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A hands-on class in making a miniature garden to take home, a discussion of great roses and tips for photographing nature are three of the offerings you'll find at\u00a0the 20th annual \"Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening.\"

The event will be Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Gerber Center at Augustana College, Rock Island, presented by\u00a0the\u00a0University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners Unit 7.

Augustana is a new location this year; participants are asked to park in the Centennial Hall lot at\u00a03703 7th Ave. where there will be a shuttle bus to take them to the seminar location. Times of the shuttle are\u00a08-9:30 a.m. and 3-4:30 p.m.

In addition to class topics, there will be a vendor area with\u00a0items geared toward\u00a0gardeners such as\u00a0yard art, tools, books and plants.

Coffee and a breakfast snack will be provided in the morning, and lunch will be a buffet in the\u00a0Augustana dining hall.

Here are the 16 classes; participants may choose one from each of four sessions.

Session 1- 9-9:50 a.m.

\u2022 Great roses suited to the Quad-City region hardiness zone. Sue Ruxton, University of Illinois Extension Rock Island County Master Gardener, covers heirlooms, hybrid teas, \"Knockouts,\" English roses and Buck roses.

\u2022 Shade garden options beyond hostas. Martha Smith, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator.

\u2022 New breeding in the plant industry. Maria McCalley, owner of Hilltop Greenhouses, Illinois City,\u00a0talks about\u00a0what plant breeders are working on and new varieties of plants.

\u2022\u00a0Reinventing the outdoor space. Brad Snider, Evergreen Landscaping/Corn Crib Nursery, Coal Valley, discusses\u00a0plants and outdoor d\u00e9cor for outdoor rooms.

Session 2, 10-10:50 a.m.

\u2022 Advantage plants. Bud LeFevre, of Distinctive Gardens, Dixon Illinois, discusses special plants for the landscape or containers.

\u2022 Naughty, nasty and simply annoying plants,\u00a0Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, offers pointers for dealing with irritating plants, such as\u00a0poison ivy, nettles and snakeroot.

\u2022 The importance and care of urban trees. Debbie Fluegel, of Trees Forever, covers the\u00a0importance of trees and pests to be aware of.

\u2022 Making a jewelry donut pendant, a make-and-take class. Vickie Reschke, Wisconsin Master Gardener. $15 materials cost.

Lunch and keynote.

Lunch A will be\u00a011 a.m. to 12:10 p.m., and\u00a0lunch B will be\u00a012:30-1:30 p.m. Those not at lunch will attend the keynote address by\u00a0Galen Gates, talking about\u00a0year-round gardening. (See story on cover of today's section).

Session 4,\u00a01:40-2:30 p.m.

\u2022 Tea gardens. Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, discusses the tradition of\u00a0making and taking tea in the garden, covering\u00a0garden design components and plants used to make tea.

\u2022 Titanic terrariums. Jim Brown, of Woodlawn Landscapes and Design, Dixon, Illinois, covers\u00a0terrarium plants, types, unusual containers and d\u00e9cor and provides a demonstration.

\u2022 Maintenance, please! Alec Schorg, of Aunt Rhodies Landscape and Design, Davenport,\u00a0helps you create a\u00a0customized landscape\u00a0maintenance calendar using\u00a0technology and elements of climate and weather.

\u2022\u00a0Creating a miniature garden, a make-and-take class taught by\u00a0Kathryn Newman, owner of the Miniature Garden Shoppe. Please bring a container no bigger than 15 inches in any direction. A $15 materials fee includes potting soil, three plants, and two accessories. Additional plants and accessories will be available for purchase.

Session 5, 2:40-3:30 p.m.

\u2022 The art of fermentation. Kristin Bogdonas, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator, discusses this method of food preservation that includes such words as\u00a0\"probiotic properties.\" She'll discuss fermenting foods and drinks.\u00a0You'll go home with recipes, resources and the knowledge to get started.

\u2022 Capturing the beauty of your place.\u00a0Brian Tugana,\u00a0a photographer from Clinton, covers tips and techniques for photographing garden landscapes, flowers, wildlife, insects, patterns and skies.

