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.)
Although we have had some rains here in Spencer County that other parts of the state haven’t had, our lawns are showing some of the effects of the hot, dry weather over the last couple of months. If your lawn looks bad and needs some renovation, we are coming into the best time of the year to do some seeding.
The Spencer County High School FFA team placed first at the Eastern Kentucky University dairy judging contest. Team members are, from left, Shane Greenwell, Bryce Martin, Cecilia Petersen and Marianne Gaddie. Marianne was named high individual, Bryce came in second and Cecilia was third overall.
Normally, a hot dry year would favor vegetable production as long as growers have adequate irrigation. However, when daytime temperatures inch up over 100 degrees Fahrenheit like we’ve seen several days this year, we begin to see problems with many vegetable crops.
Soon, many vegetables and fruits will be ready for harvesting, and many gardeners will have more produce than they can readily eat. Those who want to preserve fresh, summer foods for later consumption will consider either freezing or canning the harvest. But is one way of preservation better than the other? The answer depends on the type of food you want to preserve.
If proper techniques and correct temperatures are used, frozen foods retain greater amounts of their vitamin content, natural color, flavor and texture.