Get Ready for March 2016

Get ready for spring!  It’s time to plan new projects, start a garden, and get outside to enjoy nature. Start a new garden or orchard. Plan your farm water system. Take on the 5-minute brainstorming challenge. Learn more about growing your favorite vegetables. Learn about the breeding birds of Kansas. Start a farm journal. Find…

Miniature Horse

The modern Miniature Horse is rather reflective of the American melting pot, coming from many countries and many walks of life.  While miniature animals were popular among European nobility for centuries, much of the original stock probably was of a working origin. In 1842, the Mines and Collieries Act was passed, forbidding the employment of…

The Roots of Western Music

One of the most interesting aspects of traditional American music is its lineage.  Traditional songs morph over time, perhaps getting their start in foreign countries and adapting themselves to fit the American experience.  As that experience changes and travels to new places, so does the music. Such was the case with cowboy music, also called…

The Kansas Poems of John Greenleaf Whittier

John Greenleaf Whittier was probably best known for his book-length poem Snowbound, but as a Quaker he was also an ardent abolitionist, even taking an active hand in political lobbying for the cause at one point. When the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 plunged the entire nation into a debate on slavery and the respective roles…

Miniature Donkey

The Miniature Donkey appears to have originated somewhere in the vicinity of the Red Sea.  This area later became part of the Roman Empire, and it was through the empire that the donkey traveled to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia with which it has been so closely associated.  Although the Miniature Donkey, or Miniature Mediterranean…

3 Steps to a Green Thumb

Yes, you can develop a green thumb! While some people seem to think that a green thumb is an innate ability, a sort of natural instinct, in many cases a green thumb is actually developed through years of experience. It is only through spending hours in the garden that we can acquire a proficiency in…

Gardens That Bloom

Flowers and ornamental plants can sometimes be challenging to grow in Kansas.  Fortunately, the Johnson County Extension Office maintains Gardens That Bloom, an online guide to ornamental plants. This guide is based on the research carried out in K-State Research and Extension demonstration gardens, particularly the Monet Garden at Overland Park Arboretum. Each plant listing…