Right-Of-Way Clearing Continues.
Jackson County REMC’s
YOUR OWN WAY The Fun of Food Gardening
from the editor
Buying from baggage Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. And finding unusual things to buy from unusual places is especially enticing to a shopaholic like me. That’s why I was so excited to learn about the Unclaimed Baggage Store which, just like its no-nonsense name suggests, sells all kinds of items that were lost in transit or never made the trip back to their original owners. This store not only exists as a brick-and-mortar shopping mecca in Alabama but as an online presence at www.unclaimedbaggage.com. Over the last 50 years, the Unclaimed Baggage Store has uncovered an array of unusual finds including a bear pelt packed in salt, a camera from a space shuttle, an Egyptian burial mask, a live rattlesnake and a shrunken head. Sadly, those curiosities are no longer available. However, the loot that I recently found online included some unusual items that have me wondering why stuff like this was being transported in someone’s luggage in the first place. • A steering wheel (which is being sold for just $29.99) • An adult size Sleeping Beauty-style dress • A 12-pack of toilet paper rolls (I guess you can never be too prepared.) • A Hoover vacuum • A wedding cake topper • Pre-owned (but, hopefully, not pre-worn) chicken diapers (not chickenpatterned but for chickens!) If you, like me, enjoy the thrill of the hunt or if you’re looking for an out-of-the-ordinary gift for that hardto-buy-for person in your life — and you don’t have a problem with pre-owned stuff — you might want to check out the Unclaimed Baggage Store. But beware of any future shrunken heads or rattlesnakes!
EMILY SCHILLING Editor email@example.com
On the menu: June issue: Berries, deadline April 1. July issue: Beans, deadline April 1. If we publish your recipe on our food pages, we’ll send you a $10 gift card.
Giveaway: Did you know the pork tenderloin sandwich originated in Huntington, Indiana? Enter to win a $50 gift certificate from Nick’s Kitchen, birthplace of this Hoosier delicacy. Visit indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/contests. Entry deadline for giveaway: March 31.
Three ways to contact us: To send us recipes, photos, event listings, letters
and entries for gift drawings, please use the forms on our website indianaconnection.org; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or send to Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606.
VOLUME 70 • NUMBER 9 ISSN 0745-4651 • USPS 262-340 Published monthly by Indiana Electric Cooperatives Indiana Connection is for and about members of Indiana’s locally-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives. It helps consumers use electricity safely and efficiently; understand energy issues; connect with their co-op; and celebrate life in Indiana. Over 304,000 residents and businesses receive the magazine as part of their electric co-op membership. CONTACT US: 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600 Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606 317-487-2220 email@example.com IndianaConnection.org INDIANA ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES OFFICERS: Walter Hunter President Randy Kleaving Vice President Steve McMichael Secretary/Treasurer John Gasstrom CEO EDITORIAL STAFF: Emily Schilling Editor Richard George Biever Senior Editor Holly Huffman Communication Support Specialist Ellie Schuler Senior Creative Services Specialist Taylor Maranion Creative Services Specialist Stacey Holton Creative Services Manager Mandy Barth Vice President of Communication ADVERTISING: American MainStreet Publications Cheryl Solomon, local ad representative; 512-441-5200; amp.coop Crosshair Media 502-216-8537; crosshairmedia.net Paid advertisements are not endorsements by any electric cooperative or this publication. UNSOLICITED MATERIAL: Indiana Connection does not use unsolicited freelance manuscripts or photographs and assumes no responsibility for the safe‑keeping or return of unsolicited material. SUBSCRIPTIONS: $12 for individuals not subscribing through participating REMCs/RECs. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: If you receive Indiana Connection through your electric co-op membership, report address changes to your local co-op. POSTAGE: Periodicals postage paid at Indianapolis, Ind., and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240-4606. Include key number. No portion of Indiana Connection may be reproduced without permission of the editor.
03 FROM THE EDITOR
05 CO-OP NEWS Energy news and information from your electric cooperative.
14 COUNTY OF THE MONTH Spotlighting Huntington County.
09 DID YOU KNOW? What happens when a pole goes down.
FoxGardin specializes in
10 ENERGY A greener way to cut the grass.
16 INDIANA EATS food and ‘the experience.’ 17 FOOD Café — your way: Recipes featuring coffee.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Indiana Connection 4
19 COVER STORY Grow your own way: The fun of food gardening. 23 PROFILE Gardening columnist talks about her career and retirement. 24 DIY Setting up and organizing a home office.
25 SAFETY Saw safety: Tree trimming tips. 26 TRAVEL Wilstem Wildlife Park offers an array of activities. 28 H OOSIER ENERGY/ WABASH VALLEY NEWS 29 RECALLS 30 PETS Make sure your pet sees clearly.
On the cover Interested in growing your own vegetables? We asked Joe Lamp’l, host of the PBS series “Growing a Greener World,” to share his advice on how you can bring homegrown garden-fresh produce to your dinner table. Turn to page 19 to see what he said.
Jackson County REMC news
ADDRESS: 274 E. Base Road P.O. Box K Brownstown, IN 47220-0311
CONTACT US: PHONE NUMBERS Local calls: 812-358-4458 Toll-Free: 800-288-4458
RIGHT-OF-WAY CLEARING CONTINUES
OFFICE HOURS: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
BILL PAYMENT: Online: www.jacksonremc.com By phone: 1-888-999-8816
REPORT OUTAGES OR EMERGENCIES: 812-358-4458 (local) 1-800-288-4458 (toll-free) day or night
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: board President John Trinkle, District 3 Vice President Walter Hunter, District 2 Secretary-Treasurer Jerry Kelley, District 5 John Hackman, District 1 Paul Elliott, District 4 Mark Trisler, District 6 Curtis Wischmeier, District 7 Dave Hall, District 8 John Miller, District 9 President/CEO Mark McKinney
Providing you with safe, reliable and efficient electric service is among the goals of Jackson County REMC. One way we do this is by maintaining a clear path, or right-of-way easement, around power lines. Our maintenance program represents a significant investment, the cost of which we feel contributes toward the reliable electric service that meets your needs. Jackson County REMC’s right-of-way maintenance crew, along with crews from four professional contractors will be working in the scheduled areas throughout the coming year. When you see maintenance crews trimming or removing trees and shrubs near rights-of-way, remember that they are doing their part to keep your electric service reliable and cost effective. For conservation stewardship, Jackson County REMC strives to maintain power line rights-of-way that provide a natural habitat for wildlife and have as little effect on the landscape as possible. We do this by strategically removing only the branches and undergrowth that directly impact the lines. Once the trimming is complete,
we spray the undergrowth with an environmentally conscious herbicide that is not harmful to humans or animals. Members in the affected areas will be notified in advance of the work being done. Members and landowners with questions are encouraged to contact our operations department by phone at 800-2884458.
