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This Week's Most Popular Article

Mobile County Sheriff's Office

Mobile County Sheriff's Office

Posted: 05 Feb 2015 01:41 PM PST

On February 1, 2015, at approximately 6:30 pm, a local hunter found a human skull on property that he leases for hunting and contacted the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.

MCSO Detectives say that the hunter was moving his deer stand in the woods near the intersection of highway 98 and Hillmoor Road when he came upon the skull.

The skull has been turned over to Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for identification. “We are waiting on a report from DFS on the identity, however we do have a couple of possibilities but will not know for sure until we receive the report,” said Sheriff Sam Cochran.

As of today, no other skeletal remains have been found. MCSO will continue to search for evidence and is awaiting any identification from DFS.

If anyone has any information please contact us 574-8633 or go to our website, http://www.mobileso.com/report-a-crime/

Read more.


Semmes Area Gardening

What To Plant This Week

Plant Carrots, Turnips, Onions, Beets, Irish Potatoes and other root crops.

Start tomatoes, peppers and eggplants indoors.

Prepare to plant Corn, Beans, Peppers & other above ground crops weather permitting & hoping after last frost date for this area - Feb. 28.


Sowing Carrots

Sow carrot seed at a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch, beginning this week. For a continuous harvest, make additional plantings every 3 to 4 weeks. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. If necessary, thin the seedlings within a few weeks of germination. After thinning, seedlings should be spaced 2 to 3 inches apart. 

Carrots like consistent moisture supply from seed germination until harvest. Adequate moisture supplies are most important during germination and root enlargement. Dry soils during germination usually result in poor stands. Inadequate moisture during root growth may result in small, woody, poorly flavored carrots. Cracking may occur if there is a sudden increase in the soil moisture levels (either from rain or irrigation) after a long, dry period. 

Carrots perform best when they receive 1 inch of water each week. If possible, water once a week during dry weather. 

Harvest carrots when the roots are 3/4 inch or more in diameter. Trim off the tops 1/2 inch above the roots. Most carrot varieties mature 60 to 80 days after planting. 

Mature carrots can be stored for several months at a temperature of 32 F and relative humidity of 98 to 100%. Surplus can also be canned or frozen.


Potatoes For Your Garden

Potatoes, taters, spuds…call them what you will, potatoes are a staple in the diet of many people all over the planet. Potatoes are a nutritious, versatile vegetable, and they’re incredibly easy to grow. But before you run out to the garden with your shovel and hoe, there are a few things you should know about planting potatoes.

You may have heard old timers say that potatoes should always be planted on Good Friday. This old wives’ tale is absolutely absurd. Good Friday does not fall on the same calendar date each year and can fall anywhere from early March to mid April. If folks in New England or the upper Midwest tried to plant potatoes on Good Friday, many years they’d be digging through rock-hard soil that was still frozen solid.

Do not plant potatoes too early, while the ground is still icy. If the ground is too cold and wet, the seed potatoes will delay sprouting until the growing conditions are more favorable. This is usually in early March to late April, depending on the climate. Potatoes do tolerate cool soil and a light frost, but not much growth will take place until the soil warms up a bit.

You won’t find potato seedlings or packets of potato seeds for sale at your local garden center. Instead, potatoes are grown from seed potatoes. A seed potato is nothing more than an ordinary potato, with at least one “eye”.

Back in the day before supermarkets, when gardens supplied most of the food put on the table, the last of the potatoes in the storage bin come spring were used for seed potatoes.  Wise gardeners set aside their blemish-free, healthiest potatoes for seed. Seed potatoes can be planted whole, or they may be cut into pieces with at least one eye per piece. Seed potatoes with more eyes will grow to produce a larger quantity of potatoes but the potatoes will generally be smaller. Seed potatoes with fewer eyes will produce fewer potatoes, but those potatoes will tend to be larger.

If you choose to cut your seed potatoes into smaller pieces, divide them a day prior to planting. This allows the cuts to heal over slightly, which helps to prevent soil-borne diseases from infecting your potato crop. Always choose seed potatoes that are free from blemishes.

Plant your whole or cut seed potatoes two to three inches deep in good, rich soil. Rows of potatoes should be about three feet apart and the potatoes within the row should be planted twelve inches apart. If your potato crop has suffered from scab in the past, toss a small handful of dry pine needles in the holes beneath your seed potatoes. Along with moving your potatoes to a different section of the garden each year, this will help prevent further scab infection. Potato scab appears as rough patches on the skin of the potatoes.

Depending on the warmth of the soil, potato plants will begin to emerge from the soil anywhere from one to three weeks after planting. When the plants are about a foot tall, use your hoe to mound six to eight inches of soil continuously along the entire row of plants. This is called hilling.  Hilling ensures that the potatoes will grow deeply under the soil, away from sunlight which would cause them to become green. Potatoes that suffer from greening will be bitter and the inedible green parts must be discarded.

Keep the potato plants evenly watered while they are growing. A dry period followed by a rainy spell will cause some potato varieties to develop a hollow core. Yukon Gold potatoes seem to be especially prone to this problem.

Another potential problem with potatoes is the potato beetle. The larvae and adult beetles will feed on the potato foliage, and a heavy infestation can damage the foliage enough to reduce your harvest considerably. Watch for the beetle’s yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves and crush the clusters whenever you see them.  Larvae are a deep orange color with a row of black spots on both sides, while the adults are a paler orange with black stripes on the body and black spots on the head. The larvae and adults can be picked off the leaves and crushed if there are only a few. An infestation can also be controlled with Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. Bt is an organic control that is very safe to use. Look for Bt that is specifically for potato beetles. It is sold in many garden catalogs and garden centers.

Once your potato plants have bloomed, you can begin to harvest small “new” potatoes.  Depending on the variety of potatoes you’re growing, this is about eight weeks after planting. In the fall, after the foliage has begun to dry and die back, the entire crop can be dug. Before storing them in a cool, dry and dark place, make sure the surface of your freshly dug spuds has dried a bit. Spread them out in a dry spot out of direct sun, such as a garage or shed, for a day or two before putting them in storage.

Freshly dug, crisp potatoes taste better than any you’ll buy at a grocery store. Grow some yourself and discover how easy and fun it is to produce a staple crop of delicious potatoes for your family.



Job Interview Question

You are driving along in your car on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus: 

1. An old lady who looks as if she is about to die. 
2. An old friend who once saved your life. 
3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about. 

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car? 

Think before you continue reading. This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application. 

You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again. 

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. 
He simply answered: "I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams." 
Never forget to "Think Outside of the Box."

This Week's Classified Ads

Remember, Personal Ads are free on Talk Of Semmes.

Pomegranate Trees or Cuttings Wanted

Small Natural Gas Heater or Wood Stove/Heater


Couponing Fundamentals

Whether you have never used a coupon before in your life, or are just getting back into the savings game, here are a few basic (and not-so-basic) tips to help you get in the game!

 The Fundamentals of Great Grocery Savings

If you’ve tried using coupons and found little to no savings on your grocery costs, it’s time to do some research on your local grocery stores.

1. What Stores Are In Your Area?

Make a list of all the grocery stores in your area. Think outside the box of your usual shopping. Even if a store seems too expensive, too big, or not as convenient, you just might be surprised. Once you learn more about the stores policies, and a few tips for maximizing your savings, you may find those “over priced” stores offer the best deals in town!