Fine

Extension agent Tim Fine sprays the garden.

As I quite frequently do, I am going to take this opportunity to discuss two different subjects and somehow meld them together to make one article. Although I’m primarily doing it as a means to get one whole article, my hope always is that it speaks to the breadth and variety of programming that I am involved in.

The first thing that I would like to highlight is that there are still several beds left to rent at the community garden. In case you missed my previous article about this, the community garden is a project that came out of meetings gathering community input a few years ago. There are 24 beds in the community garden space; they are 4-foot by 8-foot and can be rented on an annual basis for $20. There are some more requirements and stipulations involved, but it really is not terribly cumbersome. The beds are located here just north of the Extension Office parking lot, are fenced in, and there are several tools and hoses available for renters to use. One of the major stipulations is that all rented beds must be planted by June 1.

The next item that I would like to draw your attention to is that it is almost time for our annual Lower Yellowstone Wool Pool delivery day. We will be gathering, grading, weighing, and bagging wool at the fairgrounds on Thursday, May 9. I realize that this event is geared toward a very specific subset of our population but I would invite anyone who wants to see how wool is processed to come and check it out.

I have highlighted our wool pool before, but it never hurts to talk about things more than once. The Lower Yellowstone Wool pool was created in an effort to ensure the producers who do not have large numbers of sheep can still secure a decent price for their wool. The pool’s primary objective is to provide an avenue for these producers to bring their wool to a central location, have it graded and bagged with wool of the same grade. So now, instead of a single producer trying to market his or her 100 pounds of wool, this wool can be pooled with the neighbor's 100 pounds and instead of trying to market 100 pounds, there is now 200 pounds for a buyer to bid on. This, of course is over-simplifying the process but that is how it works in a nutshell.

Last year, our pool took in almost 5,000 pounds of wool. Our wool was then combined with other pools and, for most of the lines, did better than the average price for wool. So, if you have wool that you would like to get rid of, or if you’re just curious about how the process works, you are welcome to join us at the fairgrounds on May 9 in the old commercial building starting at 2 p.m.

As always, if you have questions about either or both of these items, you are welcome to contact me at 433-1206 or send an email to timothy.fine@montana.edu.

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