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									                                                                            MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2012 • PAGE 5

             GARDENING                                                                                                                   Carey Head, Lifestyles Editor

                                                                                                                        Fishing Is Great — Get Out and Enjoy!

                                                         A MEMBER of the genus Argiope, this black and
                                                         yellow garden spider is also known as writing
                                                         spider, due to the web’s stabilimentum (zigzag
                                                         pattern visitble in the center of the web) and its
  AN ORB WEAVER appears to be floating in air            similarity to writing. The zigzag pattern plays a
  as she weaves a new web above a deck. With             role in attracting prey to the web and reflects
  anchor points spanning six feet, the spider will       ultraviolet light. And, because the web is nearly
  spend an hour completing the complex sticky            invisible, the pattern is also believed to warn
  trap for an evening’s hunting. (News Photo by          larger animals not to blunder into the web and
  Carey Head)                                            destroy it. (News Photo by Carey Head)                   FORMER RESIDENT Becki Sheets-Klinger and her husband Bryan went fishing for trout at Pawhus-
                                                                                                                  ka Lake on Saturday, Jan. 14. They were joined by a pair of hungry bald eagles seeking to do the

Creepy, Crawly, Wonderful, Helpful Bugs                                                                           same. She notes in her email, “there was a pair of mature eagles circling around the lake so I had
                                                                                                                  the camera out. Lucky I did. This eagle dropped down and caught a trout right out of the lake in
                                                                                                                  front of our eyes... and my lens! Just thought you all might enjoy this.” Pack a camera to capture
                                                                                                                  your own spectacular bald eagle shots: This Saturday, the Kaw Lake Ultimate Eagle Watch will offer
                                                                                                                  programs and tours from three locations in the Kaw City area. For a complete listing of events see
  It’s almost that time of year.                                                                                  the Jan. 18 edition of Mid-Week.
  “What time?” you ask.
  Time to start thinking about
what kind of insects (bugs) you
have, what bugs to keep and
what bugs need to be added to
                                                                                                              Spreading Rock on Garden
your garden.
  “What?” you say. “I don’t
have bugs nor do I need any.”                                               by
  Well, au contrare (read here

                                                                                                               Can Help Feed Your Soil
“I disagree”).                                                             Kat
      Bugs, Glorious Bugs                                                 Long
  I know, I know. Many of you
have the pest control people
out and spray every three