2021 Right-of-Way clearing areas The 2021 right-of-way program includes power lines served out of three substations. Those substations include: Leesville substation: This includes parts of Carr Township in Jackson County and Guthrie and Shawswick townships in Lawrence County. Shawswick substation: This includes parts of Owen and Salt Creek townships in Jackson County and Pleasant Run Township in Lawrence County. Pleasant Grove substation: This includes parts of Brownstown, Hamilton, Owen and Pershing townships in Jackson County.
Jackson County REMC news
WE ARE HERE TO HELP Ready to answer your solar energy questions Solar energy is a booming
systems. Unfortunately, in some
evolving technology so that we
technology that has advanced
cases, misinformation has been
can continue to serve as a resource
greatly in recent years. As a result,
distributed. Scammers posing as
for our members. If you would like
many people are considering
solar contractors have been taking
more information about our solar
installing systems at their homes to
advantage of people’s optimism in
field by I-65 between Columbus
save energy in an environmentally
this promising renewable energy
and Henryville or are considering
friendly way. Even though solar
installing your own system, please
panel systems are evolving into a more credible renewable generation resource, there are still many factors to consider when determining if it is right for you.
In southern Indiana, solar technology is still in an early phase which means some risk is involved. Although short-term significant savings is not likely currently, the
The push toward renewable energy
technology continues to trend in a
has solar contracting companies
popping up across the country and they are spending a lot of dollars promoting solar panel
Jackson County REMC is working hard to stay ahead of this rapidly
reach out to Brian Reynolds, energy advisor, for assistance. Our knowledge and expertise can help you discover if solar energy is right for you.
CONTACT BRIAN REYNOLDS ENERGY ADVISOR 812-358-1047
Jackson County REMC news
Jackson County REMC news
Apply for a scholarship RULES
• Official grade transcript.
• Applicant must reside in the
• Personal letter of reference.
home of a parent or legal guard-
Return application to the Jackson
ian who is a Jackson County
REMC member and receives
• Three scholarships will be
electric service from REMC.
awarded at $1,000 each.
Applications will be available
A scholarship committee will
at the high school guidance
be composed of employees of
counselor office, from the
Jackson County REMC.
• Applicant must be a high school senior who has been admitted to a two-year, four-year, or technical school in Indiana for the upcoming fall semester/ quarter. • Special consideration will be given to an applicant attending school to study careers in the field of business, information technology, engineering, communications, marketing, human resources, accounting or utility-related fields.
Jackson County REMC office, or online at JacksonREMC. com/scholarship. • Home schooled students, children of Jackson County REMC employees who are members, and directors’ children are also eligible.
APPLICATIONS WILL BE RETURNED TO: Jackson County REMC
ATTN: Scholarship Committee
• 300-500, word typewritten
274 East Base Road
essay will be required on the topic: Who powers you?
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION:
Brownstown, IN, 47220
County REMC office by April 16.
when a pole goes down 1
Assess the situation.
Secure the scene and call in a crew.
Obtain supplies and tools.
Utility poles remain the backbone of most electric distribution systems. After more than 80 years since electric cooperatives first set them throughout rural Indiana, they remain the most cost-effective way to safely support power lines, insulators, transformers and other electric hardware.
pole. This can come from the cooperative’s own monitoring system, sheriff’s department or consumers. Lineworkers will visit the pole and assess the damage. This may take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the location and if the notification comes outside of normal business hours.
Occasionally, either through a vehicle strike, lightning strike, ice storm, tornado, or simply age, a pole needs to be replaced. And while every electric cooperative has thousands of poles throughout its system, each pole replacement is different. It’s much more than just digging a hole and sliding a new pole in the ground. The work is done methodically and, even in the best scenarios and weather conditions, might take several hours.
Secure the scene and call in a crew. If the pole needs to be replaced, the lineworkers on the scene will first make sure the scene is safe. They’ll de-energize the line following established safety procedures. Next, they will call for a crew of three to four others to come with a bucket truck and a digger truck.
One of the most common reasons for a broken pole and an unexpected power outage is a vehicle strike. Here’s a step-by-step description of what typically goes into a pole replacement so that consumers on the “dark side” of the damaged pole can better understand why the power outage affecting them might be taking longer than they would think. Assess the situation. The cooperative is notified of a broken
Obtain supplies and tools. The original responding lineworkers will work on what can be done until the additional crews arrive with a new pole and replacement equipment. Depending on the weather and the proximity of the broken pole to the replacement pole and equipment, this may take 1-2 hours. Replace the damaged pole. When all crew members are present, they begin setting a new pole and will work to safely restore power to consumers as quickly as possible.
Replace the damaged pole.
This includes removing equipment from the broken pole and attaching the necessary equipment to the new pole. Depending on the location, the equipment needed on each pole will vary. Poles are generally buried around 6 feet in the ground. The buried part of the broken pole is usually pulled out with the hydraulic lift on a truck. Sometimes it’s necessary to dig a new hole. Dirt is backfilled and tamped down with hydraulic equipment. The power lines are then lifted back into place and mounted on the new insulators. Once all is back in place, the protective gear is removed and an all-clear is given, the power is turned back on. Sometimes it’s possible during the pole replacement process to redirect power to those affected by the outage. It is the goal of the electric cooperative to safely retore power to as many consumers as quickly as possible. The average pole replacement could take up to 3-4 hours under favorable conditions with no mitigating circumstances – or longer if unforeseen circumstances slow the crew down.
A G R EE N ER WAY TO CUT THE GRASS
New technologies in electric lawn equipment
TE CH TI P : How brushless motors improve efficiency Brushless motors reduce noise and heat because there is no friction between the rotor and stator as found in brushed motors. These factors improve efficiency resulting in longer battery life.
