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December 07th, 2021

=====Southwest Living: Sept. 6, 2021=====


75675Special to the Leader & Times


Many Kansans look forward to the beautiful display of blooming peonies in spring, just before Memorial Day. Peonies also prove to be a favorite pick for gardeners because of how low maintenance they are.

“Though peonies can be left in place indefinitely, many gardeners wish to increase their plantings and use a process known as division to accomplish this,” said Kansas State University horticulture expert Ward Upham.

Division is the process of digging up previously planted plants and separating them into at least two sections at the root ball. Upham said this keeps plants healthy by spreading the blooms and preventing overcrowding, which naturally increases coverage.

Additionally, dividing helps prevent weak stems or bald patches. If either of these signs are present in the garden, it may be an indication it is time to divide, according to Upham.

However, he adds, not every plant is suitable for dividing. Perennials are most commonly divided, which makes peonies an ideal candidate. Traditionally, peonies are divided in the Fall.

“Peonies are essentially dormant by mid-August, even though the foliage is still green,” Upham said.

To divide peonies, first remove the foliage. Then the entire plant must be dug out. As much soil as possible will need to be washed off so the pink buds -- known as “eyes” -- are visible. Each division should have 3-4 buds.

====Southwest Living: Aug. 23, 2021====




crabapplesSpecial to the Leader & Times


Short of a belly ache, there’s no real danger in eating the crabapples growing in many Kansas backyards these days.

“Crabapples are safe to eat as long as you don’t eat too many of them,” said Ward Upham, a horticulture specialist with K-State Research and Extension.

In fact, crabapples are not much different than apples purchased in the grocery store. By definition, Upham said, crabapples have fruit that are 2 inches or less in diameter, while apples are more than 2 inches in diameter.

“By this definition,” he said, “most of the apples grown from seed will be crabapples.”

Fruiting apples are grafted, or a process of reproducing fruit in which a section of a stem with leaf buds is inserted into the stock of a tree.

Before eating crabapples, make sure the tree has not been sprayed as an ornamental with a pesticide that isn’t labeled for fruit tree apples, Upham said. “If it has, then the fruit should not be used,” he said.

shelter article new june 2021=====July 31, 2007======

By: ROBERT PIERCE, Southwest Daily Times 


This Saturday marks the beginning of this year's Seward County Five State Fair, and county workers are busy putting the finishing touches on the fairgrounds before the festivities get under way.

One of the projects crews have made improvements on is the ag building, according to maintenance supervisor Delbert Stebens.

"I think we've done a lot of work in there," he said. "Just an overall remodel of basically everything. Trying to give it a new facelift and clean it up."

Stebens said when he came on board with the county, he developed a five-year plan, which is in its final year, but he said the work doesn't stop there.

"I keep going and going," he said. "We're going to continue to improve each and every year, and budget allowing, that's what we will do. The county's been real good to us as far as money and letting us do the things that we want to do. I see it opening up and becoming something great."

====Southwest Living Part 1: Aug. 16, 2021====


====Southwest Living Part 2: Aug. 16, 2021====


strawberriesSpecial to the Leader & Times


There is good news for those who may be worried about the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study has shown that teas and berries are among the foods that can help delay the onset of that malady.

Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee said a study conducted at Tuft’s University by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is further evidence that a healthy diet can be beneficial in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

The study followed 2,809 people over 20 years to determine the effects of a healthy diet on memory loss. The results were very positive.

“The study provides more proof of how the power of plants and produce is so important in our daily diets, and how it can be beneficial nutritionally and possibly protect your mental health,” Blakeslee said.

Study participants who consumed more plant foods containing plant nutrients called flavonoids were 50% less likely to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Tea, berries, dark chocolate and other flavonoid-rich foods are well-known for their antioxidant, antiviral and anti-cancer properties.

Blakeslee said the Tufts study indicated that all types of tea may help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Berries also got a good grade; blueberries and strawberries are the top contributing foods for total flavonoids, “but apples, pears and oranges are also beneficial,” according to Blakeslee.

In a 2021 report titled Race, Ethnicity and Alzheimer’s in America, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates 6.2 million people in the United States age 65 and older are living with the disease. That number is estimated to grow to 12.7 million by 2050.



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