Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hummingbirds are here

By Jim Low
Missouri Department of Conservation

If there is a hummingbird feeder hanging in your garage, put it out quick. The first hummingbird of the year has reached southwestern
Missouri, and more are sure to be close behind.

Lanny Chambers, of Fenton , Mo. , maintains a website that tracks the progress of the spring migration of ruby-throated hummingbirds. That website, www.hummingbirds.net/map.html, shows a sighting March 26 at Forsyth , Mo. , near Lake Taneycomo . Sighting reports are posted daily, so anyone who visits the site can follow the migration’s progress.

This year’s first arrival is on pace with those Chambers has recorded in recent years. Rubythroats also have been seen in extreme southern Illinois . After crossing the Arkansas-Missouri border, hummingbirds take two to four weeks to reach the Iowa State Line. Hummingbirds move north quickly after crossing Missouri . Last year the birds arrived at their most northerly nesting sites in central Canada in mid-May.

For information about ruby-throated hummingbirds and how to attract them to your home, visit www.mdc.mo.gov/8177.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good dogwood display expected

By Jim Low
Missouri Dept. of Conservation

Spring began March 20, according to the calendar, but for many Missourians spring starts with the first blossoming of
Missouri’s native flowering trees. State officials say prospects are excellent for a good dogwood display this year.

The serviceberry (Amelanchier arobrea), redbud (Cercis canadensis) and flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) all are native to Missouri. Serviceberry trees – also known as shadbush -- bloom first, painting hillsides with splashes of bright white. Redbuds are next, sending out clusters of rose-purple flowers from late March through early May.

Dogwoods provide the season climax, normally reaching their blossoming peak in mid-April near the Arkansas border and two to three weeks later near Iowa . Pink dogwoods and other cultivated varieties often bloom earlier than their wild relatives. Even native varieties bloom earlier in cities, due to the warming effect of heat-retaining asphalt and concrete.

Weather plays a critical role in determining when flowering trees reach their scenic peak, and weather also can dramatically affect flowering duration. Serviceberry trees, redbuds and dogwoods all can bloom a week or two earlier than normal if March weather is unseasonably warm, as it was in 2007. By the same token, a hard freeze, such as the one that struck early in April that year can put an abrupt end to flowering.

Similarly, cool weather can retard blooming. Rainy, windy weather can cause redbud blossoms to drop early, and hot, dry weather in April sometimes shortens the dogwood display.

The serviceberry showing has been excellent so far and is well advanced over most of the state. Redbuds are just beginning to bloom in central Missouri, and dogwoods appear to be only days behind. However, parts of the Ozarks seem to be behind these trends, and dogwood bloom could be slightly delayed.

Overall, this year’s weather seems favorable for a spectacular dogwood display. The long-range weather forecast from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center indicated spring conditions consistent with the average date of last frost of April 6 in St. Louis. Slightly above-normal temperatures throughout much of March could cause dogwood blossoming to peak a little early in this area. Kansas City foresters say they expect a peak dogwood bloom in mid-April, barring a hard, late freeze.

Redbud and dogwood fans have several favorite drives that offer particularly good viewing. These include:

--Highway 19 between Montgomery City and Thayer;

--Highway 5 between Versailles and Gainesville;

--Highway 142 between Doniphan and Bakersfield;

--Highway 72 between Cape Girardeau and Rolla;

--Highway 63 between Kingdom City and Thayer;

--I-44 between Eureka and Rolla;

--Highway 50 between Eureka and Jefferson City;

--Highway 60 between Poplar Bluff and Springfield.

For more information about flowering trees in Missouri , visit www.mdc.mo.gov/8417.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Funny (or stupid) things city people say--Part III

On a gardening forum I frequent, there is a discussion about the merits of planting by the moon. Some of the posters say it works because the moon pulls soil moisture just as it affects ocean tides. Others say they've planted both by the moon and just whenever they had time, and they had the same kind of harvest.

I was amused by a Washington, D.C., metro area resident's response to the discussion:

This could be a good Easter project to do with the kids, plant the seeds Easter Sunday and then transplant them by the light of the moon at the end of the month. Do you have to actually plant at night, or any time of day? We live near Washington D.C. if that makes a difference.

This poor lady might have gotten out at night with a flashlight to plant her seeds by the dark of the moon if I had not posted a message that no, you can plant in the daylight. I'm still not sure why her proximity to Washington, D.C., might make a difference.--RDH

Are Missourians Rights and Freedoms at Stake?

By Dan Brown
State Representative, District 149

Not on our watch. Last week was mid-session break in the State Capitol. It gave me the opportunity to head home and spend time with my family and close friends. I was also able to meet with several of my constituents and local organizations and businesses in my district. Soon, the week came to an end and I headed to Jefferson City, ready to get back to business and reach across party lines to continue working for our State. Much to my dismay, my return was greeted with a shocking report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC). The report is a clear display that our freedoms and basic rights are now being bullied by Missouri’s Governor and his appointed Public Safety Department.

As part of the Department of Public Safety's intelligence gathering and dissemination to law enforcement agencies, the MIAC released a report with instructions as to how to identify members of the modern militia movement who may be domestic terrorists. The report, printed on State letterhead, points directly to Missouri citizens who support small government, gun rights, those who are pro-life and those who voted for Ron Paul, Bob Barr or Chuck Baldwin in the November 2008 election. The report accuses these people of being possible threats to our society. This means, if you drive down the street with a pro-life sticker on your car, you may be considered for criminal profiling by Missouri’s public safety officials and other citizens who may not believe the way you do.

Not only is this an act of political profiling, it is an infringement on our First and Second Amendment rights. Our great nation was founded on freedom; the freedom of speech, the freedom to have our own opinions and voice those opinions, the freedom of religion. These are all key components of the United States of America – our free country. American citizens should not be fearful that their beliefs regarding abortion, government size, and other social issues separate them into terrorist categories. Unfortunately, Governor Nixon doesn’t think there is anything wrong with this. He is throwing the ideals of our founding fathers out the window. In fact, the Governor outwardly defends this practice by saying, “Getting information, especially public information, out of our fusion center out to local law enforcement agencies is what we do everyday and what we’re going to continue to do. Anyway they take that information and can analyze what the threat levels are, is important to make sure the public stays safe.”

