The cool, wet weather for summer 2013 is certainly being enjoyed by all including those that are part of the fungi family. Gardeners wondered about the toadstools popping up in their lawns; others were confounded by the stinky, phallic-looking things poking through their mulch, a mushroom commonly called the stinkhorn; and the slimy orange globs on cedar trees got many thinking aliens had landed in their landscape.
I had picked loads of cherry tomatoes by this time last year. The hot spring worked to the advantage of ripening tomatoes by the 4th of July. This year has played out a little differently but the tomatoes don’t seem to mind; they look great, have generous fruit set and will be ripening soon enough. So far the plants are remarkably free of any pest problem, brown or yellowing leaf or rotting fruit. Most are heirloom varieties; they were fertilized once at planting with fish emulsion and immediately mulched with newspaper and pine straw.
After the storms that rolled through last Wednesday night, I came across this information on lightning safety and thought I would pass it along to you. It is courtesy of the National Weather Service: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/facts_truth.html.
Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times a year.
Spencer County 4-H was well represented at the 2013 Teen Conference at the University of Kentucky June 10-13. Lilli Hanik, Owen Baxter, Becca Walker, Shelby Wertz, and Breanna Lyons represented Spencer County. Mollie Tichenor, agent; Tonya Tucker, program assistant; and DJ Pressley, summer intern, served as chaperones for the group.
Congratulations to Shelby Wertz for representing Spencer County and District 3 on 2012-2013 State Teen Council.
Congratulations also to Wertz for being recognized for receiving her Bronze Honors Award.
The State 4-H Livestock Judging Contest was Tuesday, June 18, at the Muhlenberg County Ag Center in Powderly. Spencer County had eight participants in the contest. Connie Jeffiers, livestock leader and coach, did a great job at coaching and motivating all of the team members. The awards were June 19 in Muhlenberg County at a local church.
I can hardly wait for this year’s first harvest of summer squash and it should be any day now. There is fruit set and you know how quickly squash can mature. Last year’s crop was not so robust because of the record heat so I am optimistically counting on a bumper squash crop this year- the weather is certainly on our side.
On June 1-2, the Spencer County 4-H Horse Club, the “Trailblazers,” attended the District 3 Horse Show at Lakeside Arena in Frankfort. District is a regional pre-qualifying competition for the 4-H State Horse Show in July.
On June 1, Kelsey Bishop participated in the Western Pleasure Division. Kelsey did a great job in Division 3 and was named the high point exhibitor for her division, which is quite the honor.
Kentucky has an abundance of trees—about 12.4 million forested acres. In Eastern Kentucky, forests are full of dense stands of hardwoods. In Western Kentucky, you’re more likely to see a riparian forest along a winding river, and in Central Kentucky, stately bur oaks often populate urban landscapes. Regardless of the species or climate, these forests help all of us breathe cleaner air, drink cleaner water, enjoy forest wildlife and we use products from them every day.
I value the guardian behavior of our animals as one is charged to protect the other. We have house cats that are free to go outside; barn cats that mostly hang out in the garage; a companion red heeler mutt who rarely leaves my side; and a Maremma livestock guardian dog (LGD). Baxter, the LGD, has challenged our thinking in owning dogs. He has reinforced that animals follow their instinct above all else. He is not a pet, rather a worker that is a critical component to keeping our farm alive.
Two out of three American adults have hypertension or prehypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, increases your risk for heart disease and stroke, the two leading causes of death in America. Fortunately, most cases of high blood pressure can be improved or prevented through diet changes.