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Extension

  • Help livestock beat the heat

    Summer is almost here. We’ve already experienced some heat and within the past couple of weeks little to any rainfall. It could be just a taste of what’s to come. Humans aren’t the only ones who suffer when the temperatures rise. Farm animals feel it, too. You need to be aware when your livestock may be in danger from the heat and what you can do to increase their comfort.

  • Safe canning practices keep everyone healthy

    Gardens are beginning to bear the fruits of our labor. Soon, it will be time to start thinking about preserving some of the excess produce for winter months. Safety is of utmost importance for those of us who will be preserving food, because, let’s face it, no one wants to get sick from poorly processed food.

  • 4-H’ers, get ready to go camping

    Spring has sprung and before you know it, summer will be here. 4-H Camp is a great way to fill those lazy summer days. At 4-H Camp, young people learn independence, responsibility, have a lot of fun and make many friends.

  • Black locust in bloom

    No matter where you drive in southern Indiana or central Kentucky, the black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia, is in full bloom, and a glorious bloom it is. There is nothing like the fragrance of black locust blooms wafting in the air and the Orchard Oriole singing in   the trees, or so my wife, Carole, says. I have to admit the blooms smell awesome. Although the tree is not much to look at otherwise, I believe it rivals the beauty of the common dogwood when it is in bloom. Its blooms are also a good source of nectar for honey bees.

  • What’s new with canning lids?

    The USDA recommends the use of self-sealing two-piece metal caps (lids plus screw bands) for home canning. For years, lid manufacturers have instructed us to preheat the flat metal lids in simmering water to soften the sealing compound before use. But if you use Ball® or Kerr® brand lids, your home canning has just gotten a little easier—preheating the lids is no longer required.

  • Yard sale bargain shopping

    Yard sale season has arrived!  As the temperatures are warming up, people are beginning to realize items, such as children’s clothing or sporting equipment, they might need to purchase for spring and summer.  Yard sale shopping is a great place to find items you need at bargain prices. 
    If You Are Searching for Yard Sale Bargains…

  • Rotate cattle insecticide ear tags

    Insecticide-impregnated cattle ear tags have been a popular means of controlling pasture flies (horn fly and face fly) for over 20 years. The insecticide in the tag “blooms” from the plastic matrix and is then transferred to the animal’s hair coat. Plus, the fly control program travels from pasture to pasture with the animal.

  • Mulch, mold and fungi

    I am often asked the question during the summertime how to get rid of mold in landscape mulch. University of Kentucky horticulture specialist John Strang and Extension plant pathologist Paul Vincelli offer some helpful suggestions. In addition to their suggestions, I have often found that a brisk raking of the mulch will allow the surface to dry sufficiently to disrupt the life cycle of the fungi or mold.
    Mulch can be beneficial in many ways on plant beds, around foundation shrubs and other gardening locations in your yard, but mold can threaten its benefits.

  • The essentials on essential oils

    By now, you’ve likely heard about essential oils, but may not be familiar with what they are and their benefits and risks. Essential oils are highly concentrated oils derived from plants. While used for centuries, their popularity has recently soared, especially among individuals looking for natural healing options other than prescription medications.

  • Preserve sunshine in winter!

    Last summer’s canning season may be over, but you can brighten up gray winter days with homemade marmalade.  Use it to bring some sunshine to your own breakfast, or share the goodness with friends and family. This recipe from the National Center for Home Food Preservation does not need added pectin to gel, because citrus fruits contain enough of their own natural pectin.  Many of these fruits are readily available at the produce section of your grocery store.
    Citrus Marmalade
    Ingredients:
    ¾ cup grapefruit peel (from 1 grapefruit)