Prairie Spirit Trail State Park

Prairie Spirit Trail State Park has the distinction of being the first rail trail in Kansas, following the line of the Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Galveston Railroad. This track was originally intended to give the city of Lawrence a competitive advantage over Kansas City, but the railroad never made it to the Gulf of Mexico as…

The Breeding Toolbox: Inbreeding

First, to tackle the most controversial tool in the breeding toolbox—inbreeding. The definition of inbreeding is simple. Inbreeding is the practice of mating two closely related animals. The subject becomes more complicated when breeders try to define how close is “close.” Of course, all animals of the same kind are related, tracing back to a…

Homemade Cards

Looking for a way to say it just right to that special friend or loved one? Don’t buy a card—make one! Both adults and young people can enjoy making their own greeting cards, and Homemade Cards by Charlene Kennell offers great tips and inspirations: How to find useful but inexpensive supplies. How to use the…

Prairie Dog State Park

Since irrigation and water supply are high priorities in western Kansas, the construction of Norton Dam and Keith Sebelius Reservoir was logical. The United States Bureau of Reclamation began work on the dam in 1961 and completed it in 1964. Kansas quickly arranged to set up a state park to provide recreational opportunities and wildlife…

The Breeding Toolbox: Introduction

If you breed animals of any kind, whether they be dogs, goats, or cattle, hopefully you have a goal.  Maybe you want to preserve a rare breed, or maybe you just want to perpetuate the good qualities of that favorite laying hen. Once you have set a goal, the next step is to develop a…

Our Vitamin Guide—Updated!

We have updated our vitamin guide to include country pets, those special cats and dogs that share our lives and help us out around the farm. In addition to information on vitamins in livestock nutrition, you will now find details applicable specifically to pets: Natural sources of vitamins tailored to carnivores. Causes of vitamin deficiency…

Pomona State Park

Several historical facts make Pomona Lake unique.  First, it is just a few miles south of the old Santa Fe Trail.  Second, it gives Osage County, Kansas, the distinction of being the only county in the United States with two federal reservoirs (Melvern Lake at Eisenhower State Park is the other reservoir in the county)….

What Makes Some Cucumbers Bitter?

All cucumber plants contain a substance known as cucurbitacin, which tastes very bitter and is toxic when concentrated.  Normally, cucurbitacin is found in the roots, stems, and foliage of the plant, but in times of stress it may creep into the cucumber fruits, as well. Usually the cucurbitacin content of a cucumber is so low…