Winter came early to Murray County!Our recent cold snap and snowy weather caught many of us by surprise.As we all rushed to our closets to dig out our winter gear, many of us discovered that our children’s winter coats and boots from last year are worn out or have become too small.This type of situation may be just an inconvenience for you and me, but it can be very problematic for our students and families who are struggling to make ends meet.Many will be faced with making the decision between paying certain bills or buying winter coats.
Our students have been spending more time outdoors as we have been conducting school in the hybrid model during the Covid pandemic.We know that having appropriate outerwear can be a safety issue here during our Minnesota winters.We care deeply about the welfare of our students and want to make sure that they can safely and comfortably enjoy their time outside by being properly dressed for the elements.
I have already been approached by several families who are in need of assistance in providing appropriate winter clothing for their children.The grant funds our school had secured for this purpose are quickly dwindling.We would very much like to purchase new winter items for all of our students in need.If you are interested in donating to this cause, please contact Nikki Cheskie at MCC Elementary School(507) 836-6450 ext. 5130.We are not able to take donations of used winter clothing items at this time due to health and safety reasons, as well as a lack of storage space.Thank you for caring about our MCC students!
MCC Elementary Mental Health Coordinator
Grief Support Group
Hospice of Murray County will hold a bereavement group for adults at the Hospice of Murray County office in Slayton. It is for 6 sessions, on Tuesdays, and will begin on Tuesday November 10th and will continue through Tuesday, December 15th, 2020, from 4:00-5:30 pm.
There is no cost for the bereavement support group as it is sponsored by Totzke Funeral Home of Fulda and Slayton, and Hospice of Murray County. Pre-registrations are appreciated so materials can be put together. You can pre-register by calling the Hospice office at 507-836-8114 by Monday November 9th.
This bereavement group is not just for those family members served by hospice, but all adults who have lost a loved one.
Remove asparagus ferns at the end of your fall to-do list
At this point in the season, gardeners growing asparagus may be wondering when to cut down those tall, skinny stalks that have grown from their asparagus plants. Wait until the ferns are fully brown and dormant to maximize the next year’s harvest.
First, a brief biology lesson
Those tall stalks with thin, wispy leaves are called “ferns.” The ferns are the part of the plant that emerges from the “spears” during the summer if they are left to grow rather than being harvested.
Asparagus spears are harvested for 6 to 8 weeks in the spring. The harvest is over when we stop cutting the spears and allow them to grow into ferns.
It is important to let the ferns grow instead of harvesting spears all summer long. Every time we remove a spear, we remove a stem of the asparagus plant. So after a few weeks of harvest, it is important to stop harvesting and let the ferns grow.
The ferns stay green until they go dormant in the late fall or early winter. During this time, they are photosynthesizing - harvesting light - and producing energy that the plant needs in order to keep producing spears the next year.
In the fall as the plants prepare for winter, they move sugars (energy) from the ferns down to the roots. The more energy they have stored over the winter, the healthier they will be the next spring.
Don’t be too hasty cutting down the ferns
The longer the ferns are allowed to grow in the fall, the more energy and nutrients they are able to move down to the roots for the following year.
Therefore, the key is to leave the ferns alone until they are totally brown. This change in color signals that they are done for the year and can be removed.
If possible, it is best to remove the dormant, brown ferns in the late fall or early winter (mid-November to December). This helps control asparagus beetles that would otherwise overwinter in the ferns and damage the next year’s spears.
Sometimes in Minnesota snow begins covering the ground before the ferns turn brown. Snow can make it impossible to cut off the ferns, forcing gardeners to wait until the spring to remove them. When that happens, remove the ferns as soon as possible in the spring.
What to do with cut ferns
After cutting down the ferns, the best practice is to remove them from the garden and destroy them. Again, this helps control asparagus beetles that may be taking up winter residence inside the ferns.
Rather than placing the ferns on a compost pile where asparagus beetles and diseases can still survive under cool winter temperatures, either burn them or place them in your yard waste containers for removal.
For more information on growing asparagus in Minnesota, see Growing asparagus in home gardens and the Minnesota Asparagus Project, a collaboration between UMN Extension and the Sustainable Farming Association.
Murray County ChristmasProject
The Murray County Christmas Project is again planning to provide toys and gifts to over 300 eligible children in Murray County.We are accepting donations of toys and gifts for children 0 through 11 years of age.We also need stocking caps and mittens.Monetary gifts are also accepted to help with the purchase of gift items.
Please have all checks made payable to:Murray County Christmas Project/SRDC.Donations can be dropped off at the Slayton Shoe Repair in Slayton, local banks in Murray County or sent to Murray County Christmas Project, Box 111, Slayton, MN56172.Please have all donations in by December 1, 2020 or contact 507-530-1292 and we will schedule a pick up time for your donation.Due to the pandemic we will be handing out gifts and toys earlier this year.
Thank you for your support to the Murray County Christmas Project, your donations will be greatly appreciated by all who receive them.
New to Farming Because of the Pandemic? USDA Can Help
Are you new to farming because of the pandemic? USDA can help you get started – everything from helping you register your farm to getting financial assistance and advice. Our team members, based at USDA Service Centers across the country, are hearing from people who are interested in more space and working the land, and we want to let you know we can help.