As spring sprouts into
You can find
action, so does lawn
finding ways to help
care season. If you are
you switch to all electric
looking for new gear
and the benefits are
to use around your
diverse. For example,
home, consider electric
an all-electric riding
powered equipment –
mower is not only great
for the environment, it
might surprise you.
keeps your maintenance
variable speed control.
budget to a minimum
You won’t have to mix
with no belts, spark
fuel, deal with leaks or
plugs, filters or gas to
worry if they will restart
after it gets hot. Run out
Electric lawn equipment has seen big improvements in recent years leading to improved batteries,
Do a little math and you
energy efficient motors
will find that in a few
years, that mower might
be the better option.
are combining all of these aspects to offer impressive equipment. How about an allelectric riding mower with a 38-inch deck that will mow 2.5 acres per charge? Yeah, that is a real thing!
of juice? Plug in a new battery and go. Look for
be charged quickly.
and push mowers: All battery powered and no cords to lug around.
backup battery charged in your truck as you zip along that fence line instead of a can of gas.
as they will provide the power you need and can
Hedge trimmers, blowers
is that you will keep a
lawn care equipment electric options too.
transition, the difference
manufacturers that use
All of the other common can be found with all-
Once you make the
The way to maximize hand-held electric equipment is to buy from a single brand. That way the batteries will be interchangeable.
Director of Member Services and Corporate Relations Whitewater Valley REMC
CALENDAR CONTEST ARTWORK DUE THIS MONTH
Entries for the Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest are due in the Indianapolis office of Indiana Connection on March 19. First place winners in grade
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
PHO TO BY M ARTY L. JO NES
divisions kindergarten through grade 12 will each receive $200. Their winning artworks will illustrate the 2022 Cooperative
Ways we may inadvertently be endangering birds
Calendar of Student Art cover
Thank you for the article in January Indiana Connection about endangered birds.
One “artist of the year” will also
and the 12 months of the year. be selected and will earn an
The article spoke about how owls help control rodents. One important note about this is that if homeowners and farmers use poison pesticides to control mice and rats, they are endangering owls and hawks that prey on them since eating a dead rodent killed by poison will also kill the bird.
additional $100. In addition,
Additionally, hunters who use lead ammunition and fisherman who use lead sinkers may also be poisoning wildlife. Lead poisoning is a major issue for our beautiful eagles which are making a comeback to Indiana.
They will receive $75 each.
Roberta Siegmann, Sellersburg, Indiana
students. They must be in grades
the judges will select honorable mention winners whose artwork will also appear in the calendar. The contest is open to Indiana public, private or home-schooled kindergarten through 12th grade
Cover photo shows ‘true happiness’
Appreciates articles which promote saving wildlife
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the “For the Birds” article in the January issue. The photo of Cheryl Siekman smiling while holding the smudge was adorable. It is what caught my eye. She looks so happy. I love that you even mentioned “she gushed with joy ... behind the face mask.” Thank you for bringing a little happiness to my day with your article. I think I will save the photo of Cheryl because it shows true happiness. And we all need that right now.
Wow! Thanks so much for including the great article about the barn owls. A great example of what can be accomplished when people cooperate to find a solution. I’m always glad for articles that promote saving wildlife, especially birds. The DNR biologists and the landowners deserve a lot of credit!
Kirsten Lewis, via email
Cynthia Powers, Stockbridge Audubon Society, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Spotting the space station After reading the “Star Struck” article in the December 2020 issue, I just wanted to alert your readers to the ease of spotting the space station! It can be seen without any extra equipment! Just go to spotthestation.nasa.gov and type in your nearest town. It looks like a rapidly moving solid white star. Karen Webster, via email
during the 2020-21 school year. A complete set of rules and required entry forms are available at indianaconnection.org/foryouth/art-contest.
Shooting the stars I loved the article “Star Struck.” I have wanted to do astrophotography for years but unfortunately the light pollution is horrible to get any of the very distant stars with a digital camera. There is supposed to be a place around Frankfort and Shades State Park that is dark enough to photograph the Milky Way but I do not know where the place is around Frankfort. I hope to find it soon. Robert Hamm, via email
Indiana Humanities announces grant opportunities and 2021 deadlines Indiana Humanities will offer more than $215,000 in grants in 2021, continuing to provide opportunities for smaller rapidresponse funding and larger grants that support innovative and collaborative public humanities programs. “Our goal is to provide flexible and dynamic grants that help encourage and inspire nonprofits across the state to create engaging and impactful public humanities programs — in person or virtual — for their communities,” said George Hanlin, director of grants for Indiana Humanities. An Action Grant of up to $3,000 will support projects that help people learn new information, consider different perspectives, share ideas and understand one another better.
Applications are due on the last day of every month.
on Feb. 28; the next round is due on Aug. 31.
A Historic Preservation Education Grant is provided in partnership with Indiana Landmarks. The grant of up to $2,500 supports programs that educate the community about historic places and properties, and the need to preserve and protect them. The first round of applications was due on Feb. 28; the next round is due on Sept. 30.
An Innovation Grant of up to $10,000 supports programs that introduce new ideas, utilize unique approaches and/or reach underserved audiences. The inquiry form is due April 30 with the full application due July 31.
An INcommon Grant of up to $5,000 is provided in partnership with the Central Indiana Community Foundation. It supports programs that use humanities ideas, readings and scholars to spark in-depth thinking and conversation around the persistent social, economic, cultural and racial issues that divide our communities. The first round of applications was due
A Collaboration Grant of up to $20,000 supports nonprofit organizations that collaborate to deliver in-depth public humanities programming built around a core idea or theme. The inquiry form is due April 30 with the full application due July 31. Visit www. indianahumanities. org/grants for in-depth guidelines, application instructions and more.
Huntington County Huntington County is home of the J.E. Roush Lake, the only impoundment on the Wabash River; and the county hosts the only museum dedicated to the vice presidents of the United States, particularly former resident Dan Quayle. J.E. Roush Lake, first known as Huntington Lake, was completed in 1968 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with a dam on the Wabash at the southeast edge of Huntington, the county seat. The lake is one of three Upper Wabash Valley reservoirs operating primarily to control flood waters along the Wabash as it winds its way westwardly through northern Indiana before heading south to the Ohio River. Encompassing the 900-acre lake and 7,500 acres of surrounding land, the J.E. Roush Lake Fish & Wildlife Area provides quality hunting and fishing opportunities. The area is operated and maintained by the Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife. Spring is a great time for watching waterfowl at the lake. Other activities allowed at the lake include boating, camping, picnicking, and water sports. The second of the three Wabash Valley dams is on the Salamonie River that runs through southern Huntington County before flowing into the Wabash River near Lagro in neighboring Wabash County. The dam sits just west of the line separating the counties, but much of the serpentine reservoir it cre-
ates backs up into Huntington County. The 2,665acre lake FILE PHOTO BY RICHARD G. BIEVER and its surroundA fisherman plies the rushing proper- ing water emerging below the dam of the J.E. Roush ty provides Lake in Huntington County. The dam, on the Wabash scenic trails, wild- River, is the first of three along the Upper Wabash life and bird Valley Basin built for flood control in the 1960s. watching, hunting, and camping, as well as swimming, at several state-managed recreation areas. The third dam is on the Mississinewa River in Miami County. Huntington Lake was renamed after J. Edward Roush, an Indiana congressman in the 1960s and ‘70s. A county resident, Roush was known as the “Father of 911” for his work in helping create the nationwide three-digit emergency call system. The first implementation of 911 by AT&T took place March 1, 1968, in Huntington. Roush died in Huntington in 2004 at the age of 83 and is buried in town. Roush, a Democrat, lost his U.S. House seat in the 1976 election to Dan Quayle, a young Republican, also from Huntington. Quayle became a U.S. senator in 1981 and served as vice president from 1989-93 during the one term of President George H.W. Bush.
