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Farming

  • Fred’s favorite Christmas poem

    Every couple of years I like to revisit my father’s favorite Christmas poem inspired by Clement Moore’s famous work ‘Night Before Christmas’.  The writer is unknown, but he or she certainly was a gardener; and you may even get some last minute gift ideas from its verse.

  • Holiday spices from tropical plants

    Considering how the quest for exotic spice fueled exploration around the world in the 15th century, it is no wonder that our favorite holiday flavors herald from around the world. From Southwest India to Southeast Asia, we find cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and mace.
    True cinnamon comes from the bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum, an evergreen tree native to Southwest India.  This is the premium spice that is harvested just as new growth emerges from 2-year-old stems. It has a light brown color and the interior of the quills (the curled strips) consist of several layers.  

  • Fresh-cut, live or artificial? Choosing a Christmas tree just right for you

    Picking out the perfect Christmas tree is serious business for me.
    Some may find it a trivial chore, but I want a tree that will be worth the effort of cleaning, moving furniture, hauling boxes, lights, step ladders and more. But, once the mundane is done then the fun begins.
    Each ornament that adorns the tree has a story to tell about my grandparents, parents or me. The tree is indeed important because it holds the past. And it must hold the past, in the form of many beloved ornaments, securely and with style.

  • Signature authority for spouses on FSA programs

    For Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Commodity Credit Corporation programs in which either has an interest, husbands and wives may sign most documents on behalf of each other. This option is automatically available unless a written request for exclusion is made to the county office by either spouse.
    These are exceptions to the rule, where spouses may not sign on behalf of each other for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations or other similar entities.
    Individual signatures are also required on certain Farm Loan Program and farm storage Facility Loan documents.

  • Cranberry bogs bring in the harvest

    Did you know that the cranberry used to be called the “craneberry?”   
    When the colonists first learned of this berry from their American Indian hosts in the New World, they thought the blooms of the native shrub looked liked the long neck and bill of the crane. Eventually, as language goes, it was shortened to cranberry.

  • Conservation loans available to farmers

    Mitchell W. Whittle, Farm Loan Chief with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), reminds farmers that the Agency will make and guarantee Conservation Loans (CL) to producers who want to promote conservation on their land as well as conserve the country’s natural resources.
    Many farmers who need and want to implement conservation measures on their land do not have the “up front” funds available to implement these practices.

  • The deer rut is on

    Just last week my own local paper, The Sentinel-News, had a cautionary article about deer and their movements this time of the year.
    It’s a dance that can cause injury to car, body, or store front in some cases. It seems there is a story at least once where a deer walks into a local business or busts into someone’s living room.  
    I am here, however, to remind you that your young trees are vulnerable too, love and hormones can make for some crazy behavior and the deer rut has begun.  

  • Sixty-three Kentucky counties designated as Primary Natural Disaster areas

    On Nov. 3, Secretary Vilsack declared 63 Kentucky counties as disaster areas due to damages and losses caused by drought that occurred from Aug. 1, 2010, and continuing. The counties are:

  • Asian lady beetles ready for home invasion

    It is that time of the year again: The attack of the lady beetles.  
    Usually they sneak their way into our homes before now, but the mild weather has kept them at bay. The chill is here so people are asking, “What do I do about all the lady bugs in my house?”  
    Well, the short answer is seal up the house well and get out the vacuum cleaner.

  • KOHS gets over $500,000 in Homeland Security grants

    The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) has awarded $578,100 in State Homeland Security Grants to Bluegrass Area Development District  for the purchase of interoperable communications, hazmat equipment, and mobile data computers.
    “Homeland Security grants are a vital component in helping keep the Commonwealth safe and secure,” Gov.  Steve Beshear said. “They provide funds that enable our first responders to have the latest and best tools needed in their critical missions.”