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Farming

  • Garlic goes in, sweet potatoes come out

    There are two categories of garlic to consider: Allium sativum, or softneck garlic, and Allium ophioscordon, or hardneck garlic.   
    Softneck garlic is the easiest and most widely cultivated because the bulbs are large and the cloves and skin are tight which prevent moisture loss and allows for longer storage.  
    Through centuries of selection softneck garlic has lost the ability to flower so it doesn’t expend energy on producing seed; instead the energy goes towards developing bigger bulbs underground.   

  • The sounds of starlings usher in fall

    The other evening I was sitting outside under a tree babysitting our hens.  
    We have only been letting them out in the evening under supervision until we can get a handle on some fox problems (we are working on it!).  
    As I sat and read, a sense of calm came over me and I was surprised to realize that it was triggered by a little flock of nasty starlings.  
    Starlings start to flock up this time of the year and I guess there was just some sort of Pavlovian response that said, yes, fall is just around the corner, the starlings say so.

  • CPH-45 sales to be offered

    Even with cattle prices being extremely high, marketing animals together with other producers might allow you to receive additional income from your 2013 calf crop. For several years we have offered the program to local producers in our county with the hope of realizing and additional profit for your calves.

  • Cover crops improve the garden as its rests

    Last weekend we tackled some vegetable garden clean up.  
    The hail storm from a few weeks back destroyed most of what was left; subsequent wind and rain finished off the battered remains. So, we replanted a few crops, spread wood chips in the paths to control weeds and filled the remaining empty beds with a cover crop.   
    While many disease pathogens winter over on plant debris an equal amount remain viable in the soil, which means we need to strategize to keep the garden relatively free of disease.  

  • FSA reminds producers of September deadlines for DCP programs

    Kentucky USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director SED John W. McCauley reminds producers of two important Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) deadlines this month.
    Producers who have either not yet enrolled in DCP or have not yet signed their DCP contracts must do so by close of business Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. Contracts filed after this date will be elevated from the county office to the state office and will require State Committee action.

  • Camouflaged caterpillar is a surprise sting

    This time of the year I am on the lookout for a variety of masterfully camouflaged stinging caterpillars.  
    The first time I saw one it sort of turned into a game:  I took Andy down to the Parrotia tree and said “can you find the caterpillar?”  
    He never did because this caterpillar looked exactly like the scorched edge of a leaf that would be a result of a long hot summer.  

  • Plant a vegetable garden

    Alright, I know, this last week already felt like fall but it really is only the end of August.  

    This year may just be the perfect year to pull off the perfect fall garden as a result. Ample moisture and relatively mild temperatures mean that a second round of planting for a fall garden can get a good start.  

  • Darnell receives National FFA Scholarship

    The National FFA Organization awarded a $1,000 Tractor Supply - Growing Scholars scholarship to Susan Darnell of the Harrison County High School FFA. The scholarship is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company as a special project of the National FFA Foundation. Darnell plans to use the funds to pursue a degree at Eastern Kentucky University.
    This scholarship is one of 1,645 awarded through the National FFA Organization’s scholarship program this year.

  • Bagworms are on the move

    Who among us is guilty of not noticing something until it’s too late? Yes, all of a sudden there is nothing left of your blue spruce or arborvitae. Bagworms have been munching on the needles for weeks and we wonder how it all happened. Well, they are at work right now so go outside and take inventory of your evergreens because that’s what the bagworm likes the most. Now is the time they do their damage unless we put a stop to it.

  • Fireflies light the night for love

    Likely as a child you collected fireflies in a jar and took them to bed to light up your room on a warm summer night.  
    I remember getting my parents to puncture the lid of a mason jar so the magical insects could breathe.  
    Well, it turns out that all that light flashing wasn’t meant for our entertainment  but rather about entertaining love.
    Researchers at Tufts University and Bringham and Woman’s Hospital have been observing the flashes of fireflies for a decade of summers and what they have uncovered may surprise you.