March 14, 2013
SOMERSET, KY — Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc., announced today that it will reimburse Lawrence County, Louisa and Blaine up to $3,150 for leading the local PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month in April. Lawrence County is eligible for $2,750, and $200 is available to each city. The funding levels are based on the number of road miles in the county and cities. PRIDE also will give the county and cities T-shirts and cleanup supplies to distribute to Spring Cleanup volunteers. “The Spring Cleanup is an annual tradition in our region, with thousands of volunteers taking advantage of the chance to serve their community while getting outside to enjoy April weather and scenery,” said Tammie Wilson of Eastern Kentucky PRIDE, Inc., the nonprofit organization that sponsors Spring Cleanup Month in 42 counties of southern and eastern Kentucky. “We appreciate the local government officials who lead the Spring Cleanup in their communities, and we’re pleased that PRIDE can support their efforts by offering this funding, as well as providing cleanup supplies and T-shirts for their volunteers,” Wilson said. “The Spring Cleanup is a great way for officials to promote civic pride, and it’s a cost-effective way to tackle roadside litter, which is one of their top concerns if they want to attract tourists,” Wilson added. During the Spring Cleanup, local governments recruit volunteers, who pick up litter at no charge. Volunteers receive T-shirts, while supplies last, and may enjoy a meal together or door prizes. Local governments pay fees to dispose of the litter collected by the volunteers. They also may offer free trash disposal events to encourage citizens to conduct “spring cleaning” on their properties. Local governments also may pay contractors to remove dumps. PRIDE offers Spring Cleanup funds to offset all those expenses. All local governments in PRIDE’s 42-county service area are eligible for Spring Cleanup funds. The amount available to each county and city is based on its number of road miles. To qualify for its available funds, each local government must attend PRIDE training and comply with funding guidelines. The region-wide 2013 PRIDE Spring Cleanup is made possible in part by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the following sponsors: Waste Connections of Kentucky (Gold Sponsor), Outdoor Venture Corporation (Silver Sponsor), Walmart (Silver Sponsor), Hacker Brothers, Inc. (Bronze Sponsor), Lightyear Network Solutions (Bronze Sponsor) and Owens Auto & Truck Parts (Bronze Sponsor). To volunteer to pick up litter during PRIDE Spring Cleanup Month, please call your local PRIDE Coordinator. PRIDE Coordinators’ names and phone numbers are available by calling PRIDE, toll free, at 888-577-4339 or by visitingwww.kypride.org/service-area.
L to R speakers at yesterday's event were David Cooken, Regina, Becknall, Amelia Kirby, and Todd Howard
Small scale farming and energy saving solutions were among the topics discussed at the fourth annual "Growing Appalachia" program held Sat., March 9, at Jenny Wiley State Park, in the convention center.
This event is organized by Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, a grassroots social organization with more than 7,000 members statewide who work to bring ideas and information that can benefit people in eastern Kentucky.
Fern Nafziger and Chriss Woolery speak about DIY energy saving solutionsThere were several different workshops including " Collecting and Marketing Wild Edibles and Medicinals Plants," Renewable Energy in the Mountains," "Community Supported Agriculture," "DIY Energy Efficiency," as well as workshops on organic gardening, small scale dairy production, food preservation, and stories and examples from Kentuckians who have built affordable, low energy homes.
One of the most interesting discussions was on edible and medicinal plants. Cody Montgomery conducted this presentation, and talked about his personal experience in using some of these plants, starting with the ones that are edible. Cat tails are dry inside and can be made into a flour. The middle part of the plant is crunchy and sweet, and the seeds can also be eaten. Other edible plants included morel mushrooms which appear in April and are safe to eat. However, Montgomery said there is a "false morel" that comes in during October, and is not good to eat. Ground nuts were a sacred food to the Cherokee Indians, and has more protein than a potato. Japanese knot weed is a large stalk plant that grows rapidly, and can easily take over a creek or river bank. The best way to eat this plant is to boil the stalks for a couple minutes like asparagus, then roll them in corn meal and fry. Another plant, cucumber root is "better than cucumbers," said Montgomery.
The medicinal plants (See slideshow on Lazer main page) mentioned included golden seal, an herb that is great for heartburn. Others included were Jewell weed, which is very effective for bee stings,insect bites, and poison ivy, and mullein, which can be made into a tea, is good for upper respiratory problems. Colt's foot clears the lungs, and makes a great cough syrup, and when dried out and ground into powder, the spotted geranium plant will stop bleeding.
Cody Montgomery discussing edible and medicinal plantspaw pawMontgomery explained that different plants grow in different habitats, and if you learn what they are, the easier it is to find the plants you are looking for. Dry woods habitats are on the south and west slopes due to longer exposure to sun, while moist habitats are located on the north and east slopes which get more shade. Montgomery reminded those interested in looking for plants to wear proper footwear such as boots above the ankle to guard against snake bites, and preferably shoes with good support and that are waterproof as you will be doing a lot of walking, some of which will be around creeks and streams.
