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County Extension

  • Looking to cookbooks for food safety information often results in bad advice

    Dr. Ben Chapman, our food safety specialist at N.C. State, says cookbooks give readers (mostly) bad advice on food safety.

    I agree with Dr. Chapman when he says cookbooks and online recipes could be a much better source of food safety information. Putting the appropriate information, like cooking temperatures, cross contamination risks or storage times, right into a recipe would provide the cooks the info right when they need it.

  • Time for tomato troubles

    Whether you call it “pomme d’amour,” “pomodoro ,” “love apple” or just “tomato,” growing this vegetable that’s actually a fruit is a challenge in southeastern North Carolina. The plant clinic at the Arboretum on Oleander Drive in Wilmington is always full of tomato troubles this time of year: bacterial wilt, tomato spotted wilt virus, root-knot nematodes, early blight, late blight, ... the list goes on.

  • Adding color to your garden

    Adding annual and perennial color to the garden is one of the most fun and high-impact things we can do in our gardens. And, the choices keep getting better and better as new selections are introduced. 

    I had the opportunity to attend a workshop last week touting the Proven Winners plant collection.  Proven Winners, in familiar white containers, offers a line of annuals, perennials and shrubs.  Many of these selections are adapted to the difficult conditions of southeastern North Carolina. 

  • More home kitchen inspection

    In last week’s column I asked four questions about food safety practices in the home kitchen. How did you do? Would your kitchen pass a food safety inspection?

    As promised, here are four more questions. Choose the answers that most closely apply to your everyday practices in your kitchen.

    5. When using a cutting board: If you’re cutting raw meat or poultry, what do you do before cutting fresh produce or bread before the same meal?

    a.Use a separate cutting board

    b.Wipe the cutting board with a damp cloth or sponge

  • Home kitchen inspection

    One of the classes I frequently teach at the N.C. Cooperative Extension here in Brunswick County is food safety for food service managers. Restaurant staff who pass the test receive a certificate that they can proudly display in their workplace. It makes me proud and excited when I see these when I visit local restaurants.

  • The quest to find an uncommon plant

    By Sam Marshall

     

    What started as a casual endeavor to find an exquisite and uncommon plant has recently morphed into somewhat of an obsession for me.

    And for good reason.

  • An important food safety question

    Here’s a quick food safety question: Which of these foods needs to be refrigerated for safety?

    ·      Cut watermelon

    ·      Washed, cut leafy greens

    ·      Sliced tomatoes

    ·      Fresh cut cantaloupe cubes

    ·      Fruit salad

  • Extension offers canning classes

    If you’re new to food preservation or would like to get a refresher on your skills, the NC Cooperative Extension in Brunswick County is offering a series of classes on basic food preservation this month.

  • Eat more fruit

    Eat more fruit. We’ve all heard this as a recommendation. I also know dietitians, nutritionists and moms tell people to eat fruit as a snack. I’ve said that many times myself in this column. But, I also know that’s easier to say than do in real life.

  • Seasonal horrors: Fire ants, yellow jackets, wasps

    This is the time of year when a little outdoor eating can help you reconnect with nature and the ones you love. But, uninvited guests such as fire ants and yellow jackets can turn even the most idyllic family picnic into fodder for a Stephen King novel.