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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
January 20, 2010     Hays Free Press
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January 20, 2010

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Hays Free Press January 20, 2010 NEIGHBORS Page 3C A good time to grow asparagus ne very important .vegetable to consider for your garden this year is asparagus. It has a deli- cious flavor when served with melted butter, is very good for your health and will be pro- ductive for 15 years or more. Garden asparagus, named from the Greek word aspara- gos meaning sprout or shoot, has been cultivated since ancient times. The world's oldest surviving recipe book (from the third century) even refers to it. This culinary vegetable is a genus in the lily family. It grows a lateral primary root and then sends its shoots above ground when the weather warms up in the spring. Establishing an asparagus row in your garden is fairly easy. Since it takes two to three years to mature from seed to edible size, you can save a lot of time by planting 'crowns' that are already two years old. (These are available in local nurseries and garden centers.) Locate your plants in a well-drained, sunny spot. Since they are perennials, IT'S ABOUT usually a sunny location along a fence line or along an edge of the garden is best. This way they can be left alone when you dig up your vegetable patch between seasons. The asparagus row itself should be tilled or plowed to a depth of 12 inches.You should blend adequate or- ganic matter, such as compost and fertilizer, with the garden soil. Fortunately, asparagus thrives in our alkaline soil. Make a deep trench one foot deep down the middle of the row and plant the aspara- gus crowns at 12 to 18 inch intervals, spreading the side roots out along the trench. Cover the crowns with two to three inches of soil. Firm around the roots and water in. As the first season progress- es, add soil to the trench until it is full by fall. With the asparagus crowns as deep as 12 inches, the surface of the bed can be cultivated and lightly tilled to control weeds without hurt- ing the crowns. The shoots grow to a height of two to four feet. They then open into feathery foliage which has small greenish- white flowers. The spears are usually harvested in the spring at a height of four to six inches. As harvesting continues, the spears will become more thin and wispy. When they become smaller than the diameter of a pencil, harvesting should stop. This will enable the shoots to grow into feathery branches that will supply renewed energy to the roots. In the fall, after the first frost has browned the foliage, the stems should be cut back to ground level. You should then heap generous amounts of organic fertilizer upon the asparagus row or bed. The rains of win- ter will carry the fertilizer to the roots which will grow and produce edible sized "spears" in the spring. Rule of thumb: a 100 foot row will adequately feed a family of 5. After harvest, asparagus is usually boiled or steamed until tender. Traditionally the spears are served with a sauce like hollandaise, or served with melted butter and drizzled with parmesan cheese. This vegetable is rich in folic acid. This helps make the blood healthy and strength- ens the liver. It is low in so- dium and calories, has no fat or cholesterol, and is a great source of potassium and fiber. The only disease associated with asparagus plants is rest. By planting disease resistant varieties, this should not be a problem. Two varieties to look for are U.C.72 and U.C.157. Both of these will produce early, and are prolific. Happy gardening everyone! If you have a gardening question, send it to me via emaih (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 Exotic Art of v DANC ALSO OFFERING: WESTERN UNION MONEY ORDERS " BILL PAY OTHER TYPES OF CHECKS CASHED Speedy Check ........ i:, % i Long Orthodontics "Keeping Smiles Aligned for Over 20 Years" Texans finally cross the state in 1888 he Fort Worth and Denver City Railroad reached the New Mexico state line on ]an. 26, 1888 making it possible at long last for Texans to ride all the way across their vast state. The Lone Star Republic did not have a single mile of track, and Texans had to wait until the seventh year of statehood to catch their first train. In 1853 a short-haul line began carrying freight between Har- risburg and Richmond, but optimistic plans for expanded service were delayed indefi- nitely by the Civil War. As Texas stagnated thader Reconstruction rule, railroad building was going great guns in the rest of the country. The eagerly anticipated continerr- tal connection was completed in May 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah, when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific conquered the Rocky Moun- tains. The Lone Star State lagged far behind much to its eco- nomic detriment, and geo- graphic isolation stunted the growth of many communities. With a rapidly rising popula- tion of 818,000 in 1870, Texas was in dire need of a modem transportation system. A charter was issued in Au- gust 1872 to the California and Texas Construction Company to build a railroad west from Marshall. In two years, the outfit was supposed to have a hundred miles of track in operation and within the de- cade a ribbon of iron clear to the Pacific Ocean. Both goals exceeded the limited resourc- es of the modest venture, but the attempt at least signaled the start of the gigantic task of tying Texas together. The Panic of 1873 and the depression that followed strangled the Califomia and Texas and similar enterprises. Serious work did not resume until 1876. The notable exception dur- ing this lull was the 1874 con- nection of Dallas, the state's fifth largest city, with St. Louis courtesy of the Texas and Pacific. Fort Worth residents grimaced at the profitable honor bestowed upon their rivals but took comfort in the T&P pledge that their town would be