This week, the kids will be trying green cauliflower and  cara cara oranges.

Green cauliflower is a hybrid of broccoli and white cauliflower. Broccoli and cauliflower are the same species of plant, but due to selective breeding for agriculture and because humans like it. The various colors of cauliflower have slightly different vitamin composition, but nothing significant enough to make much nutritional difference. The colored varieties are becoming fairly common and can be most easily and are highest in quality in the spring or fall with other cabbage related crops. Cauliflower is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Steamed or roasted cauliflower can be substituted in may recipes for mashed or roasted potatoes to reduce calories. It is a very neutrally flavored vegetable and can be incorporated into sauces or soups when pureed for thickening and to add texture.

Cara cara oranges are a variety of navel orange that has red flesh that is less acidic and sweeter than the traditional cara cara oranges. Oranges are sweetest when they have a smooth, firm skin and no soft spots. In all citrus, you may notice some brown discoloration on the surface of the skin. One of the defense mechanisms of citrus plants to feeding on the fruit is to send additional sugars to the fruit. This “gums up” the mouth parts of the insects that are feeding on the fruit. If the skin discoloration is not associated softness, the fruit will be much sweeter. The fruit will dry out faster reducing the time it can sit on your table, but I have found the better flavor to be worth it.

IMG_7005 (1280x1179)We are excited to announce the November Leader of the Month is Elaine Greene. Elaine has been volunteering with 4-H for over almost 40 years! She got a start early in 4-H as a member as a youth. She has been involved in a variety of clubs over the years, but currently volunteers with clubs in Smith Valley. Volunteering for 4-H is important to her because she wants youth to be able to showcase their hard work by doing well in the show ring. Using a hands-on approach, she loves to work with the kids on improving their showmanship and animal quality. Her best day is when her kids have a big smileIMG_6823 (1280x1179) on their face when they do their best. Elaine wants to make a difference and be there to support each of her kids throughout their projects.

All the livestock programs in Lyon County benefit from her hard work. Elaine is the first one to show up for set up and one of the last ones there cleaning up the space. Her programs give back to Smith Valley community, serving at dinners and providing man-power for events. Sheep are her passion but, swine, skiing, snowmobiling, outdoors, and community clubs have benefited from her life-long involvement in 4-H.


There could be a radioactive gas in your home that causes lung cancer and you wouldn’t even know it’s there. Lung cancer kills more individuals than any other cancer and radon is estimated to cause 21,000 of those deaths each year in the U.S. Radon is a deadly, naturally occurring radioactive gas that is a health issue in Nevada, as well as worldwide. Once diagnosed with lung cancer, there is only a 15 percent five-year survival rate.

Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer for those who do not smoke. Smokers who are exposed to elevated levels of radon have an even greater chance of getting lung cancer. However, radon-caused lung cancer is preventable through testing and mitigation.
Reducing the risk of radon-caused lung cancer can only happen through education, as Nevada lacks any protective statutes or regulations specific to radon. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Radon Education Program educates Nevadans about the radon health risk, how to test for and fix radon problems, and distributes low cost test kits to residents. The simple test can determine if a home has a radon problem, a possible problem or no problem at all. If a radon problem is found, a minor home repair can reduce radon levels and lower the risk of lung cancer from radon.

Cooperative Extension also offers presentations to schools, civic and community groups, homeowner associations, realtors, builders and the general public. They also exhibit at company wellness events, health fairs and home shows. If your group is interested in a presentation, contact the Nevada Radon Education Program at 1-888-RADON10 or myself at 775-463-6541.

From Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension offers free radon test kits (normally $7 each). In Lyon County, you can get a test kit at the Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St.

To find out more about radon, call the Radon Hotline at 1-888-Radon10 or visit

Lyon County Cooperative Extension office will have free radon test kits available starting December 1st. You don’t travel to Yerington very often? Joy Paterson, Susan Howe and Jamie Roice will be distributing test kits county wide on January 14th at the following locations:


Dayton Valley Branch Library 9:00am to 10:00am

321 Old Dayton Valley Rd.

Dayton, NV   89403


Fernley Branch Library 10:45am to 11:45 am

575 Sliver Lace Blvd.

Fernley, NV   89408


Silver Springs  at the Park and Ride at the intersection of HWY50 and ALT95 12:15pm to 1:15pm


Smith Valley Library 3:00pm to 4:00pm

22 Day Lane

Smith, NV   89430


Yerington Central Branch Library 5:00pm to 6:00pm

20 Nevin Way

Yerington, NV   89447


Cannot make those times? Want us to come give away Radon test kits at your meeting or location? Email Joy Paterson to see if a kit drop off or if someone from the Radon group can come to your meeting or location.

This week’s fruit is Oro Blanco Grapefruit and Butternut Squash Cubes.

Oro Blanco Grapefruit is excellent eaten fresh, but is also a great addition to salads or a sweeter substitute for other citrus in recipes. Oro blanco is a hybrid of pumelo and grapefruit and does not produce seeds. It has a very thick, pulpy skin that can be difficult to peel, but a sharp knife can make it much easier to get to the creamy flesh.

Butternut squash is a more familiar vegetable. It is great roasted, which sweetens and condenses its flavor. It can be seasoned simply with salt, mash with cream or butter, or sprinkle with any of the seasonings you might use with pumpkin like cinnamon, clove, ginger, or nutmeg. The seeds are also edible and can be roasted like pumpkin seeds. This vegetable is seasonally available in the fall and will last throughout the spring if stored in a cool, dry and dark place. Purchase squashes that are very firm with no soft spots. Eat squashes as soon as you detect softening.