Undoubtedly, the MIAC report was an attempt by the Governor to abuse his power and alienate those with conflicting beliefs. Not only is he infringing our basic rights, he is targeting right-wing groups. There is no mention of the left-wing groups related to his political party. If he is truly fearful of our Missouri citizens being criminals, he would include all groups; not just the side that opposes his personal beliefs. It looks to me like he’s against a third party and maybe the right-side all together.

After much national and local media attention, the Department of Public Safety issued an apology. If you ask me, it wasn’t good enough. They apologized to Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. They made no mention to those of you that they singled out for being pro-life, pro-guns, small government supporters, etc. This morning, Lieutenant Governor Kinder called for the Director of Public Safety, John Britt, to take administrative leave pending an investigation into this despicable political profiling done by MIAC. We can only hope Director Britt will follow the call.

Regardless of our economic conditions, we still live in the greatest country in the world. It is a privilege to be a U.S. citizen and freely exercise our freedoms, having a Bill of Rights to enforce them. We are free to have different beliefs, different ideas, and different ways of life; all without fear of persecution. Others are not so lucky so for this we should be grateful. We should never compromise the rights and ideals that our great nation was founded on. I can assure you, House Republicans will not stand by and watch our constitutional rights be ignored and abused by our State government. We will continue to fight for you, our constituents and for the great State of Missouri.

As always, thank you giving me the opportunity to serve you in the House of Representatives. Your thoughts and suggestions are important to me so please feel free to contact me at 573-751-5713 or by email at dan.brown@house.mo.gov.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Introduction to raising beef

By David Burton

University Extension

Beef cattle producers usually raise beef for themselves, their family and friends according to Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

“Sometimes it is a planned process but once in a while the beef results from an accident like a broken leg, failure to breed or another injury,” said Cole.

Under normal conditions, the animal is fed a concentrate mixture for at least 75 to 90 days.

There are some who prefer “grass finishing,” in which case the steer or heifer is given high quality pasture or stored forage and harvested when the desired harvest weight is reached.

When more marbling is desired the grain feeding could continue to 120 to 150 days.

“Concentrate feeding should allow the animal to gain at least three pounds or more per day while the forage feeding will see slower gains in the two pound range,” said Cole. “It is strictly a matter of choice which method to follow.”

Cole says it is important to remember that grass finished cattle will average about a five to seven percent lower dressing percentage.

“We normally think steers are the ones most often finished, but heifers work just as well. The heifer will have more fat cover and typically will have more marbling (intramuscular fat) than a steer of similar genetic makeup,” said Cole.

Young bulls, harvested before 12 to 14 months of age, also make nice, lean beef.

Bulls are typically fed concentrates rather than being on a grass finishing regime.

Harvest weights also are a personal choice and may range from 800 to 1200 pounds or more.

“A lot depends on the preferred size of cuts, number of persons the beef will be shared with and how empty the freezer is. The average dressed weight will be 60 percent, plus or minus two to four percent,” said Cole.

After harvest, the beef should be allowed to age 14 days at least before processing. This aging process improves the tenderness and flavor of the beef, both concentrate and forage finished.

“Economics may not always favor raising your own beef, but the satisfaction of having done it and knowing what went into the process will keep farmers doing it,” said Cole.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Started planting onions today

I went to Sands Farm & Home and bought four kinds of onion slips: Vidalias, Texas Sweet, Spanish Yellow and Sweet Red.

We started planting them this afternoon after I got home from work, but we didn't have enough time to get them all in the ground. We'll have to work on them again tomorrow, even though the moon begins waxing

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Does Missouri government view Christians as potential terrorists?

Channel 3 out of Springfield had a report on TV yesterday about a state agency that portrays Christians who oppose abortion and illegal immigration as possible domestic terrorists.

Here are some excerpts but you can read the whole thing on KY3.com:

A state security report that's causing an uproar among conservatives has led to an apology from the head of Missouri's Public Safety Department.

The 8-page report was produced by the Missouri Information Analysis Center. It was designed to be a training document for law enforcement on how to identify homegrown threats. But considerable backlash from conservatives has prompted an apology from the state.

The report, entitled "The Modern Militia Movement," paints right wing groups as a potential domestic security threat.

But how those groups are defined is what has caused the uproar.

"It seems like it's an attack on a lot of right wing views, a lot of views that I find very sacred," said conservative Clayton Bowler of Springfield. (View the report on Bowler's blog HERE.)

Christians, anti-abortionists, tax resistors, anti-immigration advocates and supporters of third party candidates like Ron Paul are all listed as characteristics of "ideologies" to watch out for.

Well, they're taking the document back to the office to edit out any references to the third-party candidates. I'm not sure if they're going to include Christianity as a potential symptom of terrorism or not.

Who would have thought this could happen in Missouri?

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to build a shade garden

Visit your friendly Lowe's store and put some plants in the ground. This video tells how.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Taters and carrots in the ground

The temperature was in the high 50s today with an overcast sky. It was a good day for manual labor, so I planted (with my wonderful wife's help, guidance and direction) three rows of potatoes and four rows of carrots, filling one of my 10 planting beds.

I worked up two more beds; they're ready for planting later in the week when the moon begins to wax.

Payday loan parade




Click the link to see the new post on the Rolla: Payday Loan Capital of Rural Missouri blog to explain these photos by blog reader Don Sharpsteen.

Keep track of hummers

It's going to be awhile before the hummingbirds get to Phelps County and Rolla, but it's fun to track them. You can do so at hummingbird.net. There's also a lot of interesting stuff there about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, including hummingbird festivals.--RDH

Friday, March 20, 2009

Improving turkey hunting

By Jim Low
Conservation Department

JEFFERSON CITY–Turkey hunters in many parts of Missouri don’t need an expert to tell them the state’s turkey population is down. However, they might be interested in suggestions that could improve their hunting experiences this year and in 2010.

