Recent Blog Posts

Bedford Brewery Coming Soon

November 18th, 2017

Looks Monroe County will have a second brewery located in Bedford. I am excited about this news but I do wish it was closer. Congratulations to Bedford! I guess I’ll be seeing a lot of you in the future. Click here to link to the Monroe News article.

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Three interesting tomato varieties

November 16th, 2017

Earlier in this past growing season I took an informal survey of how a number of tomato varieties were responding to leaf spot diseases. You can go back and read the post to find out how things were going for them at that time. I kept an eye on them through the season and watched … Continue reading Three interesting tomato varieties

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Wheres The Beef?

November 09th, 2017

via GIPHY One of responses from the Trump administration with regard to the claims of Russian involvement in the 2016 election has been to call the investigation a nothingburger. Lets check to see how much beef there really is in this nothingburger. The most important recent development is the guilty plea of George Papadopolous. He […]

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The Day You Couldnt Spell Booze Without Boo

November 07th, 2017

Let’s go back a hundred and one years to November 7, 1916. Michigan went to the polls to decide on statewide prohibition. The two sides had made their arguments and soon they would know if the “wets” could hold back the tide that was taking over the nation. It was soon evident that it was […]

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Large population of painted lady butterflies this year

October 12th, 2017

Just about everyone knows what a monarch butterfly is and its amazing migration to and from Mexico. But not nearly as many people have even heard of a painted lady butterfly; until this year that is. Reports of painted lady butterflies seem to be all over the twittersphere. The most popular one I’ve seen is … Continue reading Large population of painted lady butterflies this year

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The amazing salvia flower

October 12th, 2017

You can find some really amazing things in the garden if you know where to look. For example, look closely at a salvia flower and you will see something unique. Like most flowers, salvia produces nectar to lure pollinators such as wild bees, honeybees and others. And as usual the pollinators end up carrying pollen … Continue reading The amazing salvia flower

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Our Failing Naked Emperor

October 06th, 2017

via GIPHY One of the defining characteristics of the Trump campaign and administration is the utter disregard for the facts. There was some hope by Trump supporters that once he transitioned from campaign mode to presidential mode, he would also abandon his strategy of habitual fabrication. That hope died with the inauguration. Trumps inaugural crowds […]

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Sneezeweed is blooming

September 28th, 2017

We were sitting out on the porch earlier this week enjoying that summery weather. One flower caught my eye, it was fresh and bright among the others that were either gone or fading fast. It was one we forgot that we had planted this spring — it was sneezeweed. Sneezeweed, also referred to as Helenium … Continue reading Sneezeweed is blooming

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Same Poison Different Bottle

September 23rd, 2017

via GIPHY   Every time Republicans regroup in an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the proposed legislation gets worse. That in itself should tell you something about the nature of the politics at play here. The proposed Cassidy-Graham bill is the same poison in a different bottle. It shifts health care […]

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Dogbane in prairie area

September 19th, 2017

When I was aroud ten years old, back when all kids were free-range, I spotted spotted a plant during my wanderings that impressed me so much that I’m intrigued by it to this day. I didn’t know what it was called at the time. It wasn’t until later, when I was in college, that I … Continue reading Dogbane in prairie area

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Tar spot on maple trees

September 19th, 2017

In many cases, diagnosing plant problems requires an in-person look at the plant in question. Too many disorders look similar when all you have is a photo to go by. Earlier this week someone sent me a photo asking about spots on a valuable tree they have in their front lawn. That was an easy … Continue reading Tar spot on maple trees

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Grape ripening

September 19th, 2017

According to my records, my grapes are about ten days ahead of last year at this date. Every growing season is different and any particular year doesn’t necessarily line up with seasonal average growing conditions. Ten days is a long time when it comes to grapes. I covered the grapes with netting last week to … Continue reading Grape ripening

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Forgive Me Father For I Have Sinned

August 21st, 2017

For those unfamiliar with this Catholic meme, it is the opening sentence Catholics whisper to the priest to start confession. My confession is that I find this particular point in our history fascinating. We have a President who appears determined to self-destruct, a party that is uncertain they are willing to go down with him, […]

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Lincoln Wept

August 21st, 2017

Lets take a step back and just review briefly the various defenses of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and good old fashioned racists that weve heard so far. Racism as free speech Its true. Our constitution does protect racism as free speech. Free speech, however, does not guarantee that you are free from other forms of punishment […]

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Whats Next?

August 16th, 2017

via GIPHY After the violent clashes in Virginia, America looked to the President for healing. Instead Trump could only think about his own obsession of winning an argument with the media. As a result, we have a President who insists those who support Nazis and white supremacists deserve the same respect and consideration as those […]

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Sunflowers cause problems in garden

August 15th, 2017

Plants have developed an number of different survival techniques that can give them advantages over other plants competing for the same growing space. For example, some plants have roots that produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other nearby plants of other species. It’s a process known as allelopathy. Black walnut trees are probably the … Continue reading Sunflowers cause problems in garden

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Hoverflies are beneficial insects

August 03rd, 2017

As mentioned in an earlier post on this blog, I planted a fairly large plot of buckwheat adjacent to our vegetable garden this spring. The main idea behind planting buckwheat was to provide forage primarily for honeybees and for any other pollinators that might be around to take advantage of it. As it turns out … Continue reading Hoverflies are beneficial insects

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Tomato disease score

July 19th, 2017

This is the time of the season when tomato plants start showing signs of disease infections, usually as different shapes and colors of spots depending on which particular disease has infected the plant. Last week I took an informal survey of several varieties of tomatoes to see how each variety is holding up under early … Continue reading Tomato disease score

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Doh

July 11th, 2017

It only gets worse for President Trump and the rest of us. On our national holiday, North Korea demonstrated that they overcame the cyber-attacks that impacted their previous missile tests. They also figured out how to build a missile that meets the definition of an ICBM. They are on a fast track that will soon […]

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Kool aid

July 02nd, 2017

via GIPHY I must admit that I remain astonished at our current political landscape. We have a Congress who are attempting to take healthcare away from at least 22M people in the name of what? Reducing premiums for the young and healthy? Providing the first of many big tax cuts to the wealthy? Further punishing […]

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