\u2022 Heirloom plants of the 1800s. Faye Waterman, a Scott County Master Gardener, discusses the recreation of a garden on the\u00a0historic 1833 Colonel George Davenport House site on Arsenal Island.

\u2022 Making sense of landscape design. Dan Mays, Scott County Master Gardener, discusses concepts the average homeowner can understand,\u00a0blunders that can be avoided and\u00a0high-impact techniques that require minimal effort.

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He's a strong advocate for planning your space \"from December out\" because \"that's what you're going to be living with five months of the year.\" Gates resides in suburban Chicago, so he deals with\u00a0the same climate and weather conditions as we do\u00a0in the Quad-Cities.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["lip service","galen gates","nursery school","illinois extension-master gardeners unit","director of plant collections","botany","gardening","perennial","landscape","woody plant","monkshood","trees"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"c81dc0bf-c1f6-5e70-bb09-fe57c6e57cbe","description":"Galen Gates","byline":"","hireswidth":1757,"hiresheight":1179,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/81/c81dc0bf-c1f6-5e70-bb09-fe57c6e57cbe/587c5aa7da065.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1757","height":"1179","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/81/c81dc0bf-c1f6-5e70-bb09-fe57c6e57cbe/587c5aa7d9196.image.jpg?resize=1757%2C1179"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/81/c81dc0bf-c1f6-5e70-bb09-fe57c6e57cbe/587c5aa7d9196.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"201","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/81/c81dc0bf-c1f6-5e70-bb09-fe57c6e57cbe/587c5aa7d9196.image.jpg?resize=300%2C201"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"687","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/c/81/c81dc0bf-c1f6-5e70-bb09-fe57c6e57cbe/587c5aa7d9196.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C687"}}},{"id":"a6da26d6-76e6-5c84-84a9-c4974f8afc7b","description":"1. 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Winter: You'll notice different plants showing up in this photo; the kousa dogwood and ginkgo tree are still the\u00a0\"bookends,\" but the bird's-nest spruce from the middle has been removed. Yes, Gates acknowledges that the plants in the \"summer\" photo have become overgrown. He is not really trying to hide his house. So he removed the spruce and transplanted the Japanese\u00a0maple into its hole. The transplanting took well, and the maple is now the dominant plant in the middle. At left (under snow and covered with lights) is a new boxwood hedge.","byline":"","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2e/62e0865e-98b1-5b60-a71c-8c55238774d6/587c5aab7b72c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2e/62e0865e-98b1-5b60-a71c-8c55238774d6/587c5aab7a70f.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2e/62e0865e-98b1-5b60-a71c-8c55238774d6/587c5aab7a70f.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2e/62e0865e-98b1-5b60-a71c-8c55238774d6/587c5aab7a70f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/6/2e/62e0865e-98b1-5b60-a71c-8c55238774d6/587c5aab7a70f.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}},{"id":"8adc20d4-176d-5d60-9216-6321bf0f6362","description":"4. Early spring: Galen Gates removes the bird's-nest spruce to open up the house. He also limbed up the ginkgo tree. At left, daffodils are beginning to bloom with spring yellow.","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"640","height":"480","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ad/8adc20d4-176d-5d60-9216-6321bf0f6362/587c5aabd982e.image.jpg?resize=640%2C480"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ad/8adc20d4-176d-5d60-9216-6321bf0f6362/587c5aabd982e.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ad/8adc20d4-176d-5d60-9216-6321bf0f6362/587c5aabd982e.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/8/ad/8adc20d4-176d-5d60-9216-6321bf0f6362/587c5aabd982e.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"204ebd52-60a0-5a5c-9c26-2103795849a9","description":"This is a closer look at a new sidewalk and boxwood hedge Galen Gates installed at his home. The sidewalk's large curve that connects to the driveway creates a welcoming feel, like open arms. As for the hedge being so close to the home's foundation, Gates said he is not worried that it will be too dry, or that watering will seep into the foundation. \"We do not have overhangs/soffits from the roof so any available moisture is absorbed. There is drainage\u00a0out from that bed just in case, but our foundation is solid so I don't worry about external water and haven't had any for 30 years.\"","byline":"","hireswidth":1662,"hiresheight":1246,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/04/204ebd52-60a0-5a5c-9c26-2103795849a9/587c5aa6be4db.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1662","height":"1246","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/04/204ebd52-60a0-5a5c-9c26-2103795849a9/587c5aa6bd5b5.image.jpg?resize=1662%2C1246"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"75","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/04/204ebd52-60a0-5a5c-9c26-2103795849a9/587c5aa6bd5b5.image.jpg?resize=100%2C75"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/04/204ebd52-60a0-5a5c-9c26-2103795849a9/587c5aa6bd5b5.image.jpg?resize=300%2C225"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"768","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/04/204ebd52-60a0-5a5c-9c26-2103795849a9/587c5aa6bd5b5.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C768"}}}],"revision":10,"commentID":"fd628eca-8362-5cfa-ac30-edddbc55ba61","body":"