                                                                                                                               By LEE REICH
months to make sure none of
                                                                                                                          For The Associated Press
the creepy crawlies invade          orb-weaving spiders, like the       der mites, leafhopper nymphs,
                                                                                                                If you feel like getting out in the garden, now
your living space and I sympa-      large yellow, black or orange       mealybugs, whiteflies, cater-
                                                                                                              is as good a time as any to spread rock on the
thize. Really, I do. I used to be   brightly-colored Argiope, are       pillars and other garden pests
that way about spiders, crick-      the best known of the garden        and their eggs. Green lace-
                                                                                                                Or not (more on that later).
ets and beetles. Now, when          spiders. The body of the female     wings can be ordered just like
                                                                                                                You say your ground already has enough
the crickets and beetles find       is more than 1 inch in length       ladybugs and, though not as
                                                                                                              rocks in it? True enough, but the rock I’m talk-
their way into my house at any      and the male spider is only a       much fun to set free, are just
                                                                                                              ing about is a powder, and is likely a different
given time, especially during       quarter of the size. Though the     as beneficial.
                                                                                                              kind of rock from what you already have.
the winter months, I just scoop     Argiope sometimes places its
them up and feed them to the        web in inconvenient places,             NEW TO MY GARDEN                    But why put down more rock of any kind?
                                                                               THIS YEAR:                     The reason is that rock powders sold for gar-
chickens. Spiders are VIPs at       these spiders catch many pest
                                                                                                              den use are particularly high in minerals.
our house and are carefully         insects around the house and           Beneficial nematodes: Nem-           For example, rock phosphate is, as the name
captured and released. But          garden. Also well known in          atodes will eliminate all types       implies, rich in phosphorous, one of the “big
that is just me.                    Oklahoma are the wolf spi-          of pests that have a subterra-        three” nutrients needed by plants. In fact, rock
  For you and your house, if        der and the jumping spider.         nean soil stage which includes        phosphate is the stuff, after being treated with
you spray, I completely under-      For more information about          fleas, cutworms, leafminers,          sulfuric acid, that becomes the phosphorous in
stand. However, if spraying         spiders specific to Oklahoma        queen ants, thrips, and Japa-         synthetic fertilizers.
around the OUTSIDE of your          (with great pictures), check        nese beetles. It has even been          Colloidal phosphate, also known as soft phos-
house is part of the plan,          out this data sheet from the        mentioned in some articles            phate, is a similar product, this one ground up
please rethink this practice.       OSU Extension office: http://       that these will kill squash           finer than rock phosphate.
Insects come from the outside,                       bugs as they slumber in their           Two other commonly used rock powders —
true, but that is where the gar-           LURING INSECTS               dormant stage, wintering in           granite and glauconite — are rich sources of
dener really needs the bugs to                                          the garden evilly waiting to
                                      Compost piles set up away                                               potassium, another of the “big three” nutrients
stay. Killing the bugs in their                                         eat everything.... Hmmmm; I
                                    from the house establish “hot                                             needed by plants. (The third, nitrogen, is not
natural habitat results in inju-                                        am still very upset with the                                                                  SHOWN, JERSEY greensand fertilizer, left, and
                                    spots” for insects to set up shop                                         found in rocks.)
ry to the soil and plants —                                             squash buggies, best not to                                                                   rock phosphate. Rock powders sold for garden
                                    during the winter months, and                                               Glauconite is also called greensand, or Jer-
not to mention giving the prey                                          talk about them.                                                                              use are particularly high in minerals. (AP Photo)
                                    an endless supply of hunting                                              sey greensand if that’s where it was mined.
(mosquitoes, gnats, flies, etc.)                                           Nematodes       should     be
                                    during the spring and summer                                              And it is greenish.
the chance to overrun your                                              applied to wet ground, the
                                    months. These provide “alter-                                               Besides the major nutrients phosphorous
yards and airspace and cause                                            temperature needs to be                                                                     no reason to apply them in the first place.
                                    native living quarters” for the                                           and potassium, these rock powders are also
the gardener or yard person in                                          above 60 degrees and they can                                                               Rock powders are relatively expensive for
                                    insects that may seek shelter                                             sources of micronutrients. Micronutrients are
the family major grief.                                                 be applied early or late in the                                                             the amount of phosphorous or potassium they
                                    with the humans.                                                          needed in only minuscule amounts by plants,
  So back to my song: Bugs,                                             day. For our area, the best time                                                            offer. And unless some local garden store has
