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Agriculture

  • WICHE: Protecting young trees from deer rut

    Last weekend marked the opening of gun season in Kentucky and deer hunters hit the woods in their orange safety gear looking for the epitome of procuring local food! 

    I am not a hunter, but I certainly respect hunters who lawfully hunt for food. While some are hunting this time of the year, however, others are scrambling to protect their trees from the rut.

  • An ode to Jack and the turnip

    It looks like this late turnip crop is going to be a good one thanks to cool temperatures and adequate rain fall. 

    I may even have some little ones ready in honor of Halloween this year, too, even though they will only be salad size.  What does the turnip have to do with Halloween you may ask?  Well, they just may be more authentic than that pumpkin on the porch. 

    Pumpkins have been for sale for weeks and children have decided on costumes but somewhere in the middle of it all is the story of All Hallow’s Eve.  

  • Homegrown goodness

    Nearly a year after the seed was planted, the Rooted in Shelby program is coming to fruition.

    The Shelby County Cooperative Extension launched the program earlier this month with the anticipation of forming a connection with the Shelby County’s Kentucky Proud farmers and local businesses.

    Farmers across the county that participate in the Kentucky Proud program are invited to join Rooted in Shelby, a free program designed for promoting products that are raised or produced in the county.

  • Extension office open house draws big crowd

    The Shelby County Cooperative Extension Office opened its doors Tuesday afternoon for guests to participate in an array of hands-on activities during its annual open house event.

    Activities included butter churning, sewing and Halloween crafts, and attendees had the opportunity to pet various animals like snakes, chickens and rabbits. Guests were also treated to quesadillas, smoothies, and pumpkin muffins.

  • Meeting your Good Neighbors

    Farming is the backbone of America and our daily survival depends on a farmer’s hard days labor.  But despite the vital role they play in our lives, and especially in a largely rural community like Shelby County, many don’t know what happens in the day-to-day work on a farm.

    This past weekend, however, the Shelby County Cooperative Extension hosted the 2nd Annual Shelby County Good Neighbors Farm Tour.  Allowing more than 350 people to take a peek at a dozen of the typically hidden farms scattered throughout Shelby County.

  • Explore Shelby County’s backyard

    Tomorrow, curious visitors and locals alike will have the opportunity to take a rare peak beyond the barn doors and farm gates of Shelby County.

    For the second year, various farms in the county will be hosting the Shelby County Good Neighbors Farm tour.

    Last year, the event drew approximately 300 visitors and this year attendance is expected to increase.

  • WICHE: Preening the late summer garden

    All in all, we have had a decent summer with reasonable temperatures and adequate rainfall.  I think the marker for the summer of 2014 can go to the weeds! 

    So as you address some fall weeding chores you may also want to do a little preening to give some of your annuals and perennials a facelift for fall.

    As we descend into fall, annuals and perennials will rebound but first we need to get rid of the old, ragged growth.  Several gardeners have told me they have given up on the season and thrown out their annual containers. 

  • WICHE: Cover crops prove multi-purposed

    While I will admit that half of my vegetable garden looks dreadful, the other half is holding steady because we mulched paths with a heavy layer of wood chips, filled unplanted beds with cover crops and have weeded the rest by hand and hoe.  I started using cover crops about 5 years ago, and I am sold on the multi-purpose usefulness. 

    While many disease pathogens winter over on plant debris and an equal amount remain viable in the soil, we need to strategize to keep the garden relatively clean. 

  • From kindergarten to the garden

    Chosen from among 1,800 Kentucky Proud Farmers, Brooke Eckmann of Ambrosia Farm in Finchville, has been selected as one of three honorees for the 2014 Local Food Hero.

    In its second year, the award recognizes farmers whom not only grow delicious food, but also contribute to their communities by conserving water, soil and wildlife.

    “It’s really unbelievable to me to be chosen from among the local farmers, let alone across the state, we have great farmers in the area,” Eckmann said.

  • WICHE: Bumper crop of squash not a sure thing

    You know all the jokes about people having bumper crops of summer squash? 

    Squash shows up in people’s cars or in public spaces because there is so much that the gardener can’t even give it away.  Well, that’s never really been a problem for me. 

    I have a little bit of that problem this year, and I give credit to the variety and the fact that it was plated later than usual.  Others, however, have not been so blessed.