• Fringe trees are also a sign of spring

    The beacon of spring in these parts is undoubtedly the native dogwood. But, because of disease problems, especially dogwood anthracnose, people are seeking alternatives to Cornus florida. There are other notable dogwoods, such as Cornus kousa and Cornus mas, but look beyond the dogwood for small, spring flowering landscape trees. What about Halesia or Chionanthus.

    What, you ask? The Carolina silver bell and the fringe tree, respectively.

  • Ides of March making way for spring and weeds

    Do we still teach children about Brutus’ betrayal of Caesar and to Beware the Ides of March? Well, I hope that this year the Ides of March on March 15 will mark a not so foreboding future. After this last blast of winter weather, we are due for spring. My onion slips and seed potatoes should be arriving in the mail; in addition to a March 20 arrival date of 200 Freedom Ranger chicks and the first of our lambs to be born on the first day of spring!

  • District names Roger Ballard 2014 Master Conservationist

    The Nelson County Conservation District named Roger Ballard as its 2014 Master Conservationist. This award honors those farm owners who have applied and maintained 90 percent of all government and voluntary conservation practices on their farm.

    Ballard and his wife, Donna, own 34 acres near Bardstown. They have a beef cattle operation that consists of 20 cows, 20 calves and one bull.

  • Farmers can take nuisance deer, feed the hungry

    Deer — to some, they are beautiful animals. To out-of-state sportsmen, Kentucky whitetails are the stuff of which dreams are made. To farmers here in the state though, they are often a nuisance or worse, gobbling their way through soybean fields at a rapid and alarming rate.

  • Planning ahead? Order seed

    Like many gardeners this time of the year I, too, have been spending cold winter evenings by the fire with a good catalog. The seed catalogues fill the mailbox and I barely make it up the driveway without taking a peak at what’s offered for 2015.

  • Cold Caring: Farmers work to keep herd healthy

    While many kept indoors during last week’s winter storms, Thomas Reed was out at 4 a.m. watching for cows about to give birth.

    Reed, 42, grew up farming and currently manages 43 head of cattle on his Botland farm.

    He said last week’s freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall hit hard for his herd.

    “It’s so much more work,” he said.

  • Brussels sprouts have made a comeback

    Brussels sprouts have made a comeback!

    It used to be that no one liked them and they were hard to come by fresh.

    Old varieties have been greatly improved from those forced on you as a child.

    Equally, updated cooking methods probably can stand some credit for elevating the previously mushy, bitter Barbie-doll-sized cabbage to a crispy, nutty treat! In short, don’t boil them to death; try some quick roasting beneath the broiler, instead.

  • Kentucky Soybean Association elects officers for 2015

    Members of the Kentucky Soybean Association elected officers for 2015 during a Jan. 15 board meeting in Bowling Green.

    Mike Burchett of Calloway County was elected president. A grower of soybeans, corn and wheat, he has been on the board since 2007 and has been active in the legislative affairs of KSA, serving as chairman of the legislative committee for several years.

    Jed Clark of Graves County was elected vice-president. Clark grows soybeans, corn wheat and tobacco. He was elected to serve on the association board in 2011 and has moved up the ranks.

  • Goldenrod: It might not be the allergen you think it is

    I am allergic to many things and it is not just seasonal pollen, so trust me when I say don’t blame your late summer sneezes on this lovely perennial. There are about 100 species of goldenrod in North America, 20 of which can be found in Kentucky. So, it is no surprise that solidago, or goldenrod, is Kentucky’s official state flower.

  • In the garden, some perennials perform best in winter

    The garden is not bare in the winter ­— far from it. There is plenty of interest to delight the gardener, feed the birds, or provide shelter for a slug. Short of having one of those unusual winters where the temperatures drop below zero for more than a week, there are quite a few interesting herbaceous perennials that persist through winter. Design a perennial bed with them in it, and you’ll always have something to enjoy.