y t n u o C acts F FOUNDED: 1832
NAMED FOR: Samuel Huntington, a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation which preceded the U.S. Constitution. Because Huntington was the president of the Continental Congress when the Articles of Confederation were ratified, some unconventional biographers and civic groups in his home state of Connecticut claim that Huntington was actually the first President of the United States. POPULATION: 36,240 (2018 estimate) COUNTY SEAT: Huntington
The Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center opened in 1993 in downtown Huntington. The institution has the stated mission of educating the public, especially elementary and middle school students, about the office of the vice president, as well as the history and workings of the government.
PH OTOS PR OV ID E D B Y F OX GA R D IN K IT C H E N & A LE
Specializing not just in the food but ‘the experience’ At FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale in Fortville, the food may be good but it’s the entire dining experience that is the true focus. An on-trend farmhouse chic décor, occasional live music, and an imaginative rotating menu focused on elevated comfort food have drawn hungry Hoosiers to this over-21 establishment in Hancock County for over five years.
smoked pork chop 16
Ball State college pals Jake Burgess and Toby Shelton opened FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale in 2015, just 17 days after Burgess signed the lease to a storefront in downtown Fortville. Burgess and Shelton had previous food industry stints at places like The Capital Grille, Prime 47 and Omni Severin Hotel in Indianapolis and were eager to branch out on their own. Fifteen months after the Fortville restaurant opened, the pair opened another location in Fishers — FoxGardin Family Kitchen — for patrons of all ages. Since then, the FoxGardin brand has expanded to include The Den by FoxGardin in Carmel and Smoky’s Concession Stand in Lapel. There’s also a food truck
that can bring favorites like tacos, flatbreads and the phenomenal slow-cooked then deep-fried wings to private parties and events of all kind. Rep. Chris Jeter, a FoxGardin regular, raves about what he calls the restaurant’s “funky menu.” Examples: the grilled PB&J sandwich accented with bacon and swiss, and flavorful bone marrow French fries. “Chef Jake brings the heat every time!” Jeter said. Seasonal local ingredients star in all of FoxGardin’s menu items. Diners especially enjoy specialties like the “Fortville Tenderloin,” hand cut filets in four sizes to fit every appetite, and, for traditional “comfort foodies,” Beef Manhattan with homemade mashed potatoes. From-scratch pies are don’tmiss dessert options. Jeter also signals out the restaurant’s “great bar and awesome vibe.” That “great bar” is an upstairs whiskey lounge which serves fine bourbons, other whiskies and a limited selection of other spirits. The American Bourbon Association named it as one of the Great Bourbon Bars of America. Fox-
Gardin Kitchen & Ale also serves local beer selections and wine. As the weather begins to warm this spring, consider FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale’s outdoor safe distanced dining option. But whether you dine indoors or out, FoxGardin’s mission remains the same: “Our number one priority is to create an environment for people to meet, share and enjoy each other’s company.” ABOUT STATE REP. CHRIS JETER:
Rep. Chris Jeter (R) represents District 88 which includes the northeast corner of Marion and small parts of Hancock and Hamilton counties. He serves on the Courts and Criminal Code, Judiciary, and Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications committees. Jeter is a partner in the Massillamany Jeter & Carson LLP law firm headquartered in Fishers, Indiana.
foxgardin kitchen & Ale 215 S. Main St. Fortville, Indiana 317-485-4085 www.foxgardin.com
food CHILI WITH COFFEE AND BEER Marilles Mauer, Greensburg, Indiana 2 T. vegetable oil 2 onions, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb. ground beef ¾ lb. beef sirloin, cubed 1 (14.5 oz.) can tomatoes 1 (12 oz.) can beer 1 cup strong coffee 2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste ½ cup brown sugar 1 (14 oz.) can beef broth 3½ T. chili powder 1 T. cumin seeds 1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 t. oregano 1 t. cayenne pepper 1 t. coriander 1 t. salt 4 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans 4 fresh hot chili peppers (any pepper you like), seeded and chopped (optional) Heat oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Cook onions, garlic, ground beef and cubed sirloin in oil for 10 minutes or until meat is well-browned and the onions are tender. Mix in all the other ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours.
Café your way How do you take your coffee? It’s a key ingredient in these reader-submitted recipes. MARCH 2021
food BLENDED COFFEE Lesley Skiles Bringhurst, Indiana 1½ cups (12 oz.) very strong coffee or espresso, chilled 8 oz. whole milk or more to taste 1 t. vanilla extract ⅓ cup sweetened condensed milk Whipped cream Add all ingredients into a blender. Fill the blender halfway up with ice for a slushier drink or all the way up for a thick concoction. Blend until it’s nice and smooth, and the ice is
COFFEE MERINGUES myrecipes.com
(or more) chocolate syrup
3 large egg whites ½ t. cream of tartar ¾ cup sugar ½ t. vanilla 1½ t. instant espresso powder 1 T. whole roasted coffee beans
Chocolate Chip Coffee: Add ¼
In a bowl, with an electric mixer
cup (or more) chocolate chips to
(fitted with whisk attachment) on high
the blender and blend until the
speed, beat egg whites and cream of
chocolate chips are broken up.
tartar until thick and foamy. Gradually
totally broken up. Pour into a cup and top with whipped cream. Varaiations: Mocha: Add ⅛ cup
add sugar and continue to beat until
Spoon meringue in 1½- to 2-inchwide mounds, about 1 inch apart, onto parchment-lined or buttered and floured 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Gently place one coffee bean on each mound. Bake in a 200 F oven until meringues are light brown and give slightly when gently pressed, 1¼ to 1½ hours; switch pan positions halfway through baking. Turn off heat and leave meringues in closed oven for 1 hour. Slide a spatula under meringues to release.
mixture holds stiff, shiny peaks. Beat in vanilla and espresso powder.
