Few things taste better than a juicy peach or plum picked off your own trees — not from the grocery store. More folks are getting engaged in growing food for the dinner table. It’s not a chore to buy and plant a peach or plum tree — or pecans is you can wait ten years before nuts can be harvested. Bare rooted trees are on sale at lots of places in East Texas and the reliable stores have the varieties that fit our weather conditions. Just don’t fall for buying a fruit or nut tree that is adapted for northern states —if so production may be slim to none later on.
Dig the planting hole way big enough to accommodate the bare root seedling tree. About an hour before planting, remove the wrapping around the bare roots and soak thoroughly in water. Also add water to the planting hole. Then plant, backfill and then prune all side shoots of the soon-to-be tree and cut off the main trunk by half. Looks sorta’ funny to see just a three or four foot stick in the ground, but the experts say this is a perfect way to start your fruit and nut trees.

What will the cattle market do—up, down or sideways. My departed friend and prolific writer of Western novels, Elmer Kelton, came up with an answer to the question. Elmer was writing for West Texas Livestock Weekly headquartered in San Angelo and made a habit of interviewing old time cow men when they came to town. He asked Ed Webster, a cowman of note, what the cattle market was going to do. Mr. Webster studied a minute and gave his reply. “Well, some people think it will go up, and some think it’s going down. I agree” And Mr. Webster wasn’t laughing when he made that statement!

It’s amazing what folks don’t know about rural life — about growing plants, raising animals and praying for rain. Kate Marshall, Extension 4-H agent in Henderson County is spending some quality time educating the younger generation about agriculture. Each year Kate sets up an incubator in her office to hatch chicks for the county livestock show. And during that time she offers tours for school students who want to make a field trip and see the “babies” . Kate said if you are ever in the courthouse in Athens and hear a “chirp-chirp-chirp”, it’s probably coming from her office. That’s –30—horace@valornet.com