\u00a0It's not just lip service.

When Galen Gates talks about gardening for four-season interest, he means it. He's a strong advocate for planning your space \"from December out\" because \"that's what you're going to be living with five months of the year.\"

Gates resides in suburban Chicago, so he deals with\u00a0the same climate and weather conditions as we do\u00a0in the Quad-Cities.

You can learn more about Gates' ideas and plant suggestions on Saturday, Feb. 18, when he will be the keynote speaker at the 20th annual \"Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening,\" a day-long horticulture event sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension-Master Gardeners Unit 7.

The event at\u00a0a new location this year\u00a0\u2014\u00a0Augustana College in Rock Island\u00a0\u2014\u00a0includes 16 different classes, including\u00a0two make-and-take sessions, lunch and a vendor fair.

Gates\u00a0knows his subject; for\u00a030 years he worked for the Chicago Botanic Garden, most recently as director of plant collections. He now operates his own landscape firm and teaches in the\u00a0landscape architecture graduate program at the\u00a0Illinois Institute of Technology.

His presentation will stress woody plants \u2014 the\u00a0shrubs and understory and overstory trees that form the bones of a garden \u2014 as well as grasses, with some mention of herbaceous perennials, or \"flowers.\"

You can get an idea of his style from the four photos on this page. He tends to \"overplant,\" with a lot of layering.

In a phone interview, he shared some of his suggestions.

\u2022 Evergreens. Try to have an evergreen in every planting. They provide year-round color, especially in winter.

\u2022 Ornamental grasses. Include various types of miscanthus ornamental grasses. During spring, summer and fall, these plants provide filler \u2014 they don't really stand out. But come winter when everything else is cut down and the main colors are black, white and gray, \"you don't have any tawny browns except for the grasses,\" he said. That's when they make their greatest contribution.

Yes, they will lie down after a heavy snow, but when it melts. \"The grass pops right up,\" Gates said. \"That impresses me to no end.\"

\u2022 What about annuals? Yes, he does plant annual \"flowers,\" but confines them to window boxes and containers because he doesn't want to be a slave to his yard, carrying hoses all around to keep the annuals watered during summer.

\u2022 What about perennials? Gates likes hostas, daylilies, lilies, the allium \"Summer Beauty,\" fall clematis and a very shade-tolerant monkshood that blooms blue in October. \"October is a time when a gardener is feeling tired and a garden looks tired and here is this wonderful breath of fresh air,\" he said.

A workhorse perennial that is relatively new to him is calamintha nepeta. \"It blooms light blue and white and it doesn't seem to stop blooming June to fall.\"

He also has a suggestion for an early-blooming crocus that rabbits leave alone, but you'll have to come to his talk to learn more.

\u00a0Asked how his approach to gardening has changed in 30 years, he said what stands out is the\u00a0need to be more\u00a0mindful of watering and to not waste this precious resource.

\"Our aquifers are falling,\" he said. \"This is a very important issue. We need to be cognizant of that and gardening accordingly. That doesn't mean you have to grow cactus and yucca, but we have to put our plants in the right place.\"

In addition, gardeners can reduce the need for water by preparing their soil so that the roots go deep. With good soil, Gates said he can manage his landscape with just two or three deep waterings per season in all but the major drought years.

