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Living Well seminar series entertains SRO crowd

Living Well seminar series entertains SRO crowd

Living Well seminar series entertains SRO crowd

Landscape designer Jon Carloftis shared decorating advice with a full house at the Fayette County Extension office for Cooperative Extension’s Living Well series.


Round objects add interest to a garden. Renowned landscape designer Jon Carloftis shared that bit of decorating advice with more than 300 people gathered at the Fayette County Extension office for the fifth seminar in the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension’s Living Well series.

Carloftis, a son of Rockcastle County now based out of Bucks County, Pa., gave the guests tips on decorating with natural items found in the landscape—ideas like planting red twig dogwoods and different varieties of evergreens to prune in the fall and use as colorful additions in holiday arrangements or garlands. He sprinkled among the tips anecdotes about decorating Blair House, the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion, and other illustrious clients’ homes for the holidays.

Joining him as presenters were Lexington restaurateurs and executive chefs Cole Arimes, owner of Coles 735 Main, and Jeremy Ashby, co-owner of AZUR Restaurant & Patio, along with Ashby’s business partner in the restaurant, Sylvia Lovely. Arimes demonstrated how to stuff and roast the “perfect” holiday turkey—don’t overstuff it—and Ashby and Lovely demonstrated traditional side dishes with a twist. A recipe for cheese-filled stuffing balls was one the crowd took home with them.

“From our perspective, this is an educational opportunity that will positively impact the lives of individual and families,” said Diana Doggett, Fayette County family and consumer sciences extension agent. “The Living Well series engages the public in extension programming that can improve their lives, whether it be about local food, nutrition, health or wise spending.”

Based on the Living Well public service campaign and cookbook launched by the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, the local Living Well seminar series is hosted by Cooperative Extension FCS agents in Bourbon, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Harrison, Madison, Nicholas, Powell and Scott counties. To date, the agents have offered five fall, holiday-based editions and one spring edition over the four years they’ve been collaborating on the project. The event usually attracts 200 to 250 people, but the recent seminar exceeded those numbers. Liz Kingsland, Bourbon County family and consumer sciences extension agent, said the ongoing interest in the series is not surprising, considering the caliber of speakers they’re able to offer.

“Part of this is taking care of yourself, learning something that will make you feel better about what you’re doing,” Kingsland said. “Particularly with Jon Carloftis, whose work is so aesthetic and artistic; I don’t think women think enough about those things sometimes. All our speakers make them feel like, ‘Yes, I can do that.’”

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