                                                                                                              but nonetheless are essential to their health.
Glorious Bugs.                          PURCHASING INSECTS              is mid-April to early May. Five                                                             rock powders for sale, you could pay as much
                                                                                                              A soil can be naturally deficient in micro-
  Some already exist in your          Some of my favorite pur-          million will cover 300 square                                                               or more for shipping as for the material itself.
                                                                                                              nutrients: For example, pockets of molybde-
garden; some will need to be        chasable insects include:           feet (they are really small) and                                                              More to the point is whether rock powders
                                                                                                              num deficiency exist in Nevada soils; natural
lured to your garden and some                                           there are several varieties, so                                                             are superfluous. If you constantly feed your
                                                                                                              cobalt deficiencies exist over much of Iowa
can be purchased.                     Lady Bugs: Queens of the          try to get a good mixture if you      and parts of the Northeast.                           soil an abundance and variety of compost,
                                    Garden. I love getting lady         are scatter-shotting as many of                                                             leaves and other organic materials — as any
    EXISTING INSECTS                bugs in the mail. I always
                                                                                                                Synthetic (“chemical”) fertilizers generally
                                                                                                                                                                    good gardener does — your soil already is rich
                                                                        the aforementioned pests. For         supply no micronutrients at all.
  Spiders: Technically, spi-        order them in three shipments       more information on nema-                                                                   in phosphorous, potassium, and micronutri-
ders are not insects; they are      so I can let them populate          todes and specific pest reduc-           APPLICATION FOR THE LONG HAUL                      ents.
arachnids. With over 35,000         the garden at different times:      tions with nematodes, check             Because they are merely ground-up rocks,              This is especially true if you use plenty of
species in existence, there are     mid-spring, late spring and         out this OSU Extension Infor-         rock powders do not readily dissolve in water         compost made from all sorts of materials,
several possible species that       early summer. Lady bugs, also       mation sheet at        to give up their goodness to plant roots.             including kitchen scraps. Orange rinds from
could be hanging out catch-         known as lady beetles, eat          wY0q0Z .                              Release of their nutritional goodness takes           Florida, old bread from Kansas-grown wheat,
ing gnats, flies, mosquitos         aphids, scale insects, thrips,                                            time, as well as the work of bacteria, fungi and      and banana skins from Costa Rica each con-
                                                                           I hope this gives you some
and sadly, the occasional bee.      mealybugs, and mites — all                                                roots. Freezing and thawing opens up cracks in        tribute to the smorgasbord of micro- and mac-
                                                                        insect food for thought. If
(Sniffle.) I have been known to     the pests gardeners despise.                                              the soil so rock powders applied now at least         ronutrients contained in homemade compost.
                                                                        you want a really fun expe-
try and rescue bees when they       With lady beetles, you get                                                get into the soil, even if they don’t yet dissolve.     So, do I ever use rock powders? Yes, about
                                                                        rience, go for the ladybugs.
have been caught in webs.           more bang for your buck,                                                    There’s no rush, though, to run outside and         every decade or two, mostly as insurance and
                                                                        They come in a refrigerated
Sometimes it works, but most        because both the adults and                                               start spreading. What rock powders lack in            to supply micronutrients around trees and
                                                                        box and when you let them
of the time the bee’s wings         the larvae feed on pests.                                                 quick action they make up for in long-term            shrubs that don’t get annual dressings of com-
                                                                        out of the box it looks like a
get too damaged and they are                                                                                  effect; they release their goodness over a            post. But I’m not saying that using these rock
                                      Green Lacewings: These            little red and black volcano.
                                                                                                                                                                    powders is really necessary.
better off as spider food. Sad      long-bodied, graceful, deli-        Kids love them and there is           decade or so.
but true.                           cate insects eat aphids. But        just something about a lady-            A typical application would be about 10                                —————
  There are spiders to steer        the infant lacewings are so         bug (or several hundred) that         pounds per 100 square feet.
clear of such as the brown                                                                                                                                                                Online:
                                    voracious they have earned          will make you grin like a five-                    ARE GROUND ROCKS
recluse or the black widow:         the nickname “aphid lions.”         year-old.                                                                                     Lee Reich, Ph.D. Come visit my farmden at
both carry a nasty bite and are                                                                                            REALLY NEEDED?                 
                                    The babies look like little alli-      Happy gardening in this
to be avoided. However, the         gators and they also eat spi-                                               There’s also no rush because you might have 
                                                                        buggy little world.