Line an 8-inch square baking
heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring
pan with foil, extending foil over
constantly until mixture comes to
Charlotte Rymph, Monterey, Indiana ½ cup chopped pecans 3 cups firmly packed brown sugar 1 T. cinnamon 1 T. instant coffee granules 1 cup butter 2 cups half and half 1 cup light corn syrup 1 t. vanilla
the edges of pan. Butter the foil.
a boil (6 to 8 minutes). Reduce
Sprinkle pecans over bottom of
heat to medium. Continue cooking,
pan. Set aside. Combine brown
stirring occasionally, until candy
sugar, cinnamon, and instant coffee
thermometer registers 242 F.
granules in a small bowl. Melt butter
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
in a 4-quart saucepan over low heat;
Pour over pecans in prepared pan.
adding brown sugar mixture, half
and half and corn syrup. Increase
FO O D PREPARED BY I NDI ANA CO NNECT I O N S TA FF PHO TO S BY TAYLO R MA RA NI O N
PHO TO BY JO EG ARDE NE R. CO M
YOUR OWN WAY The Fun of Food Gardening
Joe Lamp’l, host of the PBS gardening program “Growing a Greener World,” demystifies vegetable gardening with sound advice.
By Pamela A. Keene Whether you have a multiple-acre plot or a patio, you can grow your own vegetables. With a little bit of know-how and a sunny place, enjoying the bounty of your own labors can be fun, rewarding and tasty. “There are so many reasons to grow your own vegetables and the flavors are ever so much better than store-bought,” says Joe Lamp’l, founder of joegardener.com and host of the nationally syndicated “Growing a Greener World,” which airs on public television in all 50 states. “Money can’t buy the kind of taste you get fresh from the garden or the satisfaction of knowing you’re eating what you’ve grown.”
“Money can’t buy the kind of taste you get fresh from the garden.” JOE LAMP’L
continued on page 20 MARCH 2021
Raised beds make it easier for gardeners to plant, tend and harvest their homegrown vegetables. PHO TO BY JO EG ARD E NE R. CO M
continued from page 19 SUNLIGHT, SOIL AND WATER
and you can more closely inspect your
“Consider hand watering if you have
“Choose your spot carefully to have
plants for signs of disease or insects
a smaller garden plot. Apply the water
plenty of sunlight, at least 6 hours a
as they grow.”
directly to the base of the plant to
day,” Lamp’l says. “Look for a place that’s not obstructed by trees or other buildings. Sunlight is one of the three basic components to successful gardening. The other two are good soil and having access to a reliable water source.” Many gardeners build raised beds. By elevating the growing area off the ground it’s easier to plant, tend and harvest with less bending or squatting. “Most people choose wood to construct raised beds, but be sure to consider the size,” Lamp’l says. “Use 2- by 12-inch boards to build a bed that your space can accommodate. Be sure to make it about 3 feet wide to give good access from all sides. This will make weeding and harvesting easier
Leave enough space between beds for a wheelbarrow to pass to bring soil and mulch into the garden area. The soil in your garden is crucial for good production and with raised beds you have more control over the composition of the soil, the nutrients and the quality.
potential for plant disease.” Watering can be tricky. “Don’t water just because it’s a certain day of the week, because you run the risk of overwatering,” he says. “Check the moisture level of the soil, and water accordingly, allowing enough flow to soak the ground. Then wait until the
choice because it’s disease and weed
top inch or so of the soil feels dry
free, but be mindful of the quality.
before watering again. Your plants
Cheaper is not better,” Lamp’l says.
will be healthier and produce better
“The soil provides the main support
for your plants, so it needs to have the right nutrients and the right texture. If the soil compacts too easily, it will be difficult for plant roots to thrive. Amend it with organic matter, also available at your box retailer or local nursery, to promote good growth.” Make sure a good water source is hoses back and forth throughout the growing season. “In an ideal world, drip irrigation is best, but it can be costly to install into each bed,” he says.
periods of wet foliage can increase the
“Packaged garden soil is a good
nearby to avoid constantly moving
prevent wetting the foliage. Prolonged
SEEDS OR SEEDLINGS Summer vegetables, such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are generally easier to grow from seedlings, which can be purchased at a local nursery or box retailer. Look for healthy plants with several sets of leaves. They can be planted in the garden after the date of the last frost in your area. “If you want to start from seeds, back up your indoor starting time to have nice-sized seedlings by the ideal planting time for your region,” Lamp’l
says. “I’m a big proponent of starting vegetable seeds indoors about six to eight weeks before planting, but you will need the proper light set-up and the commitment to manage the process from seeds to moving the seedlings into the garden. Once the soil warms up, beans, squash and cucumbers are easy to plant directly in the garden. Their germination time is fairly quick. Be sure to purchase seeds packaged for the current year by finding the date stamp on the package and follow planting instructions. “Vegetable plants are heavy feeders,” he says. “It’s important to fertilize them as they start to produce. A slow-release organic fertilizer is a nice way to deliver the nutrients on a continuous basis. Be sure to follow the application instructions for best
First T hings First:
DO A SOIL TEST By Pamela A. Keene Are your plants getting the right diet to be the best they can be? Maybe it’s time for a soil test from your local extension office. You’ll end up with a wealth of knowledge about what fertilizers to use, how to amend your soil and whether your plants are
local county extension office. The office has official brown-paper sample bags you can transfer your samples into to be sent to the university for testing. There’s a place for your name, address and the type of planting for the area.
getting the nutrients they need to be
By testing your soil before you plant
healthy and prolific.
and amending it according to the
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: Pick areas that you’d like to test, say for vegetable plantings, fruit trees, annuals or shrubs. Take a sample from the area by scraping off any mulch, grass or
weeds, then digging your shovel
Top-dressing vegetables with compost
the ground. Put the soil into a bucket.
during the growing season provides
Take your bagged samples to your
straight down about four inches into
recommendations, you’re setting the stage for long years of successful gardening. If the soil is right, you have a much better chance of getting your garden to grow. The tests typically cost less than $10. The samples are sent to the state university’s agriculture department for testing. Within two to three weeks, you’ll get back a
Repeat this vertical sample process
detailed report that tells you the
four to six times in the same general
current condition of your soil and
exactly what you need to do to
Mix the samples in the bucket well,
amend it for your plants.
then remove approximately 1 cup
For more information, contact
of soil, placing it in a clean plastic
your local extension
six hours a day applies.
bag. Label each bag with the type of
Tomatoes are available in patio and
additional nutrients and improves the soil.
