KY Spring Native Flowers

Home to over twenty-five hundred plant species, Kentucky is a veritable wildflower garden. Kentucky native spring flowers include bloodroot, spring beauty, and Virginia bluebells.

KY native wildflower

Bloodroot

Spring Kentucky Native Flower

One of the earliest blooming wildflowers in Kentucky, bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) appears in the late winter and early spring. This native wildflower gets its name from its red-orange rhizome and the red juice that can be squeezed from it. Native Americans used bloodroot to treat fever, ulcers, ringworm, and skin infections. It finds use in dye-making and is also being studied for possible anti-cancer properties. Bloodroot, however, is toxic when ingested, causing vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Bloodroot can be planted from seed or through root division. It can grow in sun or shade as long as rich, moist soil is available. You will find this short wildflower in both Kentucky’s woodlands and open fields. Bloodroot’s white flowers, yellow stamens at the center, are about an inch and a half to two inches across. A single round leaf accompanies each flower.

KY wildflowers in blooms

Spring Beauty

Kentucky Spring Wildflower

Spring beauty (Claytonia Virginica) is another of Kentucky’s early spring wildflowers. Less than a foot in height, the small white to pink flowers emerge before the trees begin to leaf out. Spring beauty opens in the morning to take in the sun’s warmth and closes again each evening. Its inconspicuous leaves blend in with surrounding grasses. Like many wildflowers, its loveliness is fading, blooms lasting only a couple weeks.

Claytonia readily reseeds itself and can be found soaking up the sun across the eastern United States. Gardeners can collect the seeds to bring a little spring beauty to their own gardens.

Spring beauty owes its name to John Clayton, an eighteenth century naturalist who so impressed Benjamin Franklin that the founding father “granted him free mail privileges for shipping his plants and letters.”

KY wildflowers in bloom

Virginia Bluebells

Ephemeral KY Native Wildflower

When traversing Kentucky’s woodlands in the early spring, you may encounter Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica), also called cowslip or mertensia. Virginia bluebells flourish in sandy and loamy soil and can often be found along creeks and other waterways. Nurseries and seed catalogs also carry these spring beauties. The nodding, bell-shaped wildflowers vary from blue to purple to pink. The inch-long trumpets bloom in clusters. Bluebells grow to a height of one to two feet, and if the growing conditions are right, they may quickly spread and naturalize. Bees, butterflies, and moths all pollinate them.

This Kentucky native wildflower springs up after the last hard frost in March or April. A spring ephemeral, Virginia bluebells only bloom for two to three weeks before going to seed. The foliage dies back by early summer. Mass plantings are breath-taking while Virginia bluebells are in bloom, but they are short-lived and may leave a “hole” in your landscape once they have died back. Keep this transience in mind when planting bluebells in your garden.

Virginia bluebells were a favorite of Thomas Jefferson’s and still grow at the Monticello today.

KY Rain Garden Wildflowers

Kentucky Wildflowers

Native Plants Attract Butterflies and Bees

Interested in planting wildflowers for pollinators? Bloodroot, spring beauty, and Virginia bluebells all attract butterflies and bees.

For more information on using native plants to attract butterflies, check out the following resources:

oldham county kentucky gardening

Oldham County Gardening

Upcoming Gardening Classes

Oldham County Extension offers educational classes, the following of which are free and open to the public. RSVP for an upcoming gardening class in Oldham County, Kentucky via (502) 222-9453 or lauren.state@uky.edu. To get notifications of upcoming gardening classes, contact the Oldham County Extension office.

Hellebores
Friday, March 24, 6:30 p.m.
Biologist Anne Cartwright of the American Hosta Society discusses another of her favorite flowers: hellebores. This gardening class is sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association.

Wildflower Walks With Tavia
Saturday, March 25
Woodland Garden Walk: 10:15 a.m.
Forest Trails Wildflower Walk: 12:15 p.m.
March is a marvelous time to rediscover our scenic landscape and its many inhabitants. Tavia will share share medicinal uses of plants, how they got their names, any fun strategies of how they reproduce, and “flora-lore” and stories that have been told by Native Americans.

