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Growing your own food lets you control the quality at harvest. In other words, you can pick your crop at its “peak of perfection” for eating. Preferences may vary among people but there are some base line recommendations for quality.

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As we enter the final stage of construction, the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility is undergoing a phased transition of responsibility from U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or DHS, to U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA.

It was a remarkable moment, in some ways: Five Manhattan city commissioners, each with substantially different perspectives, agreeing to start taxing and regulating a piece of the local economy.

They’ve made a good enough start in picking a committee to find the next president at Kansas State University. It’s a giant committee, 25 people, sort of silly, really. That’s not a committee — it’s an attempt to give as many stakeholders as possible a seat at the table, since the search its…

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Local fairs are in full swing now. The Riley County Fair is Thursday, July 22, through Monday, July 26. Open class events will happen this year and are available to anyone in Riley County and adjoining counties. Gardening, flowers and the honey section exhibits need to be brought to Pottorf …

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I like summer, but I think I’m going to like fall better this year. That will be true if my fall vegetable garden turns out. Fall allows for one more go at cool-season vegetables. The flavors are rich if they can mature in the cool of fall evening temperatures.

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Several insects have taken up residency in the landscape. Their appearance causes stress to both the plants and the plant lovers. Most insects will not inflict too much plant damage. A combination of weather challenges, diseases, plant competition and insect feeding will reduce plant health.…

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My father and I are bumping along in his 1965 white-over-green GMC pickup under a threatening Kansas summer sky. Bound for our home, about 5 miles north of the Saline River, roughly paralleling it, on the northern slope of the valley bluffs in southern Rooks County.

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My rain barrels haven’t kept up with my water needs. They do help during temporary drought occurrences. Providing water for plants is our best plant health practice. An adequately watered plant will defend against pests much better than one with water stress.

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I am pleased to announce that the Manhattan Area Garden Tour is going to happen on Saturday, June 26. After a year of postponement, six private gardens and the Gardens at Kansas State University will be showcased. Take in any or all of them from 8 a.m. to noon that morning.

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Ever wondered why it’s taking so long to build the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility? Consider this: NBAF is more than just a highly secure laboratory building. It’s a 48-acre, $1.25 billion complex for large animal agricultural research, training and diagnostics with 700,000 square fee…