His presentation also will drive home the point that landscapes change with time and need to be tended accordingly.

"}, {"id":"e6424f4b-e38d-5dc2-bbd3-2d4efa7b12e1","type":"article","starttime":"1485080100","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-22T04:15:00-06:00","sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Fermentation: Old art makes comeback","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_e6424f4b-e38d-5dc2-bbd3-2d4efa7b12e1.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/fermentation-old-art-makes-comeback/article_e6424f4b-e38d-5dc2-bbd3-2d4efa7b12e1.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/fermentation-old-art-makes-comeback/article_e6424f4b-e38d-5dc2-bbd3-2d4efa7b12e1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":7,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Alma Gaul\nagaul@qctimes.com","prologue":"When people talk about\u00a0preserving garden produce, they're usually referring to canning or freezing or maybe drying. 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When people talk about\u00a0preserving garden produce, they're usually referring to canning or freezing or maybe drying.

But there's a fourth method \u2014 fermentation \u2014 that is experiencing a comeback, especially because it works through the action of good bacteria and yeast, also known as\u00a0\"probiotics.\" These substances\u00a0are beneficial for your health, particularly\u00a0your digestive system.

The\u00a0wonders of\u00a0probiotics got a big boost with the\u00a02003 New York Times bestseller,\u00a0\"Wild Fermentation,\" by American food writer and do-it-yourself food activist Sandor Katz.\u00a0The book has\u00a0been called the most comprehensive DIY home fermentation guide ever published.

You may have heard the term in relation to\u00a0\"juicing\" and\u00a0health food stores.

But probiotics also are the stuff of our ancestors who used fermentation to preserve food, such as turning cabbage into sauerkraut, or keeping a \"starter\" of sourdough bread on hand for regular use.

\"It used to be part of our lifestyle,\"\u00a0Kristin Bogdonas, a University of Illinois Extension\u00a0nutrition and wellness educator, said of fermentation.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, Bogdonas will teach a class on fermenting foods and drinks\u00a0as part of the 20th annual \"Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening.\"\u00a0Participants will\u00a0go home with recipes, resources and the knowledge to get started.

Although sauerkraut is one of the first foods that comes to mind, there are\u00a0 endless possibilities, she said. The key ingredients are water, salt, spices and a vessel to put them in.

She'll demonstrate how to make\u00a0golden sauerkraut (adding the\u00a0spice\u00a0turmeric gives it that color)\u00a0and also will\u00a0prepare a fermented ginger ale using ginger root, lemon, dry active yeast, sugar and filtered water. She avoids tap water to eliminate the chlorine.

She prefers this drink to store-bought because \"it's fresher, there's less sugar and I like to know what's in it.\" It also has a texture; the bits of grated ginger root are chewy.

"}, {"id":"fbb9cfe9-4102-574a-b7e4-7034bc8671ac","type":"article","starttime":"1484834400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-19T08:00:00-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"US home construction jumps, led by more apartment building","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_fbb9cfe9-4102-574a-b7e4-7034bc8671ac.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/us-home-construction-jumps-led-by-more-apartment-building/article_fbb9cfe9-4102-574a-b7e4-7034bc8671ac.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/home-and-garden/us-home-construction-jumps-led-by-more-apartment-building/article_c9952aa8-de61-11e6-ac84-8fd4c9d8109a.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER\nAP Economics Writer","prologue":"The figures cap a solid 2016 for home construction: Developers started work on the most new houses and apartments since 2007, the year the Great Recession began.\u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","industrial products and services","industries","home sales","economy","real estate","leading economic indicators","construction put in place","construction sector performance","home and garden","homebuying","homeselling","finance"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4","description":"In this Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, file photo, a \"Sold\" sign sits in front of a house under the final stages of construction in Plano, Texas.\u00a0","byline":"LM OTERO, Associated Press","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"327","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg?resize=512%2C327"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"192","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg?resize=300%2C192"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"654","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"fbb9cfe9-4102-574a-b7e4-7034bc8671ac","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 U.S. builders ramped up home construction in December, led by a surge of apartment building, while single-family houses lagged.

