Pros and Cons of Slow Cookers

Pick up any slow cooker cookbook, and you’ll be amazed at the versatility of this simple appliance. With a slow cooker, you can combine the ingredients for anything from stew to oatmeal to cobbler within minutes, then just walk away until it’s time to serve and eat. Are there other advantages to slow cooking? Are…

Milk Production in Beef Cattle

If you have been searching for the right beef cattle breed for your new farm, you undoubtedly have come across plenty of promotional literature published by breed organizations. This material usually includes long lists of the benefits of the breed in question, such as calving ease, rapid weight gain, or meat tenderness. One characteristic commonly…

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…

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…

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…

The Heritage of Turkey Red Winter Wheat

There are many reasons to love heritage foods, including health and flavor. But another fascinating aspect of these foods is their history. And what better heritage food to celebrate than Turkey Red winter wheat, the grain that made Kansas the Wheat State? Origins The history of Turkey Red begins in the country of Turkey, not…

Get Ready for August 2016

Even when the afternoons are too hot for outdoor work, you can still make the most of the time with research and planning. Spend some time studying business, marketing, nutrition, animal health, and more. Consider new ways to direct market your beef. Find out how reproduction and animal health are related. Discover 96 horse breeds…

Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot may look like some type of dreaded bacterial disease, but it is actually a symptom of nutritional deficiency. Affected plants include: Tomatoes. Peppers. Eggplants. Squash. Watermelons. When blossom end rot strikes, your plants are signalling that they are deficient in calcium. Calcium is an important part of the cell walls of fruits…

Get Ready for July 2016

Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm.  Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. Consider…