Cherokee Lowlands

The Cherokee Lowlands occupy roughly 1,000 square miles in parts of Bourbon, Crawford, Cherokee, and Labette counties in the southeastern part of the state. Overall, the region is one of mostly level plains, although a few hills rise up here and there. These plains are cut by narrow valleys and by ditches left over from…

Why Direct Market?

When it comes to selling produce and livestock that we have raised ourselves, we have two main options: Market products directly to our customers. Sell products through conventional commodity channels. One of the problems with the latter route is that commodity markets do not lend themselves to fulfilling producers’ unique purposes. If we decide to…

Getting Started: Part 3—Persevere

Country living is exciting.  Every day is a new adventure.  The opportunities to learn and challenge yourself never end.  Freedom, family life, peace and quiet—aren’t these things we all crave? However, forewarned is forearmed, so here it comes: Sooner or later you are going to become tired of the whole thing.  You will feel overwhelmed,…

Free eBook: Growing Corn Successfully

Here’s some old-time wisdom we can benefit from today! Growing Corn Successfully: A Treatise on Corn Culture From Plowing and Planting to Harvesting and Marketing by E. S. Teagarden was originally published in 1895 as a protest against a problem all too prevalent in the author’s time—farmers were trying to grow more corn than they…

Chautauqua Hills

The Chautauqua Hills run in a narrow band (ten miles wide at most) from the Kansas–Oklahoma line up to about Yates Center. Rolling uplands mark the region, and the Verdigris, Fall, and Elk rivers flow at the bottoms of the slopes.   Soil A thin layer of dry, sandy soil covers shale and sandstone across…

Pros and Cons of Soaker Hoses

Careful stewardship of your water resources is a good policy whether you live in the semi-arid High Plains or along the rivers of eastern Kansas, but balancing conservation with effectiveness can be challenging in the garden. All those rows and beds! What is the most efficient way to water them without eroding your carefully improved…

Getting Started: Part 2—Think For Yourself

It can be very tempting to align ourselves with an ideology or movement, can’t it?  Usually we’re attracted to a particular way of thinking because there’s something in it that speaks to our deepest beliefs and values, or because it just makes too much sense. There’s nothing at all wrong with taking an interest in…

Free eBook: Beans as a Field Crop in Kansas

Here’s a book that can help you grow something a little different in your field or food plot: Beans as a Field Crop in Kansas, issued by the Kansas State Horticultural Society in 1918. This brief publication starts with a look at the history and benefits of bean-raising in Kansas.  Then follows a guide to…

Arkansas River Lowlands

This sandy floodplain is a unique ecosystem, but one which challenges farmers to the utmost.

When the Hens Stop Laying

Oh, no!  The hens have stopped laying! Few chicken-keeping problems are as bewildering as this one.  So many variables affect egg production.  How do you sort through them all? The quickest way to solve a laying problem is to keep good records well before the problem arises.  Every day write down: The number of eggs…