He also suggested the Peterson Field Guide (for edible and medicinal plants) for those interested in learning how to recognize these useful plants.
Cody Montgomery is a native of Magoffin County who currently lives in Rowan County. He is a graduate of Morehead State University, and is a potter, organic farmer, and naturalist. He spends lot of time walking in the hills of eastern Kentucky studying plants, and also speaks publicly in defense of the land that supports plant communities as well as his own.
The DIY Energy Efficiency workshop was another popular program, and back by popular demand. The speakers were Chris Woolery and Fran Nafziger. Woolery is the residential energy specialist for HowsmartKY. He is also a former contractor specializing in energy efficient homes. He has implemented energy upgrades to over 600 households, and has learned which energy improvements are good investments.
Fern Nafziger is a Voluntary Service Worker through Mennonite Central Committe's home repair organization. She evaluates applications from homeowners and collaborates closely with groups that work to make southeast Kentucky homes "warm, safe, and dry."
The focus on this workshop was on what homeowners can do themselves to make a substantial difference in their electric bills. The biggest problem in most homes are air leaks. Some solutions to this problem include air sealing, insulation, and replacing an electric furnace with an energy efficient heat pump.
Nafziger explained that when inspecting your home for air leaks, and other problems, you want to start at the top in the attic, then at the bottom in the basement or crawl space, the work on the issues in the middle. Woolery said you can seal the small cracks with calk or expanding foam, and the larger gaps can be filled with insulation.
One of the things than can increase your electric bill the most is turning the thermostat up and down. "By adjusting the heat just 2 degrees up or down can engage the energy heat strips and cost you more money than you save." Said Woolery.
If your electric is supplied by Big Sandy RECC or Grayson, you can request an energy audit. Someone will come and inspect your home and give you a list of findings concerning energy issues. If you are a customer of another electric company, "call and tell them you want Housesmart." said Woolery. "In time, all electric companies will adopt this plan." Until then, you can still check to see what your company offers. Woolery said most all of them offer some sort of rebate program.
Woolery also noted that when sealing air leaks in your home, you should never use duct tape because it is rubber based and can melt and deteriorate over time. Use mastic or special sealing tape.
The crowd enjoys lunch during a break between workshops
Lunch was prepared by May Lodge, and was locally sourced. During lunch, there was a panel discussion about the challenges and rewards of small business ownership in Kentucky. The panel speakers were David Cooke, Director of the Berea College Appalachian Fund and Grow Appalachia, Amelia Kirby, an Appalachian activist and entrepreneur, and the co-owner of Summit City Lounge, a restaurant/bar/music venue in Whitesburg, and Todd Howard, a farmer, and manager of the Floyd County Farmer's Market.
Regina Becknell introduced the speakers, and spoke briefly to the crowd about MACED, the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, one of the sponsors of this event. Becknell staffs the eastern Kentucky office.
"Growing Appalachia" is a very informative program, that also gives people a chance to meet others and exchange ideas and information. Saturday's conference brought in a big crowd, some from as far away as Glasgow, KY.
If you would like more information about any of these programs, call 606-263-4982.
Feb. 21. 2013
John Matt Dalton Family
Good food, good friends, and good times were as plentiful as the harvests of the farms and families at the annual Farmer's Appreciation Banquet,Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Lawrence County Extenion office.
County Extension Agent, Julia Rollins, welcomed everyone, and Steve Montgomery, Kentucky Farm Bureau agent, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. The invocation was given by Paul Jobe.
L to R: Steve Montgomery, Chris Jobe, Julia Rollins, Sherry Compton, Mark Haney and Marlene Haney
KFB Office Manager, Sherry Compton, recognized board members; Keith Bradley, Freddie Castle, Joe Hart, Tim Lycan, and David McGuire, and special guest speaker, Mark Haney, President of Kentucky Farm Bureau, and his wife, Marlene.
After a wonderful dinner prepared by Rebel Barn Catering, Mr. Haney spoke to the crowd about how essential agriculture is in our area, and the importance of the Farm Bill to rural communities.
The Farm Bill is the primary food and agricultural policy of the federal government.
A new bill is passed about every five years, although amendments are made periodically. Congress chose not to pass a new farm bill, but extended the 2008 Farm Bill through the 2013 crop year, which will expire on Sept. 30, except for 37 programs with no base line.
These programs include agricultural disaster assistance, some conservation and energy programs, as well as programs relating to horticulture and agriculture. Direct payment, target price, and ACRE programs are in place for the 2013 crop year.
Large crown gathered at the Lawrence County Extension Office. Lazer photos by Catrina Vargo.
Each year during the Farmer 's Appreciation Dinner, a Lawrence County Farm is recognized. This year the honor went to the John Matt Dalton Farm, as the oldest pioneer family farm. John Dalton is the great-grandfather of County Clerk, Chris Jobe, on his mother's side. The familly received a plaque and a metal sign to display on their farm.
Kentucky Farm Bureau would like to thank all who attended the dinner, and a special thank you to the Louisa Rotary Club for hosting the event, and the County Extension Office for the use of their facility.
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