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Agriculture

  • Shelby County woman recognized as Master Farm Homemaker

    For the first time in more than 20 years, a Shelby County woman has been inducted in the Kentucky Master Farm Homemakers Guild.

    “It’s a big deal. It’s very exciting,” said Shelia Fawbush from the Shelby County Cooperative Extension office and a member of the Kentucky Extension Homemakers Association.

    Hawkins, a farm homemaker, farmer’s market vendor and vice president and loan manager at Citizens Union Bank, was recognized and honored as the newest member to the guild at the state MFHG meeting last month in Bowling Green.

  • WICHE: Carpenter bee breaking down the door

    Every year about this time I write about carpenter bees. 

    We live in a wood house and they love us. And this year they have really pushed the limit of reasonable bee behavior.

    I absolutely do not approve of killing bees, but I will have to make an exception this year.  Most bees are welcome around the farm especially since the nation’s bee population is in a bit of a crisis with the suspected cause being the use of pesticides, notably neonicotinoids. 

  • WICHE: Some plants like it wet

    There are some plants that demand good drainage:  taxus, coreopsis, gaillardia and penstemon, to name a few.  I have lost them all because they were poorly sited in the garden, but now that I know where water is slow to drain I know where to plant those trees, shrubs and perennials that like wet environments. 

    There is an upside to poor drainage for some plants, just be sure that water is available when Mother Nature doesn’t deliver.

  • Ag report: May 30, 2014

    Comer cheers launch

    of UK hemp pilot program

     

    LEXINGTON, Ky. —The University of Kentucky launched its industrial hemp pilot program Tuesday when hemp seeds were planted at Spindletop Farm, marking another milestone in the drive to restore industrial hemp production to the commonwealth.

  • WICHE: Sweet potatoes yield a bumper crop

    We are still eating from a fantastic harvest of sweet potatoes last fall.  I planted out about 25 organic slips purchased from Country Corner Greenhouse in Shepherdsville in late May, and by early November we had 4 nursery crates full of one of nature’s perfect foods! 

    Seven months and counting in storage with no spoilage is impressive, but now we are down to about six sweet potatoes – just in time for a transition to other summer vegetable. 

  • Ag report: May 23, 2014

    Author, beekeeping expert

    to become state apiarist

     

    A nationally known beekeeping authority and author will join the Kentucky Department of Agriculture as Kentucky’s new state apiarist, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced today.

    Tammy Horn of Lexington will assume the post June 1.

  • WICHE: Plant propagation from softwood cuttings

    The most common form of plant propagation is digging and dividing, which is frequently 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. 

  • Ag report: May 16, 2014

    Comer sues U.S. Justice Department

    to get hemp seeds released

    Calling a Drug Enforcement Administration's earlier offer to release hemp seeds a "bait and switch" tactic, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture on Wednesday sued the U.S. Justice Department.

    Agriculture Commissioner James Comer filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Louisville against the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, the Justice Department and Attorney General Eric Holder.

  • Tomato 101

    “Tomato 101” is for beginners and advanced gardeners alike.  There are many assumptions about the tomato that sometimes 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.

    When it comes to spring fever the tomato is the most abused and most people still plant too early. 

  • Ag report: May 9, 2014

    Jonathan McGinnis joins American Angus Association

    Jonathan Tyler McGinnis of Shelbyville is a new junior member of the American Angus Association, according to the St. Joseph, Mo., based organization.

    Junior members of the association are eligible to register cattle, participate in programs conducted by the National Junior Angus Association and take part in Association-sponsored shows and other national and regional events.