Urban Farmer: Carrots, a true gardening challenge — now, what to do with a good crop?

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward   Carrots.  I have finally figured out carrots.  As it always seems to be with beginner’s luck, many years ago, I somehow raised a very nice little batch of carrots.  I thought to myself, “Well, this is easy, I’ll just do this again”.  Ha. The second year was miserable — nasty little things, all bent and puny.  Awful.  So after that, I sidestepped...

Urban Farmer: Twenty years on the gardening roller coaster and finally figuring out the beans

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward This is something I know beans about.  Beans.  All kinds of beans. Over the past twenty, or so, years I have always raised beans: pole beans, bush beans, green beans, dried beans–you name it. Early on, I always raised pole beans.  It seemed like the sensible way to manage the small amount of dirt that I had at my disposal at the time.  I could raise a...

Urban Farmer: When Satan comes to call on the garden, he’s got a name — Squash Vine Borer

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward Satan was in my backyard last week.  He took me by surprise.  He was much more intimidating than I had anticipated.  He was olive green and red with a row of black dots down his back– just like the pictures I had seen.  He had what must have been horns.  He swooped in with an undeniable malevolence. For years, I have been victimized by this paragon of...

UK extension office in Lee County teaching the benefits of raising garden to access fresh vegetables

Lee County residents are learning low-cost methods they can use to improve their health through gardening. Ted Johnson, a University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agent in the county, installed several raised bed gardens at the extension office. He offers classes to residents throughout the growing season to show them how raised bed gardening is easy, economical and healthy. “One of...

Urban Farmer: Right at the beginning of the payoff, elated by the look of things (and the anticipation)

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward Here we are. Right at the beginning of the payoff. The garden has been in the ground for about six weeks. For the first time, in quite a few years, I am elated by the look of things in the back yard of the Italianate on Russell St. The plants are all doing well (except the Swiss Chard *sigh*). Even the bug population seems to be a little less enthusiastic...

Kentucky by Heart: Change in location means gardening — and a surprising interest in the weather

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Starting as a toddler, and for most of my youth, hearing my parents talk about the weather seldom interested me. It didn’t seem to matter to me then that the produce we grew in our gardens and the tobacco crops we raised were so dependent upon cooperating weather. It didn’t dawn on me that our small farm’s bountiful production could someday lead to a college...

Urban Farmer: Seed-starting process has begun in earnest — what a great time of the year!

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward It’s a beautiful day!  Finally.  The ground is warming up, the peas, radishes and lettuces I planted are coming along nicely, and the seed-starting has begun!  I love this time of the year. Early on, seed starting was something that I had always thought more experienced gardeners did.  There was so much to learn about gardening and it did take a lot of work....

Urban Farmer: With big swings in temps, who knows when to start . . . a gardener’s conundrum

By Ginger Dawson Special to KyForward This winter sure is weird.  This was supposed to be my first year to have time to really get an early crop garden started.  I was ready for it.  I had mesclun (a lettuce mix), two types of radishes, two types of spinach and peas all ready and waiting to go. But when to start?  In the past, this was a fairly easy thing to decide.  I didn’t really have time...

Urban Farmer: Deluged by catalogues — it’s an avalanche — and now for the sorting and planning

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist Twenty-nine catalogues!!  Unbelievable. I started receiving this bale of paper, in fits and starts, beginning right before Christmas.  They trickled in and then became a deluge around the first week of January. As the catalogues came in, I just tossed them all into a pile.  The stack got so unwieldy, I was somewhat loath to tackle it….but tackle it I did. A...

Students at Russell Cave Elementary learn responsibility through gardening project

By Tammy L. Lane Special to KyForward For Christina Del Rio, gardening on a Saturday morning with son Diego was well worth the time and energy spent at Russell Cave Elementary. “It’s a good experience for him. He’s at that age to learn responsibility,” she said during a short break from pulling weeds. This fall’s fourth- and fifth-grade leadership service project called for not only weeding...

Christine Luken: Growing your own garden is a great way to save and have fresh produce all season long

With the warm weather finally upon us, my husband and I have been planning out our vegetable garden and prepping the beds for our starter plants and seeds. My husband, Nick, and I are accidental gardeners. Several years ago, we became tired of spending top dollar on vine-ripened supermarket tomatoes that tasted bland at best. Produce isn’t cheap, especially organic produce, and coupons for fresh...

Urban Farmer: Your garden is your universe, but you should probably wait for Mother’s Day to plant

By Ginger Dawson KyForward columnist A record-breaking temperature of 72 degrees on a recent Saturday did little to cool off my keen anticipation to get on with Gardening 2016. It caught me short. I went outside early afternoon and was astounded by the warmth and beautiful sunshine. I’ve got a bad itch that needs to be scratched. I had to do something. So, since I don’t have a greenhouse (yet!),...

Gena Bigler: Even in midst of winter’s hold, gardening and its bounty are top of mind

As I watch the snow fall, I find myself dreaming about a garden.   Every year my grandparents had a beautiful garden. It was like magic. Huge tomatoes that would be fried while green than later the plants would provide more to be cut into big red wedges to go with fresh cooked green beans grown a few rows back.   There were tons of cucumbers winding around in a tricky maze; they pricked...