Housing starts jumped 11.3 percent last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.2 million, the Commerce Department said Thursday. The figures are volatile month to month: Starts plummeted in November after a big gain in October. Apartment construction soared 53.9 percent last month, while single-family housing starts fell 4 percent.

The figures cap a solid 2016 for home construction: Developers started work on the most new houses and apartments since 2007, the year the Great Recession began. Single-family home building increased 3.9 percent and apartment building was 10.3 percent higher.

The report adds to other recent evidence that home sales and construction have largely weathered an increase in mortgage rates since the fall. Steady job creation and some early signs of wage gains have made it possible for more Americans to afford to buy.

Still, the housing market faces challenges this year that could thwart further growth. The Federal Reserve may continue pushing up the short-term interest rate it controls, leading to higher borrowing costs. And with relatively few homes on the market, buyers have fewer choices, pushing up prices.

Building permits, a sign of future construction, slipped 0.2 percent in December. Permits for single-family homes rose, however, while apartment permits dropped.

Higher mortgage rates may weigh on home purchases in the coming months. Sales of existing homes reached the highest level in nearly a decade in November, yet fewer Americans signed contracts to buy homes that month, suggesting sales could soon slow. Signed contracts are usually followed a month or two later by a final sale.

Mortgage rates have actually dropped for the past two weeks, after increasing quickly after the election on anticipation of faster growth and inflation. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.12 percent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, down from 4.2 percent the previous week.

Still, that's far higher than the 3.65 percent average rate for all of 2016.

"}, {"id":"b84d0d70-0ef7-5c34-8e8d-769aae8e25cf","type":"article","starttime":"1484834400","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-19T08:00:00-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Average US 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.09 percent","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_b84d0d70-0ef7-5c34-8e8d-769aae8e25cf.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/average-us--year-mortgage-rate-falls-to-percent/article_b84d0d70-0ef7-5c34-8e8d-769aae8e25cf.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/home-and-garden/average-us--year-mortgage-rate-falls-to-percent/article_7eb1e642-de62-11e6-b7f1-5bb9ff1995ec.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Associated Press","prologue":"Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to an average 4.09 percent from 4.12 percent last week.\u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","industrial products and services","industries","home sales","economy","real estate","leading economic indicators","construction put in place","construction sector performance","home and garden","homebuying","homeselling","finance"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"035fb1cf-0a79-5da1-a84c-2c5b910f438f","description":"This Wednesday, May 18, 2016, file photo shows a \"Sold\" sign in front of a house in Walpole, Mass.\u00a0","byline":"STEVEN SENNE, Associated Press","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"339","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/35/035fb1cf-0a79-5da1-a84c-2c5b910f438f/57c6fc1638e05.image.jpg?resize=512%2C339"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/35/035fb1cf-0a79-5da1-a84c-2c5b910f438f/57c6fc1638e05.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/35/035fb1cf-0a79-5da1-a84c-2c5b910f438f/57c6fc1638e05.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"678","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/35/035fb1cf-0a79-5da1-a84c-2c5b910f438f/57c6fc1638e05.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"b84d0d70-0ef7-5c34-8e8d-769aae8e25cf","body":"

WASHINGTON \u2014 Long-term US mortgage rates marked their third week of declines this week, after snapping a nine-week run of increases.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to an average 4.09 percent from 4.12 percent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.81 percent.

The average for a 15-year mortgage declined to 3.34 percent from 3.37 percent last week.

