A Champion of the Foothills

Here’s an inspiring read for youngsters with an interest in farming: A Champion of the Foothills by Lewis Edwin Theiss. Ned Higgins grew up on his father’s run-down farm, firmly believing that it will never amount to anything.  His sole ambition is to find a paying city job that will enable him to buy a…

Cackling Goose

The cackling goose (Branta hutchinsii) is basically just a miniature look-alike of the familiar Canada goose. In fact, the two birds were considered varieties of the same species until 2004. The cackling goose is about the size of a large mallard, but otherwise it is nearly identical to its larger cousin.   Best Field Marks…

5 Simple Ways to Enjoy Homegrown Tomatoes

There is no tomato like a homegrown tomato! You avid gardeners probably already have a list of favorite uses for tomatoes, but in case you have overlooked a possibility or two, we’ll offer this short list of some of our favorites. Don’t miss out on a single one of these possibilities: Slices. Just sprinkle pepper…

Body Condition Scoring: Beef Cattle

A body condition score (BCS) is a subjective evaluation of an animal’s weight relative to its size. It helps livestock owners determine whether an animal is too fat, too thin, or just about right by noting the location and thickness of fat deposits. Over the next few weeks, we will summarize the scoring systems generally…

Quote of the Week: Enablings

God’s commands are enablings.  He will never give us a work to do without showing exactly how and when to do it, and without giving us the precise strength and wisdom we need. —F. B. Meyer

Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses

If you want to identify a plant in Kansas, here is the first website you should consult: Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses. The site is maintained by Michael John Haddock, author of Wildflowers & Grasses of Kansas (read our full review).  Those of you who have enjoyed the field guide will love the website, which contains…

Brant

The Brant (Branta bernicula) is a small goose, only slightly larger than the Ross’s Goose.  Birdwatchers are not likely to confuse the two, however, because one of the most notable characteristics of the Brant is its overall dark color.  Its head, neck, and breast are black, while its back is dark brown.  The underparts are…

4 Uses for Fresh Cucumbers…and a Bonus

Yes, we all know that cucumbers were made for pickling.  But not all of us want to go to that much time and trouble.  We’d rather enjoy a nice, fresh cucumber straight from the garden. Please note that not all cucumbers are suitable for eating fresh.  Some varieties are bred specifically for pickling, and they…

Why are Healthy Plants Bug-Resistant?

We all know that healthy plants are resistant to bugs. Unfortunately, we all too often forget to ask ourselves why this is true. In nature, weak organisms are typically attacked first. In the animal kingdom, predators see and smell the weakness of their prey. Gardeners have long suspected that diseased or dying plants put out…