PATIO AND DECK Some vegetables are well suited for planting in containers, as long as they have ample sunlight. Again, at least
bush forms that are more compact and better suited for containers. Growers have also introduced a wide variety of peppers, from sweet to hot, plus colorful bell peppers, that grow
plants you plan to grow. This is very Repeat in other planting areas, such as lawns, flower beds or vegetable gardens,
nicely on a patio.
“The key is to provide a container
Different plants require
that’s large enough for the roots to grow and support production,” he says. “Containers also tend to dry out more often, so it’s important to keep them properly watered. Feeding
samples separate. different nutrients and soil acidity to flourish, so it’s important to know how to prepare your soil before you plant.
continued on page 22 PHO TO BY DO N LI NKE
continued from page 21 regularly is important as well.” Lamp’l suggests avoiding clay or terra cotta pots that lose moisture more quickly. “Lighter-colored plastic pots work better, but make sure they have drainage holes in the bottom,” he says. “Adding a layer of mulch will help retain moisture and
The Nuts and Bolts of Home Food Preservation
keep the roots a little cooler. ”
PATIENCE PAYS OFF Gardening is a lifelong learning
successful in your first year of growing
Need some guidance on the basics of home food processing? Here are tips, terminology and resources to help you safely preserve the fruits — and vegetables — of your
vegetables,” Lamp’l says. “Much of
gardening is trial and error. The number
TOOLS YOU MAY NEED:
experience and Lamp’l says that no one gets it 100 percent right all the time. “Don’t get frustrated if you’re not
of resources – YouTube, online, websites, blogs and more – is infinite and can be overwhelming, so learn to filter the sound advice from the not-sogood. “You also have an excellent local resource just a phone call or web click away, with your local extension office,” he says. “They can help solve pest and disease issues, answer your gardening questions and connect you with other gardeners. And best of all it’s free.” Pamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who writes about travel, personality features, gardening and how-to topics. An avid photographer, she lives in Flowery Branch, Georgia, and has been published in magazines across the country.
Find a printable month-bymonth gardening to-do list at
goiec.org/ 374qOs6 22
I N D I A N A CO N N ECT I O N
MON TH-B YMON TH GAR DEN ING TO-D O LIST A Purdue Extension Yard and Garden Calendar
BY B . RO S I E L ERNER
Bowls of multiple sizes Canning funnel Jar lifters Large pots Measuring cups Paring knife Plastic spatulas Pressure cooker Sieve Slotted and non-slotted spoons
SAFETY FIRST Practice good kitchen hygiene when processing and preserving food. Label and date your homeprocessed foods. If a lid does not properly seal when canning, refrigerate the contents and consume them within seven days. You can reprocess within 24 hours if the food was processed correctly but the lids have not sealed, using new lids and jars. If the food was under-processed, whether the lids have sealed or not, reprocess within four hours. Always use new flat lids when canning; it is not necessary to use
new ring bands. Choose containers specifically designed for preserving food, such as Ball glass jars for canning and freezer-weight plastic bags and boxes. Process foods exactly as described in recipes; do not reduce times. Canned foods may be stored for up to 12 months in a cool dark place, such as a pantry or closet. If they are processed correctly, they may be stored longer, but they may lose quality and nutritional value. Frozen fruits and vegetables may be stored at 0 F for 8 to 12 months. Do not use chipped or cracked glass containers to can foods. Beware of conditions that can create botulism, including under-processed foods, canned containers with the lids bulging, contents with discoloration on the top when opened or bad smells. Discard these foods; botulism can be serious.
We Ask Rosie OUR GARDENING COLUMNIST TALKS ABOUT HER CAREER AND RETIREMENT Electric cooperative consumers have been asking B. Rosie Lerner questions about their gardening problems since 2006. And as the Purdue Extension consumer horticulture specialist, she’s answered as many as we had room for. Now that she’s retired from Purdue (but, we’re thankful not from answering your gardening questions), we had a few questions she’s answered about … herself. And the answers, at least to the last one, might be surprising. Indiana Connection: What got you interested in gardening? Rosie: I got interested in plants and horticultural science in college as I searched to find my niche. I had been a bookkeeper prior to college, and horticulture was a super departure from that. And I never looked back. I am fascinated by the science of plants, the nurturing from seed or starts to mature plant, etc. IC: What have you enjoyed most in your career at the Purdue Extension? Rosie: Initially in college, I thought I would eventually want to start my own greenhouse business, and I did intern at a garden center. But then I had the great fortune to complete a six-month internship providing horticulture education at a county Extension office. It was the connection to people and being a teacher that really spoke to me. The best of all worlds — teaching gardening to people! And the world of plants is so wide
and diverse … still learning new things every day.
B. Rosie Lerner's beloved Shetland sheepdogs enjoy spending time in her garden.
IC: What you are looking forward to in retirement? Rosie: It usually surprises people to know that gardening is not my primary hobby. My main hobby is unquestionably my dogs. I love training and competing with them. I currently have three Shetland sheepdogs. COVID has put competition on hold but that has given us more time to train. So, post-COVID, I hope to return to competitions and to spend more time with family and friends. And my garden is a mess — with years of neglect from being too busy teaching others how to take care of their gardens! You know
… the cobbler’s children have no shoes?! So, finally, I’ll have time to catch up on long-neglected home and garden projects. Those with questions about their yard and gardens may continue asking them through the handy online “Talk to Us” form at indianaconnection.org/talk-to-us/askrosie that allows you to upload photos, too; or mailing them to: “Ask Rosie,” Indiana Connection, 8888 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1600, Indianapolis, IN 46240.
