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Columns

  • Small ears may mean poor pollination

    Small stalks, small ears, poor kernel development…does this describe your corn crop this year?  Or maybe the raccoons absconded with the crop! If this sounds like you there may be several factors at work.  Drought at the wrong time can stunt your corn crop; cold damage can stunt corn (if you put your crop out early you could see a little stunting from a late spring cold snap); and poor drainage and poor soil fertility, especially nitrogen, can stunt the crop as well.  

  • O’ death, where is thy sting?

    For me, last week began and ended with funerals.
    On Monday, I attended the funeral of Mary Zawalich, whom I’d never met, or maybe I have and I don’t remember.
    About a month ago, she called me. She told me her name and said she was 92 and she was dying, but that it was OK, that it was a “happy death.”
    She had called to say that she’s been a reader of my column and that I’ve been a “wonderful part” of her life. She called to thank me, to say that she admired me, that she has loved me.

  • Curing onions, garlic and potatoes for harvest
  • Who drank the Kool-Aid?

    In November 1978, a group of true believers were led to their deaths in the forests of Guyana which is located near Venezuela on the eastern side of Latin America.  Their deaths were orchestrated by a religious leader who urged his followers to commit the “’revolutionary act’ of suicide.”  

  • Be upset by park vandals, help find culprits

    There is a lot about my job that I enjoy immensely.
    However, one of my favorite things to do is to take pictures of the many children throughout Grant County having fun.
    Whether it is at the Grant County Fair, countless school activities or in the park, nothing beats capturing smiling faces having a blast.
    In particular, I love each summer going to Grant County Park for two weeks to take photos at the Little Dippers and Summer Splash camps.
    It is hard to find a better place to send your kids for a good time, especially at the low cost.

  • DOWN AND DIRTY
  • Vacation is the best medicine

    Recently, I traveled to Tennessee for the July 4th holiday to see many of my family members that I had lost touch with. I come from a huge family with my great grandmother having 16 children and my grandmother having six children.
    It had probably been 10 years since I had seen most of these people. My Uncle Robbie always has a big get together on the lake.
    This is the first year I had ever been. My family is rowdy, loud and can roll with the best of them and I love every minute of it. They are mine whether they like it or not.

  • Going, going, gone fishing!

    I just flipped the calendar over and bam, it hit me that it is July already!
    I’m not sure what happened to May and June but they are in the history books now.
    This has been a weird year in terms of weather. First, we had the winter that wouldn’t end and then spring sprang and kept going and now it’s officially summer.

  • Organic fertilizer recipe

    If you are a regular reader of my column you likely know that I much prefer an organic approach to farm and gardening and that I believe that building healthy soil produces healthy food.  As I continue to learn more about pest control and fertility the more I have come to understand why healthy plants and animals have an edge over their synthetically doped counterparts.

  • A picture is worth a 1,000 words