Skip Mancini

Producer and host of High Plains History and Growing on the High Plains

Home community: rural Haskell County, KS (PO Box 699, Sublette, KS  67877)

Phone: (800) 678--7444 (Garden City studios)

Ways To Connect

High Plains Holiday

Dec 12, 2012

As she reflects over Christmas past, Skip Mancini recalls how "Christmas" and "white" rarely happen at the same time. 

The Big Easel

Dec 11, 2012

Today we’ll travel north to see one of the world’s largest paintings.  Located in Goodland in Northwest Kansas along Interstate 70, the Big Easel can’t be missed.  Look for a vase of giant sunflowers, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh and his signature series of seven sunflower paintings.

Oh By Gosh By Golly

Dec 7, 2012

It's time for mistletoe and holly, but here on the High Plains, the only place you are likely to see this traditional holiday plant is on cards and wrapping paper.

Southern Stage Route

Dec 5, 2012

A major U.S. Highway that runs through Western Kansas began as a rough trail that connected various boomtowns who were waiting for the railroads that ultimately passed them by.  Today we’ll travel in a classic coach on the Southern Stage Line and head south out of Garden City, stopping for a bite of lunch and then an overnight stay by the Cimarron River.

Fall Color

Nov 28, 2012

In an area of the country that is often thought to be lacking in autumn color, we can provide splashes of bright contrasts if we put some thought into landscaping plans.

Llano Cemetery

Nov 27, 2012

What began as an act of kindness to provide a final resting place for a pioneer child has become the Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas.  The 130 acres have been developed to include elements of historical architecture, impressive landscaping, and  a sense of a beautiful public park for all who enter the gates. 

Our annual look back at the past gardening year brings some disappointments directly linked to a hard weather year. 

After a visit to the Stauth Museum in Montezuma, Kansas, you'll feel like a world traveler.  The museum is filled with art and artifacts from around the globe. Throughout the year it also showcases local art and culture and hosts numerous programs, lectures, or exhibits for area school children.  Since the building is constructed to Smithsonian Institute regulations, is often hosts traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

No doubt about it -- wise water use is a critical issue for the planet, and especially for those of us who live in the plains states of the U.S. 

Today we'll make our final visit to Amarillo and the High Plains Food Bank, where we'll be investigating the task of watering the large plot that provides food for so many in the Texas Panhandle. 

Vincent Mancini

We'll continue our visit at the High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo by doing a walk-through of the garden with Cara Young. 

Driving cattle from Texas to the north became complicated when homesteaders refused to allow herds to cross their land.  Quarantine laws were passed to protect herds from tick fever carried by Texas cattle.  

This week Growing on the High Plains will begin a series about a great garden place in Amarillo that produces food for those who need it.  We'll meet Cara and Justin Young, two energetic young people who are helping to bring community efforts, nutrition know-how, and garden harvests to hundreds of adults and children in the Texas Panhandle.

For many, the name Bat Masterson, brings to mind gunfights and the Old West.  He was born in Quebec, Canada.  Masterson came to eastern Kansas with his parents, but western Kansas drew he and his brother with its wide open spaces and hunting.  The most well known part of his life as Ford County Sheriff inspired a television show, but did you know Masterson:

Money Plant

Oct 17, 2012

During the continuation of our fall fund drive, we'll talk about an old fashioned plant from the cutting garden that produces coins of the gardening realm. Lunaria flowers with thin, silvery circles that look like shiny nickel.

Last June Skip presented a special Growing on the High Plains visit about her father and his gift of larkspur seed that has become a reliable reminder of him and his love of gardening.  During our fall fund drive week we'll repeat that show, and Skip will offer her own special gift to HPPR listeners.  Call 1-800-678-7444 for more details.

Commancheria

Oct 9, 2012

Today we'll look at a battle that marked the turning point in the Red River Wars.

If your gardening budget is drooping, you can give it a transfusion by digging into your perennial bed.  This week's Growing on the High Plains gives all the basics for dividing many spring blooming plants that may have overgrown their space or become old and tired.  If you don't have an excess of perennials, perhaps you can offer to clear out and replant a neighbor's garden in exchange for some 'take home' cartons.  Fall is a great time to reorganize garden spaces and find that 'everything old is new again'.

Rawlins County Seat

Oct 2, 2012

Chicanery and hi-jinks were on tap in this non-violent but very heated county seat war.

This wonderful native shrub has a deeply history, as it provided a rare and welcome fruit for North American Indian tribes as well as early day settlers.  The roots of this manna of the plains literally run deep, searching out subsoil moisture and giving the little shrubs an ability to survive our infamous prairie winds.  Today the scarlet fruits are still a favorite for jelly, and are the basis for providing a product for many small-scale  local businesses on the High Plains.

A survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre became a famous figure in Native American History.

These little green orbs are kissin' cousins to the currant, and like their relatives they can be welcomed or reviled in the U.S.  They make great pies, jellies, jams, and sauces for the table, but they can also transport a destructive fungus called 'white pine blister rust'.  If your locale doesn't feature white pines then gooseberry bushes might make a good berry bramble for you, especially if you like your sweets a little on the tart side. 

1965 brought more water than folks knew what to do with when the Arkansas River flooded its banks.

A heritage melon with a history of over one hundred and fifty years is our GHP subject for this week.  Named for a famous Swedish musical celebrity that toured the U.S. in 1850 via P.T. Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth, the Jenny Lind melon became wildly popular.  This melon displays many of the qualities of its namesake, including sweetness and a small dainty size, and thus was perfect for growing in a backyard garden.  Today this heritage fruit is still popular, and easy to grow and serve.

A philanthropist who wanted to give kids a place of their own founded a famous ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

These sweet treats can be grown throughout the HPPR broadcast area, although the further north they bloom the more likely they will encounter some late freezes that will nip the year's crop in the bud.  But the smell and taste of home grown peaches makes it worth the gamble, and the trees will actually live a longer and more 'fruitful' life if they have occasional barren years for resting and restoring.  The trail of the peach begins in China thousands of years ago.  The flavorful fruit was introduced to our shores by the Spanish explorers.

B-List Bees

Aug 30, 2012

The hum, whine and buzz of flying insects is something most gardeners learn to identify as a good thing in the garden.  With a couple of exceptions, most of those sounds signify a pollinator who will help provide more bounty from your garden.  Today we'll talk about the b-list bees that don't produce honey, but do help produce your squash, tomatoes, strawberries,and good things to eat.  We'll also look into ways to keep these essential assistants happy and healthy as they work for you.

Pole Beans

Aug 23, 2012

Many of the old timers in the gardening world swear that pole beans have a better taste than their bush grown cousins.  This season I decided to test the claim by growing both kinds.  The differences between the two bean types are many in terms of space requirements and visual elements.  As far as the taste, the jury is still out because at my deadline for writing this piece the pole beans were still covered with blooms, but nary a bean had been produced.  I think the infernal inferno of hot dry days may have something to do with it.

The Jordan Massacre

Aug 22, 2012

A mute witness to mayhem and murder was never able to tell the story of what really happened in Ness county in 1872.

Rain Barrels

Aug 16, 2012

One of the hottest items in lots of gardening catalogues is the rain barrel, proving that 'everything old is new again'.  Throughout history we have found ways to save up rainy day water and then used it during dry times.  Today's offerings can make a fashion statement in your lawn or garden, but there are also some old-fashioned ways of conserving moisture that can provide a drink for thirsty plants.

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