Vegetable Gardening
Tuesday, April 11, 6:30 p.m.
Horticulturist Michael Boice will share tips on establishing and maintaining a successful home vegetable garden.

Gardening for Wildlife
Thursday, May 4, 6:30 p.m.
Master Gardener Mike Guelda discusses using native plants to draw in birds, bees, and butterflies. This gardening class is sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association.

Year-Round Irises
Thursday, May 11, 10:00 a.m.
Bob Strohman, author of the recently published Iris Red, Iris Dead and member of the Louisville Iris Society, shows how to have irises in bloom all twelve months of the year. This gardening class is sponsored by the Oldham County Master Gardener Association.

Photographs by Jennifer Anderson (USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database), Paul Henjum, Christian Hummert, SB Johnny, Ryan Kaldari, Nicholas A. Tonelli, Sudhir Viswarajan. Used under the Creative Commons License.

Written by Lauren State, Oldham County Master Gardener. Reviewed by Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

March Food Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) releases food and drug recall notices to help consumers stay informed. Sign up to receive email notifications of Recalls, Market Withdrawals, and Safety Alerts.

Edamame (Soybean) Recall

On March 16, Advanced Fresh Concepts (AFC) issued a recall for packaged Edamame (soybeans) due to the potential of Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Listeria infections can be serious, even fatal, in young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and other persons with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. A Listeria infection can also cause a pregnant woman to suffer a miscarriage, stillbirth, or fetal infection.

The recalled products were sold in eight ounce (227 gram) packages, labeled “Edamame – Soybeans in Pods” with UPC 0-23012-00261-9. Packaging also bears a date between January 1 and March 17 of this year. The recalled soybeans were distributed through sushi counters in grocery stores, cafeterias, and corporate dining centers in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washing, and Wyoming.

Recalled soybean packages are white with black and blue text:

soybean recall

Consumers who have purchased the recalled soybeans are encouraged to return packages to place of purchase for full refunds.

Wellness Dog Food Recalled

WellPet is voluntarily recalling a specific recipe of canned dog food topper due to elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone. Although beef thyroid hormone is naturally occurring, elevated levels may adversely affect your dog’s metabolism. Initial symptoms include anxiousness, increased heart rate, increased thirst, increased urination, and weight loss. Prolonged effects include vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid/difficulty breathing. If your dog has experienced any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Wellness 95% Beef Topper For Dogs is the only recipe affected by this dog food recall. The product is sold in 13.2 ounce cans bearing Best By Dates of February 2, August 29, and August 30 of 2019. Recalled dog food cans were distributed online and at pet retailers throughout North America.

dog food recall

As of March 17, the FDA had received reports that three dogs were affected by the increased levels of beef thyroid hormone in Wellness 95% Beef Topper For Dogs. WellPet’s investigation led to this voluntary recall. The dogs in question have since full recovered.

“Please know that safeguarding the health and wellbeing of pets is of the utmost importance to us. We fully intend on maintaining the trust you have placed in us to keep your pets healthy and happy, and are removing this product as part of our ongoing commitment to quality and food safety.”

-Camelle Kent, WellPet CEO

Blue Buffalo Dog Food Recalled

Blue Buffalo Company has issued a voluntary recall for one production lot of BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dog. The recalled dog food may contain increased levels of a naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. Prolonged consumption of the affected product may result in serious symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid or difficulty breathing.

BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs is sold in 12.5 ounce cans. The recalled lot can be identified by UPC Code 840243101153 and Best By Date of June 7, 2019.

dog food recalled

Only one dog has been reported ill in connection with the Blue Buffalo canned dog food recall. Blue Buffalo’s investigation led to the voluntary recall. The dog which ate the affected product has made a complete recovery.