"}, {"id":"fcb224cd-449e-5f0f-b359-852d011bd729","type":"article","starttime":"1484766000","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T13:00:00-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"},{"autos":"lifestyles/autos"},{"featured":"video/featured"}],"flags":{"ap":"true","spotlight":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"How to make your very own Green Machine trike from junk","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_fcb224cd-449e-5f0f-b359-852d011bd729.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/how-to-make-your-very-own-green-machine-trike-from/article_fcb224cd-449e-5f0f-b359-852d011bd729.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/home-and-garden/how-to-make-your-very-own-green-machine-trike-from/article_57df716a-d9b7-11e6-8adf-371f70aa58c0.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":2,"gallery":0},"byline":"Andy Reuter | areuter@madison.com | @andrewreuter","prologue":"Remember the Green Machine, that rear-steer pedal trike from the 1980s? YouTube maker Bob Clagett does.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","lee diy","dcc","green machine","makers"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","youtube":[{"id":"65c562a2-6994-58aa-ad3b-4aa91c7c4162","starttime":"1484329740","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-13T11:49:00-06:00","title":"Trike (Green Machine) from junk, Part 1","description":"\"I always wanted a trike, especially a Green Machine,\" Bob Clagett writes. \"So I decided to make one, from junk.\"","byline":"","video_id":"8TIM17jw0vA"},{"id":"625577c6-2583-5a7f-a0f3-db8478b534e4","starttime":"1484329800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-13T11:50:00-06:00","title":"Trike (Green Machine) from junk, Part 2","description":"The finale of Bob Clagett's Green Machine quest.","byline":"","video_id":"HIGtGzF7eVQ"}],"revision":1,"commentID":"fcb224cd-449e-5f0f-b359-852d011bd729","body":"

Remember the Green Machine, that rear-steer pedal trike from the 1980s?

YouTube maker Bob Clagett does. He has wanted one of these dangerous devices ever since he was a kid.

But no longer. In a two-part series, Clagett shows viewers how to make a three-wheeler out of junk from a second-hand store, including some old crutches and a bed frame.

See for yourself in the videos below. Find more of Clagett's work on his website.

"}, {"id":"d119cc72-1db6-5eeb-b310-ec9be56b7e4c","type":"article","starttime":"1484749800","starttime_iso8601":"2017-01-18T08:30:00-06:00","priority":0,"sections":[{"home-and-garden":"lifestyles/home-and-garden"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"US homebuilder confidence, sales outlook slip in January","url":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/article_d119cc72-1db6-5eeb-b310-ec9be56b7e4c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/us-homebuilder-confidence-sales-outlook-slip-in-january/article_d119cc72-1db6-5eeb-b310-ec9be56b7e4c.html","canonical":"http://news.lee.net/lifestyles/home-and-garden/us-homebuilder-confidence-sales-outlook-slip-in-january/article_efdd0970-dd98-11e6-bfee-ff301a60e501.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"ALEX VEIGA\nAP Business Writer","prologue":"The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday fell to 67 this month. That's down two points from a revised reading of 69 in December.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","business","general news","industrial products and services","industries","home sales","economy","real estate","leading economic indicators","construction put in place","construction sector performance","home and garden","homebuying","homeselling","finance"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4","description":"In this Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, file photo, a \"Sold\" sign sits in front of a house under the final stages of construction in Plano, Texas.\u00a0","byline":"LM OTERO, Associated Press","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"327","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg?resize=512%2C327"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"64","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg?resize=100%2C64"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"192","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg?resize=300%2C192"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"654","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/f/88/f8858c87-4c6a-5912-9f80-eddaee6963e4/5835c41c453ef.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"d119cc72-1db6-5eeb-b310-ec9be56b7e4c","body":"

U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less confident this month about their sales prospects, a pullback from December when builders' confidence reached the highest level in 11 years.

The decline in builder confidence comes amid heightened concerns about mortgage rates, which have been mostly rising since early November. Higher mortgage rates make home loans more expensive, which could dampen sales.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released Wednesday fell to 67 this month. That's down two points from a revised reading of 69 in December.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September.

Builders' view of sales now and over the next six months also fell, as did a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers.

\"Concerns going into the year include rising mortgage interest rates, as well as a lack of lots and access to labor,\" said Robert Dietz, the NAHB's chief economist. Builders have complained in recent years about a shortage of skilled construction workers and land parcels cleared for home construction.

Despite the pullback in this month's builder confidence index and the potential setback of rising mortgage rates, builders' overall outlook remains positive. The homebuilder trade group forecasts that single-family home construction will climb 10 percent this year.

A stable job market and still-low mortgage rates helped spur demand for homes in 2016, driving prices higher. Sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 in November, a 16.5 percent increase from a year earlier and the fastest pace since July. Figures for December sales are due out next week.

But the cheap loans that have supported stronger sales may be vanishing. Long-term mortgage rates have mostly risen since the presidential election.

