Get Ready for November 2016

Hard to believe that November is already just around the corner!  Take some time on those chilly fall evenings to learn from nature and pull inspiration from innovative farmers and gardeners.  And while you’re sitting at the table with family this Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks for the simple things. Learn lessons from the bison….

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is caused by one of the most common and widely distributed fungi that plague gardens.  The disease can attack a wide range of plants, as it is caused by several species of the order Erysiphales.  A sampling of commonly affected plants includes: Cucumbers. Pumpkins. Squash. Melons. Grapes. Phlox. Peonies. Lilacs. Bluegrass. Fescue. The…

Brix: How Do We Use It?

Now that we know what brix is and how to measure it, we’re ready to find ways to apply this knowledge. So what is an ideal brix level?  Most plants show markedly improved vitality and pest resistance when their brix levels hit 12 degrees on a refractometer, although with care many can go far higher…

Anxious for Nothing

The battle against anxiety starts in the mind, and Anxious for Nothing by Dr. John MacArthur can help you win the victory. Working from Scripture, Dr. MacArthur points out, explains, and illustrates the thoughts that we should and should not allow into our minds.  We can learn: How to take a balanced view of trust….

Pierce’s Disease

Pierce’s disease (PD) is a bacterial disease of grapes named for Newton Pierce, who described the disease in 1892.  The bacterium species is Xylella fastidiosa. A grape plant is infected when insects, particularly sharpshooter leafhoppers, carrying bacteria bite the plant.  Bacteria then take up residence in the vascular tissue of the grape and reproduce, forming…

Brix: How Do We Measure It?

Now we have a definition of brix: the weight of dissolved sugar expressed as a percentage of the weight of the entire solution.  The next question is how we measure brix.   The Refractometer As its name suggests, a refractometer operates on the principle of refraction.  When a beam of light passes through a liquid…

Registers of Historic Places

Looking for a particular landmark, or just curious to know what historic places are in your part of Kansas?  Check out the registers kept by the Kansas Historical Society. These databases can help you view historic sites listed in several places: National Register of Historic Places. Register of Kansas Historic Places. Kansas Historic Resources Inventory….

Phytophthora Blight

Phytophthora blight, also known as late blight, is a fungal disease caused by several species of the genus Phytophthora.  Affected plants include: Cucumbers. Squash. Pumpkins. Cantaloupe. Watermelons. Tomatoes. Eggplants. Peppers. Potatoes. Beans. The fungi involved flourish in wet, moderately warm weather.  They spend the winter in infected tubers and plant matter.  The disease is spread…

Brix: What is It?

Brix is one of those topics that come up fairly frequently in sustainable agriculture.  Simply put, brix is a measure of the sugar content of a plant or other substance. To be more specific, Brix expresses the weight of dissolved sugar as a percentage of the weight of the entire solution.  Pure water has a…

LegiScan Bill Tracking

Interested in tracking the progress of that important or controversial piece of legislation?  LegiScan’s bill tracking tool makes it easy. There are several ways you can use this online tool: Pick a specific bill and follow its progress. Track the activities of a committee. Find out what is happening in a branch of legislature. LegiScan…