• University of Louisville to grow hemp for scientific, educational purposes

    The University of Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research has begun growing industrial hemp to enhance its research in fuels and manufacturing.

    In partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky Agriculture Department, U of L researchers have planted hemp in a 40-by-40-foot plot adjacent to the center offices in The Phoenix House on the Belknap Campus. Nearby plots will be planted with switchgrass and kenaf, two other plants that have similar potential as fuels.

  • Asters, the perfect fall perennial

    If you plan accordingly, you can have more than mums blooming in your fall garden. There are a considerable number of other “late-bloomers” to choose from for the perennial garden. Coreopsis, salvia, dahlias and helianthus continue to bloom well into fall just as the caryopteris, Japanese anemone, sedum, ageratum, golden rod and sweet autumn clematis start to show their color. Couple all these perennials with asters, and your garden will keep you entertained through October.

  • Sawflies strip dogwoods

    One of the very first insects that I identified as a young gardener was the pine sawfly. We had planted more than 100 white pine seedlings more than 30 years ago and, after a decade or so, we started to lose a couple each year to one problem or another. Daddy charged me with inspection duty. Looking for and plucking bagworms; collecting beetles in jars for identification at the county Extension Service; or closely noting the color, legs and chewing habits of the various caterpillars I encountered.

  • FFA, 4-H hold their first Hog Daze

    FFA and 4-H students had as much fun as hogs in mud when they got together at Wickland Saturday morning for the inaugural Hog Daze, an event to promote agriculture, education and healthy living.

    The day began with a 5K race that included the historic wooded trail behind the 19th century mansion. The race benefited two agricultural education groups, 4-H and FFA.

  • Kentucky hemp has growing market potential, panel told

    More than half of Kentucky’s industrial hemp crop this year can be traced to 19 counties, 58 farmers and one company in Winchester.

    With 23,000 pounds of imported hemp seed destined for 2,466 acres, Atalo Holdings is a superpower in hemp production and processing in Kentucky. Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP) Executive Director Warren Beeler told the Tobacco Settlement Agreement Fund Oversight Committee in July that the company’s hemp contracts this year cover over half the 4,500 acres planted statewide.

  • Gardening chores in the height of summer

    Chris Coulter
    Agriculture Columnist


    With the unusually wet summer we’ve been having, our main gardening concern lately has been the weed crop that threatens to spiral out of control. It has been too wet to do much weeding and cultivating, but it seems the main season crops are hanging in there and enjoying the abundant moisture.

  • Have some fun in the sun this summer with hydrangeas

    By Kristopher Fante

    Backyard Gardener

    When it comes to having fantastic summer blooming shrubs in the sun, look no further than hydrangea panicle “Paniculata.”

    I fell in love with these beauties years ago and accomplished great success with growing them with little to no issues with very limited maintenance.

  • Swallows glean in flight

    Swallow Rail was the name my dad gave the farm more than 30 years ago.

    He wanted it to be relevant, reflecting the spatial and natural qualities of his 18 acres in Western Shelby County. His inspiration came from the swallows that swoop and swerve so adeptly in open fields, catching insects on the fly. The rail of Swallow Rail comes from the two railroad tracks that flank either end of the road.

  • Planting when you hope to have a pollinator garden

    By Chris Coulter

    In my last column, we discussed the value of setting aside an area for beneficial insects. Yes, there are such things as beneficial insects, notwithstanding mosquitoes.

  • Less can be more when it comes to lawn care

    By Kristopher Fante, Backyard Gardener

    In my last column, I discussed starting your lawn with proper seeding. But that is only the beginning.