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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
October 3, 2012     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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October 3, 2012

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/ A14 Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Farm ~J~pir[[ of JEFFERSON and FARMER'S ADVOCATE TED KALVITIS and inkberries Poke Salad Annie- 'gator's got more than a few. Moreover, the on this, we looked for ways to your granny.., from a song by purple stain on the child's hands propel a ripe berry with enough Tony Joe White, 1968. and face leave little question as force to cause it to splatter on I found myself spreading ma- to what the toddler has eaten, so impact. Our early experiments nure near a fencerow bountiful tittle time is wasted in diagno- were quite primitive but we may with fall wild flowers. Yellow sis. Have lots of diapers ready well have been the Wright broth- coriopsis and golden rod, the though, you're likely to need ers of paintball technology. deep purple of ironweed is com- them. (If you have genuine need I've learned from some of the plimented by the more subtle of information regarding poke- old-timers that the young shoots hue of purple red top or broom- berry ingestion, call Poison Con- of the inkberry plant are edible if sage. Clusters of white asters trol at 800-222-1222 immediate- cooked. According to all of my glow so brightly in the low sun- ly as the information may have research sources, including the fight they seem almost to be illu- been updated.) West Virginia Poison Control minated from within. Blue asters Poke, or Phytotacca Ameri- people, the stalk and especially are starting to appear--the last cana Linnaeus, (let's just call the roots are poisonous. Trust flower to bloom -- the harbin- them inkberries) is a perennial me on this one -- they are -- get of first frost. Tall pokeweeds that sprouts anew from a large though I wasn't always aware of dangle their purple berries from root every year and usually be- this. sturdy stalks and branches. The comes quite a large plant, some- I was in my teens, sitting in stalks are candy apple red in col- times in excess of ten feet tall. a fencerow reading Foxfire (or or -- like a 1960s hot rod.'Poke- We have a section of riverbank was it Alicia Bay Laurel?) deep berries -- where I come from, that I burn off each winter. The in an adolescent dream world. they're called inkberries, following spring the same ink- Reasoning that the benevolent At the Poison Control Cen- berry bush comes back as it has plant world certainly held no ter in Charleston, the phone is for years. I leave it, and other perils, I chanced to eat part of a tinging off the hook. September bushes like it on the property to small inkberry root. I don't rec- is pokeberry-poisoning month grow as ornamentals, ommend replicating this exper- with the incidents of ingestiOn I understand that this may iment unless you want to see starting around the southern coal sound a little odd since the plant your summer toenails go by. fields and moving northward, is generally considered to be a Computers never caught on This south to north wave of mild weed pest but anyone who is al- with me so I still submit these poisonings moves over the state ready familiar with this column stories to the publishers on pa- yearly with the ripening of that knows that we're grading on a per. They've been after me to most elegant and beautiful char- serious curve here. Still, it is an send these articles in electroni- acter in the late summer and fall undeniably beautiful plant, espe- cally and I'm working on it. But fencerow, the pokeweed or ink- cially this time of year. Anyone I wonder -- what if I sent them berry plant, who is familiar with this column written in inkberry ink on poplar When these berries are ripe, is also aware that there is like- bark? It can be hard to overcome they look good enough to eat ly to be a nostalgic connection that desire, cultivated in child- - at least several thousand somewhere as well. hood, to play with inkberries. toddlers seem to think so each As children, we would mash year. The toxic quality of ink- the berries into ink but were nev- berries, though, is usually over- er able to perfect a type of stylus rated. They certainly don't taste that would deliver it onto paper, as good as they look so a tod- pedal cars or tractor hoods in a dler is pretty unlikely to !ngest controlled manner.' Giving up t General Due to high pressure that sat lent, but most fieldswere reported Over the state and remained stag- in good