The recalled canned dog food was distributed online and at pet retailers across the nation. Consumers should cease feeding the affected Blue Buffalo dog food and return it to place of purchase for full refunds.

Nutiva Shakes Recalled

On March 18, Organic Superfoods company Nutiva issued a voluntary recall for specific vanilla shakes. The Vanilla Flavor Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shakes are being recalled due to a potential peanut contamination. People with peanut allergies run the risk of an allergic reaction by consuming the recalled shake products.

The recalled shakes were packaged in ten 1.2 ounce (34 gram) packets or 21.6 ounce jars. The expiration date is September 20, 26, or 27 of 2018. The recalled Nutivaa shakes were distributed online and through retailers in California, Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Texas.

For product replacement or refund, contact Nutiva at (800) 993-4367 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or email help@nutiva.com.

Adapting Your Garden As You Age

Tips For The Aging Gardener

Love gardening but afraid your body can no longer physically handle the work? A few simple adjustments can help make the work easier, allowing you to continue enjoying your hobby.

Like an athlete, the gardener develops gardening skills through repeated activities like digging, weeding, mulching, etc. We learn how to use tools to get the job done with the least amount of efforts and the best results.

gardening tips

Through my wife, an occupational therapist, I have learned a lot about adapting physical activities to fit a person’s ability. Her background includes work with children and seniors.

I have been gardening and landscaping since the late 1970s. Following my back surgery in 1995, I discovered the importance of proper lifting, carrying, and digging techniques for gardening. Recommended habits can be modified. Don’t wait for back surgery to take a look at your gardening habits. I still garden and do strenuous work, but I listen to my body and take a break, change my position, or stop when needed. Well, sometimes I go past my limit — but not far — and when I do, I pay more attention to my posture. Staying active is important to maintain endurance, flexibility, and energy.

The Aging Gardener

When we age, endurance is often the first thing to go. We can’t work as long. We feel weak, unable to lift and move plants like we used to, and familiar tasks take longer to complete. If you’re having these experiences, it might be necessary to reevaluate the size of the garden or change its maintenance requirements. Reduce the overall maintenance of deep perennial beds, for example, by making them narrowing and backing them with shrubs.

The loss of flexibility is also one of the first signs of aging. An injury or development of arthritis are among several things that can cause reduced flexibility. This limits our ability to maneuver in the garden: getting up and down, twisting or changing position while pulling weeds or picking flowers, and cleaning up dead leaves. Of course, gardening does help us maintain flexibility. Reduced flexibility needs to be considered when we decide what needs to be changed to make it easier to maneuver in the garden.

Additional limiting changes include poor balance and persistent back and joint pain. Once these changes start, gardening becomes more of a challenge, so modifying your garden as you develop it could help in the long run.

Adapting Your Garden As You Age

Let’s look at the garden. What is the size and layout of your garden? Is your garden large with numerous perennial plantings and border gardens, or is it smaller, including just the area surrounding your house with maybe a small vegetable garden? The style, size, and area of your garden will determine the approach needed when making modifications so that you can enjoy gardening again.

Note that annual and perennial plantings need a lot of maintenance because of their constant change and growth rate. Lawns, trees, and shrubs also require maintenance but not as often as flower beds.

We don’t want to limit our garden, build expensive raised beds, and, most of all, reduce the size of our garden once it is established because there are always new plants to try. We should look ahead. Look at what has recently changed in your ability to maintain your garden. What are your immediate limitations? Decide what you will be able to handle and still enjoy gardening. Will you be able to have someone available to help (maybe a family member or young gardening enthusiast) to keep your garden as it is?

gardening as you age

Gardens are a collective of plants that we desired to grow at one point or another. Some, though attractive, are not your favorite. Select those plants that are your favorites and reconsider how to handle the rest. Changes based on a landscape plan can be made all at once or over a period of years. If you decide to do the work yourself, start with your most labor-intensive space. Look for plants that need less attention. Reduce the overall maintenance of deep perennial beds by making them narrower then backing them with shrubs. Another solution might be creating a pollinator garden that requires minimum upkeep and can be mown off once a year.

Reduce reaching distance and amount of leaning forward to pull weeds or spread mulch. If you can only access a bed from one side, ensure it is no wider than two feet. Beds accessible from both sides can be four feet in width.

To make the work easier, use quality tools and keep them clean and sharp. A rusty shovel is more difficult to dig with because the soil will stick to it more. A sharp hoe will cut through weeds easier than a dull one. Consider automatic watering and semi-automatic watering systems for gardening to reduce the amount of hand watering. Soaker hoses and single drip emitters are two options.

Making Your Garden More Accessible

Once you have decided what changes to make to your garden, you can make them yourself with family help or hire a landscaper to install them for you.

The design of large gardens will need to provide easy access to all the plants with wide, level walkways on both sides of four-foot-wide beds. Create shaded areas in the garden using trellises, gazebos, and small trees so you can get out of the sun a while. Benches provide a comfortable place to sit and rest.

Walkways should be wide and level enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Turf, smooth recessed stepping stones, or paving stones make a good surface for wheelchair access. Mulch and loose gravel are often hard to push through and can also become a slipping hazard.

Smaller garden areas can be created using a number of large containers grouped together or as single planters.

Container Gardening

container gardening

Container gardening can reducing your gardening stress, and the many different and attractive containers available add interesting focal points to your garden.

You can also turn just about anything into a container garden. From teapots to milk jugs, wooden dressers to wine barrels, let your creativity run wild!

Raised Bed Gardening

Consider installing raised beds that reduce bending over by allowing you to work in a standing or seated position. Standing, you may be able to maintain a three-foot-deep bed, while two feet is manageable if seated.

raised bed gardening

Raised beds can be a very attractive part of a landscape, defining walkways and providing a more formal appearance. Height often varies from six inches to three feet tall. Raised beds can be constructed in many styles using a wide variety of materials, including treated wood, concrete blocks, stone, and more. Various shapes and curves can be included to help blend the raised garden into your existing landscape, making it both attractive and functional.

Vertical Gardening

Unique garden features like vertical gardening with wall planters and trellises allow you to work while standing up. You can buy a premade trellis or build one yourself. Pots can be stacked or arranged on a riser. Like container gardening, vertical gardening is an opportunity to get creative in the garden.

vertical gardening ideas

Growing vegetables using vertical trellises reduces bending and picking. Many vegetables grow well when trellised. Cucumbers, beans, squash, and melons can all climb the traditional store-bought garden trellis.

Straw Bale Gardening

Another simplified gardening method that lifts your garden, making it more accessible, is straw bale gardening. This gardening method can be incredibly productive. It also cuts out all of the digging and cultivating that can be hard on the body. Straw bale gardening does, however, require several weeks of setup. A good guidebook is Straw Bale Gardens – The Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier and With No Weeding by Joel Karsten.

Reduce Your Garden Stress

Every garden and every gardener is unique. Consider your body type and abilities when adapting your garden as you age. Understand that your garden is limited by your physical abilities and personal interests as well as the location of the garden itself.

  • Reduce the overall size of the garden
  • Trade out high maintenance annuals and perennials for lower maintenance shrubs and trees
  • Reduce the amount of reaching, leaning, and bending with raised bed and vertical gardens
  • Garden small with container gardening
  • Keep your tools in good shape so they’re easier to work with

With these tips in mind, make changes that allow you to continue enjoying your gardening hobby without the stress of a high-maintenance landscape.

Written by Michael Boice, Oldham County Extension Horticulture Assistant. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Reference: National AgrAbility Project, ‘Arthritis and Gardening: A Guide for Home Gardeners and Small-Scale Producers.’ Purdue University, 2016.

