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Office, spring and patience

March 14, 2016
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Today was the only day that I was in the office, and we had to prioritize what got done and what didn’t. I finished up all the columns and uploaded all the photos to go with them, finalized handouts and Powerpoint, worked on our Saturday training news release and sent it to counties and also worked on our Annual to Perennial event for new Master Gardeners and their mentors. I got things ready for our meeting tomorrow in Carroll County and loaded the car. I had some afternoon meetings and I had only a short window of opportunity to get my new car licensed. The paperwork came in over the weekend and it had to be done by next Monday, so that didn’t leave a lot of wiggle room, since I am gone the rest of the week. I made an extremely poor choice going at the noon hour. When I finally got a number I was 49 and they were on number 17! Patience is not my strong suit when it comes to waiting in line. One lady was registering what appeared to be hundreds of cars (probably realistically 8, but it seemed like millions). Plus she never stopped talking either to the lady behind the desk or on her cell phone. She was at the counter when I arrived and was still there 45 minutes later. The number of active workers also kept dwindling as lunch hours called. It was a slow process to say the least, but I prevailed and I have a new license plate. I felt extremely sorry for the gentleman two in front of me who waited as long and found out his title was not good, and he has to come back! In the 1 hour and 45 minutes I waited you kind of bond with your fellow-man. Those workers have to have the patience of Job. The employee who helped me was cheerful and said Monday’s are always bad–good to know.

I switched vehicles and headed downtown where I had several meetings. First was the Kent Walker artisan cheese factory. They are closed on Mondays, but I had an appointment about whey. Whey is the liquid by-product of cheese making, and they produce a lot of it. They are looking into options for what they can do with it, since they produce about 500 gallons of it twice a week. cheese and whey.kent.163 They make cheese every Monday and Thursday and they were hard at work. cheese and whey.kent.161

cheese and whey.kent.162

Whey is supposedly loaded in nutrients and good for all kinds of things outside of the kitchen, from gardening, composting and feed for animals. I visited with some specialists and we are sending a sample to the lab to find out the levels of nutrients which will help us explore options.

It was a fast-paced day and the time flew by. The weather was delightful and got up to 77 degrees. The rain was gone, but I did have a question about a tree leaking sap. slime flux. mar16 This white foamy substance that is coming out of the tree is known as slime flux or wetwood. It is a build-up of gas in the tree. When water conditions change drastically the excess fluid builds up pressure and comes out of openings on the trunk. It may be white and frothy like this one, or dark and clear. It usually has a fermented smell and can attract insects. While it does not mean the tree is dying, it can be a sign of stress. Just make sure you keep your trees as healthy and happy as possible in the growing season and use a strong spray of water to clean the exudate off of the trunk.

Master Gardener classes are graduating all over the state, with a few new ones starting. Here is the new 2016 class of Polk County who graduated last week. polk county new class.16 We are taking applications for Saturday training in Saline County which starts the second Saturday of June. Applications are on our web site: http://uaex.edu/yard-garden/master-gardeners/default.aspx Scroll down for a generic application or one for Saturdays. Call your local county extension office if you have questions.

Spring is popping out all over. Get out and garden!

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