After I finish writing this column, I need to go pick figs. Every other day seems to be right on in order to harvest ripe fruit. It takes some finesse because it is the soft texture of the fruit that reveals ripeness, not necessarily the color. And picking only ripe fruit is the goal: figs do not improve if picked under ripe so if it feels firm leave it on the shrub.
Spencer County High School’s agriculture program was recently selected as the 2012 Kentucky Outstanding Middle/Secondary School Agriculture Education Program, according to a news release from the National Association of Agricultural Educators, Inc.
According to the release, applicants are judged on a variety of criteria, including teaching philosophy, effective classroom and experiential instruction, development of partnerships and professional growth.
I was among friends last week, discussing the virtues of okra. Some preferred to categorize the “slime” as a “thickening agent” while others insisted you needed to be a woodpecker to eat one.
The little ones are best, of course, but often they get too big to be edible. While okra is indeed a great thickening agent in gumbo and other quintessential southern dishes, there is another plant lurking in the garden that can do the same — and you can usually just find it growing along a path or in the flower garden.
The state’s produce industry continues to expand in terms of producers, volume, marketing outlets and sales, which are likely to exceed a record-breaking $33 million in 2012. That is what a new study from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has found.
Recruitment for Kentucky Farm Bureau’s next group of participants in the two-year, Leadership Enhancement for Agricultural Development (LEAD) program is now underway. Up to 15 individuals will be selected for this intensive learning experience as a way to equip the next generation of agricultural leaders with the tools to manage tomorrow’s challenges.
I am getting ready to head back to U of L where I teach two courses, so I really need to get organized. The garden is still producing and time needs to be spent on turning some of the bounty into things that can be enjoyed during the winter months. I have had the dehydrator going every day this last week drying apples, peaches and berries, cherry tomatoes and potatoes. Plus, predictions of rising food costs (ironically, current reports indicate that grain and sugar prices are affecting prices now, and I don’t eat much of that.)