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Features

  • There is something about working in the garden on a sunny winter day:  it clears debris from both the perennial bed and the gardener’s head.   There is clarity to the winter landscape that is quite different than any other season.  On a clear day, the sky is a true blue, you can see all the birds flitting about the leafless trees.  

  • Amid concern over antibiotic resistance and in an effort to improve efficiency while protecting human and animal health, the Food and Drug Administration is making changes in its Veterinary Feed Directive program. They are amending regulations regarding drugs added to livestock feeds; the new rules are effective Jan. 1.

  • The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team, are removing the Level One Drought Declaration that was issued for much of the state on Nov. 10.

    Following this weekend’s abundant precipitation, all of the state is above normal for precipitation for the past 30 days.

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  • Live gifts during the holiday season are welcomed by gardeners…a poinsettia or two, a rosemary topiary, cyclamen, African violets and orchids give us something to fuss over during the winter months.  But, sometimes our homes can be a hostile environment for many of the most popular indoor flowering plants.  

  • Snow and bitter cold sent shivers across the nation in recent days, and experts are urging all dog and cat owners to protect their pets from the freezing temperatures.

     Pets can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia just as humans can, say veterinarians who treat dogs and cats all winter long for winter-related injuries.
     
    “If it feels cold to you, it’s probably cold to your indoor cat or dog,” said Dr. Will Fischbach, a senior clinician in emergency medicine.

  • Amassing a good set of gardening tools usually takes a while and the holiday season, with various traditions of gift giving, is a perfect time to help gardeners achieve that goal.  Good tools don’t come cheap, but if you buy right the first time the investment pays off in the life of the tool and the efficiency of the job.  The right tool often means less time spent on tackling the chore.  

  • The 2017 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference will have something of interest for all fruit and vegetable producers. The event runs from 8 a.m. EST Jan. 9 until 5 p.m. Jan. 10 at Lexington’s Embassy Suites Hotel.

    Preconference activities on Jan. 8 will include tree fruit, small fruit and vegetable roundtable discussions as well as a plasticulture strawberry short course.

  • December has ushered in some seasonal weather with daytime temperatures hovering in the forties.  For us this is perfect winter weather to work in.  Brisk, but not too cold, it can be invigorating for animals and people alike.  The sheep and the big dogs seem to prefer it, in fact.  The playful frolicking is proof. The clear blue sky on a chilly winter day can be even more beautiful with a little winter plant interest.

  • Now that we are in December, everyone’s thoughts turn toward the holidays.  Each year, I like to pass along the following tips and information about the most popular plant of the holiday season, the poinsettia.

    Traditional red and green colors are well represented in the flowers available for the holidays. Poinsettias, the most popular and spectacular holiday flowers, can combine both these colors.

  • Last Sunday I felt like I was under siege! There were starlings everywhere; so much so that I feared being splattered with poop at every turn.  The surprising thing about starlings is that they are everywhere, yet not from here.  It’s another story of one good intention going bad. Apparently, back in 1890, in honor of a Shakespeare festival in New York City’s Central Park, sixty European starlings were released.  The following year another forty were released and today the bird is one of the most numerous species in North America.  

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    Lilli Hanik, of Fisherville, received the Gold Honors Award at 4-H Teen Conference this past June at the University of Kentucky in Lexington.  She is the daughter of John and Kim Hanik and is a Senior at Spencer County High School. Lilli was selected, through an application and interview process, as one of the delegates that represented Kentucky at the National 4-H Congress November 25 – November 29 in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • The holiday season is well under way. Many of you enjoyed a bountiful Thanksgiving feast with your loved ones and will do so again during Christmas and New Year’s Day.

  • It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. I have family visiting for Christmas, so this means a bigger tree than normal; if you are going to travel to come see us, this is the least I can do. Plus, it is fun to find the “perfect” tree that fits your space and holds precious ornaments with style.

  • Once autumn leaves have fallen, mistletoe becomes highly visible on large trees throughout Kentucky. Phoradendron, the scientific name for Kentucky’s most common variety of this parasitic plant, means tree thief. These small leafy plants are commonly found on twigs and branches of many hardwood species in the southern United States. Mistletoe extracts—steals— water, mineral elements and food from tree hosts; hence the name.

  • It that time of year when talk turns to turkeys. Technically, there is only one breed of turkey, with several varieties, although many people incorrectly refer to these varieties as breeds.

    Turkeys are raised only for meat. They are not raised for egg production, as with chickens, ducks and quail. As a result, turkeys do not produce very many eggs.

    The most common type of commercial turkey raised in the United States is the Broad-Breasted White. It has a larger breast than the other varieties of turkeys.

  • The Office of the State Climatologist and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in coordination with the Kentucky Drought Mitigation Team, are issuing a Level 1 drought declaration for 117 counties in Kentucky.

    A Level 1 drought indicates moderate to severe drought conditions have developed, primarily affecting soil moisture and vegetative health.  Increasing incidents of wildfires and adverse impacts to agricultural water needs and public water supplies are likely if drought conditions persist.

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