HO M E WOR K Setting up and organizing a home office
One thing that caught many folks off guard last year was the sudden need to work remotely. Even as vaccinations
and Scotch tape. Keep notes and other
it. Lightweight but sturdy padded folding
roll out, many companies are providing
reminders neatly arranged on a cork or
chairs and tables could be just the right
their staff part- or full-time remote work
fabric bulletin board with push pins, or
fit. Plus, they’re sure to come in handy
flexibility. If this applies to you, consider
try mini and magnetic dry-erase boards
for countless other uses in the future.
taking a fresh look at improving the
organization, efficiency, and comfort of
If your lighting is subpar, try one or two
Functional Organization “It’s just
small dedicated desk lamps with good
temporary” may have excused some
LED bulbs. For a more permanent setup,
Good Connections A 6-in-1 USB
disarray in your home work space
consider adding a new lighting fixture
cable kit is a perfect solution for keeping
before, but it doesn’t hurt to add simple
in your workspace. Either way, you’ll
all your USB-connected devices at the
touches of efficiency. Try woven baskets,
feel more productive with adequate
ready, no matter their connector size.
trays, or cubbies that streamline the
It’s a good time to pick up some extra
clutter and keep everything in its place.
your home office space.
ethernet cables or flash drives, too. If
Finally, if your work area isn’t situated
If built-in shelving is more your style,
near HVAC vents, stave off a chill in
the options available in shelves and
winter by investing in a small space
shelf brackets are almost endless. Keep
heater. Whether ceramic or electric,
open shelving clutter free by storing
space heaters come in many sizes and
Next, keep all your electronics and
small doodads together in mini bins with
styles. The same is true if you need a
chargers safe from power mishaps with
lids. Label your bins to make finding
cool breeze in the summer. Fans come
a good surge protector. Today’s options
everything in them even easier.
in table, pedestal, desk, and clip-on
your cord situation becomes messy, try some Command strips made exclusively for bundling and organizing cords.
vary in shapes, sizes, and numbers of outlets, and most even include additional USB ports for charging. Finally, keep your gear free of dirt, dust, and lint with a can of compressed air duster.
Comfort is key If you’re uncertain how long you’ll work remotely, you might not want to invest in high-end desks or office chairs. But that random, rickety old dining room chair probably won’t cut
Simple Supplies Working at home often means you don’t have immediate access to essential office supplies from your workplace. Take a count of all those little necessities that make your work productive, like pens, Post-it Note pads, staplers, paper or binder clips,
styles. There’s even one powered by USB. Visit your local Do it Best store or doitbest.com for thousands of the best home improvement products, including supplies and organizational tools for setting up a home office.
Claude and Len Schrock
Claude and Len Schrock are the owners of Grabill Hardware in Grabill. They are member-owners of Do it Best Corp., a Fort Wayne-based cooperative of thousands of hardware stores, home centers and lumberyards throughout the US and around the world. (This article is for informational purposes only. Indiana Connection and Do it Best Corp. assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein, or for injuries, property damage, or the outcome of any project.)
Don’t let the cry of ‘timber’
shiver or splinter your timbers Trees add immeasurable value to your property but maintaining them comes with a cost. They need pruning, sometimes heavy trimming, or removal. “We know hiring professionals to do some of these tasks goes against that independent streak some of our consumers have,” said John Gasstrom, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “But trimming and removing trees can be dangerous and even deadly. Before attempting any work yourself, please understand the dangers.”
You can be seriously injured or killed if
You can be seriously injured or killed if
you fall from a tree. Pruning branches
you overestimate your abilities.
or trimming out dead or overgrown limbs sometimes requires getting into the tree. Always make sure you are using appropriate safety harnesses and ropes. Before climbing, inspect the tree to make sure no power lines run through or near the tree.
Cutting large limbs and trees can be
Always have two escape routes planned ahead of time in case the tree
You can be seriously injured or killed if
starts going the wrong way.
you come into contact with an electric
A falling tree hits the ground with great
involved at all, always call your electric utility first and its experts will come out and advise you. Even when you think there’s room, if the wind blows a limb into a power line as you’re trimming it, you can be electrocuted.
frugal independent spirit about the scope or trickiness of a cut, call a professional tree-trimming service to
back your health.”
you are struck by falling trees or limbs.
tree to fall where you hadn’t planned.
there’s a chance power lines might be
survival instinct is debating with your
You can be seriously injured or killed if
tricky. Improper cutting can cause the
of a tree or length of a branch. If
your head,” Gasstrom noted. “If your
handle the job. The money you think
tree trimming accidents are:
line. It’s easy to misjudge the height
for any project is: Don’t get in over
The most common types of serious
“The most important safety reminder
force. Branches and limbs crack, bounce, snap and recoil, especially if dead wood is present. Snapped branches can be flung surprisingly far in multiple directions. Tie off limbs to be cut and lower them to the ground with rope. Never turn your back to a falling tree, and always wear a hard hat when trimming and cutting.
you’ll save doing it yourself cannot buy
Words of warning Manufacturers put important safety messages on each piece of equipment and in the operator’s manual. Before using equipment for the first time, you should read and understand all safety messages. • CAUTION means you need to be careful. Follow the directions on the sign or you could get hurt. • WARNING is more serious and means you need to follow the directions on the sign or you could be badly hurt or killed. • DANGER is the most serious safety message. If you don’t follow the directions, you will be seriously injured or killed.
Wilstem W I L D, W I L D
Southern Indiana park offers an array of activities — and a drive-thru safari
A lot of tourist attractions claim to have
comfort of their
“something for everyone.” While few
actually live up to the billing, Wilstem
Wildlife Park in Southern Indiana is an
come to your
You like exotic animals from around the world? Wilstem has them.
vehicle and you can feed them through
Animals from down under? Got those.
You like native North American critters?
The grizzlies are
Wilstem has them … even grizzly
not visible on the
Horseback riding? Check. Ziplining? It
elephants might be
has nine lines zipping a total of 5,000 feet through the canopy. Overnight lodging? Got those. ATV riding? Check. Wilstem is a unique 1,100 acres of peaceful secluded woodlands surrounded by rolling hills and meadows. Hiking, swimming, biking are also among the outdoor activities. But it’s the one-of-a-kind animal encounters with many rare and endangered animals, including upclose and educational opportunities, that have folks on social media raving and dishing out ratings of four-of-five and five-of-five stars.
The giraffes and visible depending on the time of day you visit. Guided wagon rides are also available. Some of the past visitors noted on social media sites that the wagon rides can get visitors a little closer to some of the more shy animals, plus having a Wilstem staff person along for the ride provided information about the
that allow visitors to have special close encounters with the elephants, grizzlies, giraffes,
Wilstem’s newest attraction is its
“Drive-Thru Safari Park” which opened
Motorcycles and open top vehicles are
priced packages within each animal
not allowed on the Drive-Thru Safari.
group allow varying amounts of
last June. On the self-guided slow drive, visitors may spy up to 40 species of animals roaming freely, all from the
Wilstem offers a variety of packages
kangaroos and the sloth. Differently
access to the animals.
