• Warm fire or smokey chimney?

    The fire season has finally started — in the fireplace, that is!

    Early winter was so mild, I wasn’t sure if we would be in need of some extra warmth. Last week’s frigid temperatures changed all that, and we have the wood stacked and sorted for easy access as we lay a fire for the evening. However, not all wood is created equal if you plan to use it for warmth in the fireplace.

    Since I have perfected my wood-splitting technique, I have come to understand different species of wood and their burning potential.

  • Winter weather warning

    As the first big snow of the year hits Nelson County, the National Weather Service is warning of more.

    As of Wednesday, Nelson County was among several counties in Indiana and Kentucky in the path of a winter storm system that dropped snow on the area throughout the morning.

    According to an NWS advisory, a winter storm watch is issued in the area for Thursday night through late Friday night or early Saturday morning, and will likely bring snow accumulations, resulting in hazardous road conditions.

  • Repurposed pines

     Throughout the month of January, Bernheim Forest is encouraging the community to extend the life of Christmas trees by recycling the pines as mulch for the arboretum.

    “Once it composts for about six months, we’ll turn it and then we’ll take it out into the garden pavilion, the education center, or just where we need it,” said horticulturalist Casey Hammet.

    Hammett and James Moody spent Monday afternoon loading the trees into a wood chipper, adding to an already extensive pile of wood debris collected from the grounds.

  • Spay/neuter clinics available now

    From spring to summer, the number of kittens entering animal shelters across the country begins to climb.

    At the Nelson County Humane Society, hundreds of kittens will come through its doors within a year, but only about one in four will be adopted. The number of good homes is limited, and until efforts are made to control the growing population of unwanted kittens, it’s a challenge the shelter will continue to face.

    From now until March, the Humane Society is pushing for the community to spay and neuter cats so as to help decrease this number.

  • A gardener’s Christmas poem

    Every couple of years, I like to revisit my father’s favorite Christmas poem, inspired by Clement Moore’s famous work ‘Night Before Christmas.’ The writer is unknown but he or she certainly was a gardener; and you may even get some last minute gift ideas from its verse.

  • Holiday greenery has symbolism

    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 were chosen for their symbolic powers of restoration and protection.

  • African violets’ long-lasting bloom

    I have always managed to do well with African violets. I generally keep them in bloom year-round. Many complain that after the first flush of blooms fades, the only thing left is a year’s worth of fuzzy foliage. Well, with a little attention you can keep your African violet cycling in and out of bloom all year. The key is to create a favorable growing environment.

  • Hidden in the Hollies

    Nature lovers got into the spirit of the holidays this week with Bernheim’s December Lunch & Learn program: Hidden in the Hollies.

    During the two-and-a-half hour program, guests hiked inside the forest’s renowned Hubbuch Holly Collection, named for Bernheim’s first horticulture director, Clarence E. “Buddy” Hubbuch Jr.

  • Winter’s checklist part 1: Preparing garden for winter

    There are many gardening tasks that must be done or are better done in the fall of the year. Things like cleaning up old plant material; fertilizing trees, shrubs and lawns; and protecting tender plants like hybrid tea roses and French hydrangeas. These chores are all a part of garden maintenance and taking care of them now will improve the quality of your garden later. Here’s a checklist to remind you of what needs to be done to get the garden ready for winter.


  • Seeking fresh ideas to shape the future of food

    (StatePoint) No matter if you live in a suburban, urban or rural area, new farming innovations are putting food on your plate, clothes on your back and fuel in your tanks. And whether or not you’re a foodie, a gardener or a large scale grower, you’re benefiting from visionary leaders across the country who are changing the way we grow food, fuel and fiber.

    America’s farmers, ranchers and rural leaders face what experts call a daunting task: growing the food an expanding urban population needs and making sure they’re able to continue.