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Features

  • VBS at First Baptist of Taylorsville

  • The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is in discussions with Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky to study the viability of hops production in the Commonwealth, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said.

  • Once again, we enjoyed sweet potatoes all winter long from a fantastic harvest last fall. I planted out about 25 organic slips in Shepherdsville in late May, and by early November we had four nursery crates full of one of nature’s perfect foods. Seven months and counting in storage with no spoilage is impressive. We are down to about a dozen sweet potatoes; just in time for a transition to other summer vegetables.

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    In a year or two, expect to find Marianne Gaddie teaching high school agriculture, or perhaps working as an extension agent.

    The 2013 Spencer County High School graduate is working this summer as an intern at the Spencer County Cooperative Extension Office. She started May 16, and she’ll be putting in 40- to 60-hour weeks all summer.

    This fall, Gaddie will be a senior at Morehead State University, where she’s an agriculture education major.

  • University of Kentucky entomologists recently developed a website that will have the most up-to-date information on the Zika virus and its spread, as mosquito populations around the state begin to build. The website is http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/ZIKA/1kyzika.html.

  • I have no complaints about plant performance this spring. But, it seems, some gardeners are still stumped by their under-performing plants. Why plants fail to thrive is a hard question to answer, of course, because a great many things factor into poor performance, lack of bloom or die back.

  • The most common form of plant propagation is digging and dividing, which is best done in early spring before new growth, or in the fall before plants go dormant. Digging and dividing is great for herbaceous plants, but those plants that are considered woody ornamentals do not divide as easily with a spade. In this case, we can look to the technique of rooting out softwood cuttings from the mother plant.

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    The Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA) is an exciting, challenging three-week academic, social and personal growth program for outstanding high school students who have completed their junior year. Students will be selected from the Commonwealth and surrounding region. Upon completion of the Academy, students will:

    • receive six hours of university credit

    • have the opportunity to take three hours of tuition-free university courses at Murray State University during the subsequent fall and spring semesters

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    Sarah Tipton, of Spencer County, and a junior at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Shelbyville, was recently selected as a Governor’s Scholar.

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    The local Relay for Life event is a month away, but students at Spencer County Elementary School got an early start on the Cancer Awareness event on Friday with a Mini-Relay that raised over $2,500 and also resulted in collecting over 2,000 food items for the Backpack Buddies program. Donna Lawson, who organized the event, said this is the third year the local students have participated. Later in the afternoon, students at SCMS held a similar event.

  • “Tomato 101” is for beginners and advanced gardeners alike. There are many assumptions about the tomato that get passed on by the most well-meaning aficionado. I take my tomatoes seriously and have developed a routine to hedge my bets for a healthy summer harvest.

  • Now that we are in May, it is a good time to think about pest control for your home vegetable garden.

    You can control pest problems, and perhaps prevent future difficulties, in your garden by doing some advance planning and following a few simple Integrated Pest Management practices. IPM promotes minimal pesticide use and emphasizes the use of all available pest control methods including cultural, mechanical and biological practices to prevent pest problems.

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    Ryan Bivens of Hodgenville may not have started his career on a family farm, but farming has been in his blood since high school. Bivens is a graduate of Spencer County High School.

    The 37-year-old and Misty, his wife of 14 years, are first-generation farmers.

    “My farming career started as an FFA project,” Bivens said.

    As a sophomore, he raised 34 acres of soybeans.

    “It’s blossomed and took off from there,” he said.

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    Five SCHS students were recently selected to be part of the Governor’s Scholars Program for outstanding juniors this summer. Michael Bently, Lilli Hanik, Zach Martin, Marissa Allen and Austin Cunningham are among the over 1,000 Kentucky students who will benefit from the challenging academic work for five weeks. Students are sent to one of five college campuses across the state where they will join students from across the Commonwealth.

    The program’s mission is to enhance Kentucky’s next generation of civic and economic leaders.

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    The John Fitch Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution recently recognized winners of their Good Citizen Essay Contest.

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    A 2013 graduate of the University of Louisville has earned a prominent Fulbright Award to study journalism at Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. The competitive placement is awarded to only 3 percent of U.S. Fulbright applicants.

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    The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts is a three-week summer program for rising juniors and seniors in the state. Each spring, over 1,700 students audition for 223 spots for the program at Centre College in Danville.

  • Now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H camp.

    4-H camps are open to all Kentucky youth between the ages of 9 and 13. At 4-H camp, young people learn independence and responsibility while having a lot of fun and making new friends.