Cook Flavorful Food With Fewer Calories

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the March 2, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

healthy cooking recipes

More Flavor, Fewer Calories

Looking for ways to make fewer calories deliver more nutrition? Search for recipes that help you trim energy intake. Make sure to read all available nutritional information. You can even find phone apps that help you count calories and track other nutritional information such as vitamins, fiber, and sugar.

Sometimes, you may need to use a little of “the real thing” to get the flavor you crave. Start by reducing fats and sugars rather than cutting them out completely. Here are some tips for cooking to add flavor without too much fat or added sugar:

  • For some foods, like cheese or salad dressings, try reduced-fat instead of fat-free products. You may want to try using a ratio of two-thirds reduced-fat product to one-third real thing.
  • Try using one-third less sugar in your recipes or using a sugar substitute like stevia.
  • Make your sweet treats count. Cook with fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy ingredients in muffins and in desserts like banana pudding or sweet potato pie.
  • Add whole-wheat, soy, flax, or oatmeal to pancakes for more flavor and fiber.
  • Try roasting or smoking vegetables to give them more flavor without added calories.
  • Herbs and spices give foods distinctive flavors. When food is flavorful we may be satisfied with a smaller amount. Experiment with herbs like marjoram, thyme, or rosemary to see what tastes good to you. Buy herbs and spices on sale to stock your shelf with many possible ways to flavor your foods.
  • Garlic, onions, and celery add a lot of flavor with few calories.
  • When cooking a rice or pasta side dish, add frozen spinach or canned mushrooms to cut calories and add flavor.

healthy low calorie snack

Try new recipes and experiment with flavor profiles! Check out this low calorie, low sodium Apple Coleslaw recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples (1 red, 1 green), cored and chopped
  • 1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded (3 cups)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • Optional: raisins or grapes

Directions:

  1. Mix yogurt and honey in a large bowl.
  2. Add other ingredients, mix together lightly.

Makes 12 servings.
Serving size: 1/2 cup
Cost per recipe: $3.38
Cost per serving: $0.28
Nutrition facts per serving: 45 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 25 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 1 g protein

healthy apple coleslaw recipe

Find more healthy recipes like this on the Oldham County Extension website.

Educational programs of the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Janet Mullins, Extension Specialist for Food and Nutrition, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Recipe from Debra Cotterill, Director of Kentucky Extension Nutrition Education Program.

Whooping Cough Fact Sheet

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

You may have heard about the cases of whooping cough in Lexington. Although most persons you may meet are vaccinated against the illness, it is important to be aware of whooping cough, its symptoms, and treatment.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a respiratory illness. It is very contagious. Pertussis vaccines are the most effective tool to prevent this illness, but like all vaccines, it is not 100% effective. This means that if whooping cough has been going through the community, there is still a chance that a fully vaccinated person can catch the illness. If a person has been vaccinated, however, the infection is usually not as bad for him or her.

Whooping cough spreads from person to person through coughing, sneezing, or even being in close proximity to someone with the illness. Many people are infected with whooping cough by siblings, parents, or caregivers who do not even know they have the illness. Symptoms of the illness usually begin within five to ten days after being exposed but could take up to three weeks to manifest.

Whooping Cough Symptoms

There are two stages of symptoms for whooping cough: early stage and late stage.

Early stage symptoms

(First 1 to 2 weeks)

  • Runny nose
  • Low-grade fever (generally minimal throughout the course of the disease)
  • Mild, occasional cough
  • Apnea (pause in breathing) in babies

Late stage symptoms

(The traditional symptoms people associate with whooping cough)

  • Fits of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched “whoop” on the inhale
  • Vomiting (throwing up) during or after coughing fits
  • Exhaustion after coughing fits

Pertussis Symptoms for Babies

Symptoms for babies are very different from older children and adults. Babies might not even have a cough or it could be a slight cough. They are also likely to show apnea (a long pause in breathing). This illness is very dangerous for babies. Information about babies who have the illness shows that about 50% of babies under one year need care in the hospital.

