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Farming

  • Kentucky beef cattle market update

  • Vegetable meeting planned for Monday

    With the snow this week and the cold temperatures who would think it is only a few months until we will be thinking about spring seeding and growing vegetables for 2011.

  • From the pages of The Farmer’s Almanac

    So what does The Old Farmer’s Almanac say about 2011? Even if you don’t follow this sort of prognostication there are some interesting observations based in a little fact and a little myth. Here are a few of my favorites that may explain a bit more about nature as we enter into another year.  
    David Phillips of Environment Canada reminds us that plant and animal activity is rarely an indicator of what is to come but rather what occurred the previous season or year.  

  • Resist temptation to continue bad habits

    We all have bad habits.  Some people chew their fingernails; others mow their grass too short in the summer. You can guess which one bugs me the most.
    The odd thing about many of the worst bad habits in the garden is that they have become so commonplace. The worst offenses are repeated everywhere to the extent that gardeners think they are the rule.
    Over-mulching, for example, has been an epidemic problem for many years despite the fact that research spells out trouble for our plants when we bury their roots under a foot of hardwood mulch.

  • 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.