“I’m hoping that hunters will adopt a two-year strategy,” said Resource Scientist Tom Dailey. “Focusing their energy on making quality hunts this year is the best thing they can do for themselves and for the state’s turkey flock.”

Dailey, who oversees the Missouri Department of Conservation’s wild turkey management program, said he expects a significantly smaller turkey harvest this year than in 2008. Hunters checked 46,000 turkeys in last year’s spring turkey season. He expects the number to be closer to 40,000 this year.

The reasons are simple. First and foremost, Missouri has fewer gobblers this year than it has had in 20 years or so. Furthermore, the birds we do have are smarter. And, as is true of so many things related to turkey hunting, these differences are the result of weather.

“Three of the last four years have seen below-average nesting success,” said Dailey. “In fact, the number of poults (recently hatched turkeys) seen in the 2008 survey was a modern record low. It wasn’t much better in 2007 and only slightly better in 2005. 2006 is the only recent year when we had reasonably strong turkey reproduction.”

Weather records explain turkey hens’ poor success in recent years. 2008 was the rainiest year on record. Persistent cold showers drowned nests and chilled poults before they could grow enough feathers to keep warm and dry. The results were disastrous, not only for turkeys but for quail and pheasants as well.

Late March and the first few days of April 2007 saw daytime highs in the 80s. Then, starting April 4 – the peak of turkey egg-laying – the mercury plunged into the teens and low 20s for six days running. Turkey eggs froze in nests. The weather was so extreme that turkey mating stopped entirely, with behavior reverting to late winter patterns.

“Compared to those two years, 2005 was a great year for turkey reproduction,” said Dailey, “but in fact, it was a poor year, too. If it weren’t for 2006, we would really be looking at a dire situation.”

Turkeys’ strong nesting performance three years ago set the stage for a paradoxical 2009 spring turkey season. A strong year-class of three-year-old turkeys means there will be a good supply of big gobblers for hunters to pursue. The bad news is that such gobblers are notoriously gun shy.

“Three-year-olds are trophy birds, with big spurs and long beards,” said Dailey, “but it’s the two-year-old toms that gobble so lustily it makes hunters’ hair stand on end. A goofy 2-year-old will often run to a hunter’s call gobbling like crazy, but a 3-year-old is likely to sneak in silently, looking for the hen that’s supposed to be making those seductive sounds. Or, he might just stand out in the middle of a field waiting for the hen to come to him. They’re tough customers.”

That, said Dailey, sets up a situation that could perpetuate diminished hunting opportunities.

“I hope hunters don’t hammer the jakes (1-year-old gobblers) on account of a lack of 2-year-olds. This year’s jake is next year’s two-year-old. I’m hoping hunters will focus on quality hunts for older birds and less on just bagging a turkey. The number of jakes already is down in many areas.”

Asked why the Conservation Commission didn’t put jakes off-limits to hunters this year, Dailey notes that this would penalize hunters in areas where turkeys still are abundant. It also would put an unnecessary burden on hunters, who might have trouble distinguishing between mature and juvenile turkeys.

“The recovery of our turkey flock will follow naturally when we get two or three years in a row of favorable nesting conditions,” said Dailey. “Hens are the key to rebuilding the population, so sparing a few jakes this year won’t increase the number of birds we see in 2010. However, in areas where turkey numbers are down significantly, it could make for a better quality of hunt next year.”

Northern Missouri has recorded the biggest decline in turkey numbers, but Dailey says that is relative. Northern counties went into the current slump with larger turkey populations than those south of the Missouri River. Consequently, many northern counties still will have good hunting.

“That was really evident in the results of our gobbling study last year,” says Dailey. “Things were down quite a bit in the north, but there was still more gobbling in the north than in any other part of the state. While hunters in many areas are bracing for lower turkey numbers, many of the people I talk to see no problem whatsoever in their areas.”

Dailey noted that Franklin County usually is in the top three turkey harvest counties statewide. He said this east-central Missouri continues to have very strong turkey numbers, and last year’s poult count was good, so he expects the area around Franklin County to have good hunting again this year.

With a good carry-over of three-year old birds and reduced numbers of 2-year-olds and jakes, Dailey recommends that hunters adjust their strategies. He said “patience” and “restraint” are this year’s watchwords – patience for those who want to shoot mature gobblers, and restraint for those who want better hunting next year.

“I think in general, people are going to have to move around more to find birds,” said Dailey. “It’s a balancing act. You don’t want to sit there all morning in a spot where there is no gobbling, but there might, indeed, be a bird there. Patience is important, but so is knowing when to move. If you’re pretty sure there are turkeys in an area, stay put. Rely less on gobbling response and more on good calling.”

He said pre-season scouting is the best way to solve this dilemma.

“Because there is going to be less gobbling this year, it is going to be more difficult for someone to come into a new area and find birds. Hunters who put in the time to find those 3-year-old birds and learn their behavior patterns stand a much better chance of getting in a position where they get a shot.”

This year’s spring turkey season starts April 20 and runs through May 10. The youth season is April 4 and 5. Details of hunting regulations are available in the 2009 Spring Turkey Hunting Information booklet, which is available wherever hunting permits are sold, or at mdc.mo.gov/hunt/turkey/sprturk/.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Important legislation passes

By Dan Brown
State Representative, District 149

They say time flies, and the last few weeks have flown faster than you could ever imagine. With the first nine weeks passed, we are now half way through the legislative session. However, we still have a great deal of work ahead of us as our legislative agenda is filled with a wide range of topics geared toward making Missouri an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

We started this session at a record setting pace. On opening day, we elected Representative Ron Richard from Joplin to serve as Speaker of the House. Five days later, we adopted the House Rules and named members to all fifty House committees. Speaker Richard and the other members of our leadership team provided the guidance needed to move quickly through some of our most pressing legislation.

Once we completed organizational duties, our first action this session was to reject the recommendations of the Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials. In its 2008 Report, the commission recommended a cost of living increase for all elected officials and an additional $1500 increase for associate circuit judges. We are not raising our salaries while so many Missourians have lost their jobs and are unable to provide for their families. That is why rejecting pay raises passed with over a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate.

