• As spring has finally arrived, we have several upcoming trainings that may be of interest to you. All of these are part of our annual set of SOS classes. If you are a resident of Spencer County, you should have received a flyer in the mail a couple of weeks ago. If not, you can call our office to get one, or go to our website (address is at the end of this article) and view the class listing and register online.

  • With spring just around the corner, I thought it was time to brush up on some garden nomenclature. I have long been convinced in the value of understanding more about plants than the mere fact that they need sun, soil and water. The more we learn about what it is that plants need and how to determine if they are getting it, the more we will enjoy the act of gardening. What exactly do I mean about “understanding more”? Things like tilth, loam and pH can make or break your azalea garden, and adding sulfur or lime can change the growing environment, for better or worse.


    When Spencer County Elementary School students aren’t sure how to spell a word, they just ask Charley Miller. The fifth-grader has an exceptional knack for spelling.

    He placed fifth out of 61 competitors March 5 in the Kentucky Derby Festival Spelling Bee. He went on from there to finish 10th in a Scripps National Spelling Bee regional competition last Sunday.

  • Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said on Friday he supports state legislation to develop a plan for ensuring that Kentucky has a steady, plentiful supply of water for agricultural uses.

  • One in six Kentuckians is food insecure, which means they lack consistent access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life. For Kentucky children, it’s even worse – one in four. The people described in these statistics are our relatives, friends, and neighbors – people we see at work, at the ballgame, at church. Many of them have to decide whether to eat, pay the bills, or pay for medication.


    Spring break from teaching at U of L falls conveniently during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, which is also my target date for planting onions and potatoes. I typically manage a mid-March planting, but the condition of the soil is my primary concern. I will not start digging until the soil dries out and is considered workable.


    Spencer County’s Lilli Hanik was one of 30 young people honored as 4-H Achievement Program Gold Award Winners recently.

    The 4-H Achievement Program was created to reward ambitious and accomplished young people throughout the state. In the highly competitive program, young people receive recognition and prizes for their accomplishments in 4-H and their community. 4-H’ers can start accumulating points as soon as they start 4-H and begin earning recognition in the sixth grade.


    The Spencer County 4-H Livestock Club competed in the Kentucky 4-H Skill-athon Contest on Saturday, Feb. 20 in Louisville at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, during the Kentucky Beef Expo. This was Spencer County’s largest group ever participating in a state contest. Everyone represented Spencer County well, and it was an outstanding day for everyone involved.

  • Kentuckians living in counties where emerald ash borer has been detected should determine the numbers and sizes of ash trees on their properties and decide which trees, if any, should be protected. Spencer County is one of the counties where the borer has been detected. Managing Emerald Ash Borer: Decision Guide (https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/PDF/NABB_DecisionGuide.pdf) is a good tool to use in the evaluation process.

  • I have my orders placed for onion sets and seed potatoes along with some of my favorite summer crops that will be directly seeded in the garden once the temperatures really warm…I can barely stand the wait! I have just seeded out several trays of early season vegetables that like a cool start to the season. Kale, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are just beginning to push through the light potting mix.

  • A new Blue Grass Stockyards facility will be built along Iron Works Pike despite concerns about Georgetown’s water supply, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and officials with the Bluegrass Stockyards announced Friday.

    “Blue Grass Stockyards is to cattle what Keeneland is to Thoroughbreds,” Gray said at a news conference. “It is the biggest cattle market group east of the Mississippi River. Because of its sales volume, it effectively sets the cattle price structure for the entire Eastern United States.”

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a notice of intent to cancel all Bayer CropScience, LP and Nichino America, Inc., flubendiamide products that pose a risk to aquatic invertebrates that are important to the health of aquatic environments.

  • True to most springs in Kentuckiana, one day is sunny and warm, the next cloudy and cold. It’s an anxious time of the year for most gardeners as we watch the sun coax open a little patch of crocus or catch sight of an old landscape filled with waves of blooming white snow drops. Must we wait for the forsythia to bloom as we pray for warmth? No, there are plenty of other early bloomers to keep us content until spring truly arrives.


    The high school students performed a demonstration of EKG and phlebotomy tests under the guidance of health science teacher Dorothy Beaverson. For the first time this year, students have the opportunity to earn nationally recognized EKG, phlebotomy and Clinical Medical Assistant certifications before they graduate. Eighteen students recently received EKG certification, Beaverson said.

    Dorothy Beaverson said 21 students are involved in SCHS’s health science program, which is in its third year.


    Trace Maloney is this week’s 10th grade Most Valuable Bear. He is involved in the SCHS choir and drama program. He plans to attend college for acting. SCHS teachers describe Trace as mature, charismatic, caring, an outstanding leader, and wise beyond his years.

  • Raising small poultry flocks on the farm or in the backyard has become very popular. The most important things to remember when choosing the type of housing are provisions for adequate shelter from weather, adequate ventilation and also protection from predators.

    You should choose housing that is easy to build from readily available materials. Housing should also have a low maintenance cost and support the changing needs of your flock.

  • Ten years ago, Andy and I set to the task of building a potager-style vegetable garden. It has largely been a success.

    Last year sort of swamped us, however. So, with a few months of winter’s rest behind us, we are ready to start planning a recovery of sorts. Last summer’s rains turned our beautiful potager garden into a weed farm. The wood chips for mulching are currently waiting in the wings for a dry spell so we can drive them back to the garden and spread them out as paths between our planting beds.

  • Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky motorists to make a voluntary $10 donation to the state Ag Tag fund when they buy or renew their farm vehicle license plates.

    The donation is divided equally among Kentucky 4-H, Kentucky FFA and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The “ag tag” donations generated $540,357 in FY 2015. Half of the 4-H and FFA funds go back to the county where the tag is purchased.

  • The Kentucky Supreme Court has let stand an appeals court decision that only regulated utilities can use the power of eminent domain to get land for pipelines.