Internet Opens New Markets for Fresh Food Producers
   By TARA LYNNE GROTH              see the value in eating local       for their local chicken farmers       enjoyed their locally sourced      their caps. Users can be rated       ate about providing consum-
          Grit Magazine             and are willing to pay. As farm-    and see when and where eggs           and home-cooked meal, they         with reviews and recommen-           ers the truth about livestock
   The farm-to-fork mental-         ers compete for recognition         are available. Whether it’s a         can fly back home and order        dations just like on Amazon          and produce, she directs
ity is less a trend and more a      and repeat customers, new           cash honor system in a tin can        the same steak online. The         and LinkedIn. Food Hub is cur-       people to her blog (SlowMon-
lifestyle. Sites like,    online channels are specifi-        at the base of a dirt driveway,       meats and cheeses are pack-        rently considering expanding even
which locates local chicken         cally aimed to help agricultur-     or a table at the local farmers’      aged and distributed around        its service area to the rest of      when she knows they may
farmers, and HomeGrownCow.          al businesses maintain their        market, Eggzy eliminates the          the country. Not just for organ-   the United States.                   never buy an egg.
com, a conduit for beef, chick-     presence off the farm.              commercial layers of distribu-        ic aficionados, Home Grown            More farmers around the             With all of these new media
en and cheese lovers looking           Relying simply on word of        tion. Don’t let their grassroots      Cow is open to all beef, poultry   country are creating their own       concepts for agro-profession-
for farmers in their area, are      mouth, Mark Thompson and his        vibe fool you, though. Eggzy          and cheese producers. Con-         sites to fill a digital gap. “If     als, what about the grandpar-
bringing a digital edge to agri-    wife, Charlene Smith, of New        is on the edge of tech-savvy          sumers are able to customize       we’re not going to use social        ents of social media: Twitter
culture.                            Hope, Pennsylvania, launched        trends and is promoting the           their orders based on grass-       media, we might as well be           and Facebook? Farmers are
   Consumers are concerned          a public online eggstand called     use of Quick Response codes           fed, organic or conventional.      talking to the cows,” says Jan       using them, too, but they also
about the traceability of their     Eggzy. Thompson, a software         on egg cartons so consumers             Connecting with consum-          Hoadley, a farmer and avid           should check out Farmbook.
food, but 98.5 percent of the       developer, used his tech back-      can use smartphones to view           ers on a local level leaves a      blogger based out of Alabama’s       info. Farmbook launched just
population is not directly          ground to create their concept.     the product origins, chicken          neglected clientele: busi-         Birmingham area.                     this year and is for farmers
involved in food production,        “We have a range of flock keep-     diets and farmer histories.           nesses. Undergoing a major            Just two years ago, Hoadley,      all around the world. Mod-
according to, a site     ers, some produce dozens and          Besides eggs, where can you         relaunch in the summer of 2011,    who has a small farm and             eled after Facebook’s ease of
focused on “agvocating” and         dozens of eggs, and others like     get a good, local steak? Home is a regional site    raises traditional animals           use, Farmbook is meant to be
connecting farmers through          ourselves do a dozen a week at      Grown Cow launched in early           with a business-to-business        like chickens to more exot-          a connection for all aspects
social media. Even though           best,” Thompson says.               2011 for consumers to find cat-       mindset. Restaurants, corpo-       ic varieties like Giant Chin-        of agriculture on a localized
foods with local origins have          He knows the keys to good        tle farms. Taking a small per-        rate food service providers and    chilla rabbits, launched an          level. From timber, livestock
a lower deliverable cost, con-      agricultural commerce: face-to-     centage of each transaction,          cafes utilize Food Hub in the      award-winning page at Small-         feed and equipment, to pro-
sumers still pay up to 50 per-      face marketing and traceabil-       Home Grown Cow is not just            Pacific Northwest to find goods Hoadley sees           duce, eggs and meats, every
cent more for these items as        ity. Currently a free service,      a directory, but a marketplace        local to their area - making       a lot of misinformation on the       aspect is covered so that users
opposed to mass-distributed         Eggzy allows those interested       for farmers to post their entire      their menus more attractive        Internet and wants to engage         anywhere can connect with
supermarket fare. Consumers         in purchasing eggs to search        inventory. If visiting relatives      and offering another feather in    and inform people. Passion-          those in their own backyard.

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