The first piece of legislation we passed this year is imperative to improving our business climate and getting Missourians back to work. In the first week of February, we passed a bill expanding our highly-successful Quality Jobs Program. The program has been a resounding success since its creation in 2005 and is responsible for creating jobs that pay well and provide health insurance benefits. This bill removes the cap on tax credits which can be offered to companies creating these jobs. This will allow more projects to be approved. In addition, the bill emphasizes the growth of small businesses, start-up companies, and the research and development community. It also provides tax credits to offset expenses related to scientific development in fields such as agricultural biotechnology and prescription pharmaceuticals. Our top priority is job creation, and these efforts will help out-of-work Missourians get back on their feet. Although we were able to work together and pass this bill within the first month of session, the bill has stalled in the Senate.

We have also passed two bills related to the education of our children. The first bill, known as the Teacher Protection Act, gives teachers the ability to maintain order as long as they follow established school policy. It also exempts unqualified employees who refuse to administer medication or medical services from disciplinary action. Most importantly, the bill will allow school employees to focus on teaching without worrying about litigation.

The second education-related bill we passed gives school districts the option to establish a four-day school week upon a majority vote of the school board. The number of required hours in a school year remains at 1,044, but the number of days would be 142 rather than 174. Allowing a four-day school week helps school districts counteract the budget cuts many schools are facing. A four-day school week decreases spending on overhead costs such as heating and transportation, leaving more funds available for educational essentials.

Another important piece of legislation changes the laws regarding the consent requirements for obtaining an abortion. This bill provides women with clear and detailed information regarding the abortion procedure. A doctor must provide information to the woman 24 hours before the procedure including the opportunity to see an ultrasound and hear the baby’s heartbeat. The bill also makes it a crime to force a woman to have an abortion. It’s important to point out that coercion isn’t something as simple as a conversation. We do not want to stop discussion on this highly important issue. Instead, our bill would simply say that individuals who threaten or force a woman into committing an abortion would be guilty of a felony.

Although we have passed several important pieces of legislation so far this session, we still have a lot of work left to do. When we return from spring break, we will continue working to make Missouri an even better place to live, work and raise a family. We will finalize a fiscally responsible State budget and continue to work and pass legislation to turn the State’s economy around as quickly as possible.

This past week we celebrated Rolla Day at the Capitol. The City of Rolla was well represented and showcased. Many colleagues visited the Third Floor Rotunda with the Rolla presenters and reported great comments to me. Thanks to everyone that stopped by to say Hello and offer advice.

As always, I appreciate your emails. Remember, this is your State government. Help me keep it that way by keeping me informed. Please feel free to contact me at 573-751-5713 or by email at dan.brown@house.mo.gov

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Praising Jesus with fiddle, mandolin, banjo and bass

Macedonia Baptist Church, the congregation that meets out north of Rolla on Old Highway 63, holds onto the traditional rural church music, and that's one of the many reasons I attend there as often as I can.
Unlike so many so-called modern, progressive congregations, Macedonia sings out of the Baptist Hymnal and usually we sing every verse of every song at the morning worship service. Sometimes in the evening services, our song leader will ask for "favorites" and people will call out songs that we sing just one verse of, so we can sing a lot of different songs.
We don't have a praise and worship team. We don't have an orchestra or chorus.
We do have a bluegrass band. Our pastor and his wife sing a bluegrass song just about every Sunday night, he playing a doghouse bass and she leading on guitar.
This month we also started a bluegrass gospel music series that will continue on second Sunday night of each month.
Opening this series was The Ozark Alliance.
If you ever get a chance to hear them, do so. It's a family band, a mom and dad and two teen-agers. The 15-year-old girl was the emcee and played fiddle and mandolin. She's proficient on both. I'm very critical of fiddle playing, because it's a difficult instrument and when not played perfectly, it sounds terrible. She was great.
The 17-year-old son has a great bluegrass voice and is a mighty fine guitarist.
The mother played bass and sang and the dad played banjo and sang. Both are solid musicians, too.
But it's the kids that are the attraction in this band. That, and the sincere performances of songs that worship and celebrate our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Go see them if you get a chance.
And come worship with us any Sunday morning or evening at Macedonia Baptist Church.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The power of prayer

At our country church each Sunday, the preacher asks the congregation if they have any praises or prayer requests.
People tell about blessings they've received, such as a successful operation and recovery. They thank God for good weather, whether it is sunshine or a needed rain. Sometimes they're thankful that the snow or ice missed us.
For requests, they'll usually ask for prayer for an ailing relative or a friend or child in a war zone, for God's direction in finding a job or wisdom for our leaders.
No praise or prayer request is ignored.
A couple of Sundays ago, a little fella up front with his family said, "Pray for George's goat. She died." And he gave the deceased goat's name.
Adults looked at one another and smiled.
The preacher said, "I'm sorry. That was quite a loss."
Then he prayed.
Prayer has the power to build a child's faith.--RDH

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Funny (or stupid) things city folks say in the country--Part II

Many years ago when I was the so-called managing editor of the Rolla Daily News, a former St. Louis resident who had retired to Rolla, wrote a letter to the editor berating, chastising, excoriating and flaying me for continuously allowing the words "Maramec Spring Park" to be used in the paper.

"Who told you to spell it that way? Don't you know it is Meramec Springs Park? Start getting it right or get a different job! You're no editor!" he boldly declared.

I published his letter with an editor's note, explaining that the James Foundation, owner of Maramec Spring Park has always spelled it with an "a" not an "e" after the M. I explained that there is also a Maramec Street in St. James and there was a Maramec Room in the student center at the University of Missouri-Rolla campus. I explained further that the state of Missouri spells Meramec with "e" after the initial M and that's why there is a Meramec River and a Meramec State Park.

Moroever, I explained that at Maramec, there is only one spring, so it is Maramec Spring Park.

To add to the confusion and fun, there is a privately owned business near Maramec called the Meramec Springs Campground; that title is rife with errors.

Well, the St. Louisian, to his credit, did write back, saying he was sorry and thanking me for explaining the subtle differences.

You just have to be patient with the ignorant city slickers out here in the country.

