Monthly Archives: February 2018

Agricultural Loans: What You Have to Know Before Applying

farming equipmentFarming and the agricultural industry, in general, can be a very promising business for most people. It is not easy to run, though, as you would have to do a lot of research and needs some kind of experience before you can venture successfully into the business.

Now, if you want to get a farm and start a business but you do not have enough money to do so, then go ahead and get an agricultural mortgage loan from companies such as Farm Mortgage Loan. This article discusses the things you must consider before getting one. 

Your Credit Score and History

Before applying for any loan, getting your credit score and report should be number one on your list. You need to know if you will be approved or not: basically, a low credit score will most probably get you declined. A high credit score will most likely allow you to get a loan that has a small interest or one that requires little to no downpayment.

Lending companies will base your approval on your credit report and history. This will determine if you will get a loan or not, so securing a copy of your credit report at least every year is a must. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report per year, and you can get it online without any hassle.

The Down Payment

Not all loans require a downpayment, but most firms do. Make sure to have some money on hand to be able to pay the required down payment. Most firms require at least 20% of the total loan amount as down payment, but it all depends on the lender.

The Type of Agricultural Loan

There are five major types of agricultural loans, namely:

  • Farm Storage Facilities Loan
  • Farm Operating Loan
  • Farm Ownership Loan
  • Fisheries Finance Program
  • Farm Labor Housing

There may be more, but these are five of the most common. Make sure to talk to your lender and ask for advice to make sure that you will be getting the loan that you genuinely need. Good luck and enjoy your new farm!

On Planning a Successful Barn Wedding

Married couple kissingA wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event fit for such a treatment. You have all the right to make yours unique, stunning, and great in all aspects. If you want an extraordinary event to mark this milestone, choosing a rustic-themed barn wedding is a fantastic and trendy way to go.

Only, it can be tricky to manage so, especially since mud, bugs, and restrooms (or the absence of one) could be part of the equation. To get around all the troubles and possible issues of holding your exchange of ‘I DOs’ in an incredible barn wedding venue, you could always rely on careful planning.

Historic John P. Furber Farm notes that a well-executed plan could alleviate challenges in planning, which could help you have one of the most wonderful barn weddings in Minnesota.

Ultimately, Location is Key

The one thing you cannot compromise is location. Choosing a wonderful barn setting would be your canvas for the most amazing wedding photos. While aesthetics are quite important, you also have to prioritize the comfort.

You can’t expect a farmhouse to be the full-service wedding venue that you could ideally have. But, you must be wary about adding the extras you need put in to make the event successful.

From bringing in portable toilets to setting up a trap for uninvited bugs, mosquitoes, crickets, and other insects to checking the ground quality and providing suitable parking areas — it is important that you keep a checklist of what you need to add or provide to make it a positive experience for everyone.

When you establish all the details, big and small, concerning the comfort of your guests and yours as well, it is a fun time to choose the wedding favors. Make sure that they are not only pretty but also very much suitable for your wedding concept or motif.

Home Update: When It’s Time to Replace the Windows

Man installing a windowIf you’ve been recently wondering about the old windows in your home and have been considering replacing them, you’re not alone. All home owners only want the best for their house, even if it means having an emergency glass repair. But, how do you when it’s time to replace your windows?

When it’s already deteriorating

Check if your windows have any sign of damage. Are there indications that water has seeped in around its frame? You might want to consider replacing them before they give up completely. If the sashes are beginning to stick, try rubbing the bottom and sides using a white candle so that it’ll slide better.

If you want to save energy

Windows can provide heat during the winter as it lets the heat from the sun into the house. However, old and dirty windows can even increase your energy bills. That’s why it’s important to replace it with energy-efficient windows to reduce your energy consumption.

When it is hard to close them

Weather changes can cause your materials to expand and contract, which could affect the windows’ handles and latches. Also, moisture on old windows can cause it to rust and break down, requiring the window replacement.

When you want to restyle your home

Your windows are one of the most prominent parts of your home. So, if they look dirty and worn out, so will your house. That’s why it’s important to consider the design of your window and its overall aesthetic.

If you feel like its design needs an update, then feel free to replace it with a design that’ll fit the overall theme of your house. Keep in mind that an old, run-down window can affect curb appeal.

Do not underestimate what a simple update such as a window replacement can do for your entire house. If any of the instances mentioned above apply to your home, get in touch with a window expert right away.

Mulching: How It Prevents Weed Growth and Boosts Plant Health

Garden maintenance

Garden maintenanceMany gardeners are becoming interested in controlling weeds naturally. For effective lawn weed control, experts in Salt Lake City like Greenside Landscaping suggest a systematic use of mulch. Mulching is a simple but effective way to prevent and control the growth of these garden bullies.