P HO TO S COU R T ES Y OF W I L S T E M WIL D L IF E PA R K
joins the “Educational Encounter”
various activities. Face masks are
which allows you to learn more
required for most of the activities.
about them, ask questions, touch,
The park is located off U.S. 150
and take one-of-a-kind photos.
between French Lick and Paoli. Be
is the “Spa Encounter.” How many folks can say they bathed an elephant? For $99 for adult and $79 for a child 4-to-8-years-old, the Spa Encounter
Grizzly Bear Encounters feature
sure to look for the sign.
Jeff “The Bear Man” Watson and
Wilstem offers lodging opportunities
his two grizzlies, Bob and Screech.
including two-bedroom cabins,
This trio has been featured on
three-bedroom cabins, studios,
Animal Planet’s Project Grizzly as
and a 10-bedroom lodge and can
well as Discovery Channel’s Porter
accommodate family reunions and
Ridge. Watson and his grizzlies
were featured in a cover story of this publication back in 2008.
For information or to make reservations and purchase tickets,
allows visitors to
The park is open for general
call 812-936-4484; or visit its website
scrub an elephant
admission from 9 a.m. to 4
at https://www.wilstem.com. You
and even “paint” its toenails for
p.m. daily. Reservations are
can also find them on Facebook.
an unforgettable experience with
recommended for all animal
nature’s endangered and largest
experiences including the drive-
land animal. The spa group then
thru park. Prices vary widely for the
Hoosier Energy news
power line safety Video brings awareness to the dangers energized power lines pose Staying safe is just as important for the Hoosier Energy workforce and member co-ops as it is for consumers like you. That is why Hoosier Energy worked with a member cooperative to create a live line demonstration to help cooperatives show the dangers of energized power lines. While you might have seen a similar demonstration at your co-op’s annual
The video covers important topics including: • How improperly installed backup
line is on your vehicle. Hoosier Energy partners with its
power lines when there is an
member cooperatives to produce
outage. This can put line crews at
videos like this to help consumers like
risk as they work to restore power.
you stay safe.
• The top ways the public comes in contact with power lines include: working on rooftop antennas, using ladders and coming into contact with poles. • How tree limbs that come in contact with power lines can conduct
the importance to be safe around
energy through the tree to those
who might be touching the tree.
automotive accident and a power
generators can put voltage onto
meeting, it is always good to review
• What to do if you get in an
VIEW THIS VIDEO Search “MyHoosierEnergy” on YouTube and look for the live line demonstration video.
Jackson County REMC news
Out in the field Top 3
responsibilities in a day: •
Oversight of line crews, rightof-way crew, and overhead and underground contractors.
Supervision of construction materials and equipment to ensure availability of appropriate stock for jobs and safely functioning equipment for work crews.
Field visits with cooperative customers to coordinate job installations, replacements and repairs.
What part of your job do you find most fulfilling? It gives me job satisfaction when I interact with our cooperative members to make sure their needs are met, their questions are answered and they are fully informed about their electric service.
What’s the most challenging part of your job? With Jackson County REMC providing service to parts of 10 southern Indiana counties, it can be challenging to maintain oversight of a large volume of work being completed in such a broad coverage area.
Brian Covert Line Superintendent Jackson County REMC
Have you had to master new skills in this role? I am continuously learning how technology can make me more productive as a supervisor and job coordinator. I am also actively learning about and collaborating with our new and expanding fiberoptic installation project.
How would you describe working for a cooperative? I am proud to have worked for this small, tight-knit, family-oriented
cooperative for 30 years. I feel supported by the cooperative members in our community and by our board of directors. I enjoy the partnership our company has with its members.
INTERESTED IN AN ELECTRIC CO-OP CAREER? Visit WePowerIndiana.org to learn about available careers or tell us about yourself.
The EYES have it: Tips on keeping your pet seeing clearly Dr. Wendy Townsend, associate professor of ophthalmology in Purdue University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, checks the eyes of a golden retriever. PHO TO BY ED LAUSCH, LAUSCH PHO TO G RAP HY
At least 2 billion people
bothering them, they’ll
lar popular dog breed —
used as seeing-eye dogs,”
around the world have vi-
just rely more heavily on
golden retrievers — and
sion problems – but how
the other eye,” Townsend
an inherited eye disease
do you know if and when
said. “And most of our
that is almost exclusively
your pet is struggling with
pets don’t need to have
found in purebred golden
its own eyesight?
super-sharp vision to lead
retrievers. That is gold-
normal everyday lives.
en retriever pigmentary
But in some cases – like
“Sometimes animals struggle with the same eye problems that people do. They’re just not as good at telling us when something is wrong,” said
with dogs that participate in agility – being able to focus both near and far is important.
tract — that includes the the eye. The onset and
ophthalmology in Purdue
gan that we all use and it
diagnosis usually occur
allows me to work across
when the dogs are older.
of Veterinary Clinical
a wide variety of species,”
The disease can often
Townsend said. “I fre-
result in blindness due to
quently have clients tell
cataracts and glaucoma,
me, ‘I had no idea this
and there are no current
was an option,’ or, ‘I didn’t
methods to prevent or
know there were eye doc-
reverse it. The disease
tors for dogs.’ The impact
affects about 10% of senior
this field can have on our
golden retrievers and can
patients and their quality
appear in some golden
of life can be significant.”
retriever crosses – espe-
blatantly obvious doesn’t mean their eyes are always in perfect health. “Animals are good at compensating when something isn’t working right. So, if one eye is
Although her patients include mostly dogs, horses and cats, Townsend’s research at Purdue is focused on one particu-
the better,” Townsend
of the eye — the uveal iris or the colored part of
because something isn’t
you can catch something,
vision problems with any
but it’s a powerful or-
for that very reason. Just
– is critical. “The earlier
said. “That goes for all
“The eye might be small,
of their pets’ eye health
especially service dogs
inflammation of the part
associate professor of
owners to be cognizant
having dogs screened –
It’s a disease defined as
Dr. Wendy Townsend,
Townsend encourages pet
That’s why Townsend said
cially Labrador and golden retriever crosses. “That becomes a concern because Labrador and golden crosses are frequently
Warning Signs Early detection of problems is key to protecting your pet’s eyesight. If you see any of these following signs, contact a veterinarian right away: • Squinting or holding the eyelid shut • Tearing • Scratching at the eye • Redness • Cloudiness • Vision loss (bumping into things, not focusing) • A distended third eyelid • Crusty discharge