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Agriculture

  • Not too soon to think about ordering your vegetable seeds

    Cool temperatures and the constant threat of snow may make it feel like spring couldn’t be further away, but planning for spring gardens begins during winter months when seeds are ordered. Looking through a seed catalog, store rack, or online product offering can be overwhelming, since there are so many varieties available for each crop. So, how do we choose from the plethora of options?

  • Succulents for indoor bloom

    Plant collectors have long appreciated orchids and African violets for their winter bloom cycle.  I have amassed a collection of both and they help me get through the winter with their colorful interest. But violets and orchids are not the only classes of plants that can deliver in the winter; think succulents.  

  • Infrastructure and agriculture

    Roads get people to work, students to school, crops and livestock to market, and operational inputs to the farm. Without an effective infrastructure, commerce in Kentucky grinds to a halt.  I don’t have to tell Kentucky Farm Bureau members how important transportation issues are. Kentucky Farm Bureau has worked hard to maintain the 22.2 percent allocation of the state gasoline tax revenue for rural roads. Supporting the continuation of that allocation and support of rural secondary and county road aid programs is a priority issue for us.

  • As winter settles in, commit now to a better garden

    While the winter slowdown has not yet happened, it does seem to be around the corner.  Or is that just wishful thinking?  At any rate winter is a time to regroup and plan for another year for the farm.  

    We always do some serious infrastructure planning to improve our management of pastured chickens and grazing sheep.  The goal is always about allowing for more organized rotational grazing and sorting.  We have gradually built our infrastructure as we also have grown emotionally and intellectually with our farming practices.  

  • Control inside plants from pests safely
  • Lady beetles on the move

    Some years are worse than others: I remember years when it was like a siege of lady beetles, other years a few popped up here or there.   Usually they sneak their way into our homes as a noticeable chill settles in.  On sunny days they cling to the screen door on the south side of where I write, but I need not worry about them as they sun themselves.  The ones that make it inside, however, meet my vacuum cleaner.

  • Not all firewood is created equal

    Fires in the fireplace or outside in the fire pit are intrinsically connected to our visions of nestling in for a long comfy winter. Let the winter bring its ice and snow if it wants. Inside, we have a fire to snuggle up to.

  • What do you know about mistletoe

    I like the winter landscape because I can see past the green canvas of summer into neighboring fields where horses and sheep graze.  I can see mistletoe everywhere, too, in the canopies of trees that line a spring fed stream.  Even in town, if you look up while you are sitting at a traffic light, I bet you’ll see some.  It is there if you look into the canopies of trees devoid of their leafy-ness.  

  • Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable conference set

    The 2018 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference will have something of interest for all fruit and vegetable producers. The event runs from 8 a.m. EST Jan. 8 until 5 p.m. Jan. 9 at Lexington’s Embassy Suites Hotel.

    Preconference evening activities Jan. 7 will include vegetable, tree fruit and small fruit roundtable discussions.

  • State offers boost for growing specialty crops

    Specialty crops such as tree nuts, dried fruits and honey stand to get a boost from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

    Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced last week that his department is seeking concept proposals for the grant program through March 1. Kentucky receives funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service and then conducts an annual competitive application process to award grant funds.