new adventures. The University leaders were exceptionally knowledgeable, fun and helpful.”
“I am always amazed at how the kids and parents are kind and generous with their time and talents. Anytime I needed help I could count on anyone I asked to step in and help. I have loved being a part of 4-H. I will always bleed green and support 4-H.”
This week, the kids will be trying grapes and Chioggia Beet cubes.
I am sure that most of us have had grapes, but did you know that most wine and seedless grapes, Vitis vinifera, are not originally from North America, but were brought over by Europeans. Concord grapes, Vitis labrusca, are native to North America, and have been crossed with Old World grape varieties to produce many of the disease resistant grapes that are grown around the world today. California has some of the best conditions for growing grapes and wines, table grapes and raisins are shipped worldwide. Nevada is growing more grapes than ever and some varieties do well in our Northern Nevada climate. If you are interested in adding grapes to your gardens or landscape, contact us and we can assist you in selecting plants that will do well here.
I love vegetables, but I used to despise beets. Then, an office mate in graduate school introduced me to the roasted beet. I love them! Just like carrots caramelize and become sweet and savory when roasted, so will beets. Chioggia or Candy Cane beet varieties were developed in Italy and are a beautiful vegetable. This is a photo from my kitchen with 4 varieties of beets prepared to be roasted. Just peel the root, slice or cube, add a small amount of oil and salt and roast in a hot oven for 25-30 minutes until tender with brown crispy edges. I also have a great pickled beet recipe from an old cook book that is great. Email me and I will send you the recipe. Chard and beets are the same species of plant, just different varieties. You can eat beet greens just like you would chard. They can also be juiced or chopped into salads. Give beets a chance and you just might find a way that you like them.
By Kate Schnoor
Kate Showing Her Pig
The smell of fresh shavings, the sounds of carnival rides and clippers as sheep belt out and pigs grunt happily, it instantly takes me back to my years in showing pigs in FFA. It’s only been about 6 years sense I last showed my last market pig at NJLS; therefore, it’s still fresh in my mind what it’s like to be a youth livestock exhibitor. The days are long with early mornings and late nights, but you can’t sleep anyways because of all the excitement. None of this matters, because it is the most fun you can have with a creature that has four legs and is persistently dirty no matter how many baths you give it.
The 2015 Lyon County Fair & Rodeo in conjunction with the Silver State Youth Livestock Show (SSYLS) came to a conclusion after a successful week. The Lyon County Fair is held the third weekend in August every year in Yerington, NV. I was honored to be a part of this year’s Livestock Show and Sale. It was almost surreal to be on the other side of the auction fence as I bid on animals. It filled me with pride to pass it forward as so many people had done for me and to think I was there only 6 years ago.
Showing my animals filled me with so much happiness; I learned so many valuable life lessons and made life-long friends. To watch 4-H, FFA and Grange youth from across Northern Nevada show their animals with such pride and joy gave me a whole new happiness. These youth work so hard, and spend so many hours with their animals to ensure a good show. Their parents and leaders are such a crucial component to their projects; their pride was evident as they watched their youth show.
I’d like to thank all of the youth exhibitors, leaders, advisor, parents, volunteers and fair board members for making the 2015 Silver State Youth Livestock Show such a success. I am very thankful I was able to be a member 6 years ago, and am grateful I now get to be on the other side of the auction fence.
To find out more about 4-H programs in Lyon County:
Or contact us directly at: 504 South Main St. Yerington, NV 89447, 775-463-6541