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Monthly container gardening classes will be offered

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Even though we just survived the latest blast of artic weather and we will inevitably have more frigid weather, spring cannot be too far off because seed catalogues have been arriving in the mail. Warm weather may be a couple of months off, but having the catalogues to thumb through on a cold evening can help one to forget about the cold for a while.
This year we will be expanding on our container gardening class we offered last year. We plan to offer a monthly series of classes from May through October guiding container gardeners through the season. Each class will be divided into two segments, one will be management of the garden, and the other will cover how to prepare or preserve the produce grown in the garden.
By attending each class through the growing season participants will learn how to manage their containers so that as one crop matures and is harvested another will be planted to take its place giving a season long variety of produce to the gardener.  We will have a container garden here at the office to use for demonstration so participants can see firsthand what is involved in the management of the garden. Participants will be provided with containers, seeds and plants to set up their gardens at home in the same manner as ours at the office. Participants will need an area about six feet by six feet with good sunlight for their containers. A fee will be charged for the materials. We anticipate it to be $25 but if we get enough participants that we can get volume discounts on supplies we will pass the savings on to the participants.
The second part of each class will cover preparation and preservation of items that are coming out of the garden or are in season at the Farmer’s Market. Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Lizzie Spalding will present how to use your home grown or freshly purchased produce to create nutritious great tasting meals, or how to freeze or preserve extra produce. This second part of each class will also be open to anyone who is not participating in the container growing part of the class. Anyone with their own garden or who is planning to buy fresh vegetables is welcome to attend this class segment free of charge.
Dates for the classes are May 1, June 19, July 17, Aug. 7, Sept. 4 and Oct. 2, 2014. All classes will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be over by 7:30 p.m. Call the extension office if you are interested in participating in the class.
Farmers with spring calving cattle should begin feeding high magnesium mineral to their cattle. Lush spring grass can be deficient in magnesium and cause grass tetany problems in heavy milking cows. Also, if you have had problems with calf scours in the past you may want to vaccinate cows so they can pass immunity on to their calves.
Farmers should also inspect waterers in fields where there are no cattle. A lot of waterers froze last week but did not start leaking until after they thawed out. If you checked them during the cold and they were not leaking, there is a chance they will be now.
The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association will hold its annual convention Jan. 16-18, 2014 in Lexington. In addition to informative programs and cattle tradeshow, Marion County farmer Steve Downs will be installed as president of the association for 2014.
UK will hold a lambing school for sheep producers on Jan. 21, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at C. Oran Little Research Farm in Versailles. There is no charge for the school and preregistration is not required.
The Marion County Cattlemen’s Association will hold its monthly meeting on Jan. 21, 2014 at 6 p.m. at Floral Hall. Southern States Cooperative is the sponsor.
We will hold an organizational meeting for a Marion County Beekeepers Association on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. at the extension office. All active beekeepers as well as anybody interested in getting started are invited to attend.  We will discuss the type of organization potential members want, including the educational topics to be pursued. If interested, call the extension office at 270-692-2421.
There will be a meeting for dairy producers on Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Washington County Extension office in Springfield. The topic will be how to improve production through managing the transition of fresh cows to the milking herd. Dr. Donna Amaral-Phillips, Dr. Jeff Bewley from UK will be the presenters. The meeting is free and open to dairy farmers and any of their employees they would like to have attend the meeting. Lunch will be provided. Call the extension office by Tuesday, Jan. 22 if you plan to attend.
The South East Kentucky Bee School will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 at McCreary Central High School in Stearns. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the program runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.. There will be multiple sessions attendees can choose from during the day depending on their interest and experience, including a series of sessions for beginning beekeepers. Registration is $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Call for more information.
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.