SARASOTA –– With many people feeling cabin fever as they remain at home due to COVID-19, the Sarasota County Extension office continues to develop online learning opportunities to help you break out, virtually.
The Extension office is offering several free or low-cost webinars on topics from cooking collards to conserving water, blog posts focused on current developments, and a range of instructional and informational videos, in addition to frequent social media posts and a range of web-based content.
“Our team is dedicated to educating and supporting our residents and businesses, and physical distance doesn’t change that,” Lee Hayes Byron, director of the UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County office, said through a press release.
“From pandemic-related safety and economic recovery issues to stress-relieving options, like gardening and wildlife viewing, our programs continue, and we remain available to serve our community, virtually,” she added.
To support that goal in this time of social distancing, Extension is offering more than 20 webinars in the next four weeks, with more in development every day. Some highlights are listed below, but you can find all the topics and register for any at ufsarasotaext.eventbrite.com.
- “Ask an Agent Anything” series: local food access(April 22), home and landscape pests(May 6), and lawn/landscape care (May 20).
- “Earth Day 50” series: microplastic pollution(April 23) and 4-H youth activities(April 30).
- “One Seed: Creative Collards“: tips on growing and cooking collards, plus a general gardening Q&A (April 29).
- Landscaping classes: trees(April 24), lawn care(April 27), pruning (May 4), palm care (May 5), HOA landscapes (May 7), and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ (May 18).
- “The Basics of Solar Energy for Florida Homeowners“: technology, policies and funding options (April 29).
- “Green Cleaning Your Home“: inexpensive, effective options for home cleaning (April 30).
- “Preparing for Wildfires with Firescaping“: five-event series, held Thursdays (starts April 30).
If your schedule limits your options, you might find the Sarasota County Extension blog at blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasotaco helpful. Recent posts include a look at the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, how Florida rule changes relating to COVID-19 might affect the eggs you buy, advice for safely washing fresh produce, and aid options for coastal businesses.
For visual learners, Extension’s Youtube channel (http://tiny.cc/ufsaraext_youtube) has video segments on backyard composting, weeding your (carrot) garden, 4-H life, and in-depth segments from recent Sustainable Communities Workshop topics and speakers.
The office maintains a trove of information at sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota and scgov.net/extension. And, you can find (and reach) Extension programs and staff at sarasota.ifas.ufl.edu/staff or 941-861-5000.