• WICHE: Don’t rush the summer vegetable garden

    I am heading to Boulder, Colo., for a Slow Money National Gathering Conference, and at writing they are melting a record April snow fall. A warming trend occurs before my arrival, thank goodness. Our cold spring met with a blizzard in my destination that is the one opportunity I have to get away for some continuing education this year does not sit well.

  • Shelby County Farmers’ Market begins season on Saturday

    If you’re looking for locally grown produce, plants and other handmade goods, the Shelby County Farmers’ Market will return Saturday for the 13th season of its weekly bizarre at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

    The market is open 8 a.m.-noon each Saturday through October – rain or shine, organizers say – in the Coots Barn at 1513 Midland Trail.

  • Ag report: April 26, 2013

    Thoroughbreds get ‘Proud’ designation

    Kentucky Thoroughbred contenders racing on Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby days will bear the "Kentucky Proud" designation, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer announced this week the branding initiative, “Kentucky Proud for Kentuckybreds."

  • Plant sale organizers rooting for big turnout

    A new location for this year’s Master Gardeners Plant Sale will enable the event to take place whatever the weather, organizers say, a plus in light of this spring’s unpredictable conditions.

    The plant sale, which no longer will include an art show, will be staged at the Shelby County Cooperative Extension Office on Frankfort Road.

  • WICHE: How to rethink your lawn

    I used to have a visceral response to lush spring grass. It gave me anxiety because I knew it was time to get on the Scag and start mowing (and usually the Scag would not start coming out of winter storage!).

    This year I see the grass in a different way because it is potential pasture for our growing herd of sheep. We use moveable, electrified fence and rotational grazing methods to keep the pasture and the herd healthy, so the more grass I have, the better.

    It is a liberating feeling not worrying about getting the grass mowed.

  • Can burley blossom in Shelby this summer?

    On Wednesday, the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association announced Steve Pratt as the new general manager for the company, and Pratt talked of big plans.

    He said in accepting the role that his goal to expand the number of grower contracts in the state, increasing Kentucky’s hold on the market it once dominated.

    Although two of Shelby County’s top producers agreed that there is likely room for growth in the market, other limitations could hold back that growth, they said.

  • Ag report: April 19, 2013

    Student leads both 4-H, FFA at SCHS

    Lexus Perry, a Senior TAG student at Shelby County High School, is a busy student when it comes to agriculture: She leads both the 4-H Club at SCHS and the FFA.

    “It’s all about understanding how people need to have a place where everyone can talk and get along,” Perry said in a release about her roles. “I work especially hard to make sure that all of our FFA members feel welcome and comfortable.”

  • WICHE: Transition houseplants outdoors

    Our current warm sunny weather –  it’s about time – has made everyone just delighted, and the intoxication of it all may lead us to act impulsively. I am as anxious as anyone to move some of my houseplants outdoors. My gardenia looks terrible in the dining room, and the jasmine downstairs seems to stare into space dreaming of better days.

    Those days are coming, just be slow about the transition from indoors to out.

  • Flowers awarded Master Conservationist

    Tom Flowers received the Master Conservationist Award last week at the annual meeting of the Shelby County Conservation District, which was held at the Shelby County Extension Office.

    The award is given to property owners who have been considered to have achieved more than 90 percent of the best management practices for conserving natural resources on their farms.

    Flowers’ farm, located on La Grange Road, was purchased in the 1960s by the late Lewis Flowers, Tom’s father, and is owned by Flowers and his wife, Ginger and his mother, Rebecca.

  • Farmers move focus from tractors to taxes

    Agricultural experts from Vermont to California will tell you that famers need good accountants as much as they need good weather.

    “As the tax laws and business have changed, it’s gotten so much more complicated,” said Jim Ellis of Ellis Farms. “Plus, they [accountants] can do it a lot faster than we can.”