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Columns

  • Pressure on next year for great gift giver

    I pride myself on thoughtful gift giving. I believe that everyone has a Christmas talent.

    My mother and husband can wrap presents with the precision that would rival any North Pole elf. My sister-in-law Jessica is the queen of holiday cocktails and fun group activities like board games, cards and trivia. My father’s holiday talent is fairly new. He’s learned to shop for mom without my help after I moved to Kentucky nearly three years ago.

  • How to manage high tunnel insect pests

    While growers can potentially find any type of insect pest in the high tunnel, whiteflies and thrips are the most common, and the most troublesome.

    In addition to insects, several species of mites are serious and common pests. These pests have several characteristics in common that makes them difficult to manage, including multiple generations per cropping cycle and small body size (thus, they are hard to find when populations are low). In addition, there are relatively few pesticides that are effective against these pests.

  • Make 2015 a year of good things

    Another year ends as a new year begins. Think of all the possibilities ahead of us. It’s only 365 days, but we sure pack a lot of life into them. Before all the merriment begins, I’d like to remind you of some very important things you should do today.

  • Plenty of options for the lactose intolerant

    Lactose intolerance is a common disorder that affects adults.

    About 75 percent of all people in the world have too little lactase to some degree. If you’re African-American, Asian, Hispanic or Native American, you are more likely to have it.

    Lactose intolerance isn’t the same as a food allergy to milk. It means the body can’t easily digest lactose, which is a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products.

  • Strange Christmas news

    I decided what better way to celebrate the Christmas season than a collection of weird news to gather with your family to laugh and/or scratch your head at.

    In Riverdale, New Jersey a man dressed as “the elf on the shelf” was charged with driving while intoxicated Friday, according to the Associated Press. Police say they found Brian Chellis passed out behind the wheel with lights on and music blaring. He reportedly seemed confused and there was an open can of beer found in the vehicle.

  • Throw a yule log on the fire and relax

    All it takes is one hand, or one cough or one sneeze and you too could be joining the ranks of the miserable. There’s a lot of sickness going around out there and of course it’s the worst time of year for it.

    I don’t think I can harp on you any more about washing your hands, eating right and getting enough sleep. Think of it as doing a good deed, because if you get it, you spread it.

  • Smashed potatoes make nice complete meal

    Potatoes are available in different colors, sizes and types. Russets or a variation of russets are the most common. They are high starch, low moisture potatoes. They produce a dry, fluffy potato. Almost all russets are white potatoes but not all white potatoes are russets.

    Waxy potatoes are lower in starch, but higher in moisture. This makes them more dense and able to hold their shape when cooked, making them more suitable for boiling, frying and in recipes requiring a firmer potato, such as potato salad. These potatoes can be red or white.

  • Ag economy strong despite lingering concerns for 2015

    Though the forecast for 2014 crop receipts is down 2 percent, a 15 percent increase in beef, poultry, dairy and hog prices is expected to boost 2014 Kentucky agricultural cash receipts to $6 billion, up slightly from $5.7 billion in 2013. The outlook for 2015, however, is expected to drop back to the $5.7 billion range.

  • Poinsettias remain a beautiful holiday staple

    By Tommy Yankey

    columnist

    Poinsettias are synonymous with the holiday season. Their bright red, pink or white leaves are beautiful as standalone plants or as components of bigger holiday displays.

    It may surprise many to know that in their native climate, this subtropical plant can grow to lofty heights of more than 10 feet. In the United States, poinsettias are grown as indoor potted plants, most in heated greenhouses.

  • Parents: It’s OK to say no to overindulgence

    By Joan Martin

    Guest Columnist

    As the calendar creeps closer to the winter holidays, it is worth asking the following questions: Isn’t it good to give children what they want, when they want it, and won’t they love us more if we do that?