We can hardly think of any way, imaginable, to better start off the New Year than getting a good rain. Here we are already a bit past Ground Hog day & find most of the ponds filled, most creeks running, and the Rivers in pretty good shape. Most of the Ranchers are still supplementing livestock, but a lot of the pastures & fields are in pretty good shape with showing some green forage. The steer boys are still rotating their stockers in & out, even with the strong stockers prices at present. The wheat patches are gaining some ground with the intermittent warm days we’ve been getting, while some of the producers have been experiencing some bloat problems, as well. All in all, it looks like we are in pretty good shape, at present, and the cattle prices are good news for the sellers. The home garden scene is showing some activity with the warm, sunny afternoons stirring a good bit of interest. Some folks have already put out some onion sets & I think Ted Red has harvested some Turnip greens. We hear that a lot of gardeners have ordered some seeds for spring planting while others, like myself, might still need to get the tiller going. We’ve still got some cold weather ahead of us which would entail some selectivity of varieties to plant at present in the vegetable garden. Cold crops, (Cabbage, Collards, Kale, Onion sets, Spinach, etc.) will do fine now, but this also gives us time to plan on what to plant for the spring & summer.You still have plenty of time to order seeds for summer gardening, paying plenty attention to the certain varieties that are recommended for our area.The County Extension Office should be able to provide you with a list of recommended varieties that are suitable for the Hill Country. It might also be advisable for one to consider planting several different varieties of tomatoes as some seem to do better than others under the different conditions we have in Texas each year. I’ll probably list some of the varieties that we like in future editions. Besides the County Agent’s office, one can also consult with local garden centers and the feed stores that supply flower & garden seeds. If you might be an avid gardener, I would offer that you consider joining the Master Gardener program sponsored by the County Extension Office. They have some exceptional programs with some expert advice.There is still plenty of time to plant trees & shrubs in thelandscape or orchard. There again, it would be wise to do some planning for planting, paying close attention to what species are adapted to our area, as well as ones that show some insect & disease resistance. It is also a good idea to do some planning as to where you want to plant them in respect to distance from other trees & shrubs, walls, buildings, and over-head obstructions. Consider the height of the tree or shrub at maturity, too. I will also devote some time to some of the kinds that I like for our area later on.Looks like the pecan season is about winding down around our Fair Valley and we can say that we have really had a very unique season. What pecans we did have brought a very nice price this past season. If you have bought some fancy halves at any of our local retail outlets, I probably don’t have to remind you of the price. They are still very much worth the price as well as being very healthy addition to our diet. Pecans are definitely an important boon to our local economy. That being as is, it would suffice to say that the Mayor and yrs. truly will keep up our part somewhere out around——————Harkeyville!!!!!!!!!!