August 27, 2014

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Local Columnists

Prune it, shear it, whack it back
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:42 PM

By Kylee Baumle

One of my favorite garden tasks is pruning. I used to say it was deadheading but my love affair with pruners goes deeper than merely lopping off dead flowers. There’s just something so satisfying about getting rid of less than perfect plant parts. It's cathartic.

It starts in late spring, with keeping the spent bulb flowers cut down. Not the foliage though, until it starts yellowing, because it helps feed the bulbs underground for better flowering the following spring.

Effective use of autumn olive
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:41 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

Autumn olive is a medium to large deciduous shrub. Autumn olive exhibits prolific fruiting, rapid growth, is widely dispersed by birds and can thrive in poor soil. It has the ability to produce up to 80 pounds of fruit in a single season. Due to its nitrogen fixing capabilities, it has the capacity to adversely affect the nitrogen cycle of the native communities that may depend on infertile soils.

A new walk in a new place uncovers new kind of cardinal
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 8:41 PM

By Jim Langham

The older we get, the more intriguing it becomes following clues to a “destination unknown.” Quite often, we don’t recognize the first two clues as such, but as things progress, suspicions arise that a journey could be underway.

Are you going to eat that?
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:28 AM

By Kylee Baumle

Some people know that I have a couple of eating habits that might be called out of the ordinary, and now and then someone will call attention to it. Now I’ve never really understood why the way I eat should even matter to others, but apparently it does, enough that they’ll question me about it on occasion.

I like to eat one thing at a time, and not in any particular order, unless it’s something like peas, that will get cold unless I eat them first. I’m not quite sure how it all began, but I’ve eaten that way as long as I can remember. I continue mainly because doing so allows me to savor the flavor of that particular food item a bit better without messing up its aftertaste with something else. If you’ve never thought about it, aftertaste is very much a part of the eating experience.

Purple Loosestrife invades wetlands
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:28 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist Paulding SWCD

A plant of European origin has spread and degraded North American wetlands since the early nineteenth century. The plant was introduced both as a contaminant of European ship ballast and as medicinal herb for treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, bleeding, wounds, ulcers and sores.

This wetland perennial grows in a wide range of habitats. Established plants can reach heights of six feet tall with 30-50 stems forming wide topped crowns that dominate the canopy. One mature plant can produce more than two million seeds annually. Seeds are easily dispersed by water and in mud adhered to aquatic wildlife, livestock and people. A successful germination depends on the temperature. Also, moist soils are required to achieve germination.

Dreamers see dramatically different future
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:27 AM

By Byron McNutt

DHI Media

Every phase of your life could be subject to change in just the next 10 years as innovators tinker with the status quo...regardless of the consequences those changes might have on our lives.

In decades past, revolutionary changes may have taken five years to take hold.

Today, dramatic changes can sweep the country, the world, in a matter of months.

Traditional ways of doing things can be turned upside down almost over night. This can be very disturbing and it makes many people uncomfortable. Some of the breakthroughs are life changing and totally disrupt lives.

A crazy little thing called corn
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:35 PM

By Kylee Baumle

Ah, August. That bittersweet month that’s still lodged firmly in summer, but is knocking at the door of autumn. I’m not going to dwell on that though. I’ve got sweet corn to eat. Say August to me, and that’s what I think of – sweet corn, butter, weight gain.

We grow corn well here in Paulding County and summer wouldn’t be summer without it. Before it’s ripe enough to eat, I enjoy the smell of the growing corn that permeates the air on a warm, muggy night. You notice that too, don’t you?

All corn is not created equal, however. There are field corn and sweet corn varieties, of course, but we can break it down even further by looking at the types of sweet corn available for home gardeners to grow.

Studies continue on the effects of atrazine
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:35 PM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

One of the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States, atrazine may be applied before and after planting to control broadleaf and grassy weeds. It is used primarily on corn, sorghum, and sugar cane, and is applied most heavily in the midwest.

Aug. 10, a date forever implanted on my heart
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 9:34 PM

By Jim Langham

Sunday, Aug. 10, was a day filled with memories about a 4 foot, 11 inch angel that never weighed 100 pounds in her life time.

Grandma Cook, known to many in our family as “Aunt Maggie,” was a fixture in my life from the day I was born. Born Magdalena Hirschy, two generations from her native land of Switzerland, she was part of our “generational family” that I cherish to this day.

It was a different world that she was born into in Adams County, Ind., in 1886, one in which land was just being cleared for farming, World War I was 30 years away and the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean Conflict still many years into the future.

The best crops in my garden
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 9:47 PM

By Kylee Baumle

“Somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.” Either that or the universe needs to balance things out. I’m talking about the weather here. After enduring the worst winter we’ve had in ages and doing plenty of whining about it, the summer we’re having is making up for it, at least in my neck of the woods.

I don’t want to jinx things, but in the 10 summers that I’ve been an obsessive gardener, I don’t remember a single year that we made it to the first of August without having to give the garden much in the way of supplemental watering. The grass is green and I’m not having thoughts of ripping out half the garden.