OUTDOORS & AGRICULTURE

A look into the outdoors, recreation and agriculture of the Lower Wisconsin River Valley and the larger Driftless Area.


An Outdoorsman’s Journal: Volunteers

Follow along each week on the adventures of Mark Walters, a syndicated outdoor adventure columnist who lives in Necedah, Wisconsin. He began writing his column, An Outdoorsman’s Journal, in 1989. It includes hunting, fishing, lots of canoeing and backpacking. He currently writes for around 60 newspapers on a weekly basis. He hopes you enjoy reading about his adventures!

This week’s column is going to be a bit different but is a very real type of story in the form of a very successful, annual, kids fisheree that is held by Jim and Deb Bires – owners of Bires Northside Mobile in Mauston, Wisconsin. The point of this story is to tell about volunteers and how without them, this world would be a very different place.

Valley Sentinel launches Impulse Initiative

Valley Sentinel lends platform in print and online to foster community ideas

We are pleased to announce the (soft) launch of Valley Sentinel’s Impulse Initiative. It has always been our goal to build community and over the past year plus we’ve been talking to area residents every day about their wants, hopes and dreams for the community. We’ve asked many times in print what ideas you had for the community and how we go about doing them. This initiative is a culmination of those things.

Community comes together following tragic Wisconsin River accident that leaves a local man missing

“One of the most dangerous things about the Lower Wisconsin River is that it doesn’t look dangerous.”

Timm Zumm, president of Friends of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway (FLOW), shared those words of warning and wisdom this week during a brief break in the search for 22-year-old Parker Kruse, of Arena, who was knocked overboard in a boat collision after rescuing someone in need on July 3 into a Wisconsin River that was high and swift.

The Sauk County Gardener— Help Your Garden Feed You

This past week I was checking out our basswood tree that finally started blooming, trying to see what bees and other pollinators were visiting it. As I moved the branches around, a whole kaleidoscope of moths just flew out of the tree. Although it was actually quite pretty to see, I knew my broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale were in harm’s way. I spoke with a fellow gardener, John, and he said he had more white moths than he’d seen before as well. Unfortunately, the dreaded cabbage moths are thick this year. Start checking your plants closely so you can hand-pick the eggs and worms. You can also use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis var Kurstaki or Aisawai) as it is can be a highly effective organic way to control cabbage worms. This needs to be sprayed every 1 to 2 weeks or after it rains to help control the cabbage worm and other cole crop pests. If you decide to use an insecticide – organic or otherwise – read the label closely to ensure it can control the pest you are trying to get rid of and only apply the correct amount.

Award winning farming family shutters dairy barn doors among difficult industry

This was a 4th Generation Farm, Steve himself has farmed for 38 years of his life. He was now farming with his 2 daughters Cassie and Mandi. The Fuller’s have many honors they have received over the years, 2 time Richland County Outstanding young farmer and with Steve’s mom and Grandma receiving Richland County Outstanding Farm woman.

RVACG holds inaugural student gardening program to get young students outside

The River Valley Area Community Garden started a Student Gardening program to get young students out in nature and learning about gardening. The program had its first event June 8 where students had the chance to assist gardeners with planting different type of plants and produce in garden beds. The program will include planting and tending to the garden beds, arts and crafts as well as story time in the garden.

Birding report: Early June — migration wanes and nesting waxes

As we head into the unofficial start of summer, bird migration is winding down. Shorebirds are the most prominent remaining migrants, many of them headed for breeding areas on the far northern tundra. Species most commonly being seen include semipalmated, least, and white-rumped sandpipers, ruddy turnstone, sanderling, dunlin, and semipalmated plover. Unusual finds include whimbrel (especially along northern Lake Michigan), red-necked phalarope, and American avocet. Wilson’s phalaropes, a species whose core range lies in the Great Plains, have been far more numerous in the state this spring than any in recent memory.

The Sauk County Gardener — scouting for Japanese beetles

This last week’s higher temps and humidity made me think we skipped summer and jumped right to August! I tried as best I could to time my plantings between the bouts of rain and the times of high heat. I wasn’t able to completely avoid the high heat as I spent one afternoon out in my newly installed cutting garden beds planting 50 dahlia bulbs and 30 ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Casa Blanca’ Oriental lilies. I ran out of steam before I could plant the nine rose bushes. I’m still working on getting all my annuals planted and there are some vegetables I need to get planted as well. Now is the time of year when I have way more garden tasks compared to the hours I have to spend in the garden – especially when the heat and rain do not cooperate with my schedule. I am sure many of you feel the same way.

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