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Columns

  • Speed up ripening process in fruit

    Summer signals the arrival of fresh, seasonal produce, which promises eating at its finest. Sometimes that produce isn’t as ripe as you need it to be.

    Some produce that has traveled a great distance is picked while still green and won’t be ripe when it reaches the store. For some fruits, you can speed up the ripening process at home.

    Common fruits that can be ripened at home include bananas, cantaloupe, peaches, pears, pineapples and tomatoes.

  • Help livestock beat the summer heat

    Summer is almost here. We’ve already experienced some heat, 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 can recognize when your livestock may be in danger from the heat and what you can do to increase their comfort.

    Livestock become uncomfortable when the heat index reaches about 90 degrees. The heat index is a combination of air temperature and humidity, and is used to describe how it feels outside.

  • Don’t let cool, damp nights sicken plants

    These are the days I’m grateful to live two to three hours away from my relatives. If my mamma lived next door she’d have me up all night cleaning.

    Needless to say, the majority of my free time is spent either sleeping or outdoors this time of year. Thank goodness for Sunday morning rituals.

  • Reduce your risk of being victimized by identity thieves

    Over $2.5 billion were lost to identity theft in 2012. Victims younger than 18 represent 6 percent of the total.

    The perpetrator is almost always a family member, frequently the parents.

    Parents who have financial problems will use their child’s social security number to fraudulently obtain credit cards, apply for loans and even employment. The children don’t have any idea until they later apply for jobs, credit cards or loans and find out that they have a negative credit history themselves.

  • Time to prune peonies, pinch mums

    June has arrived to bring us closer to the summer solstice and 15 hours of daylight each day. June has been the most popular wedding month since Roman times, because they were practical planners.

    Think about it. A June marriage meant childbirth in the spring, not the dead of winter and no interference with the fall harvest. Plus, the weather is usually pretty good for outdoor events.

    Work in the garden and lawn is now in high gear, precisely because of that weather.

  • Adding warm-season annuals to grazing system offers several advantages

    Warm-season annuals thrive in the heat of July when temperatures exceed 75 degrees F and other grasses are struggling. During this time cool-season grasses decrease in plant yield, and quality as the plant goes into the reproductive stage. This time frame is called the “summer slump.” Utilizing warm-season annuals during the summer may reduce or end overgrazing of cool-season pastures and the need for feeding stored feeds.

    Animal performance

  • Watch for Full Strawberry Moon

    Watching the sky at night is way more interesting than watching TV.

    Of course, living in the country gives me much better reception folks can get in town. There is very little light pollution when you live out in the boonies. A clear sky at night is not just an indicator of fair weather. It’s an opportunity to appreciate beauty and science all at once.

  • Avoid home selling turnoffs

    If you’re buying a house, you probably know what turns you off in homes that you tour: messy, cluttered houses, strong odors, color schemes that are unique and so on. Most people can’t wait to get out of a house like that. When you are selling your house, be sure to prepare. Avoid these major turnoffs and you go a long way toward making your home a place visitors won’t be in such a hurry to leave.

    Pets

  • Warmer weather means tick season is here

    Ticks can make outdoor activities very uncomfortable in Kentucky, as well as posing a potential public health threat. Tick season extends from mid-March through August.

    Lone Star Ticks

  • Outdoor cats susceptible to strokes, too

    By Jane Sinnett, Guest Columnist

    You don’t think of it happening to that sweet, soft, bundle of fur that literally vibrates with contentment while lying in your lap as you stroke the silky fur.

    But happen it does. Adult cats of both genders and any breed can suffer from strokes. It has been found most feline strokes are diagnosed during the summer months in outdoor cats living in the northeastern United States or in southeastern Canada.