Organic mulches

There are two types of mulches, and both are effective in discouraging the growth of weeds. How does this happen? The layers of organic matter over the soil intercept sunlight and lower the temperature of the soil. In doing so, they prevent seed germination. Thick mulch also prevents stubborn weeds that germinate and become seedlings from emerging completely.

Organic mulches come in different forms, including compost, decomposed tree leaves and pine needles, wood chips, bark, straw, sawdust, and other crop residues. They decompose and add nutrients to the soil—an additional advantage. They also facilitate a moderation of soil moisture and temperature, which helps plants grow healthy.

Inorganic mulches

Meanwhile, inorganic mulch is composed of geotextiles, black plastic, pebbles, small stones, and gravel. They are ideal for specific plant species and may be preferred by gardeners over organic mulches despite the fact that they do not amend the quality of the soil.

Maximizing the mulch effect

For organic mulching to be effective, pay attention to when and how to lay the mulch. The best time to place mulch over soil is after weeding. Gardeners guarantee a weed-free yard if the annoying plants are completely removed before applying mulch on the soil. 

To lower the chances of weeds growing even more, there must be a four to six-inch layer over the soil. Some people spread the mulch over a layer of newspaper.

Mulching keeps weeds out of the garden. However, if you are dealing with perennials, you must supplement mulching with specific methods that fight against invading species effectively.

Collaborative Study Environments Encourage Better Problem Solving

student taking a testA collaborative study in classroom settings allows students to come together and solve problems amongst themselves. This encourages better problem-solving skills and decision-making. It also helps children become more sociable and learn to work with others, skills that are valuable later on in life.

To encourage collaborative learning, more schools are increasing opportunities for students to discuss school work amongst themselves. Even school desks are evolving, with modular, flexible options becoming increasingly popular. Modern school desks can be pushed together with ease so that students can face each other whilst working in groups.

Student-led Learning

A study released by Richard Anderson of the Illinois College of Education in the U.S., studied 760 fifth grade students to determine the efficacy of collaborative learning.

Students were split into groups and allowed to learn together instead of the standard teacher-led instruction common in most classrooms. They were given a literary project to work on, where they were presented with several moral dilemmas relating to the characters in a story.

After completing the project, the study concluded that the children who worked together tended to make more thoughtful, reasoned decisions compared to those who worked alone. This is because a group environment allows them to consider a range of ideas to support varying view points – the students who worked in groups would often weigh the costs and benefits of each point before making a decision.

Improved Micro-creativity

Collaborative education also allows for the introduction of argumentation – groups that discuss and debate a problem first also tend to have higher levels of micro-creativity. Micro-creativity refers to a person’s ability to come up with new ideas. According to a study conducted by the State University of New York, polite disagreements between students increased micro –creativity by as much as 11 per cent.

There is no doubt that collaborative learning is a highly beneficial teaching method, especially for problem-solving and decision-making.

Making Sense of Conflicting Restaurant Reviews

Feedback on a restaurantA lot of things depend on the internet these days. Even the simple act of choosing where to eat is made more complicated by the conflicting reviews you see online. If one restaurant has good praises, you’ll be inclined to give it a try. But what if the same restaurant has negative reviews? Which one do you believe?

When checking restaurants in Springfield, consider the following factors:

Service

The kind of service you receive has a great impact on the experience when dining out. Whether you’re headed to more casual Mexican restaurants like El Paso Mexican Restaurant or posh French restaurants, the staff should treat you with respect and make you feel welcomed. They should accommodate special requests, such as if you prefer a dish to be mild or spicy, or if you need a booster chair.

Freshness

If a restaurant is boasting of its fresh ingredients, you should be able to tell the difference. The quality should be consistent across the menu, and among different days of the week. There is no excuse for them to not uphold the same high standards just because it’s lunch rush or the weekend. Look for reviews that specifically talk about how the pasta tasted, and whether there is anything said about the spices used. If anyone comments that the dishes tasted stale, that’s a sign to look somewhere else.

Novelty

Staples and specialties stay, but novelties come on go. While they’re on the menu, however, feel free to indulge–if they are of the same quality as the rest of the restaurant’s offerings. There were plenty of Pokemon Go inspired burgers when the game was hyped. Now, meals and beverages inspired by Tide Pods are everywhere. If you’re looking for something like this, a look at the photos posted on Instagram from actual diners can give you an idea of what the novelty offerings look like in real life.