Friday, March 13, 2009

So you think you know everything?

A quiz from my friend Dave Davidson, of Newburg:

This is a quiz for people who know everything! I found out in a hurry that I didn't. These are not trick questions. They are straight questions with straight answers


1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.


2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?

3. Of all vegetables, only two can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?

4. What fruit has its seeds on the outside?

5. In many liquor stores you can buy pear brandy, with a real pear inside the bottle. The pear is whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine; it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?

6. Only three words in standard English begin with the letters 'dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.

7. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?

8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.

9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.'



THIS IS PRETTY COOL
HAVE A GREAT DAY






Answers To Quiz:

1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends ... Boxing

2. North American landmark constantly moving backward is Niagara Falls (The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)

3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own for several growing seasons .. Asparagus and rhubarb.

4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside ... Strawberry.

5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle.. (The bottles are placed over pear buds when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.)

6. Three English words beginning with 'dw' Dwarf, dwell and dwindle .

7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar . Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.

8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh Lettuce.

9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S' Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

PLEASE DO YOUR PART
........ You can do your part by remembering to send an e-mail to at least one unstable person !
Well, my job's done!

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. ROLL DOWN THE WINDOW AND ENJOY THE BREEZE



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Avoiding Frankenfoods

By Jere Gettle
Mansfield, Mo.

It is great to see heirloom varieties becoming so popular. It seems everywhere I look they are being praised. From magazines to radio, television to newspapers, the media have become hooked on the superb flavor and lovely appearance of heirlooms. People just can’t believe vegetables can taste this good.
This renewed interest in our food heritage is also due to the concern people have about the many untested gene-altered or “Frankenfood” crops that are being released onto our tables and the environment. These crops come to us with hardly any safety measures in place, but are being released into the food supply at a breakneck speed, unlabeled and unwanted by consumers.
At the same time, many experts are fearing the increase in allergies may be triggered from these foods that have been spliced with foreign genes that are toxic to Monarch butterflies and other pollinating insects. Studies have also shown that rats are adversely affected when they are fed gene-altered food, but these crops are still being dumped into our food supply with no labeling.
And to top all this, the current U.S. Administration has made it illegal for the citizens of Iraq to save their own heirloom vegetable and grain varieties, which in some cases may have been passed down since the time of ancient Babylon. This means that many thousands of Iraq’s truly unique varieties may have been lost, forever. It is a sad thought that Iraqi farmers were made to plant imported “approved” seeds from multinational corporations who promote poisons, patents and pesticides!
With all this being in the news lately , it is no wonder Americans are turning to naturally grown foods, local products and homegrown produce. It is so much better for us and you don’t have as much worry. Natural food options are showing up in many places and even many public schools are getting involved in helping educate about food safety and local foods.
I hope you will have an abundant season, and enjoy many new varieties. Let’s all work together to save our agricultural heritage and fight gene-altered Frankenfoods.

Jere Gettle is the owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., Mansfield, Mo. He travels the world each year collecting open-pollinated heirloom seeds. For more information log onto one of his websites: www.rareseeds.com
www.gettle.org
www.idigmygarden.com
www.theheirloomgardener.com

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Try planting heirlooms this year

By R.D. Hohenfeldt
Managing Editor, Ozarks Almanac

You might consider growing some heirloom fruits, vegetables and flowers this year. These open-pollinated varieties allow you to save the seeds (if you want) and grow the same plants again next year, knowing you’ll get the same variety. That isn’t the case with a hybrid.

In the Ozarks, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds over at Mansfield offers one of the biggest selections of heirloom seeds in the country. Owner Jere published his first catalog in 1998 when he was a teenager. Since then, he has traveled to South America and the Orient to collect “new” seeds of old, sometimes ancient, varieties.

Gettle said interest in heirlooms has grown phenomenally each year. About 25 percent of his customers are market growers with garden plots of one-quarter to 5 acres. They grow the colorful and flavorful heirlooms because customers seek out the purity of the homegrown foods.

Heirloom melons and squash, because of their color, are particular attention grabbers at market booths.

He also noted that some of his customers are chefs in fine restaurants. They, too, are looking for intense flavor and heirlooms are the best place to find it.

Gettle recommended gardeners wanting to try heirlooms take a look at these varieties:

Chinese Mosaic Long Bean: This lavender bean from China grows 14-15 inches long. It looks good on the vine, and it makes a great stir fry dish.

Missouri Pink Love Apple: Yes, it’s a tomato. It’s a big pink fruit that is very rich tasting. Grown in Missouri since the Civil War, it was originally thought to be poisonous and used only as an ornamental in those days.

Purple Beauty Peppers: You can grow a prodigious number of beautiful bells on these compact bush plants. They have a crisp texture with a mild, sweet flavor.

Black Zebra: This tomato is a sport (or mutant variation) off the Green Zebra. It has beautiful flesh with a nice taste hinting of citrus and smoke. The skin is dark orange with deep green stripes.

Taiwan Black Long Bean: This bean literally grows a yard long (or longer). The light green pods have black beans. Yields are heavy.

White Wonder: This is a white-fleshed watermelon with beautiful flavor. The originated in Africa hundreds of years ago. The plants yield 30 to 8-pound round melons, perfect for your icebox. Gourmet growers love them. White watermelons were common in the United States in the 1800s but disappeared from seed catalogs over time. Henry Field dropped all white watermelons in the 1970s.

Carbon Tomatoes: They are deep dark purple, and won the 2005 Heirloom Garden Show best-tasting award. The fruit is smooth and large. “This is my personal favorite,” Gettle says. “It makes the best salsa.”

Gold Medal tomato: This is a striped, old German tomato. The 1-pound fruit is sweet and mild, great for eating fresh off the vine.

Siam Queen Thai basil: It’s a strong, clove-scented basil, a must for curry and all Thai cooking. The flowers are beautiful.

Black Futsu: This is a black, Japanese squash that is flat, round and ribbed. It turns a rich chestnut in storage. The flesh is golden and has a rich, hazelnut-like taste. These squash are 3-8 pounds each.