Get Started with USDA
First, you want to make sure your farm is registered. If you purchased land, it might already be established with USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) with a farm number on file. If not, FSA can help you register your farm.
To obtain a farm number, you’ll bring an official tax ID (Social Security number or an employer ID) and a property deed. If you do not own the land, bring a lease agreement to show you have control of the property to your FSA representative. If your operation is incorporated or an entity, you may also need to provide proof that you have signature authority and the legal ability to enter contracts with USDA.
Access to Capital
USDA can provide access to capital through its farm loans, which is a great resource when producers aren’t able to get a loan from a traditional lender. Loans can help with purchasing land or equipment or with operating costs, and FSA even offers microloans, which are especially popular among producers with smaller farms.
We can help you make conservation improvements to your farm, which are good for your bottom line and your operation. We’ll help you develop a conservation plan as well as apply for financial assistance that’ll cover the bulk of the costs for implementing.
If you purchase land, and you don’t want to farm all of it, you can look at either a conservation easement or managing for native shrubs and grasses through either the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program or Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Easements are long-term, while a CRP contract is 10-15 years. These are good options for lands with land that is not optimal for production or sensitive lands like wetlands and grasslands.
Depending on your farm, you may want to look at crop insurance. The USDA’s Risk Management Agency provides crop insurance to help you manage risks on your farm. There are many types of insurance products available for a wide variety of production practices, including organic and sustainable agriculture.
Your local communities also have great resources for farmers including conservation districts, Rural Development, cooperative extensions, and different farming groups. To get started with USDA, contact your local USDA service center at (507) 836-8567.
“Steering into the Skid” ComingVirtually to Southwest Minnesota
On November 10 and 12, A.C.E. of SW Minnesota presents “Steering into the Skid,” an event that helps family members, caregivers, local businesses, and the broader community be in a conversation around the subject of dementia as well as the most well-known form of memory loss which is Alzheimer’s Disease. ALL community members are welcome to attend the program on Thurs. November 12 that starts at 7:30 p.m. The event on Tue. November 10 begins at 10 a.m. and with group discussion planned for professionals – i.e. Medical, Social Work, Emergency Services, etc.
“Steering into the Skid” was written by the husband-wife team of Arnold Johnston and Deborah Ann Percy. “Growing older has led us to think about the effects of aging on ourselves and our relationship,” said the playwrights. “We’ve known friends-couples-who have faced Alzheimer’s or other devastating conditions with such dignity, courage and love that we felt compelled to write about a couple forced to adjust to new demands on their imperfect but loving marriage.”
Audience members meet Tim and Amanda played by Twin Cities’ professional actors, Jim Pounds and Danette McCarthy. In 12 short, clever scenes, one per month-starting on New Year’s Eve, the audience comes to know this loving couple and bear witness to the early progression of dementia.
“Our Ultimate goal,” said facilitator and actor Danette McCarthy, “is to assist community members and leaders consider new ways to think about memory loss and to become aware of local resources that support families who are dealing with a diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
This program takes a unique approach to building awareness, sharing information, and inviting authentic community conversations. Audience members come together via Zoom and then watch the play together, followed by a facilitated conversation.
“Steering into the Skid” is part of the Remember Project, which toured the lower St. Croix Valley in the fall of 2015. To date, over 60 events and conversations have taken place to address the stigma, isolation, and fear associated with dementia. There are two other plays that are part of The Remember Project: Riding the Waves and Into the Garden.
This event is hosted by A.C.E. of SW Minnesota, through a dementia grant from the MN Board on Aging. To learn more or register for the event, play and conversations, please call Rebekah Reynolds at (507) 829-1143.
The Remember Project in Marshall is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board to support a 2020-2021 tour in Greater Minnesota.Funding for this unique Dementia Awareness Tour is an Arts Tour Minnesota activity made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
The Remember Project is a program of the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging.
By: John Stenen
God said to the prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb “I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Jer. 1:5. God has a plan for all of us who have been conceived and given this wonderful gift of life. Too bad so many never seek God and find out His will for their lives. In Exodus 21: God lets us know that the baby in the womb is a child. In Psalm 139: 13-18 God again tells us that in the womb, is a person with life. In Luke 1:41,44 God tells us that the babe (baby) leaped in the womb of Elizabeth, John the Baptists’ mother. In Proverbs 6:16-19 God list several things that He hates and one of them is ‘hands that shed innocent blood’. There is no more innocent blood than that of an unborn child being nourished in its mothers’ womb.
Many women today literally scream, “It’s my body and I can do with it whatever I want; If I want an abortion it’s my right to choose.” I suppose you justify yourself in your own mind believing that - if you do not belong to Jesus. However, it is always wrong tokill a baby. But, if you say you are a Christian and love Jesus and truly belong to Him and you serve Him and obey His Word and believe that abortion is your right, - then may I remind you of what God said through the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 6: 19-20. “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Can you glorify God by killing any person who has been born? Neither can you glorify God by killing the baby in the womb. Think of it; somewhere in the neighborhood of sixty million babies have been put to death in our nation since Roe versus Wade.
If you have had an abortion God will forgive you but you must come to Him with a repentant heart; confess your sin to Him and He will forgive you and cleanse you of all un-righteousness. (1 John 1:9). God bless.