Lake County Extension Hosts Programs About Backyard Chickens, fall Vegetables and Microplastics


TAVARES — The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension in Lake County is offering an array of educational and entertaining programs in September that will appeal to everyone including outdoor enthusiasts, backyard farmers, and savvy environmentalists.

  • Fall Into Veggies at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares. Extension agents Brooke Moffis and Mia Wilchcombe will present on fall vegetable gardening, growing techniques, harvesting and healthy nutritional practices. The program is part of the “Roots Up” series which explores the journey that food takes on its way from the farm to the fork. Each session will provide an overview of agricultural production, selection tips, and cooking techniques and will conclude with an opportunity to sample tasty recipes. The class costs $10 to attend. Register online at or by calling 352-343-4101 ext. 2719.
  • Florida Fall Flavors at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Cooper Memorial Library, 2525 Oakley Seaver Drive, Clermont.  Learn ways to incorporate Florida fall flavors at meal time directly with foods from the home garden or local farms. This class will discuss nutritional content, where to purchase locally, and how to make fall produce part of a healthful diet. Register online at or by calling 352-343-4101 ext. 2719.
  • Saturday in the Gardens from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares. The Discovery Gardens is a four-acre, themed demonstration garden. In addition to its regular business hours, it is open one Saturday a month for self-guided tours and family picnics.
  • Chicken University at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares. This seminar introduces the aspiring backyard chicken farmer to the basics of poultry husbandry. Topics covered will include basic poultry biology, feeding the home flock, breed selection, predator protection, egg laying and safe egg handling. The class costs $10 to attend and includes a booklet of printed material. Space is limited. Register online at or by calling 352-343-4101 ext. 2728.
  • Science Café – Microplastics from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Lake County Extension Center, 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares. Plastic pollution in the oceans is an increasing environmental problem. These pieces, which are smaller than 5 mm in size, are being found in fish and invertebrates. Where do they come from, why should we care and what can we do about it? Participants will have the opportunity to see micro plastics using microscopes. The class costs $5 to attend and includes lunch sponsored by the Lake Soil and Water Conservation District. Register online at or by calling 352-343-4101 ext. 2729.

Those with food allergies should be aware that food items prepared or distributed as part of UF/IFAS Extension events may contain milk, egg, gluten, wheat, soybean, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish; and could be prepared in a facility that may be exposed to any of these ingredients.

For additional details about any of these events, contact the UF/IFAS Extension in Lake County at 352-343-4101 or visit The mission of the UF/IFAS Extension in Lake County is to develop knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge accessible to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. The Extension service provides free consultations, as well as educational programs on a variety of subjects.