Galeux d’Eysines: This French squash is both ornamental and tasty. It has a warty skin that is salmon or peach-colored. The flesh is orange and unusually sweet and smooth, not stringy. Good for soups or baking, it is not a good keeper.

Thai Green Cucumber: Sometimes called Siam Best, it is popular in Thailand, growing 7 inches long and two inches wide. It’s medium green and hard to find.

Thai Green Pea Egg Plant: This is eggplant the size of peas. The plant grows 7 feet tall, but the growing season is so long that you might have difficulty with it in the Ozarks.

Amaranth: This is actually a cereal grain that has beautiful flower heads that are great for ornamentation. The bright green leaves are also tasty, sometimes cooked as greens, sometimes used in salad blends. A number of heirloom varieties are available, such as Thai Round Leaf and Love Lies Bleeding (red and green versions) and Garnet Red.

Gettle recommends growing colorful produce, because medical experts say colorful vegetables are good for your health. For market growers, colorful vegetables also attract the attention of consumers.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Top 10 heirloom fruits and vegetables for the Ozarks

Here are Jere Gettle’s top 10 favorite fruits and vegetables to grow in the Ozarks, along with his comments:

Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple. “It’s flavorful and grows well here. It does crack some, but it’s mighty good eating.”

Melons: Banana Melon. “It’s a big oblong cantaloupe, shaped like a giant banana. When you cut it, it’s really fragrant and tastes like an old time cantaloupe.”

Beans: Contender. “It only goes back to 1949, but that’s over 50 years old, so it qualifies. It’s a good solid producer, almost twice as much as others, and it has a good green bean taste.”

Watermelon: Ali Baba. “It’s from Iraq, and it has really crisp, pinkish flesh and a grayish green rind. It’s superior to anything you can get in the store and keeps ‘forever.’ It will keep 2 ½ months if you keep it kind of cool. We’ve had them past Thanksgiving, and they stay pretty crisp. A seed saver from France sent me the first seeds. He wrote to us three or four times, then he went back to Iraq and I haven’t heard from him since.”

Bell Peppers: Red Marconi. “It always does well here. It’s large, oblong, in a cayenne pepper shape, and it’s really, really sweet. It’s good in stir-frying or any way you want to use a sweet pepper. It’s long, 6, 8, 10 inches with medium thick walls, so it’s good for stuffing.

Long beans: “One of my favorites for this region is the Chinese Red Noodle Bean. It’s kind of ornamental, too. I have to grow it every year. It’s good in stir-fry, and in Thailand, they even use them raw. It’s stringless, thick as a pencil and about 14-15 inches long.

Lettuce: Forellenschluss. “We’ve sent it out the last four or five years, and everybody likes it. It’s a Romaine type, sweet and really crisp. Market gardeners love it. The leaves are green and red speckled. It’s from Austria and the name means ‘speckled like a trout.’”

Hot pepper: Thai Red Chili. “They’re great for flavor, they’re really hot and good in stir fry or for a cold remedy. You can grind it up and sprinkle it on different foods. It makes a good chili paste, too, and chefs in Springfield use it.

Cucumbers: “My favorite is Richmond Green Apple. It’s a little round cucumber, light green. It’s one of three from Australia that we have. The others are Crystal Apple and Lemon Cucumber, but this is the best. It’s very flavorful and the rind is tender.

Swiss Chard: Five Color Swiss Chard. “It’s ornamental as well as tasty. It’s yellow, orange, pink, black and red.”

Squash: Lemon Squash. “It’s really resistant to squash bugs, really prolific and tasty.”

Okra: “I’ve got several favorites. One is Hill Country Heirloom Red, from Texas. It makes a short fat pod with a red tinge. It’s really prolific, stems are red, pods are tinted red, and it greens when you boil it. It’s a really tasty okra.

More information is available at www.rareseeds.com.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Saving seeds like those grandma used to plant

By R.D. Hohenfeldt

Managing Editor, Ozarks Almanac


Like any tourist, Jere Gettle likes to collect souvenirs when he travels.

Unlike any tourist, Gettle doesn’t look for coffee mugs or T-shirts. He doesn’t look for miniature replicas of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty.

He looks for seeds; specifically, he seeks out seeds from varieties of fruits and vegetables that have been grown at least 50 years, preferably hundreds of years, perhaps even a thousand years.

Jeremiath Gettle, the founder and owner of Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, collects heirloom seeds from growers across the nation and around the world. He also takes at least one seed-seeking excursion each year, if he can find the time between planning two annual farm conferences, compiling a colorful annual catalog, overseeing employees who fill orders received by phone and mail, and editing The Heirloom Gardener, a quarterly magazine.

Somewhere in that hectic schedule, Gettle also finds time to get outdoors to grow out some of the seeds he collects on his journeys to assure their quality. Although he has a network of growers across the country who grow seeds for him, Gettle has enjoyed, no, he has loved gardening, since he was 4 years old.

“When I started gardening, I was always interested in unusual vegetables, like the yellow pear tomato,” says Gettle, seated in his office at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, located outside Mansfield in what is almost a you-can’t-get-there-from-here portion of the Ozarks.

The company headquarters is located on the Gettle family’s cattle ranch, where Jere, 24, has spent half his life. The first half was spent on the Gettle family’s cattle ranch in Montana.

In 1990, when he was 10 years old, he read an article in Sunset magazine about heirloom tomatoes. There was an accompanying ad from an heirloom tomato seed company, and he sent in the coupon for a catalog.

Gettle bought many, perhaps most, of the seeds offered in that catalog, and started collecting them as a hobby.

“I collect everything,” he says. “Stamps, coins, seeds, antiques, seeds.”

He discovered Seed Savers Exchange, joined it in 1996, received a catalog and moved from hobbyist to serious seedsman.

“I found an immense variety of seeds there, and that’s what gave me the idea to really start saving seeds seriously,” he said.

Two years later, he put out his first catalog, offering nearly 70 varieties in a 12-page, black-and-white newsletter format.

He offered the catalog for free through classified ads in farm newspapers and homesteading magazines.

