As I write, I am comforted by the snow that has accumulated on the boughs of my Nordmann fir and Serbian spruce. It is beautiful, yes, but more important, the snow serves as an insulator against desiccating winds and frigid temperatures. We must not forget that evergreens, particularly broadleaf evergreens like rhododendrons and American hollies, lose a great deal of moisture through their leaves in the winter.
Winter desiccation is not unusual but the effects are magnified coming out of a season of drought.
So what does The Old Farmer’s Almanac say about 2011? Even if you don’t follow this sort of prognostication, there are some interesting observations based in a little fact and a little myth. Here are a few of my favorites that may explain a bit more about nature as we enter into another year.
It’s not just the cost of transportation that can affect meat prices. Fuel — or more accurately, ethanol — plays a part on another level, according to a University of Kentucky agricultural economist. And it all goes back to corn.
I like a book that tells a story while teaching me a little something along the way; I like when the writer’s personality is revealed in their prose; and I like when a book makes me feel like I am not the only one that marvels at what nature and people can do. Here are my 2010 picks for just this sort of thing.
I loved “Insectopedia” by Hugh Raffles (Random House 2010). This book is a collection of essays, experiences, musings, and some journalism. Raffles explores the natural world and our relationship to it (or our lack there of).
The Spencer County Cooperative Extension Service will be hosting a Fruit and Vegetable Production Field Day August 4 on the George and Sandi Deutsch Farm. The Deutschs have been using black plastic and drip irrigation to raise tomatoes and other vegetables and this field day will highlight that research.
There will also be other topics covered, including food preservation, lawn maintenance, pesticide use and safety, and other presentations. There will also be activities for kids as well.