Each person looks for something different in a restaurant. To make sense of conflicting reviews, look for quality and in-depth assessment.

4 Things to Think About When Designing a Granny Flat

Living room with doors going to the front porchEveryone wants what’s best for their loved ones, and all of us will most likely do anything to make them feel comfortable and loved. This is why for those who have their parents or grandparents living with them, getting granny flat kits and building one is an important project and should be given much thought and consideration.

Here’s how you can design granny flats and what to think about when trying to build one.

Extensions

Ask yourself: Do you want a porch connected to it? Do you want to make it look a little more comfortable, modern, and luxurious for your elder ones to enjoy? If so, then go ahead and discuss this with your home renovation team.

Space

You want a place where your loved ones can freely move in, not one that’s scrunched up and crowded. Keep it simple by adding a storage to the bed, installing mounted shelves on their walls, and adding a shelf rack with hooks. Make the most of a small space by being creative and resourceful.

Colours

Bright and neon colours will most likely hurt their eyes, so make sure to stick to basic colours, such as beige and white. This will also make the flat look more dainty, clean, and modern.

Furniture

Furniture is important for the elderly, as a stiff one can make them feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Get a bed that would not make their back hurt, and one where they can easily get up in. Pillows also play a huge part in their comfort, so make sure to get ones that are designed for the elderly. Lastly, if you’re planning on placing a couch, make sure that what you’re getting won’t contribute to their muscle aches.

For more pictures and inspiration, go ahead and search for inspiration. Good luck and enjoy designing!

Is There a Way to Stop Cyberattacks to GPS Satellites?

A satellite dishA South-Carolina-based university seeks to prevent cybercriminals from disrupting GPS satellite signals, which could be costly to different industries.

GPS now serves an important role in military defense, banking and financial, healthcare, transportation, and telecommunications. Clemson University researchers plan to use a $1 million funding grant to eliminate the vulnerabilities in GPS technology.

Digital Time-Keeping

Yongqiang Wang, the project’s lead researcher, said that the project also aims to prevent cyberattacks to digital infrastructure. For instance, a hacked GPS network may allow criminals to access old login information on your financial records.

It can also cut the supply of electricity in hospitals, immobilize train stations and even shut down ATMs. Wang said that the project particularly focused on the private sector, including the electric grid.

While certain vulnerabilities exist, satellite developers normally use a jamming simulator to test the viability of disrupting signals before launching it into space. In California, some lawmakers already understand the need to enhance digital networks.

National Security

California Rep. John Garamendi described interference to GPS networks as a “major national security and economic issue.” He cited a spoofing incident in 2017 when a hacked navigation system led 20 ships in the Black Sea to arrive at the wrong location.

Another case involved airplanes that were unable to land at the Newark International Airport in New Jersey. This occurred as a truck driver, who used a GPS jammer to hide the vehicle’s location from the company boss, passed by the airport.

The advent of GPS helped many industries to develop their services. However, the progress of digital technology also paved the way for more complex cyberattacks.

For this reason, the public and private sector should be proactive in dealing with potential threats, since the consequences of GPS hacking may lead to loss of lives and property.

Making Valentine’s Day Extra Special for Your Significant Other

Man kissing the hands of his date

Man kissing the hands of his dateWith Valentine’s Day just a few days away, many lovebirds are probably feeling the pressure to make the day extra special for their significant others. If you’re one of them, here are some suggestions that can help make this year’s celebration one for the books.

Create something meaningful

Whatever you plan to give your special someone, put a lot of thought, time, and effort into it to make it more meaningful and special. For example, you can create an animation about your love story. If you live in Denver, there are video production companies such as onefloorupdenver.com you can commission to help you do this.

Another good idea is to create a scrapbook of letters, photos, and items that would remind you both of the most significant moments in your relationship.

Plan something unique

This special day for lovers, of course, won’t be complete without the two of you doing something together. However, don’t just plan to do the usual date stuff, such as watching a movie or going to dinner. Take the time to think of something unique.

You can, for instance, surprise your special someone with a hot-air balloon trip. Recreating your very first date – from the place, activity, and down to what you wore if possible – promises to be fun as well.

Do something impulsive

Few things can be more exciting and fun than doing something spontaneous, especially if it’s with your significant other. During your date, go for a stroll and look for ideas for a possible activity.

Maybe there’d be a fun run just about to start down the street, and you’d both be up for an impromptu exercise. Or there’d be a tattoo parlor nearby where the two of you could get matching tattoos!

Come Valentine’s Day, whatever you decide to do, just make the day as memorable as you can by making your special someone feel truly loved by you.