“We sent out about 550 copies that first year. It was mainly a seed-trading thing. We got a few orders. I did everything myself, and it was basically a hobby,” Gettle says. “The next year, 1999, the year before Y2K, everybody was buying seeds. It gave us a good boost. We sent out 7,000 catalogs, and our sales jumped something like 4,000 percent.”

The hobby quickly became a business. Those sales provided the revenue for a color catalog.

The third year’s sales were similar to the second year’s sales, but after the third year, Gettle says, “It just started jumping.”

He built the store on the Gettle family farm the third year and hosted the first garden show and conference in 2001.

“We started the summer conference first,” Gettle says. “The first year, we didn’t know what was going to happen. We didn’t have a building. We started pretty rustic; we didn’t have money to rent a tent. We just got poles and three big 20-by-40 tarps and put them up. The wind started blowing and we though it was going to blow away. We had 400 people that first year. We were expecting maybe 50-60.”

The following spring, he hosted another one, drawing 850 people.

The two conferences, spring and summer, continue to grow.

In 2004, the spring conference attracted 4,000 people; the summer conference drew 1,000.

“A lot of people feel like getting in the soil and talking to people about gardening in the spring,” Gettle says.

The conferences draw people from 18-23 states to the farm on Baker Creek Road.

“It’s surprising the different groups who show up,” he says of the two annual conferences. “You never know how people are going to come dressed.”

There are old hippies, back-to-the-landers, Amish/Mennonite, old, young, babies on hips and in strollers.

Most business is done mail order, but even way out in the middle of the Ozarks, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is sought out by customers who want to browse through the seed bins.

“We probably get about 10 cars a day,” Gettle says.

These customers are looking for open-pollinated, non-hybridized seeds that grow fruits and vegetables just like grandpa and grandma grew. With these heirloom plants, seeds can be saved from the fruits and vegetables and planted the next year with the assurance that the produce will be just like what grew before.

That isn’t the case with the hybrids that come from crossing varieties.

“You might have big tomatoes from a hybrid, but if you plant the seeds from those tomatoes, you don’t know what you’ll get,” says Gettle. “You might get cherry tomatoes.”

People interested in heirloom gardening don’t care whether the produce is uniform in size and shape; they’re looking for flavor.

“They remember their grandmothers’ or great-grandmothers’ gardens, or they go to specialty markets or farmers’ markets where there are sections for heirlooms, and they get really excited when they taste the difference,” Gettle says.

Gettle said people started becoming dependent on hybridized seeds from seed companies about 150 years ago.

“Before that, if you didn’t save seed, you didn’t have seed,” he said.

Now, if Gettle is encouraging people to save seeds by offering seeds that grow into plants that produce seeds that can be saved, isn’t he working himself out of a customer base?

Not really, he notes.

Even those customers who save seeds, want to try new varieties each year, so they continue buying his seed packets. Also, about 150 new varieties are found each year and these are added to the catalog.

Gettle also encourages seed saving and heirloom gardening through his magazine, The Heirloom Gardener, a quarterly, that has grown slowly but steadily.

His mother paints the artwork for most of the covers, and Gettle shoots most of the pictures for the magazine and the catalog himself.

Gettle notes that his parents help him during the conferences but they’re too busy running their cattle operation on Baker Creek Farm to work for the seed company regularly. He has a younger sister who works in the seed store about four days a week.

The work is done by Gettle himself and about a dozen employees.

Gettle says he grows 50-100 different crops on Baker Creek Farms, mostly beans, tomatoes and vine crops.

“I probably garden about half the time in the summer while I’m here,” he says.

The seeds also come from different growers.

“We have people who farm for us in truck patches,” he says. “They’ll grow anywhere from 10-15 varieties to 50-60 varieties or even 100 varieties from some of them,” he says.

Ironically, summer is the time he needs to be at work on growing sees, but it is also the only time he can get away on a trip to find new varieties. All other times of year are too busy.

Peak months for the seed season are February and March. Then comes preparation for the spring garden show/conference, then the event itself. After that, Gettle works in the garden, fulfills speaking engagements and tries to get away on a seed-seeking excursion.

“If I don’t get away in the summer, I won’t get away at all,” he says.

By the fall, he has to be near to ending the work on the catalog and getting ready to ship it to the printer.

“November is very busy with the catalog,” he says, noting that he likes to have the catalogs mailed so they are delivered by New Year’s Day.

The trips to other countries are important because “there’s an endless amount of variety out there,” he says. The United States lost most of its genetic diversity in fruits and vegetables in the 1970s, so trips to other countries to import new varieties is important for plant health.

“The danger is when big agriculture comes in and people quit growing,” he says. “We’ll lose that genetic diversity of somebody doesn’t keep growing these varieties.”

Gettle has been to Thailand, Cambodia and Burma and twice to Asia on seed-seeking trips.

“Basically what I usually do when I get into a country is I take a day or two to get acclimatized and then I just kind of head out and try to find small dealers who are dealing in open-pollinated and old-time varieties and after that I just head out into the mountains and drive. I look on the side of road for people selling unusual things and also the little towns every morning have a daily market. I go to the daily markets and just see what’s available.”

“Once I was driving down in Mexico. Tequila, Mexico, was the name of the town. I noticed people selling these great big black squash. I just stopped and collected seeds out of them. It’s been a really, really interesting pumpkin-type squash,” he says.

Gettle says he avoids anything that looks too uniform because it’s likely a hybrid.

“If I get them from a hillside village, they’re probably going to be good,” he says.

After bringing the seeds back, he grows them out to see if they’re going to stay true.

Gettle opposes genetic engineering of fruits and vegetables, calling such products “frankenfood.”

He notes that under the umbrella of homeland security, the United States government has made it more difficult to import seeds.

“It used to be that people who collected seeds could cross borders without any problems,” he says. “Under the Bush administration, they have implemented restrictions where you have to have phytosanitary certificates even for home gardens. So you can’t even bring one packet of seeds from Canada without a certificate.”

Such laws make it more difficult for small seed companies to operate.

“They’re trying to make it impossible for small companies to move seed, but they make it easy for big corporations to move seed back and forth,” he says.

The stated purpose is to prevent bioterrorism.

