Macon County Chronicle

Opinions and Blogs


Dandelions are one of the first flowers we see blooming on the farm in the springtime, and we’re still finding bright yellow blossoms in late December. Early April is when masses cover the lawn, and that’s when we harvest them.
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The Year that was 2009

TEA Sells Out Tennessee Teachers

The headlines in a recent issue of the Tennessean read: “Teachers, Governor Make Deal.” No, No, No, the TEA and the Governor made a deal to tie state test scores to the tenure law. It was all done in the name of “Race To the Top,” that is, hoping to get some free money from the money tree in Washington.

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Singing the Praises of Kale

It’s time for me, once again, to sing the praises of kale.  My favorite way to cook it is lightly sautéed with garlic.  I get some olive oil warm in a skillet and add sliced garlic.  Freshly washed kale gets chopped horizontally and fills up the pan.  A few flips with the spatula, a pinch of salt and a dollop of butter, and in a few minutes it is perfect.

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Charting the Straight Course

I think most of us would agree that we are more knowledgeable today than at any period in history, but this is not by any means an indication that we are wiser. If we took a poll, we would discover that there is a current belief that somehow the great knowledge of our times creates for us a world that does not need the wisdom of God. Humanism has led us to believe that we have the answers in our own wisdom.
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Expensive vs. Cheap Storage Methods

One of my grade school textbooks on farming from a hundred years ago shows two pictures; the expensive way to store machinery and the cheap way. The row of equipment left out in the weather leaked uncomfortably like mine, and the shed was just what I wanted to build. Cheap is not, not building a shed, in the long run. It was high time to quit the expensive storage method.

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The Killing of a Small Town

I have always believed and I continue to believe that the best place to live is in a small town. But it is always sad when a rural community, possessed of integrity and wisdom, gives away to apathy, dishonestly, and plain redneck foolishness. Upon graduation from college, I believed that the best place for me to move to was my native home of Red Boiling Springs, and I’ve not been sorry, but unwise and greedy people have made many of us wishing we could return to the good ole days when morality and common sense ruled and fleecing the town of its tax dollars was a no no.

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Find me in the Garden, Not the Classroom

A recent Letter to the Editor suggested a gardening class at the local school, and maybe me as the teacher. As I entertain this idea, a variety of thoughts pass through my consciousness. Although it’s inevitable that in the future, growing food will be taught again, I am not predicting a personal career change anytime soon.

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In Defense of the Chimpanzees

Being an animal lover, I resent any homo sapien, whether a city councilman in Red Boiling Springs, or in Elm City, W.S.A., who unleashes a verbal attack against the highly intelligent chimpanzee. I submit that the chimpanzee may indeed be superior to some elected officials in their behavior.

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Glen Leven Farm

Glen Leven farm is located just south of Woodmont Avenue on Franklin Road. A 65 acre farm there seems out of place, with cars whizzing by in the front and I-65 bordering the back of the property. It was a revolutionary war period land grant that remained in the family, and is grandfathered in as a farm because they kept cattle.

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Senior Citizens, Cry Out!

When the liberal Governor of Kentucky issued his edict forbidding the calling of the traditional Christmas tree by its name, but instead referring to it as a holiday tree, Kentuckians cried out in protest. The cries grew louder and more numerous in opposition to the Governor’s doofus policy, forcing him to recant. He got his Christmas present early-egg on his face.

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Love, Earth & Potatoes

Earth rocks my world. Listening to the music of my hyphae, I decompose the farmer’s song and dance routine. 75 tons of beautiful compost gave an acre of sod a shiny black coat. At less than two miles per hour, I slip the plow in and gently flip her over. Not too deep but thoroughly penetrating, so nothing is left unturned, we kiss the grass and clover goodbye and prepare for potatoes, those apples of the earth.
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The Demise of A Small Town

There is no greater place to live in America than in a small town. But the ravages of time and the fickleness of humanity have worked changes in small towns which have left many of them struggling for survival. In fact, some towns are in the intensive unit, just waiting for the final deathblow. Others are already dead, having died from multiple causes.
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When do we plant garlic?

When do we plant garlic? That is a good question. September is when I like to get it in the ground, and one of my best garlic crops was planted in late August. But other jobs often push planting up until October. This year’s crop just got into the field on Nov. 8th. You can plant garlic anytime in the fall.
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Senior Citizens, Let's Take A Stand

Who would ever have thought that the Washington politicians would single out the largest and consistent voting block in this country to rob them of their meager retirement, but plans for this legal thievery is in the making and unless those of us who are senior citizens rise up and voice our opposition, then the planned takeover of what rightly belongs to the senior population will become a reality.
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Shittake Mushrooms

Shiitakes are a tasty, easy to grow, mushroom originally from the well-tended forests of Japan. They grow on hardwood logs, making them a great crop for farms with woodlands. As the garden chores wind down, we find other jobs to do, and this week is mushroom time.
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The Massacre at Fort Hood

Neither tongue nor pen can express the sadness in my heart for the victims and families that died at Fort Hood at the hands of a radical Muslim. Try as hard as they may, the liberal media cannot divorce radical Islam from Hasan, and the influence it wielded upon him as he called upon the name of Allah and then killed thirteen innocent soldiers in cold blood. No, he was not stressed out, he was psyched out by Allah, which drove him to murder American soldiers, who were going to war against his Muslim brethren. He was as much a terrorist as he pulled the triggers of the two pistols he used to slaughter those good Americans as the Muslims who high-jacked planes on 9/11 and flew them into the World Trade Centers and into the Pentagon killing over three thousand Americans.

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Supply vs. Demand

After We've grown a crop, how do we know what to charge for it? The laws of supply and demand can hurt or hinder us. Many a farmer has lost money because of bumper crops and the consequently lower prices. Community supported agriculture seeks to remedy this ironic situation.
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Sex Offenders - Protecting Our Children

She was only 7-years-old, a beautiful little girl walking home from school, when she was abducted, raped and killed by a wicked maniac, who then threw her precious little body on a landfill. Somer Thompson was laid to rest on Tuesday, in Orange Park, Florida. The cold-blooded murderer has not been apprehended, but the authorities will get him, and I hope he gets what he deserves-death.
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America's Debt - Reckless Government Spending to Blame

America’s total national debt is more than the total national debt incurred during the first 200 years of the Republic. We owe more than $4,700 for every man, woman and child in the United States. September normally records a surplus, but recent treasury figures shows that the government spent $46.6 billion more than it took in and that increased the shortfall ending September 30th to $1.42 trillion.
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Fall Greens Aglow

A freshly fallen, first fall frost fatally froze foliage. Every leaf of the tender annuals is now history, returning back into Mother Earth. A walk through the garden clearly delineates which is hardy and who is not.  Although the peppers, beans, and basil are laid low, the fall greens simply glow. 
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