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County Extension

  • Holiday food safety quiz

    The holiday season can put people at risk for a food-borne illness or what some folks call food poisoning. Refrigerators and dining rooms are full and parties and celebrations with food are plentiful so the opportunities are higher. No one wants to get a food-borne illness anytime during the year but especially not now.  

  • New magnolia varieties for coastal landscapes

    By Sam Marshall

     

    There may be no other tree that is more quintessentially Southern as the magnolia. Robust white flowers in the middle of summer and the glossy, deep green leaves seem to breathe life into those long, humid dog days of summer. These days, however, gardeners have many choices when it comes to magnolia selections, so even if you are not a fan of the traditional landscape, there are some excellent magnolia choices that will perform beautifully and with little maintenance in our coastal environment.

  • Strategies for a healthy holiday

    A couple of weeks ago I shared some holiday survival tips for those of you trying to lose weight-— or at least not gain weight — during the holiday season. I’ve seen statistics showing people can gain up to 10 pounds between Halloween and the Super Bowl each year. This is the big eating season! Not everyone will gain that much. Even if you only gain a pound or two, the problem is most folks don’t lose that weight once the party season is over — and this can go on year after year.

  • Fall 2017 bestows spectacular color

    Our warm and dry autumn came to an abrupt end this week as Old Man Winter made his presence known. The good news is the prognosticators promise a warmer and drier winter. Of course you know how easy it is to predict the weather. 

    Whatever the weather, this is a great time of year to pause and reflect on what has happened during the growing season.

  • Whether landscape friend or foe, mistletoe remains a holiday staple

     

    By Sam Marshall

     

  • Holiday season survival

    As I write this column, I know some of you will be reading it before Thanksgiving and probably others during the weekend after the big day. I’m guessing you’ve already been bombarded with cautions and concerns about overeating or food safety related to that big meal, so I’ll forgo those topics.

  • Food volunteers wanted

    OK, admit it. You watch cooking shows and say to yourself “I could do that.” You can!

    Or perhaps you really like to cook and would like to share those skills with others. You can!

     

    If you like cooking, eating, local food work or just simply food, volunteering for the Extension may be just the opportunity you’ve been looking for. I’m talking about the Extension Master Food Volunteer (EMFV) program. Applications are due now, but training won’t start until after the new year.

  • Dine in Dec. 3 for better health

    This coming Sunday marks the fourth annual “Dine-In” day. Do you have special plans for dinner (or even breakfast or lunch) on Sunday? In observance of this day, why not think about planning, preparing and eating a healthy meal with your family? Since 2014, more than 300,000 people have committed to Dining in on Dec. 3.

  • Don’t neglect turf, gardens during winter

    We made it through another Thanksgiving with the relatives and the biggest shopping day of the year. Now, it’s time to do your imitation of Clark Griswold’s house for the next big celebration in a little less than one month.

    At my house, the decorating is limited to a wreath on the front door and lights outlining the shape of an Oshio-Beni Japanese maple. The limited investment in decorations leaves me with some time to work in the garden. And, there are plenty of things to do during these short, late fall days.

  • Current garden trends as 2018 approaches

    It’s hard to believe next week is Thanksgiving. This decidedly American holiday provides a couple of days off for most of us to wear ourselves out visiting relatives and eating too much. We should certainly be thankful most of us have the opportunity to eat too much, but let’s go in a completely different direction this time.

    Since 90 percent of 2017 is already history, it’s time to start thinking about what’s coming in the new year. So, let’s look at some of the current garden trends.