MADISON COUNTY —
Dick Ham, whose column normally fills this space on Tuesdays, has fallen and broken his hip. So, he will be off for at least a couple of weeks, and I will be writing a column in his place.
I have been employed by the Richmond Register for more than 28 years and have filled many jobs for the newspaper. I did darkroom work for a number of years and did ad design for more than 10 years.
Now I am in the news department, designing pages and doing anything else that is needed.
I just want you to know I am not Dick Ham. I don’t know any blonde jokes, and I don’t know Bubba. But, I have five brothers, and I can tell a lot tales on them.
Most recently, my brother Bill gave me a strange plant. Now Bill really loves to grow plants. His favorite is tomato plants. He usually supplies everybody in his neighborhood with plants of some kind.
At the end of May, he gave me a strange looking plant he called a “mole bean plant.” He said it would keep the moles out of my garden.
My question was, would it keep the crawdads out, too?
I live in the Union City area where we have clay land, and the crawdads love digging holes in my garden.
Anyway, I set out this plant and really could not believe how wonderfully it did. It seem to grow up overnight. It was soon was over five feet high with a very good stalk on it.
Later in the summer, my wiser and older brother Thomas said, “You do know that plant is poisonous.”
No I did not!
So, I did some research of the mole bean plant. I learned its scientific name is Ricinus Communis but its is commonly called the castor bean. It is a member of the spurge family and is native to tropical Africa. It can grow up to 40 feet tall, but as an annual, it usually grows to 10 feet tall.
The leaves are star shaped with five to nine lobes. The color of its foliage is a maroon contrast. As the seeds mature, the three-celled capsules turn bright red. The beans look like an engorged dog tick in size and shape. The oil is used commercially for lubrication in cosmetics as well as many industrial crop oils.
I have heard it can be used as not-so-gentle laxative. Have you ever taken castor oil.
Castor bean seeds are poisonous, and the poison derived from it is call ricin. It’s similar to the bacterial toxin found in anthrax. It’s said to be 1,000 times more toxic that the cobra snake’s venom.
Castor bean plants should not be planted around small children, but they can still make good garden plants. The bold plant has a certain charm about it.
So, a lesson to be learned is, watch out for brothers who give you strange plants.
My only thought was, is he trying to get rid of me?
MADISON COUNTY —
- Lifestyles & Community
County’s oldest consignment sale begins today
The Little Ones’ Consignment Sale, Madison County’s oldest semi-annual sale of its kind, is open to the public 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today (Friday) and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the multi-ministry center behind United Methodist Church, West Main Street, Richmond. Marked items are half price on Saturday.
There’s more to do at the Village Trough
“I wish there was more to do here.”
Do you ever find yourself saying this sentence as you sit there bored out of your mind? Have you heard others ask it?
Well, there is something more to do now that Village Trough in Berea is staging shows with local and regional talent and preparing to open as a full dining and entertainment venue.
Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky
It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.
Beat the winter blues with meatballs
When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.
Taste test Thursday
The sun is shining, but the chill has returned, so I hope you made the most of the warm, sunny weather this weekend.
The spring greens are being as tentative as the warm temperatures, but there is talk of lettuce being harvested and a continued trickle of kale, pea shoots, miner’s lettuce and spinach. To make room for the spring harvests, winter squash and sweet potatoes have been marked down to $1/pound and pumpkins are only 50 cents/pound.
Buttercups in grazed pastures
One of the signs that spring has arrived is when the yellow flowers of buttercup begin to appear, but it’s during the winter months that the vegetative growth of buttercup takes place.
As a cool season weed, this plant often flourishes in overgrazed pasture fields with poor stands of desirable forages. In fact, many fields that have dense buttercup populations are fields heavily grazed by animals during the fall through the early spring months.
Make a difference this summer, volunteer at 4-H Camp
On June 30 more than 200 Madison County kids will load a bus headed for four days and three nights of fun at 4-H Summer Camp.
Campers will have a chance to hike, swim, dance and spend time learning about the environment, their friends and themselves.
And we need your help to make it possible!
A whole lot going on
Downtown Richmond Farmers Market opening
The new Downtown Richmond Farmers Market officially opens Saturday.
This market will set up in downtown Richmond on North First Street between Main and Irvine streets Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (weather permitting).
For more details, go to www.downtownrichmndfarmersmarket.com. There you will find an events calendar and how to sign up for workshops that will be conducted at the market.
A Visit with a bell-The Dinner Bell Restaurant in Berea
I have wanted for some time to visit and interview people and food establishments here in Madison County and surrounding areas that you may have not gotten a chance to visit. \
I chose the Dinner Bell in Berea for my column this week.
Extension celebrates 100 years of nutrition education
For the past 100 years, families in Kentucky have looked to the Cooperative Extension Service to learn better ways to be healthy.
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- County’s oldest consignment sale begins today