What to Do if Seeing Symptoms

If a school age child is showing symptoms, he or she should stay home from school and visit a healthcare provider. You should take your child to a healthcare provider even if he or she has been vaccinated. If your child has whooping cough, he or she will need to stay out of school until all antibiotics have been taken.

If a person in your home has whooping cough, the healthcare provider may recommend that others in the home also take an antibiotic to prevent the spread of the illness.

Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious respiratory illness. Be on the watch for symptoms for you and your family and visit a healthcare provider should you think someone may have the illness.

Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from the Centers for Disease Control.

Vegetable Garden Preparation

The following Horticulture article printed in the Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Looking Forward to the Vegetable Garden

Spring is almost here. Take advantage of the last few days of winter to plan your garden. After exploring the seed catalogs and deciding what you want to grow, map out your garden on paper. This is a good way to determine how much seed to order for the vegetables you want to produce. Whether you are growing a new garden or one you have been using for several years, planning will help improve the quality of your harvest this year and future years.

  • Plan your garden on paper before you begin. A map showing where each vegetable is grown allows you to space your plants for good growth. This plan will help determine your crop rotation for following seasons to reduce the carryover of vegetable disease and insect pests in the soil.
  • A good gardening site has full sun for at least eight hours each day and is relatively level, well-drained, and close to a water source. Watch for possible shading as landscape trees mature.
  • Test your soil every two to three years. Prepare the soil properly and add fertilizer and lime or sulfur according to soil test recommendations.

carrot vegetable garden

  • Plan only as large a garden as you can easily maintain. It is easy to overplant and then fail because it is hard to keep up with the tasks required.
  • Grow vegetables that will produce the maximum amount of food in the space available. The bush varieties are best for small spaces and generally yield a lot of vegetables.
  • Plant during the correct season for the crop. Crops are either cool season or warm season types. Choose varieties recommended for your area. Controlling weeds and watering when needed will keep the plants less stressed and improve your production.
  • Harvest vegetables at their proper stage of maturity. Store them promptly and properly if you do not use them immediately.

A well-planned and properly kept garden should produce 600 to 700 pounds of produce per 1,000 square feet and may include many different crops.

ky strawberries

Finally, the closer the vegetable garden is to your back door, the more you will use it. You can see when your crops are at their peaks and can take maximum advantage of their freshness. In addition, keeping up with the planting, weeding, watering, and pest control will be easier.

The 2017 Vegetable Gardening Guides are now available. Contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service office or download the publication “Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky” online.

vegetable gardening

Based on article by Richard Durham, Extension Horticulture Specialist, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Edited by Oldham County Horticulture Assistant Michael Boice and Oldham County Staff Assistant Lauren State.

Farmer Resources

The following Agriculture and Natural Resources article printed in the Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

beginning farmer resources

Resources for Beginning and Experienced Farmers

Winter is a time when many farmers make business decisions as well as planting decisions – sometimes that means a call to the extension office. An extension agriculture agent’s main job is to give advice on production practices that have been proven through repeated research trials. Our goal is to give farmers the best chance for success no matter what agriculture enterprise they are engaged in.

All agriculture agents have areas of farming expertise we want to share. Plus, we have access to specialists at University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University to help with questions we cannot answer. It may surprise you that many questions directed to ag agents are not about production practices at all. And often there are other agencies best suited to answer those questions. Below are some of the most common.


Q: How do I get a farm tax I.D. number and/or a farm sales tax exemption?
A: Kentucky Department of Revenue: 502-564-5170 or revenue.ky.gov


Q: Where can I find federal tax information for farms?
A: Internal Revenue Service Farm Tax Guide: www.irs.gov/publications/p225/index.html


Q: How do I get/find out if I already have a farm serial number (FSN)?
A: Farm Service Agency: 502-845-2820 or find your county office: offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator

water conservation

Q: Where can I find technical advice on pond construction/repair, sinkholes, or other conservation practices?
A: Contact the following conservation agencies.