next. When the railway reneged on its promise, an exodus of disappointed citizens threat- ened to turn Cow Town into a dusty cadaver. However, two years of extraordinary effort, which included everything from badgering state legisla- tors to laying track for free, finally brought the iron horse. The inaugural locomotive was welcomed on Jut. 19, 1876 by a deliriously happy crowd that cheered the rescue of their town. The coming of the train was surpassed only by remaining the westernmost railhead, a lucrative distinction Fort Worth enjoyed for four years. During this boom, the popu- lation zoomed from less than 500 to 6,600. Construction crews went back to work in 1881, and a new railroad, the Fort Worth and Denver City, crept northwest toward the recently settled Panhandle. At each stop along the way, jubilant throngs celebrated their liberation. By May 1, 1882, fresh track covered the 40 miles to Decatur, seat of Wise County, and an obviously impressed eyewitness recorded the grand occasion. "Brawney men of woods and pastures closed in and vented their feelings by emitting a wild Comanche whoop. Then they clasped.the hands of the trainmen and visiting officials. Of all days in Wise County before or since, this was the prodigeous day." That same spring, the Texas legislature nullified all land grants to the railroads. In their zeal to usher in the steam age, generous politicians had parceled out 40 million acres - a fifth of the state! The inevitable backlash against this giveaway hit the lawmak- ers full force in 1882. As the furor mounted in Austin, the Fort Worth and Denver City realized the clock was ticking and frantically pressed on toward Wichita Falls. In July 1882, the tiny vil- lage became the line's western terminus, an enviable posi- tion it held for nearly three years until a political thaw revived construction. After 20 months on non- stop labor, the FW&DC en- tered Vernon in October 1886 and brand-new Quanah four months later. Without miss- ing a beat, the crews pushed on across the Panhandle and straight into a civic squabble in Childress County. Separated by just four miles, Childress City and Henry fought over the route and the right to the county seat. The argument was set- tied when the railroad ran its tracks past Henry. Losers and winners wound up neighbors after Henry changed its name to Childress and the practical inhabitants of Childress City relocated en masse. After crossing the New Mexico boundary in January I . "--"lli J,l rlY, lll!| i Aut' hme and im00t ] life insurance... Auto Home. Life Rob White, Agent Let's Compare (512) 504-9484 Rates and Service. 5500 FM 2770, 5te. 101 Kyle, TX 78640 rwhite@txfb-ins'cm 1888, the FW&DC. raced to meet its sister line out of Den- ver, Colorado. In the hills of northeastern New Mexico on Mar. 13, 1888, FortWorth and Denver were united by 808 miles of steel and spikes. By 1926, a hectic half cen- tury after its standing start, Texas proudly boasted 16,000 miles of track, the most rail mileage of any state in the Union. No longer cut off from each other or the rest of the nation, Texans were ready to tackle the challenges of the twentieth century. "Secession & Civil War" latest "Best of This Week in Texas History" collection available for $10.95 plus $3.25 postage and handling from Bartee Halle, P.O. Box 152, Friendswood, TX 77549 or order on-line at Texas Crossword and Sudoku sponsored by Texas Lehigh Cement Co., LLC 3421 W. William Cannon Dr., Ste. 143 * Austin, Texas 78745 II Corner of Win. Cannon & Brodie II * (512) 892-5511 II New Buda/Kyle location coming Summer 2010! 11 f I 00ud0ku I I idK l | Ni n i . 1 See Solution, pg. 4C _ t ,= i 18 2:!3 ACROSS 42 1 Austin May event: "Flora " 43 5 TXism: "he's _ hombre" (mean) 44 6 TX George Jones tune: "She Still 45 Thinks I " 7 Brenham FM station 46 8 Fort Worth Spanish 47 newspaper (2 wds.) 17 TX "Eagles" Henley 18 TX-born Lucas Till '09 slasher film (3 wds.) 21 .__ Vernon, TX (abbr.) 22 pita bread spiced meat sandwich 23 TXism: "the bigger 48 they are, the they fall" 24 in Houston: "Reliant 50 Plaza" 29 Saturn cars ('03-'07) 51 30 small bunch of 52 flowers 53 31 " "FergusOn was 29th & 32nd gov. 32 TX "Oh, Pretty Woman" singer t 34 Cat Spring, TX got its name when a 2 resident killed a 3 35 -tac-toe 4 36 TXism: "high tailed it" 37 minute opening in the skin 38 James Dean was this 9 dett in TX epic =Giant" 39 milieu for TX Cornyn 10 & Hutchison (2 wds.) 11 41 "Don't Let Your Babies Grow 12 Up to be Cowboys" Reagan's "Star Wars" program (abbr.) TX football coach: "Bum" Phillips TX Mary Martin played " Pan" on TV Ranger broadcaster Eric (init.) 37th U.S. pres. (init.) this Leo had a small part in "Footloose" with TX Lori Singer 26 alcohol in drinks 39 or car fuel TXism: "no ................. no gain" "New Year's __" take-home pay TX Skye McCole Bartusiak film: "Don't  a Word" DOWN TXism for "thought 5  6  g .......... ] .............................. t 28 43 13 "dori't try this _ 14 TXism: "got as much to hard" (3 wds.) hibernating bear" voting paper (2 wds.) 15 TX Swayze was" Stanton's county '24 slogan: *Me for Ma - And I Ain't Got _ __ Thing Against Pa" Errol of '45 film "San Antonio" paddles with 28-down, a border river UT's" Anderson Cancer Center" Main" in "North and South" miniseries . 16 River 19 small discussion class at a TX university 20 train rails 22 TXism: "what's the goose is..." 24 TXIsm: "let ' rip!" 25 " off" (fall asleep) 26 UT song: "The of Texas" " - TEXAS ........ I 00CROSSWORD by Charley & Guy Orbison Copyright 2010 by Orbison Bros P.942 27 another film of 53-across actress: "Against the 28 see 11-down 29 TX Tanya's "Can _ You Tonight" 30 cat sound of contentment 33 " Tech" has 8 campuses in TX 34 Beverly Hillbillies' "cement pond" 35 TXism: "old- (elderly man) 37 writing instruments: ball- 38 honey badger 40 horse that can't walk right 41 TXism: "suits a fare-thee-well' 44 TX-bom Robin Wright hubby Sean 47 cheerfulness 49 TXism: "does a cat _ climbing gear?" (yes) See Solution, pg. 4C