July 31, 2014

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Local Columnists

Fall gypsum may not boost spring sulfur
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:36 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

Corn growers looking for an additional spring growing boost of sulfur from adding applied gypsum to their soil in fall shouldn’t expect to see any lasting sulfur in spring. While fall application of gypsum, which is calcium sulfate, can be utilized by a fall-planted crop, growers shouldn’t expect it to be available for future crops according to Ed Lentz, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

Thanksgiving brings homelike atmosphere in strange surroundings
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:33 AM

By Jim Langham

It might have been unfamiliar surroundings in a strange house with very few people I’ve met before, but within 15 minutes, Thanksgiving 2014 seemed like the old fashioned ones at our rural home in Indiana.

Oh, geographically, it was anything but that. It was actually in a townhouse apartment in the close neighborhood on Chicago’s north side, not far from the Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville and just a stone’s throw from Wrigley Field.

Poinsettias: It's all about the leaves
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:31 AM

By Kylee Baumle

You can’t hardly go anywhere these days without seeing poinsettias of all kinds, red, pink, white. Purple? Blue? Glittered? Those last three are just wrong, in my book. If you like them, fine, but I get a little twitchy when I see them.

I feel the same way about those blue orchids that have been sold for the last couple of years. There is no such thing as a blue orchid and if you buy one, you’re going to be disappointed with subsequent blooms, because I assure you, they won’t be blue. Those are white orchids that have been injected with a dye to make the blooms look blue and unless they’re injected again, the plant’s next blooms will be white, their natural color.

Strange and weird facts
Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:29 AM



By Nancy Whitaker

Are you constantly searching for weird, random facts to make you chuckle? I admit that I do love to hear and read about strange and unusual people, places and things. So, certain topics intrigue and fascinate me.

For some reason the other day, a friend asked me if I knew that a turtle could breathe out of both ends? I thought to myself, “Ha! Ha! There is no way I am falling for that.” However, inquiring minds want to know, so, I took it upon myself to “Google” the topic; sure enough, turtles have that unique ability.

True Thanksgiving comes without cost or wealth
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:54 AM

By Jim Langham

One of the great sights of 2013 occurred recently when we visited our granddaughter, Kirsten, right after our son purchased a different house. When we arrived, she came running to the door and insisted on giving us a tour.

I’m sure that it’s no surprise to anyone that Grandpa Langham carries his trusted camera with him when he visits with Kirsten. In fact, her understanding of that was clearly demonstrated that night when she took us to her new room. She jumped on the bed, kicking her feet as they dangled, flashed a giant smile and said, “Grandpa, cheese!”

EPA proposes reducing biofuels mandate
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:53 AM

By Mark Holtsberry

Education specialist

Paulding SWCD

The Obama Administration Friday proposed to reduce the amount of ethanol in the nations fuel supply for the first time, acknowledging that the biofuel law championed by both parties in 2007 is not working as well as expected.

Cornucopia: Giving thanks for the harvest
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:52 AM


By Kylee Baumle

Turkey, cranberry salad, pumpkins (and pies made from them!) – these make us think of Thanksgiving, and so does a cornucopia. I’m not sure my kids would know just what a cornucopia is, although I know they’ve seen it. They’d probably just call it a basket of fruits and vegetables.

What exactly is a cornucopia anyway? Why the unusual name for an unusually shaped container of edibles? And what does it have to do with Thanksgiving? I decided to do a little sleuthing to find out.

The woes of a turkey
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 10:52 AM


By Nancy Whitaker

I love Thanksgiving and everything about it. Being thankful to God for our blessings, a big turkey dinner and seeing family members is all a part of this special day.

We all know the stories about the first Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims celebrated. In November, 1621, after the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful, Governor William Bradford wanted to have a feast, so he invited the colonists and their Native American allies, which included the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit.

Let's get the party started
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:33 AM



By Nancy Whitaker

If you are like me, you will find any excuse to “have a party.” I remember when I was little, I would sit my doll (I only had one) on a chair up to a little table, set out my little tea set and serve myself and my doll water. To me that was having a party.

When I started school, there were all kinds of little parties to celebrate the different holidays. I remember being in grade school and having Halloween parties. What fun it was to get dressed up in a costume and parade around to the other classrooms.

'Tis The Season
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 10:33 AM

By Kylee Baumle

For over a week now, I’ve seen Christmas decorations and heard Christmas music in a handful of stores. I’m not irritated by it like some people are, maybe because I’m a procrastinator extraordinaire and anything that attempts to jump-start me at such a major event on the calendar is probably a good thing.

The garden year goes by a slightly different calendar, dictated by the weather and daylight hours. For those of us who live up here where the four seasons are distinctly different from each other, the growing period pretty much comes to a halt after a hard freeze.