Q: Where can I find information on EQIP, WHIP, and other conservation cost-share programs?
A: Contact the following conservation agencies.

KY Trees

Q: Is there an agency that provides low-cost tree seedlings for residents?
A: Kentucky Division of Forestry: 502-564-4496 or forestry.ky.gov


Q: Is there an agency that gives away trees on Earth day or Arbor Day?
A: Sometimes, Oldham County Conservation District: 502-222-5123


Q: Who can evaluate a timber stand for desired species, management, and/or harvest?
A: Kentucky Division of Forestry: 502-564-4496 or forestry.ky.gov

ky trees

Q: Where can I find trapping and hunting season information?
A: Kentucky Fish and Wildlife: 800-858-1549 or fw.ky.gov


Q: Are there trappers who will trap nuisance wildlife for me?
A: There are several entities that offer this service.

  • Kentucky Fish and Wildlife: 800-858-1549 or fw.ky.gov
  • Local Pest Control businesses


Q: Is there a tire amnesty/recycling program in my county?
A: Solid Waste & Recycling: 502-565-1007 or www.oldhamcounty.net


Q: Where can I find a list of farmers markets, CSA’s, and Kentucky Proud products?
A: Kentucky Department of Agriculture: www.kyagr.com and click ‘Promotional Programs’


Q: Where can I find information on product-specific regulations for farmers markets?
A: Kentucky Department of Agriculture: www.kyagr.com/marketing/farmers-market.html and local farmers market guidelines.


Q: Is my property zoned for agriculture use?
A: Property Valuation Administration: 502-222-9320 or oldhampva.com

oldham county agriculture

Q: How do I apply for CAIP cost-share programs?
A: Contact your county extension office. Each county has a council that decides when applications for cost-share will be taken and awarded. Oldham County’s application period has not yet been set. General information on CAIP and other KY Ag Development Fund cost-share is available at agpolicy.ky.gov.


Q: I’ve heard there are grants for…?
A: There are several agencies that may offer cost-share or grant funding related to agriculture.


Q: Are there agencies that provide low-interest farm loans?
A: There are several entities that may provide low-interest farm loans


Q: How can I find county ordinances relating to chickens, livestock, leash laws, etc.?
A: Oldham County Fiscal Court: 502-222-9357 or www.oldhamcounty.net


And sometimes, there are questions we just can’t help with. A guy called here one time asking to reserve a tee time and seemed a little confused that I couldn’t help. As it turns out, “Oldham County Cooperative Extension” is listed in the phone book right above “Oldham County Country Club.”

Written by Traci Missun, Oldham County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Support OC 4-H

The following 4-H Youth Development articles printed in the Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Reality Store Volunteers Needed

The 4-H Reality Store program is a budgeting simulation for high school students. Reality Stores will be held on March 31 at South Oldham High School and on May 5 at Oldham County High School.

oc 4h reality store

We still need volunteers to make these events possible. If you can help out on either day, please contact the extension office at 222-9453.

Support the Kentucky Ag Tag Program

The Kentucky 4-H Foundation is proud to be part of the Ag Tag Voluntary Donation Program. When renewing their license plates, Kentucky farmers can make a $10 donation which is split equally among Kentucky 4-H, FFA, and Kentucky Proud. This year is the fifth year for the program and the 4-H Foundation asks all farmers to make the donation when they renew their farm license plates in March.

kentucky 4-h donations

The 4-H share for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, was $184,237. These funds benefit all levels of Kentucky 4-H. The Kentucky 4-H Foundation splits the donations equally between the county from which the funds originated and the Foundation itself. The Foundation uses its half to support state level programs. The other half of the Ag Tag donation stays in Oldham County to fund programs and activities that teach youth about leadership, citizenship, science and technology, communications, public speaking, agriculture, and much more.

