• Shelby farmers get help with development

    Shelby County farmers will receive some cost sharing incentives -- $350,000 worth, to be exact.

    Gov. Steve Beshear announced that distribution to the for Shelby County Agricultural Development Council as part of the state’s County Agricultural Investment Program.

    Though the decision was reached in June, the announcement came Friday in a release from the governor’s office.

  • WICHE: What will grow over septic field?

    Q: Is there anything I can "do" over a lateral (septic) field? A large section of my back yard is such, and I would like to be able to reclaim some of this lawn. If it matters, it has been in place and problem free for 12 years. I know I could do some container planting, but can I do anything more permanent? Could I put in gravel pathways? Raised beds, perhaps?

  • Credit company touts support for farmers

    Though many financial institutions across the nation have locked down lending in the wake of recent recessionary times, Farm Credit Services of Mid-America said at a recent local event it has filled the credit gap for its rural customers.

    This Louisville-based cooperative, which has an office in Shelbyville on Mount Eden Road, played host to about

  • WICHE: Bumper crops of peppers, squash are no sure thin

    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, some years are better then others, and this year I don’t seem to have an over abundance.

    This year the squash vine borer and blossom end rot dominate. Last year it was squash bugs and mildew.

  • WICHE: Various causes of plant distortions

    I am starting to appreciate anomalies in nature in ways I had never considered.

    I suppose I am getting more acquainted with things not going as you plan. I can’t expect a season in the garden to unfold in seamless perfection if nothing else in life does.

    So I am embracing an attitude of wonder instead of one of dismay when things start to distort, twist, stunt, grow nipples, galls or any other odd appendage.

  • WICHE: Purslane turns out to be a tasty weed

    I have long understood that purslane could be used in salads or soups but have never made much of an effort to harvest and devise a kitchen plan until know.

    I had this fabulous stand of the weed in my kitchen garden after I pulled the old greens that bolted from the summer heat. It made perfect sense to let it grow and flourish because no lettuce seed would be germinating in this heat, and I knew that this garden was free from any herbicides.

  • WICHE: Bagworms are on the move, slowly

    I received a call the other day about what to do with a blue spruce covered in bagworms.

    The tree is apparently covered (and large), so hand-picking was not an option. The caller said the pest was rather large, too, so I had to recommend a systemic insecticide as the treatment.

    I prefer that we catch the bagworms earlier in the season so that we can take a biological approach but this is not always the case.

  • WICHE: Curing is key to storage for potatoes, garlic onions

    Potatoes, garlic and onions: These tree vegetables are staples worldwide partly because of their versatility and partly because of their ability to be stored.

    Late July and August is when our spring planted onions, garlic and potatoes reach maturity and are ready for harvest.

  • Growing focus on plant food

    For years home gardeners have known about Monty's Joy Juice: The small vials of plant food that have provided nourishment for their roses and house plants since 1997.

    But Monty's Plant & Soil Products is much, much more than help for the weekend gardener.

    For the past two years the company has been running a research farm on Mulberry Pike, leasing 75 acres from Paul Hornback, a faithful Monty's user.

    Now Monty's has added a distribution deal around the area with Southern States, giving its large-scale farm products yet another home.

  • WICHE: Crape myrtles are high-summer bloomers

    We should use more crape myrtles in Kentuckiana. They are not just for more warm, temperate climes. In fact, there are a great many that go unbothered by an average winter in our parts.

    There is often a lull in the garden at this time. Our early-summer blooms are fading, and our late-summer garden has yet to pop.

    But the crape myrtle can provide a colorful bridge between the two.