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Northwest Salmon



Main Street green space

addition is worth the work

by John Suhr

A lot of people saw me digging a big hole Sept. 19 outside of our office and wondered what I was doing.

For some I joked that LeAnn said she’d buried some money out there someplace and I was determined to find it. To others I said I was digging up fill for the hole out back of the office and that I was tired of driving our vehicle over that.

Once I’d dug the deep hole, it was time to bring in every bag of black dirt I could find in town.

After that, it was to the trailer and the real reason I was digging and filling the hole with black dirt. It was time to bring some green space back to Main Street.

Out of the trailer, I hauled out a tree.

While it has a lot of growing to do, I hope it does what I intended – greening up our downtown area.

They have the same kind of trees up by Christensen Ambulance and I hope I am around the area long enough to see them all grow. And hopefully others may catch onto the same idea.

By no means was it easy, especially starting out with no idea of what to do and where to go. That took some extra time, but – like anything worth doing – a little extra time and energy pays off in the long run.

So for the people who might remember the trees that shaded our boulevards 20 some years ago and the changes that have occurred with our Main Street expansion, there might be a little chance to get some of that back.

Next on the agenda are some of the other projects that came out of the Design:SD project Webster was involved in last year.

So keep watching and over the next couple of years there may be some additional changes occurring at the Reporter & Farmer... and hopefully at some other Main Street businesses as well.



Good seed, good soil, good luck

goes into growing giant pumpkins

by Amanda Fanger

With Pumpkin Fest coming up this weekend, a conversation was generated at the office about the giant pumpkins that make an annual appearance at the event.

Thinking of my first foray into gardening when I was young, I remembered pumpkins had been planted. Other than the fact that the pumpkins were smallish despite my hoping for a big ‘un, that’s about all I remember from that experience.

So, I decided to turn to the ever-helpful worldwide web of collective human knowledge to discover just what went into growing a half-ton pumpkin. I discovered some very interesting facts from an article written by grower Don Langevin.

While Langevin says there are as many different methods as there are growers of car-size pumpkins, he says there are three things that are standard for all growers: good seeds, good soil and good luck.

In his 10-step how-to article, Langevin says there are specific pumpkin varieties which grow larger than your average pumpkin. However, growing a giant takes more preparation than just dropping a seed in the ground in the spring and waiting for it to sprout. In fact, proper preparation begins about now.

Ensuring the pH levels are correct in the fall and planting a cover crop are important steps Langevin states. The actual planting of the seed takes place four weeks before the last spring frost date, indoors. Soil temperature needs to be kept at 85-90 degrees. Transplanting the seedlings at the appropriate time can be a delicate process, from what I gather as pumpkins can be set back during this process and once they’re outside, some sort of protection should be placed around them, like a “mini greenhouse,” for six weeks to shield them from wind and frost.

For competitive growing, it is suggested to hand pollinate the flowers, which encourages pumpkins to set early. This is important because later on, giant pumpkins can gain as much as 25 pounds a day – at the local weigh-off, being set back 10 days would be devastating to a competitor.

There are details outlined in Langevin’s article about repositioning set pumpkins and selecting the most promising one as well as tips for properly pruning the vines. He suggests using fertilizer with care because overfertilizing can cause the fruits to literally tear themselves from the vine and explode.

The final step, Langevin says is to measure the pumpkin weekly, noting that circumference gains can average four to six inches in a 24-hour period.

It seems each year the world’s record for largest pumpkin is broken – in 2014, the heaviest yet to weigh in came in at 2,096 pounds.

As you can imagine, in my mind, I’m wondering if there is enough room in my yard to attempt this growing feat.

If I’m going to do this, I guess I’d better get started now.




I am the most athletic person

in Day County, according to me

by Emre K. Erku

When you think of long distance running, names like Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, who can run 5,000 meters in less than 13 minutes, and Tirunesh Dibaba, 14:11.15, come to mind. Or, when you think of sprinting, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, who set the world record for the 100 meter dash in 9.58 seconds, and America’s Michael Johnson, who polishes his 400 meter world record of 43.18, also come to mind.

Now, the tide has turned in the world of golden shoes and high altitude training, for a new up-and-coming star is about to surpass the top tier of runners like a geyser shooting from the earth’s core. This supposed man of pure lean muscle and unrelenting stamina is no Olympian, nor is he your average athlete breaking sweat and drinking raw eggs six times a day. No, this man is of the people; a spare tire, beer-skinned brute who sometimes sweats profusely given the amount of spicy buffalo wings tapering down his throat while sauce drips from his square jaw. Of course, I’m alluding to yours truly.

Here’s why:

A touch of nippily cold chilled the spines of nine of the area’s fastest long distance runners on the morning of Sept. 26. As the sun shined, the scores of people in the crowds along Webster’s Main Street, raucously besotted due to three hours of tailgating prior to the biggest race in county history, were completely unaware that they’d encounter such a display of Cinderella greatness. This supposed man of pure lean muscle and unrelenting stamina took his mark with zen like presence, as if he was a Buddhist about to sprint around Indonesia’s Borobudur Temple 17 consecutive times. Once the six-shooter shot into the clear air, he immediately took the lead of male participants between the ages of 20-29.

Three point two miles, he thought in midstride. Remain determined, dedicated and disciplined, and all good things will come. Rounding the corners of the city’s easterly streets, driveway loungers, panel painters and Saturday morning flower waterers had their heads spun by the whizzing bullet that is this columnist. Nobody knew this .22 hollow point was capable of such sheer velocity. His speed could only be measured by the sharpest of eyes.

Sprinting hard at the last stretch, he crossed the finish line as this terrible hallucination of glory dissolved like the many others in his nonexistent trophy room.

At a time of 36 minutes and one second, Mr. Erku finished his first 5K at the head of his division. There were no other male contestants in the 20-29 age group...

Dare you deny it? I’m on my way to the top.

“Ray, The Greatest Athlete in Day County”

Fiksdal Funeral Home

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