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County Extension

  • Summer survival

     Although the first day of summer isn’t officially for a few more weeks, this holiday weekend usually is the kickoff for summer events and activities. Typically our lifestyles change a little in the summer and some of our health habits need to change with them. Here are a few strategies from experts can help you make the most of the summer while fostering healthful habits.

     

    Summer Survival Tip 1: Get active

  • Understanding and preventing plant diseases in landscapes: Part II

     By Sam Marshall

     

  • Great food preservation resources

     The beautiful spring weather we’ve been having is a great inspiration to start a garden. This also means it’s a good time to remind people thinking about preserving foods they need to have up-to-date recipes. Food preservation recipes and techniques are constantly being studied and revised. Just because “you’ve always done it this way” or this is how your mother (or grandmother) taught you, it may not be the most up-to-date method. Also, just because you found a recipe on the Internet or saw it on a cooking show on television does not make it safe.

  • Iron and your blood

     Last month I saw this posted by a friend on Facebook: “A disappointing morning ... I am a regular blood donor and was sent away last week because my iron count was too low. Tried again today after trying to consume more iron but sent away again. I won’t give up but left feeling pretty defeated.”

  • Understanding and preventing plant diseases in landscapes: Part I

     By Sam Marshall

     

    For all the challenges of growing plants in our region, there are probably known more diverse and frustrating to understand as those that arise due to plant disease. While some can be severe, leading in some cases to outright death of plants, most plant diseases are quite harmless and are easily prevented and controlled. In all cases, early detection of diseases is an essential component of your landscape integrated pest management (IPM) program.

     

    The ecology of plant diseases

  • Options for making your garden sweet

     Ask most gardeners about sweet-smelling flowering shrubs for the garden and gardenia will be at the top of the list. This prom corsage favorite is a little too sickening-sweet for my taste, but it does a great job of perfuming the garden. Once you get past gardenia, the consensus on making your garden life sweet breaks down. Luckily, there are lots of options for sweet-smelling shrubs in southeastern North Carolina.

  • Whip up a dip

     Getting kids to eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables a day can be a challenge for parents. The key is to make the fruits and veggies appealing to them, but how? Some nutrition experts have observed children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables that are cut up, rather than eating them whole. After cutting up your produce, why not offer a dip to make the experience more enticing and fun?

  • Think ‘in, out, out’ for healthy salads

      In last week’s column, I talked about fruits and vegetables and the health recommendations that we all should be eating more fruits and vegetables. The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should aim for two-and-a-half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. That shouldn’t be too hard to do, but the current statistics show that 75 percent of us don’t get close to that amount.

  • Growing your own strawberries

     

    It’s strawberry picking time in southeastern North Carolina. That always brings some questions about growing those big, juicy berries in the home garden. Unfortunately, the strawberries you see growing commercially in the fields of local producers are nearly impossible to grow at home.

  • Eating lots of fruits and vegetables

      Eat more fruit. Eat more vegetables. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. These are the general recommendations we’re hearing from health experts everywhere. They all agree we should all be eating more fruits and veggies.