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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 13, 2016     Hays Free Press
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January 13, 2016

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i~ ~ ~? ;i ~!iJ~ ~!~: , r , + NO JEST Brewery preserves land by going agricultural. - Page 1D , J[ree ress January 13, 2016 Page 1C Ask Chris by Chris Winslow For me from now until the middle of February always brings with it a sense of celebration: it's Irish potato season. Woo-hooI This is one of my all- time favorite crops to grow.., and to consume. Potatoes are a cool season crop. They do very well if you plant them in the late winter, between now and mid-February. You can then harvest them in mid-to-late May, before the heat of the summer arrives. The perfect soil temperature is 50 degrees. Rather than seeds, potatoes come from seed potatoes. These contain buds or 'eyes,' which then sprout into new plants. The seed potatoes are cut in to pieces. They should be no smaller than an egg, and each must have an eye. After cutting, allow the potato pieces to dry. This helps to stop them from rotting. To protect them even more, you can dust them with wettable powder sulfur - a fungicide. You will encourage new sprouts if you place the pieces in a dark place. The top three seed potato varieties that do consistently well in the Austin, Buda and Kyle area are: Kennebec (white), Red Lasoda, andYukon Gold. As with most vegetables, the garden location should be well- drained, and have lots of sunshine. An important point: potatoes love loose soil. The looser the better. Make sure you mix in generous amounts of compost, sand, leaf mold and hay into the soil. Plant your potato pieces 1 foot apart into a furrow 10 to 12 inches deep. Cover with 3 inches of soil. When the new shoots reach the height of 6 to 8 inches, pull more soil around them. This will encourage more tubers. Also, as they begin to grow, add plenty of loose mulch to help conserve moisture and keep the growing tubers cooler. In May, when the plants begin to wilt and fade, it's time to harvest your treasures. Unearth your new potatoes with great care, as damaged potatoes do not store well. If your soil is loose enough, you should be able to do this byhand. This is where the fun begins! I guess it kind of reminds me of an Easter egg hunt. The great joy of sifting through the soil and discovering hidden potatoes.., is what gardening is all about. Happy gardening everyone! If you have a horticultural question, send it to me via emaih iathyme@yahoo. com. (Please put 'Ask Chris Winslow' in the subject line.) Or mail your letter or postcard to:Ask Chris Winslow. It's About Thyme: 11726 Manchaca Road, Austin, TX 78748. PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III Pierre Blanchard of Kyle is asking for anyone that has seen his two dogs that were abducted from his home to come forward with any information. His dogs King and Lana helped Blanchard control his Type-1 diabetes. BY MOSES LEOS III A simple theft of two dogs in Kyle might not be unusual for some people. But the theft from a local caterer ofhis two trained dogs has left him without his lifeline, causing him to be hospitalized several times since they were stolen last month. Pierre Blanchard said his two dogs, King and Lana were more than just family pets. They were instead his lifelines, as the dogs warned Blanchard, who suffers fromType-1 diabetes, of his fluctuating blood sugar due to his disease. "I just want my dogs back. They're my babies and they're my children. They are my heart and my everything," Blanchard said. "I never knew I'd love them this much until this happened." Blanchard knew how special his King first dog was soon after he brought him home from the San Marcos Animal Shelter on May 6. Blanchard noticed that King, his American Staffordshire terrier, used his senses to know something was amiss with his owner. "He used his nose to smell something. I checked my blood sugar, and it was 300 [milligrams/ Lana deciliter (mg/dL)]. I was like, 'he knows,'" Blanchard said. There were other traits that Blanchard noticed that led him to believe King could sense when his blood sugar was too low or too high. Blanchard said when his blood MISSING DOGS, 4C BY MOSES LEOS III Roughly a decade after moving back to downtown Kyle, the Kyle Train Depot Museum is chugging toward its grand reopening in February. Kyle Train Depot Board presi- dent Kate Johnson hopes the fa- cility, which will have a soft open- Ing on Jan. 23, can help residents ga!n insight on the city's past. I think it will be interesting for people to see their beautiful depot restored," Johnson said. "It will be fun. They'll get to know the people, they'll get to know about their history." According to Johnson, the depot is undergoing "finishing touches" as it rolls toward its projected opening. She said those touches involve "dressing out the waiting rooms," beautifying the bathrooms and other small projects. In addition, she said some items, such as cotton bales, are being added to recreate the authenticity of the era the depot was open. Restoring the depot was a proj- ect that was first conceptualized when it moved back to downtown Kyle in 2003. To date, the Kyle Train Depot PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III A bell with its original paint scheme is fastened to the outside of the Kyle Train Depot, which currently sits in downtown Kyle. With a soft opening scheduled for Jan. 23, the Kyle Train Depot Board aims to open the museum and visitors' center in February. has collected more than $1 mil- lion to go toward restoring the depot. Johnson said the majority of that came from foundations and individual companies that contributed to the depot. In 2015, the city of Kyle ap- proved a $343,000 contract with SpawGlass Contractors to complete the third phase of the restoration project. The third phased involved KYLE DEPOT, 2C I Check It Out by Melinda Hodges "appy New Year! Have you ever .wondered what the most popular items at the Buda Public Library were last year? Never saw these books because they've been checked out all year? Start the New Year offright with some of last year's favorites! Here are the top fiction books and audio books for teens and adults (based on checkouts) of the Buda Public Library for all of 2015. CHECK IT OUT, 2C rI le This Week in Texas History by Ba~ee Halle The search for George Sessions Perry, missing from his riverside home in Connecticut, entered its second month on Jan. 13, 1957 with no sign of the famous writer. The future novelist and magazine contributor was born and raised in the Central Texas town of Rockdale. His father, owner of two drug stores, and artistic mother doted on their only child gladly granting his every wish. Even though the Perrys did not live directly off the land, the sensitive boy empathized with the sharecroppers and tenant farmers of Milam County. Two of his early unpub- lished novels were scath- ing indictments of the rural poverty witnessed in his youth. The head of the house- hold died of Bright's dis- ease, which destroys the kidneys, in 1921, when Perry was 11 years old. His emotionally fragile mother quickly married again but took her own life in 1923. According to a child- hood friend, Perry felt responsible for the tragic death of his beloved mother. "First, because his failure to give her the affection she needed caused her to remarry, and then because he did not kill the husband who had made her so un- happy." The orphan rebelled against his domineer- ing and ill-tempered grandmother and an uncle, who doled out the income from his inheritance. In response TEXAS HISTORY, 2C +