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Don’t Miss Peach Season

Peach season is about over, but you can still get some white peaches and some late varieties at Dunn and Bowen Orchard, our Kentucky Farms, Kentucky Flavor feature farmer for August. Dunn and Bowen Orchard has been providing fresh peaches for over 40 years. With 3,500 trees they offer 14 different varieties of peaches.

Peaches have a fuzzy skin and come in many varieties with yellow or white flesh. There are “freestones” (flesh separates easily from pit) or “clingstones” (flesh clings to the pit). Peaches contain many nutrients but are most important for fiber and vitamins A and C. They are low in calories; one medium sized peach has about 35 calories. When selecting fruit, look for fairly firm to slightly soft fruit with yellow or cream-colored skin. Avoid peaches that are green, shriveled or bruised. Dunn and Bowen Orchard is located at 998 Aubrey Mills Road in Bowling Green, KY. If you have any questions, contact them at (270)597-3501. Check out Joanna’s visit to the Orchard as she talks with Chris Bowen. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpCU75l5mPQ

If you need any inspiration for new peach recipes, be sure to contact your local extension office!

Kristin prepares a delicious roasted peach recipe with fresh peaches from Dunn and Bowen Orchard.

It may seem strange to cook fresh peaches when they are at their peak of juicy flavor, but roasting them actually deepens that flavor. Even if you are only planning to have one or two for dessert you can roast them all, but only drizzle honey or maple syrup on the ones you’re planning to eat right away. The rest will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days. Eat them as a snack, or sliced up on yogurt, or even as a garnish for grilled chicken. (If you have a grill, these are also fantastic grilled.)

Roasted Peaches with Honey

Ingredients: 4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted; 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; and 4 teaspoons maple syrup or honey. Instructions: Turn the oven on and set the heat to 425 degrees. Put the peaches, but side down, in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish. Put the baking dish in the oven and roast until the peaches are tender and have some brown on the cut sides, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle the peaches with cinnamon, drizzle with honey or maple syrup, and serve right away.

Watch the video tutorial on how to make these roasted peaches https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVrOZHC-W9U.

Make Do-it-Yourself (DIY) Seed Tape

 

DIY Seed Tape Image

 

Do you have trouble starting small seeded crops like lettuce, turnips, or cabbage in the garden? Does the seed end up blowing away in the wind or washing away after watering? Do you dread going back to thin out plants later?

If you answered “yes” to several of those questions, don’t worry, there is an easier solution called seed tape! Seed tape makes it easy for gardeners to grow crops from tiny seeds. With seed tape, gardeners apply seed to tape and then plant the entire seed tape outdoors in the garden. Gardeners don’t have to worry about seeds floating away and there is no need to thin out plants. An added bonus is the seed tape disintegrates overtime and returns nutrients to the soil.

Seed tape is available commercially through garden supply companies, however avid gardeners can make their own seed tape at home inexpensively! Making seed tape at home requires a few basic items and materials collected from around the home. Read here to find out how to make do-it-yourself (DIY) seed tape at home using this easy step- by- step photo guide.

 

Seed tape 1

Step 1: Gather up all supplies needed to make the seed tape. Grab a roll of toilet paper, make glue or use all-purpose glue, toothpick, garden seed packets, clear ruler, and a black permanent marker.

 

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Step 2: Next, unroll the toilet paper from the roll and lay out on a flat even surface. Cut the toilet paper in half using a pair of scissors. The toilet paper serves as the “tape” portion of the seed tape project.

 

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Step 3: Lay the seed tape on a flat surface and mark the correct plant spacing according to the crop being grown. Refer to the back of the seed packet to see how far apart to space between the seeds. Measure the plant distance using a ruler and mark the spot on the seed tape with the black permanent marker. If making multiple seed tapes for different crops, it is a good idea to label the seed tape with the crop name and the variety in the top right hand corner using an ink pen.