Spring OC 4-H News

The following 4-H Youth Development articles printed in the Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

Attention: 4-H Participation Forms Due

Please do not forget all 4-H members must be registered with Oldham County 4-H by April 15, 2017 in order to qualify to compete in any 4-H events. This requirement applies to all 4-H competitions including Horse Show, Horse Contest, and Dog Show as well as the Oldham County 4-H Fair.

State 4-H Achievement Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the following Oldham County 4-H members for earning State Achievement Awards:

Bronze Award
Maggie Anderson
Keirstin Kennedy
Emmett King
Ruby Mason
Coral Schulte
Ethan Willis

Silver Award
Noah Anderson
Beth Huffman

Gold Level Interviews
Hannah Anderson
Sarah Griffin
Molly Logsdon
Olivia Minor
Karmen Woods

Gold Level Interviews will be held on Saturday, March 4, in Clark County. Interviewing is the final step of the Gold Level Achievement Award. Gold Level Honorees will be announced the second week of March.

oc 4h dog club

Upcoming 4-H Dog Program Dates

Take your dog to camp. Dog Camp is the perfect opportunity for 4-H’ers to work with their dogs one-on-one and in group instruction situations. The 2017 Kentucky State 4-H Dog Camp will be held at J.M. Feltner 4-H Camp from May 19 to 21. If you would like to receive registration information, contact the Oldham County Extension office at 222-9453, and we will send the information to you when it becomes available.

The 4-H Dog Volunteer Certification Program will be available twice this fall. Volunteers can attend training on September 23 at McCracken County Extension office or November 4 at Wolfe County Extension office.

Qualifying for Competitive 4-H Horse Events

4-H members who would like to qualify to participate in any 4-H Competitive Horse Event (this includes 4-H Horse Shows) must complete six hours of instructional training taught or approved by their 4-H Certified Horse Club Leader. Please meet with your leader now to ensure completion of the six required hours of instruction prior to April 15th. Documentation must accompany your registration or show paperwork.

oc 4h horse club

Note upcoming competition 4-H horse events. The District 4-H Horse Show will be held June 2-4. State Horse Judging is June 14 with the State Horse Contest on June 15. The State Horse Show will be July 2-8.

Start Thinking About the Oldham County Fair

The 2017 Oldham County Fair will be August 1-5. Projects will be entered on July 27 at the Oldham County Extension office and will be available for pick up on August 5 at the Oldham County fairgrounds. Registration forms are due to the extension office by July 6. Remember, to be eligible to exhibit projects in the 4-H categories during the county fair, youth must be a registered 4-H member by April 15. Fairbook available online. Note major changes in Arts & Crafts and Photography categories.

4-H Speech Program

The following 4-H Youth Development article printed in the Spring 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

oc 4h speech

4-H Speech Program Inspires Confidence

Public speaking is often one of our biggest fears. 4-H presents the opportunity for youth to conquer this fear at a young age by participating in the public speaking program. Public speaking skills help youth develop the confidence, organizational skills, and composure to become the influential leaders of tomorrow.

It is important for young people to give 4-H public speaking a try. The earlier children begin the program, and the longer they stick with it, the stronger their public speaking skills will be. Youth are encouraged to deliver speeches on any topic they find interesting. The search for more information on the topic promotes valuable research skills. Composing the speech with proper structure teaches organizational skills. Young speakers also learn to use creative techniques to grab their audience’s attention.

Competition begins at the club level, qualifying for the county competition on March 27. County winners advance to the April 15th district tournament. District champions advance to the state tournament in July at the University of Kentucky. Judges evaluate presentation and ability to clearly deliver a message.

It’s not too late to get involved in a 4-H speech program! Call 222-9453 for details. Speakers can register online.

HELP!! We need judges for the 4-H Communication Competitions on March 27 and April 15. Interested in volunteering to judge a speech or demonstration contest? Please contact Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Agent, at 222-9453. We need your help to make this a rewarding experience for our 4-H’ers!