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Rice Expo 2014

August 1, 2014
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It was a completely different experience today at the Rice Expo in Stuttgart versus the first one 4 years ago.  Then it was 100 plus degrees and the entire event was outside.  We sweltered!  Today, it was mild and overcast with a hint of rain.  66 degrees was the morning low and it never got more than 76 degrees and most of the events were inside.  We did have an outside farmers market with various booths selling produce, baked goods, and our own County 76 selling garden items.  When I pulled in a few minutes after 8 a.m. the parking lot was already full and they had a bumper crowd all day.

rice expo aug1.14.03 rice expo aug1.14.05 rice expo aug1.14.08

There were also childrens events and educational exhibits outside on canning and rain barrels. Rice field tours were also ongoing during the morning.

rice expo aug1.14.02Educational horticulture classes were presented indoors, and in between- cooking with rice recipes were demonstrated on the opposite stage.

rice expo aug1.14.24 rice expo aug1.14.21

A rice cooking contest is an annual tradition, and this year a new contest was added, a tabletop floral design using rice.  Over 34 entries were judged by a panel of six.  There were excellent and very creative entries.   For the first year, it was a real success.

rice expo aug1.14.22 rice expo aug1.14.20 rice expo aug1.14.17 rice expo aug1.14.16 rice expo aug1.14.15 rice expo aug1.14.13

The Rice Expo really has something to offer everyone.  From farm tours, to lectures on irrigation, agricultural talks, educational exhibits covering everything from ag insurance to health and nutrition, 4-H hands on events, food demonstrations, canning demos, rain barrels, farmers market and of course, gardening, there was a whole lot of learning going on, and most people went home with rice products and literature.  It ended with a great catfish lunch and then it was time to clean up and tear down.  Another successful event for the record books!

I drove through a little spitting rain on the way home, but we still haven’t even had a full inch of rain from this recent weather.  My beans are up in record time and so is the okra and the caladiums are coming on strong.  We will see if the okra makes with this late of planting, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

beans sprouting aug1.14.1 beans sprouting aug1.14.3 caladiums aug1.14.2

The encore azaleas are also popping, with a lot more flower buds to open.

encore azalea aug1.14.Here are the answers to this weeks mystery plant challenge:

Mystery plant A – is a summer annual called purslane (PURSE lane) – Portulaca oleracea (Por`tu*la”ca  O ler A cea) is the Latin name.  It is related to moss rose, but has wider thick succulent leaves.  The flowers open up in the daytime and close at night.  It works well in containers or as a ground hugging annual.

mystery plant  july 2014.

Mystery Plant B – mystery plant july28.3is the lead plant – Amorpha fruitcosa (A-morf-a fruit-cose-a) also commonly called false indigo bush.

This lovely native plant has  pinnate foliage & purple flowers with gold stamens. An airy shrub that is found throughout the SE United States on stream & riverbanks & open woods. 3 to 5′ tall. Very adaptable to soil & moisture levels and loved by butterflies.

Mystery plant C – is a perennial bulbous plant called society garlic – Tulbaghia violacea (tul-BAG-ee-uh vy-oh-LAH-see-uh).  This is a fast-growing, bulbous plant that reaches a height 12 – 18  inches. The leaves are long, narrow, strap-like, slightly fleshy and smell strongly of garlic when bruised. The leaves grow straight up out of a swollen underground rhizome that looks like a corm or bulb, which spread to form clumps of plants. The pinkish mauve, tubular flowers, clustered into umbels of up to twenty flowers, are held above the leaves on a tall flower stalk, and appear over a long period in summer.

mystery plant july.3Great job!

 

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