condition. Soybeans were nant, West "VTwginia was extremely 96-percent podding, comparison dry and cooler than normal. All re- data not available. Soybeans were porting stations reported below av- 59-percent dropping leaves, com- emge temperatures ranging from 1 degree below average to 5 degrees below average in Beckley. We also dropped into the 30's for the first time in a while. Keyser had the highest recorded temperature of 89 degrees. Beckley and White Sulphur Springs had the lowest recorded temperature of 39 degrees. The state average tempera- ture was 63 degrees. White Sulphur Springs had the highest recorded amount of precipi- tation with .05 of an inch. Parkers- burg, Creston, Clarksburg, Weston, Wdliamson, Charleston, Ripley, Term Alta, Marlinton, Beckley, Pineville, Bluestone Dam, Mar- tinsburg, Keyser and Moorefield all had the lowest with zero recorded precipitation. The state average pre- cipitation was .01 of an inch. Number of days suitable for field- work averaged six days last week. Fruit Adult brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) can be observed in orchards and late ~season damage can still occur from this pest. kate apples placed in cold storage have shown damage when removed from storage. Sways may need to contin- ue with caution to observe the pre- harvest interval for material(s) se- lected. Skin russet is common this season on Golden Delicious, espe- dally on spur strains and on trees at lower elevations. Recent cool nights have improved red color de- velopment on some apple cultivars. Apple conditions ranged from very poor to excellent with most or- chards in fair to mostly good con- dition.Apples were 53-percent har- vested, compared with 37 percent last year and 36 percent for the 5-year average. pared with 45 percent last year and 48 percent for the 5-year av- erage. Wheat was 8 percent-plant- ed, compared with 7 percent last year, and 8 percent for the 5-year average. Hay conditions ranged from very poor to excellent, but most fields were reported in fair to good condition. Second cutting ~as 91-percent complete, com- pared with 90 percent last year and 90 percent for the 5-year av- erage. Third cutting was 32-per- cent complete, compared with 31 percent last year and 30 percent for the 5-year average. Livestockand pasture Cattle conditions ranged from fair to excellent, but most herds were reported in good condition. Sheep conditions ranged from fair to excellent, but most flocks were reported in good condition. Pasture conditions ranged from very poor to excellent, but most fields were reported in fair condition. Veterans farming seminar scheduled KEARNEYSVILLE -- A with West Virginia University Ex- Keameysville from 9 a.m. to 3 symposium that will provide tension, the U.S. Department of p.m. veterans who have an interest in Agriculture Farm Service Agen- Veterans interested in partici- farming with financial and busi- cy and the Farmer Veteran Coali- pating in this free event can con- ness planning information is tion will host a Veteran's Access tact Robert Haughton at Rob- planned for this month, to Capital symposium on Oct. 10, ert.Haughton@wdc.usda~gov or The Jefferson County Devel- 2012, at the WVU Tree Fruit Re- Ross Erickson at info@farmvet- opment Authority, in cooperation search and Education Center in or 530-756-1395. Seventeen Contact lens packages starting at $142 Eye exam, 2 boxes of Coopervision Encore Premium disposable lenses, starter kit & follow up Charles Town MartinsburgMartinsburg Winchester 838 Somerset Blvd. Foxcroft Avenue Spring Mills Apple Blossom Corners 304-725-4828 304.267.9911 304-263-4000 540.722.3217 Community Mini-Med School Tuesday, October 16, 2012 REGISTRATION 6:30 pm To reserve seat in advance, call 304.264.!287 ext. !760 LECTURE 7:00 - 8:00 pm Tour of Center for Wound Care to follow LOCATION Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center (behind Dorothy McCormack Center) City Hospital Campus These educational programs are FREE and open to the public. ! Grains and hay Corn conditions ranged from poor to excellent, but most fields were reported in good condition. Corn was 95-percent doughing, compared with 90 percent last year and 94 percent for the 5-year average. Corn was 81-percent dented, compared with 58 per- cent last year and 68 percent for the 5-year average. Com was 17- percent mature, compared to 5 percent last year and 22 percent for the 5-year average. Com was 1-percent harvested, comparison data not available. Soybean con- ditions ranged from fair to excel- 866-766-1495 51 Industrial Park Road, Off Rt. 28, Romney, W.Va. 26757 , , ........... ~ ............ . ...... ........... ~%,: