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Farming

  • Uneven corn due to spotty pollination

    Corn has been a staple food for centuries. It was first cultivated by Indian peoples in Central America; in fact, the adoption of agriculture and the art of cultivating gave way to the grand cities of the Aztec and Mayans.   
    What would the world be without corn and potatoes, both of which were first cultivated in Central America?
    Modern corn derived from teosinte, a far less productive genetic relative. Teosinte is a wild grass that has small female spikes made up of encased seeds; modern corn forms ears instead.  

  • USDA makes funds available to meet credit needs of producers

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announces that a high demand for guaranteed farm ownership and direct farm operating funds has prompted USDA to transfer appropriated funds between programs as authorized by law, to meet the urgent credit needs of producers, including beginning and minority farmers and ranchers.

  • Striped cucumber beetle spreads virus

    I continue to stand by my belief that my best defense in the garden is me.
    In the morning I go out and inspect my garden and smash insects and pick off diseased foliage, careful not to spread it to other plants by my own hand. I watch for the beginning of any abnormality and nip it in the bud.  
    However, sometimes things slide by undetected, plus it is hard to determine bacterial brown spot from mosaic if you are not sure what you are looking for.

  • Renovate strawberry patch

    The strawberry was first cultivated in the 14th century after a French spy collected a berry from Chile and presented it to France’s King Charles V who then planted it in the Louvre’s Royal Garden.  
    By the 17th century this Chilean strawberry was crossed with some found in the Virginia colonies which gave way to the large-fruiting varieties we enjoy today. But don’t be fooled, large does not always mean flavorful.

  • May family to host Farm Field Day Aug. 8 near Leesburg

    David and Nancy May will host the first of three field days in Harrison County on Monday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m. The farm is located on KY 1842 just outside of Leesburg. The farm is a rolling beef farm and wooded area with in excess of 500 acres.
    During most field days, a tour is made of the farm layout with an observation the operation.

  • Local man completes Kentucky Agricultural Leadership Program

    Todd Harp of Paris recently completed a Kentucky Agriculture Leadership Program.
    Agriculture and rural communities face tremendous challenges in today’s political, social, and economic environment. Thus, it is critical that this industry develop leaders to address these challenges and create opportunities for future generations.

  • When is a Geranium Not a Geranium?

    If someone asked me what my favorite perennial was, I could only say that it changes with each passing year. This year the answer is the hardy geranium, known around these parts as the Cranesbill.My fascination with hardy geraniums has grown steadily as I have discovered the countless varieties that exist. In European gardens they are as common place as phlox is in American perennial gardens.  

  • Topping trees considered unacceptable pruning practice

    For years, tree topping was considered the easiest and cheapest way to make mature trees safer and reduce their size. Today, tree researchers have proven that both of these assumptions are false. Many of these trees eventually die as a result of the damage. Others eventually become unsafe, leading to dangerous limb breakage or whole tree failure years after the topping was done.
    The Tree Care Industry Association and the American National Standards Institute A300 pruning standards consider topping to be an unacceptable pruning practice.
    Topping trees:

  • When is a Geranium Not a Geranium?

    If someone asked me what my favorite perennial was, I could only say that it changes with each passing year. This year the answer is the hardy geranium, known around these parts as the Cranesbill.My fascination with hardy geraniums has grown steadily as I have discovered the countless varieties that exist. In European gardens they are as common place as phlox is in American perennial gardens.  

  • Trouble shooting tomato problems

    This time last year I had some healthy looking tomato plants, which was a delight because in 2009, I had some disease issues.  
    Turned out that 2010 was a bust though because of all the crazy heat we had.
    This year the garden and the tomatoes look promising, but I am always on the lookout for emerging problems. So far the 2011 day-time and night-time summer weather and temperature are absolutely perfect for tomatoes.