 

Seed tape- glueStep 4: Make the glue to adhere the seed to the tape. Mix 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of water together in a small mixing bowl until a thick paste forms. If needed, add additional water to make a glue type consistency. All-purpose glue also works good for seed tape.

 

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Step 5: Before starting this step, empty the contents of the seed packet on a white plate or white piece of paper. This step makes it easy for gardeners to see the seed and pick it up to go on the seed tape.

Dip the end of a toothpick into the glue and place a small dot on the seed tape. Then, take the toothpick and pick up a seed to place on top of the freshly applied glue. Continue this process until all the seed tape is filled. Allow the glue to dry and roll the tape on the toilet paper roll. Store it in the refrigerator until environmental conditions are ready for planting.

 

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Step 6: When conditions are favorable, make a seed bed for planting. Place the seed tape in the planting row making sure to plant at the correct depth. Refer to the back of the seed packet for the correct planting depth. Lightly cover the seed tape with soil and water it in. Wait and watch for the seeds to germinate and come up in a perfectly straight row!
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To watch this process from start to finish, click on the picture above or Click Here to view this how to video for making DIY seed tape from our Warren County Agriculture YouTube channel.

 

Happy Gardening! 

Kristin G. Hildabrand, Horticulture Extension Agent for Warren County 

Four Key Benefits of Why to Shop Local at the Farmer’s Market

NFMW2018

National Farmers Market week is celebrated August 5th through August 11th this year. Many studies show that farmer’s markets are improving the community, the economy, and the well-being of citizens across the United States. According to the Farmers Market coalition group, here is a deeper look at the four key benefits of buying products at the local farmers market:

  • #1- Stimulates Local Economies
    • Growers selling locally create 13 full time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned.
    • According to the US Census of Agriculture data, farms selling local food through direct to consumer marketing channels like the farmers market were more likely to remain in business than other farms not utilizing the direct to consumer marketing channels.
  • #2- Preserves Americans Farmland
    • Farmers markets provide beginning farmers, ranchers, and food entrepreneurs entry points to start small and give them the opportunity to test new products. In the 2017 National Young Farmers Coalition survey, community supported agriculture (CSA) and farmers markets were the marketing channels that generated the highest proportion of new and beginning farmers’ sales.
    • At a farmers market, 100% of food dollars goes back to the local farmer. When consumers spend at traditional food outlets, farmers and ranchers receive only 15 cents of every food dollar.
    • Between 2011 and 2012, there was a 52% increase in the number of farmers markets operating during the winter months. Those 1,864 winter markets provided an extended opportunity for vendors to do business and sell their products.
  • #3- Increases Access to Fresh, Seasonal Produce
    • A 2012 grocery retail study showed that consumers ranked farmers markets as the most trusted food outlet to supply local foods. Consumers rated it an 8.2, on a scale of 1-10. Natural food markets and locally owned grocery stores were next highest in the rankings.
    • 7,377 markets and direct-marketing farmers accepted SNAP EBT in 2017, which resulted in $22 million in SNAP spent at farmers markets. This number means fresh food access and more money for small farmers.
  • #4- Supports Healthy Communities
    • A study lead by the Project for Public Spaces revealed that people who shop at the farmers markets have 15-20 social interactions per visit. As compared to only one or two social interactions per visit at the grocery store. This evidence shows that the social space at farmers markets has important public health implications.

 

Why Farmers Market graph provided by Farmers Market Coalition

 

After reading about the many benefits, it is important to take time to shop the farmers markets in your area! Shopping at the farmers market is a great way to support local food, farmers, and prosperity!

Stay tuned for more information coming later this week from Warren County Agriculture on others ideas to help celebrate national farmers market week in the Bowling Green area! Keep an eye on the Warren County Agriculture Facebook page for future videos and food demonstrations coming soon from other staff at the Extension Office! #nationalfarmersmarketweek2018 #kyproud