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  • Lessons from Malabar Farm still hold true

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It’s time to roll out the rain barrel and conserve water

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rain barrels make every drop count. That’s the slogan that begins every one of my rain barrel presentations. Well, OK, I have to confess here that I have done only one actual presentation, but when someone comes into the office looking for rain barrels, I do kind of a mini-presentation for him. The only difference […]

Economists in the house? Run!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Don’t’ look now, but Dr. Econ — that master of the malaprop, that tangled tiller of economic turnips, the clearest, coldest-eyed killer of the English language — just walked into the office of your faithful reporter and, trapped, I can only… Dr. Econ, how have you been?

It’s how you play the game

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It’s how you play the game You win some, you lose some, and sometimes you lose them all. We are old hats at recreational soccer. We are recently involved in competitive soccer which bears little to no resemblance to recreational soccer. Recreational soccer is about being active and having fun, competitive soccer is about honing […]

A hayfield stroll displays midsummer blooms

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Most summer evenings, shortly before dark, my wife and I take a walk through the hay field on the highest point on our property. It’s not really a hay field, it’s just an old field being encroached upon by the adjacent woods. I try to keep the invasive autumn olive at bay, but it’s a […]

Kids caring about conservation

Thursday, July 22, 2010

As a kid, I can remember spending the majority of my free time outdoors. Like many kids, I participated in my fair share of sports, and put a countless number of miles on my mountain bike. Yet my fondest memories as a child came from other outdoor activities. When I wasn’t in school or participating […]

New game, new rules in meat markets

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Watching Big Pork and Big Beef respond to proposed USDA rules to “clarify conduct that violates the P&S [Packers and Stockyards] Act” is like watching Wall Street bankers: They find it impossible to pull their hands out of your pockets long enough to pull themselves out of the mess they’ve made. That’s a good explanation […]

A conversation with ornithologist and author

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I met Bridget Stutchbury in the early 1980s at the University of Oklahoma Biological Station. I was teaching ornithology, and she was a visiting graduate student from Yale looking for a place to study the social behavior of purple martins. We had dozens of pairs of martins in six apartment houses right on campus, so […]

The tales of skunks and the relief when they leave

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rusty Iron business is a little slow this week, so I’ll play Scott Shalaway and tell you a nature tale that I call (with apologies to Steven Spielberg), A Close Encounter of the Striped Kind. Nuisance For a couple of weeks, something has been digging up Nancy’s flower bulbs at the front of the […]

Picking genetics may save time sorting

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Low-stress cattle handling is becoming a mainstream practice, but have you ever thought about the ultimate low-stress sorting system — right from your computer? Advocates of low-stress handling suggest using animal behavior to your advantage. If you’ve seen a demonstration of this technique, or employ it on your farm or ranch, you may recognize something […]

Market Monitor

An obstinate and opposite market

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I am thinking this morning that the grain market is like a sixth grade boy this morning — obstinate and opposite. Whatever you suggest, he wants to do the other thing. The more you push, the more he pushes back. Too old to spank Think about it — we came out of reports that said […]

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