• 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.”

  • Ag report: April 12, 2013

    Shelby County Farmers’ Market

    returns April 27 to fairgrounds

    The Shelby County Farmers' Market will return April 27 for another season at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.

    The market will be open from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday through October at the Coots Barn at 1513 Midland trail.

  • WICHE: Match mulching material with plant’s needs

    Mulch has become a landscape staple, almost to a fault when it is over applied, smothering roots and girdling trunks.

    When done properly mulch can help to suppress weeds, retain moisture and moderate temperature. These things can be achieved using a variety of materials, but which type of mulch suits your needs best?

  • Ag report: April 5, 2013

    Gallrein, Mulberry Orchard certified roadside markets

    Gallrein Farms and Mulberry Orchard in Shelby County are among the 103 farm markets recently accepted into the 2013 Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Roadside Farm Market Program.

    In joining the Kentucky Farm Bureau Certified Roadside Farm Market Program, these markets have committed to offering quality products and service to their customers. Their acceptance by Farm Bureau tells customers that they meet the highest standards of quality, freshness and marketing appeal.

  • WICHE: Rust diseases travel between host plants

    Last year our serviceberry was afflicted with a whimsical-looking disease. Those beautiful blue berries that appear in the summer looked like something from a Dr. Seuss book. In a good year the cedar wax wings usually flock in and eat the berries as they ripen. Not so last year.

    The strange, white, tubular protrusions that covered the berries were not only funny looking, but they kept the birds away, too.