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Features

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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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  • Leaf raking is an autumn chore that only children enjoy because they get to undo it in one fowl swoop!  We rake and pile and they jump.  I propose a new approach that just may make us all happy:  adults can still rake a little, children can still play and trees will benefit from some mulch and fertilizer.  At the farm, raking leaves is passé; we let them stay where they fall (with reason, of course) which is usually beneath their canopy.

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    Taylorsville Elementary School’s great students for the month of September were: , from back row: left to right, Alexis Barrick, Chloe Chesser, Mary Beth Taylor, Noah Frank, and front row, Mackenzie Baldwin and Brennan Guzman.