Spring bulbs popping up everywhere as temperatures roller-coaster from the teens to the 60s have left many scratching their heads; there is not much we can do to fool Mother Nature so we must be patient and hope that we have a decent display come March.
I have some foliage that has turned to mush, but the bulb and bloom is still safe beneath the soil surface; the bulb will send up fresh foliage in due time. The real issue with the crazy weather is that our bulbs need sufficient dormancy and chilling time in the ground in order to bloom well.
Fluctuating winter temperatures can lull a horse owner into under- or overfeeding. Our winter in Kentucky so far has been very mild, but it still is cold enough to compromise nutrients horses might get from the tiny bits of green amid the wintery tufts of brown grass.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to complete a variety of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill).
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is Jan. 27. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.
Most people would say that there is not much going on in the garden during the winter months. I beg to differ. There are dozens of plants out there doing something interesting. Some are just showing their pretty bark or their sculptural quality bare of leaves. Others are just beginning to emerge and will be blooming soon. And others just have some crazy quality that allows their foliage to look as fresh and clean as a spring garden despite the fact it is winter in Kentuckiana.
Children can learn many valuable life lessons while working with livestock, and everyone loves to see children and animals working together. However, it’s important to remember livestock can be dangerous. Injuries from livestock-related accidents are a major source of injuries to children in agricultural settings.
We visited friends in Boulder, Colo., over the Christmas holiday and had an opportunity to visit the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company that is headquartered there. In fact this one factory produces all of their tea sold worldwide.
Celestial Tea had humble beginnings with a group of “passionate young entrepreneurs” (i.e hippies in 1969) who began collecting herbs from the slopes of the Rocky Mountains and crafted their own herbal teas to sell to local health food stores. Today Celestial Seasonings is one of the largest specialty teas companies in North America.
Orchids are becoming increasingly popular as houseplants. One orchid you are likely to encounter is the Phalaenopsis, or moth orchid. It gets its name from the shape of the flower that resembles a moth in flight.
Most of us are not fluent in Latin so distinguishing between an Aesculus parviflora and an Aesculus pavia may take some extra effort. Throw hybrids and cultivars into the mix and our plant choices may increase with our confusion.