It’s odd, Gettle says, because, “We’re the only country breeding varieties that have been genetically altered. These seeds I import have been grown hundreds or even a thousand years and aren’t a threat, unless they’re seen as a threat to big corporations because too many small farmers and gardeners are using them.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Purple Martins need your help

A soaring, darting, chattering flock is on its way to the Show-Me State, and the Missouri Department of Conservation has a publication to help bird-lovers prepare for their arrival.

Purple martins – usually older males – may arrive in Missouri as early as the first week in February. A few were reported near Farmington March 1. However, most mature birds arrive and begin nesting in early April. Reports of martin arrivals in Missouri are available at purplemartin.org/scoutreport/scout.php?Y=2009&S=MO. A map showing the migration progress nationwide is found at http://purplemartin.org/scoutreport/.

Getting an early start exposes them to hazards associated with cold weather. A late, hard freeze can kill martins outright, as it did in 2007 when temperatures dipped into the teens for several days running during the first week of April. Just as serious, such weather kills the insects on which martins depend for food. John Miller, a self-proclaimed “obsessed purple martin hobbyist,” noticed the impact on the purple martin colony he helps maintain in St. Louis’s Forest Park and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

“Many mature martins had arrived, and many perished,” says Miller. “Even into the 2008 season, there were reports from around Missouri of vacant housing where birds had died during the spring a year earlier.”

Miller said the colonies hardest hit were small ones consisting of just a few birds. Enough martins survived in larger, more established colonies to permit them to rebuild their populations fairly quickly.

While cold weather probably limits the northern extent of purple martins’ North American range, the hardy birds establish colonies all the way into Canada. Miller said the freak freeze of 2007 had little effect on martin numbers continent-wide, as indicated by observations in the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Martin numbers have increased slightly in Missouri since the first survey in 1965. For more information, visit mdc.mo.gov/8048.

Purple martins are the only wild birds in Missouri that rely almost exclusively on humans for nesting sites. Their association with humans began thousands of years before Columbus discovered North America. Indians hung gourds with entrance holes cut in them from poles to attract the birds, which devour flying insects, such as horseflies and wasps. For more about the history of martins-human association, visit purplemartin.org/main/history.html.

Miller, a member of the Purple Martin Conservation Association, has made a second career of being a martin landlord. He says the design and placement of martin houses and other nesting structures can be critical to a colony’s success. Nesting success also depends heavily on conscientious maintenance to get rid of old nesting material and the parasites it can harbor and on quick action when starlings or house sparrows try to move in on martin’s territory.

“Hosting martins is an opportunity to become an amateur wildlife biologist,” says Miller. “Martins thrive at sites where humans provide good housing that protects nestlings and allows more to fledge. There has been a wealth of information learned in the past decade based on research by the Purple Martin Conservation Association and members in the field. My advice to prospective purple martin landlords is to learn all they can.”

One way to learn about purple martins and their care is by obtaining a copy of “Missouri’s Purple Martins,” a comprehensive, 12-page booklet with illustrations. The booklet is available at mdc.mo.gov/12199. Printed copies are available by writing to MDC, Missouri’s Purple Martins, P.O. Box 180, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0180, or e-mail pubstaff@mdc.mo.gov.

“These are enchanting birds,” says Miller. “They can be a window on the larger natural world even as broad as global weather patterns and the health of the planet. They lack the bright coloring of our delightful bluebird, but they are highly animated and seem to be just joyous. They can make your heart soar.”--Jim Low, Department of Conservation

Time to buy hunting, fishing permits

If you are planning a hunting or fishing outing, you might want to check your permits. Missouri’s hunting and fishing permit year ends on the last day of February, which means some hunters and anglers are walking around with expired permits.

Through 1995, the Missouri Department of Conservation used pre-printed permit forms that came in books and were filled out by vendors. Those permits expired at the end of each calendar year. In 1996, the agency changed over to the present electronic system, where permits are issued electronically and printed at the “point of sale.”

When it implemented the point-of-sale system, the Conservation Department changed the permit expiration date to the last day of February. This recognized that hunting seasons for some game, including rabbits, squirrels, quail, pheasants, ruffed grouse and some waterfowl, extend into the new year. The requirement for new permits on March 1 also coincides with the start of the regular fishing season at Missouri’s four trout parks.

Missouri sport hunting and fishing permits are available from permit vendors statewide or online at wildlifelicense.com/mo/. To accommodate holiday gift giving, permits for each permit year go on sale Dec. 1 of the preceding year. Permits purchased for the next permit year are valid from the date of sale, making it possible to get 15 months of hunting or fishing for the price of a year.

The Migratory Bird Hunting Permit and the federal duck stamp are exceptions to the usual expiration date for sport hunting and fishing permits. These are valid from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

Hunters and anglers will find some changes in hunting and fishing permits in 2009. These include:

§ The Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit and the Youth Antlerless Hunting Permit will not be available after June 30. Starting July 1, resident and nonresident youth may purchase regular fall firearms deer and turkey hunting permits at half the price of resident fall firearms deer and turkey permits. Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permits purchased during the 2009 spring turkey season remain valid for the 2009 fall firearms deer and turkey hunting seasons.

§ Youths age 15 and younger may trap without a permit.

§ Reduced-cost nonresident landowner permits no longer will be available after the spring turkey hunting season.

§ Nonresident students attending public or private secondary, post-secondary or vocational schools in Missouri and who live in Missouri while attending school may purchase resident permits, except lifetime permits. Nonresident students must buy resident permits at Conservation Department offices and must carry evidence of Missouri residence and student status while hunting, fishing or trapping.

§ Beginning in 2010, participants in the light-goose conservation order must purchase a resident or nonresident Conservation Order Permit if they are 16 or older.

§ When mentoring a firearms hunter who is not hunter-education certified, all mentors, including landowners hunting on their own land, must be at least 18 years old and hunter-education certified unless they were born before Jan. 1, 1967.

Additional details about hunting and fishing permits are contained in the 2009 summaries of hunting, trapping and fishing regulations, available wherever permits are sold or at mdc.mo.gov/regs/permits.htm.

Sunday sermon in song