Seed pods on chestnut trees grown at the MU Horticulture and Agroforestry Research Center in New Franklin, MO (photo by CAFNR’s Kyle Spradley)
Finding alternative crops for small to medium size farms can be daunting. In the Midwest one crop is emerging as an option – Chinese chestnut. While chestnuts must have well-drained soil, it doesn’t take thousands of acres to be a big time producer. Fifty acres are enough to produce thousands of pounds of chestnuts.
It will take six to eight years before the trees will produce nuts, but chestnuts offer the perfect opportunity for alley cropping while you wait for them to mature. Food crops or forages are options.
The demand for chestnuts is on the rise and current producers can’t keep up, so growing chestnuts has real profit potential.
“Carrots are divine, you get a dozen for a dime, it’s maaaaaaagic!” ~ Bugs Bunny (Photo from the National Garden Bureau)
Bugs Bunny was never seen without a carrot at hand. Could it be the nutritional boost he got from his favorite food that kept him one step ahead of Elmer Fudd?
You should consider growing carrots in your garden. Fresh-from-the-garden carrots are often the sweetest and tastiest.
Home grown carrots also offer a great teaching moment for children. Watch the look of awe and surprise from a young child when you pop a carrot out of the ground, rinse it off and hand it to them to eat. They’ll think you’ve discovered buried treasure, which of course you have.
“In my garden, care stops at the gate and gazes at me wistfully through the bars.” ~ Alexander Smith, Scottish poet (Photo from the National Garden Bureau)
Peas are one of first vegetables that you’ll plant and harvest. The crisp texture and sweet taste of fresh peas truly embodies spring.
Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He says if you live in Missouri you need to get peas in the ground as soon as you can work the soil because when the heat of summer arrives your garden peas will be gone.
“A flower blossoms for its own joy.” ~ Oscar Wilde (Photo by National Garden Bureau)
It’s small wonder that petunias continue to rank among the most popular flowering annuals. With over 75 varieties available from different companies, these bright and lively plants bloom from spring until frost. They’re easy to grow and are well-suited for flower beds, borders, window boxes and other containers. Cascading varieties work very well in hanging baskets.
The petunia is related to tobacco, tomatoes, deadly nightshades and potatoes. In fact the name is derived from the Brazillian word “petun” which means tobacco.
The modern petunia will flourish in full sun as long as you keep them well watered. They will grow in partial shade, but won’t flower as much and the stems will stretch more.
Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He says your grandparents could have only dreamed of the modern petunia because cross-breeding unrelated seed lines have produced superstar petunias.
Surfinia Trailing Heavenly Blue (Photo by National Garden Bureau)
Potunia Piccola Pink(Photo by National Garden Bureau)
“The cucumber is about as close to neutrality as a vegetable can get without ceasing to exist.” ~ Waverley Lewis Root, author (Photo by Jessica Salmond)
Love them or hate them, cucumbers are an interesting vegetable. They’re a fruit, but classified as a vegetable just like tomatoes. They can be as much as 20 degrees cooler on the inside that the outside – hence the phrase cool as a cucumber. The temperature difference is likely due to the high water content; cucumbers are 95-percent water. They’re low in calories and contain vitamins C and K.
The cucumber is native to India, where it has been grown for almost 3000 years. It came to England during the reign of Henry VIII when Catherine of Aragon demanded them for her Spanish salads. Columbus brought them to the new world. The largest cucumber ever produced was grown in China. It was 67 inches long and weighted 154 pounds.
Today’s guest is David Trinklein, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. He has tips for growing this popular home-garden plant.
“A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.” ~ Carl Reiner (Chart from The Missouri Climate Center)
I saw a robin red breast today. Hopefully it is an indication that winter will soon release its grip on the Show-Me State.
While we’re still waiting on the final data, it looks like the winter of 2013-14 may be the coldest in 35 years.
Today’s guest is Pat Guinan, climatologist for University of Missouri Extension’s Commercial Agriculture Program. He talks about the cold, the lack of needed precipitation and a rare event in Missouri.
Episode 96 - Reduce Spending[ 6 min 38 s ]Download
“Spare when young, and spend when old.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
Spending and saving go hand-in-hand because the money you don’t spend can go toward savings.
The problem is too often we don’t pay attention to all the incidentals we buy and dollar-by-dollar we spend away our savings.
Today’s guest is Andrew Zumwalt, associate state specialist for financial education for University of Missouri Extension. He says before you can create a plan for building your savings, you need to have a clear picture of where you’re money is going.