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County Extension

  • Food safety month

     In recognition of September as National Food Safety Month, I have two quick questions for you. What do you think — are these statements true or false?

    1.     Salmonella is the most common foodborne illness.

    2.     More people get sick from chicken than from any other food.

  • Underrated garden workhorses

     It’s easy to get excited about the superstars of the garden: roses, crape myrtles, azaleas and gardenias. When their time to shine arrives, it’s greeted with oohs and aahs from all fortunate enough to bask in their glory.

    But what about those plant workhorses that make your garden better and ask very little in return?

  • Peeling away the vegetative layers and exploring the shrub layer

     By Sam Marshall

     

    We have been discussing over the past few weeks the benefits of additional vegetative complexity in home lawns and gardens. Shrubs are arguably one of the best ways to add complexity to your landscape, as they cover the spectrum of both height and spread. You also can add a greater number of shrubs to a home yard as they generally take up less space, which makes them ideal choices for smaller areas. This column will focus on shrub selections for home landscapes.

     

    Selecting the right shrubs

  • Safe Plates food safety manager classes
  • Buy bulbs now for spring flowers

    The gorgeous displays of spring-flowering bulbs are already showing up in garden shops and nurseries. Go ahead and purchase your bulbs while the selection is still good, but it’s too early to plant them. Store them in the crisper of your refrigerator or in a cool, dark and dry place until you’re ready to plant them.

  • Safe packed lunches

     Back to school is a good time to refresh your memory and thoughts on safe packed lunches. When I was in school we carried our lunches in brown bags or cartoon character-themed boxes.  Now there many good-looking insulated bags on the market even the most image-conscious child would be happy to carry. These special bags are a great idea, especially if you’re packing perishable items.

  • Keeping food safe during power outages

     

     

    It’s getting to be that time of year. As I write this article, there are a couple of tropical storms forming south of here. Hopefully, we’ll escape any major problems, but it’s always a good time to think ahead a little. I’m specifically talking about what might happen to the food in your refrigerator and freezer if we have a power outage.

  • The Lawn Ranger rides again!

     Whether you have a faithful sidekick or not, it’s time for the “lawn ranger” to get busy. During these hot times when the grass is really growing, it’s important to saddle up that lawn mower often and keep the blades sharp. This month is also the right time to fertilize Bermuda, zoysia and St. Augustine if you’re following N.C. State University’s recommendations.

  • Pink chicken and ground beef

     Fact or myth? Chicken is safe if the juices are running clear? Here’s another: Burgers are safe if all the pink is gone. Both of these are myths.

  • Peeling away the vegetative layers of your garden

     Sam Marshall, Horticulture Agent

    NC Cooperative Extension

    Brunswick County Center

     

    Whether you are a seasoned veteran or are just venturing into gardening in southeastern North Carolina, most of us would agree that a diverse yard is visually more appealing.

    Plants in bloom at different times of the year offer us a change in scenery throughout the season and plants of different sizes and heights add visual and textural interest to a landscape that can lend itself to the aesthetic as well as to the functional.