This past weekend we (Extension Service and volunteer groups) hosted the Holiday House at the Multi-Purpose Building in Coffeeville and from all it was a big success. I can’t take any credit for this but can certainly give praise to Allison, Ginger and Pamela for putting on such a large scale event without any problems other than the one thing I was in charge of – the ‘sound system’.
I was in Grenada Friday night and all day Saturday at a 4-H Shooting Sports instructor training. The training was very intense with 16 hours of actual training in a 26-hour period. Each discipline of the shooting sports had its own training and I attended the archery training. I have a passion for archery, like a lot of people, when I have time. The training teaches how to teach 4-H age children the discipline of archery and actually put on an event. Shooting sports is the largest 4-H group in our county and the fastest growing 4-H group statewide and nationwide.
There is a Cattleman’s Association meeting at the Multi-Purpose Building in Coffeeville at 6:30 on November 3. The program will be given by an ADM Feeds representative on nutrition programs.
A meal will be provided for this event and non-members will be asked to pay $10 for the meal. Please contact the Extension office at 662-675-2730 by Wednesday November 2 at noon to reserve your seat.
If you plan on ordering cheese this year from Mississippi State now is the time to do so. Cheese orders can be placed online at msucheese.com or just call the Extension Office at 662-675-2730.
Horticulture Tips Provided by Dr. Leila Kelly and Dr. David Nagel
Growing culinary herbs is easy. Right now, you can harvest armloads of basil, mint, and chives to name just a few. You can snip rosemary, oregano, fennel and many, many more culinary herbs in your garden —the trick for some may be what to do with them when you get them in the kitchen! Some beginning herb growers often try to follow recipe directions and guidelines precisely. That’s ok, but the fun part is experimenting with different herbs, combinations of herbs and amounts. Take notes when it works and take an antacid and forget about it when it doesn’t! Here are a few other non-guidelines to follow:
1. Harvest herbs for cooking when you have the time, no matter what time of day. Fresh always tasted better than dried, no matter what time of day you picked them—so, cut them and use them. Can’t run out to the garden every day? Try this easy trick—on the weekend pick a nice herbal bouquet of what is in season. Put it in a vase of water on the kitchen counter and snip, snip, snip all week. Chunk it on Friday and go pick another for the next week.
2. Most herbs go with everything. Stand by your favorite combinations, sage in dressing, oregano on pizza, basil in anything with tomatoes in it, fennel with fish, tarragon in chicken salad; but don’t be afraid to try new things. You may discover a great combo that your family loves.
3. Harvest and dry herbs that will be killed by freezing weather, so you will have dried herbs to use during the winter. Easiest method to dry is to bundle stems together with rubber bands and hang in a hot, dry, dark place like an attic until they are crispy dry. Remove the leaves, and store whole in airtight containers. Crumble the whole leaves right into the dish you want to flavor. Freezing works great for those herbs that do not hold their flavor well when dried—examples would be chives, parsley and cilantro. Freeze whole stems in plastic freezer bags. When ready to use remove from freezer and chop whole stems and leaves while still frozen before adding to food.
4. For best flavor add the herbs in the last 10-20 minutes of the cooking cycle. Of course, if the herbs are incorporating into the batter of bread or dressing you would have to add before cooking.
5. Locate your culinary herb garden near the kitchen if possible. If you have to walk more than 10 paces to get that handful of basil to go in that spaghetti sauce, I can about guarantee you, you won’t do it! Especially if you have wild-eyed, hungry children or a spouse hanging over you as you try to cook.
Recent temperatures have been ideal for cool season crops, but no rainfall has hampered growth in gardens not irrigated. Three things can retard growth when climate is favorable. Nematodes are microscopic eel worms that feed from plant roots. Roots should be white and taper to a fine point at the end. Roots that are discolored or end in a swollen tip may have sustained damage from nematodes or have a fungal problem. Contact your county extension office if you think you have nematodes.
Another problem is boron deficiency. Most of our cool season vegetables are members of the Brassica family and have a need for more boron than the typical warm season vegetables we grow. Symptoms of boron deficiency are subtle and include slow growth, small puffy young leaves, and browning of the internal stem. Sandy, low organic soils are most likely to develop boron deficiency.
Aphids are small insects that suck sap from vegetable plants. Aphid damage is usually first noticed as leaves and or small stems that are not as green and may be curled. Examine the underside of the leaves of your vegetables to see if aphids have increased in population above a few per leaf. Aphid management can occur by several mechanisms.. One way is to pick the older leaves infested with insects and remove them from the garden. Insecticidal soap can be effective. Insecticides can be effective, but make sure that aphids are listed on the label. Some may actually make the problem worse by killing the insects that eat aphids. . Lady bird beetles (Ladybugs) are one of several insects that eat aphids and keep their population from growing large enough to cause damage.