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County Extension

  • 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.

  • Fresh versus frozen

    When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, more is certainly better. Current research out of the United Kingdom is saying that we need even more than the recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend. Their study suggests 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day can really go a long way toward reducing risk of early death and chronic illness.

    But, how in the world can you eat that many? Or maybe a better question would be, how can you afford that many? One easy answer: Go for frozen.

  • Hollies for year-round garden interest

    By Sam Marshall

     

    Current horticultural trends have, unfortunately, relegated hollies to an afterthought in coastal gardens, doomed forever to be hacked into little green meatballs and left to survive in the most inhospitable of environments. At best, hollies are used primarily as background filler plants for showier trees and shrubs, or worse, ignored altogether. But with their bright red berries, their diverse forms and foliage and their tough-as-nails habit, hollies deserve a prominent place throughout our coastal landscapes.