Breckenridge Texan

AgriLife Extension’s ‘Stress Less’ program to start Tuesday, Oct. 3

AgriLife Extension’s ‘Stress Less’ program to start Tuesday, Oct. 3
October 02
11:22 2023

The Stephens County AgriLife Extension Service offered a variety of activities and informational booths at the Community and Family Health Expo on Saturday morning, Sept. 30, and the agency has several more community events coming up.

At the Health Expo, Stephens County Extension Agent Jessie Shortes gave a presentation on gardening, including information on growing spinach and other greens and herbs indoors this winter, as well as on planning and planting a spring garden. Shortes’ AgriLife Extension focus is on agriculture and natural resources; she provided tips on starting plants from seeds, dealing with the heat, etc. If you weren’t able to attend the Health Expo and would like some gardening information for Breckenridge and Stephens County, contact the Extension office at 254-559-2313.

In addition to providing fresh produce for local families, gardening also can benefit the gardener’s mental health, Extension Agent Sumer Russell said at Saturday’s Health Expo.

According to an article by the AgriLife Extension Service, gardening can have a calming effect and improve the mood of the gardener.

Russell will continue the focus on mental health with a series called “Stress Less with Mindfulness” beginning Tuesday, Oct. 3. The five-week series will be free and open to all Stephens County residents. It will teach attendees how to increase their flexibility in responding to stress; alternative ways of relating to everyday life experiences, including thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and events; and mindfulness skills to enhance life.

The Stress Less series will be from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 3, Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 at First Methodist Church, 419 W. Walker St. The program will be in the church’s Christian Life Center following the Cafe Love lunch that First Methodist offers each Tuesday. For more information, call Russell at 254-559-2313.

The local AgriLife Extension office also is offering a Freezer Friends program for local families. The program will include four pre-made meals in October, November, December and January; recipe demonstrations; tips and tricks for increasing your vegetable intake; and additional recipes to try at home. The cost to participate is $80, and the deadline to register is Oct. 16. Click here to register.

Stephens County AgriLife Extension also is participating in the Walk Across Texas program in October and November to encourage the healthy habit of daily walking. For more information, visit the website To register with the local program, use the League Code: WATL-230919-72269.

Jessie Shortes, right, Stephens County AgriLife Extension agent, and 4-H member Katie Wimberley demonstrate how to plant and grow spinach at the Health Expo on Saturday, Sept. 30. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: Stephens County AgriLife Extension Agent Jessie Shortes and her assistant, Katie Wimberley, give a presentation on gardening at the Health Expo on Saturday. Gardening not only can provide healthy food, but it also can have a calming effect on the gardener. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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