• WICHE: Mail-order plants not always what they claim

    This time of the year subtle warnings come from professionals reminding the consumer to be skeptical of mail order catalogues or advertisements that claim “new horticultural breakthroughs,” otherwise outrages claims or mass quantities of things for bargain basement prices.

    There are legitimate “horticultural breakthroughs” but usually different terminology is used, and you’ll find them at your local stores.

  • WICHE: Starlings and the bird count

    The surprising thing about starlings is that they are everywhere yet not from here.

    It’s another story of one good intention going bad! Apparently back in 1890, in honor of a Shakespeare festival in New York City’s Central Park, 60 European starlings were released. The following year another 40 were released, and today the bird is one of the most numerous species in North America. 

  • Contractor turning old farm into new animal sanctuary

    Dennis Schuman pointed methodically around the gutted barn. This would be a stall for the lambs, he said, and this would be for the goats, and two would be for the chickens.

    The adjacent, dilapidated milk parlor would be a kennel for dogs. A smaller kennel would house cats. Another barn, just 30 feet away, will be remodeled for horses.

    "What we're going to do is make it into a sanctuary and rescue for pets," Schuman said.

  • WICHE: Learn to describe plant problems accurately

    We all seek advice from experts and describing what ails us or our plants it key in determining what’s really going on; and not everyone understands the nomenclature of symptoms caused by insect and disease problems.

  • WICHE: Warm fire or smoky chimney?

    I thought we would be set on the firewood front this winter because of all the downed trees and limbs from last year’s storms. We have a huge pile of wood out by the barn that we are literally chipping away at with the splitter.

    I love splitting wood; it is great exercise and manages to shed just about any frustration that may be lingering from the day.

  • Shelby farmer seeks producers for his auction

    The Shelby County Cooperative Extension Office will host an informational meeting for a new regional produce auction Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.

    Shelby County farmer David Neville started Capstone Produce Auction this fall in response to increased demand for local produce. The business combines his agriculture and auctioneering interests.

    "The biggest part of my job is to do the marketing," Neville said. "I'll be the one talking to the restaurants in Louisville or the Humana cafeteria or Oldham County Schools."

  • WICHE: Here’s how to have a homemade holiday

    I’m considering a predominately homemade holiday. My friend Pernilla suggested that all gifts should be ones that can “be used up” for a good purpose. So, something one could eat, use to cook with, to bathe with; perhaps something we could decorate with and when finished it would be a good addition to the compost pile? 

  • Dairy farmers digging in their heels to survive low milk prices

    Guy Grubbs' cows are thirsty. It's nearly milking time, so this 55-year-old farmer lets his eager Holsteins through two gates to the water troughs.

    "I've milked cows all my life, and we've had some tough times, but I've never seen one this prolonged," said Grubbs, a third-generation dairyman.

  • KFB gathering will steer policy

    About a dozen Farm Bureau members will represent Shelby County at the Kentucky Farm Bureau Annual Conference today through Saturday at Louisville's Galt House Hotel.

    This annual meeting is a time for fellowship and confronting the issues, said Larry Williams, Shelby County's Farm Bureau Secretary, but one of the biggest tasks of the conference is to set policy goals by which the Farm Bureau can lobby the state and federal governments.

  • WiCHE: The history of our holiday greenery

    Holiday greenery has a history that goes well beyond the Victorian Christmas tree we gather around today. Most of the holiday greenery we use to decorate dates back to the pagan holidays of the Romans and Northern Europeans, when certain plants where chosen for their symbolic powers of restoration and protection.

    In celebration of the Winter Solstice, the Romans celebrated Saturnalia, during which they would decorate homes and temples, feast and revel in honor of their god Saturn.