Short Rows

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Honored for their MANRRS

UK Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences, was named Chapter of the Year by the national organization. UK members, Erica Flores and Jessi Ghezi also brought home three individual awards, and the group's adviser, Assistant Dean for Diversity Quentin Tyler, won National Adviser of the Year. Tyler said the awards recognize outstanding students who can compete at a very high level. “The College is a place where all students can develop their talents and reach their goals and dreams.”


Laying Hens

The days are growing shorter, and your hens seem to be falling down on the job. Extension Professor Tony Pescatore, poultry production and management, says it’s all about light—or lack of it. Hens require 14 to 16 hours of light daily to maintain their egg production. Less than 12 hours and their production will decrease and even stop. A little supplemental light in the morning hours can keep them laying. Or you could give them a break. Even hens appreciate a long winter’s nap.

Preserving Love's Patchwork

Grandma’s quilt, much used and much loved, may be frayed and stained, but it might not be beyond repair. Marjorie Baker, extension associate for clothing and textiles, says a hand-sewn quilt should always be mended by hand, and if fabrics are worn away or torn, they should be strengthened by reweaving or darning; all things a trained conservator can do. Another option for restoring worn areas is to cover the area with a hand-sewn patch made from period reproduction fabric.

More Valuable than Gold

Cinnamon has a pretty spicy history. Armies fought and massacred to acquire it and empires grew rich on it. Depending on the culture, it was used for embalming, as perfume, or as to flavor food. It was variously considered a medicinal treatment, an appetite stimulant, or even an aphrodisiac. Today, researchers are taking a fresh look at cinnamon. Dietetics and Human Nutrition’s Professor Lisa Gaetke said recent studies have suggested that cinnamon may reduce blood glucose concentrations and be anti-inflammatory. Enjoy the spice and watch for information on health advantages that will come with further research. Hold the massacres, though.

Orb Weaver

Upside down in the center of a wheel-like web, garden spiders (black and yellow argiopes, pronounced ahr-GUY-oh-pees) can be a startling sight in the late summer and fall. Be fascinated, not worried, because these arachnids—three inches from claw to claw—are benign (to humans) and beneficial, devouring grasshoppers, flies, and aphids. Their other name, writing spiders, comes from the zigzag pattern they weave into the web. UK entomologist Lee Townsend said people once thought the “zipper” provided structural integrity, attracted flying insects, or warned birds to veer away, but no one really knows, and “the spiders aren’t talking.”