Last week, the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 4.12 percent, the second weekly decline after a nine-week run of increases. While still low by historical standards, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage is up sharply after averaging 3.65 percent for all of 2016.

Investors have bid rates higher because they believe President-elect Donald Trump's plans for tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending will drive up economic growth and inflation. Last month, the Federal Reserve raised short-term U.S. interest rates for only the second time in a decade, citing improvement in the U.S. economy.

This month's builder index was based on 334 respondents.

A measure of current sales conditions for single-family homes fell three points to 72, while a gauge of traffic by prospective buyers dipped one point to 51. Builders' view of sales over the next six months slipped two points to 76.

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A rich matte, charcoal-hued finish belies the modest price of the Kungsbacka cabinetry. Designers and manufacturers are finding creative ways to recycle waste products and castoffs. 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Designers and manufacturers are finding creative ways to recycle waste products and castoffs. 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Recycling has become the norm in many communities. The detritus of our daily lives \u2014 plastic, glass, metal and paper \u2014 makes its weekly trek to processing plants across the country.

Much of it gets made into new versions of itself: Your empty corn tin might end up as your next bean can. Smelting brings glass jars back to life. Newsprint and wrapping come out of a pulpy stew as new paper.

And the home decor industry, too, is finding inspiration for new furnishings in the recycling boom. Large furniture companies and smaller studios are either repurposing their own production waste, or sourcing discards and leftover materials to make new goods.

It's a smart way to offer sustainably produced products, encourage design R&D, and perhaps cut industrial disposal costs.

Plastics are a significant part of this initiative. Ikea product developer Anna Granath, collaborating with the Stockholm, Sweden-based studio Form Us With Love, came up with a new covering material for a kitchen cabinet door made from processed plastic bottles, and the door itself is made of recycled, shredded wood. A rich matte, charcoal-hued finish belies the modest price of the Kungsbacka cabinetry.

\"Sustainability should be for many people, not just for those who can afford it,\" says Granath. \"Our ambition is to increase the share of recycled materials in our products.\"

Even the leftover plastic film used to wrap furniture palettes is ground into pellets, to make the Skrutt desk pad.

Glass scraps and rejected pieces from one of Ikea's suppliers are recycled into marbled vases. Created by Iina Vuorivirta, they're part of Ikea's PS 2017 accessories line.\u00a0

Emeco, a furniture maker in Hanover, Pennsylvania, teamed with designer Philippe Starck on the Broom chair, a sleek, comfortable stacking chair that's made of 75 percent waste polypropylene and 15 percent reclaimed wood fiber. The name is a play on the chair's origins.

\"Imagine\", says Starck, \"a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop, and with this dust he makes new magic.\"

Emeco isn't new to the recycled material/new furniture game. Their aluminum Navy chair, commissioned during World War II, has been made of recycled aluminum since the 1940s. The material withstood the rigors of warfare and sea air. The company has even collaborated with Coca-Cola to turn soda bottles into plastic versions of the chair.\u00a0

Ikea is premiering its own plastic and wood-fiber chair early this year. The Odger will come in a range of colors and wood finishes.

Dutch designer Dirk Vander Kooij makes his Melting Pot dining tables out of discarded plastic toys, videotapes and computer parts. The heated components meld into abstract patterns, with no two tables being the same. Vander Kooij also recycles his test pieces and waste plastics, extruding them into new chairs, cabinetry and even music speakers, using an enormous industrial robot arm. He created the arm himself, and won the Dutch Design Award for it in 2011.

Vander Kooij thinks we have a misplaced notion that plastics are only cheap and throwaway. In fact, transforming them can create new and enduring designs: \"Recycled material is unique, and has a history that can literally be seen in the product,\" he says. \"That gives particular beauty and layering.\"\u00a0

Another Netherlands-based designer, Tamara Orjola, found new life for discards from the timber industry.

\"There's more to the tree than just wood; pine needles account for 20 to 30 percent of its mass,\" she says. So she came up with the idea of cooking the needles into a material she calls \"forest wool,\" which can be made into biodegradable textiles and furniture.\u00a0

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