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County Extension

  • Visit a farmers’ market

     Buying and eating local foods seems to be a trend with foodies and non-foodies alike. It’s more than a fad. While fads come and go, it looks like our desire for fresh, locally-grown foods is raising and here to stay. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates more than one million people will visit a farmers’ market this week. Are you one of them?

  • Busting a couple of gardening myths

     My progression into a card-carrying curmudgeon is coming along nicely. You can watch those inane situation comedies with their laugh tracks, reality shows featuring fake people with fake body parts and talent competitions (shouldn’t it just be “America Has Talent?”) when you pry the remote from my cold, dead fingers. No, give me a show about history, war, how something is made or figuring out if something is fact or widely believed fiction any day.

  • More about that deadly toxin, botulism

     In this column several weeks ago, I wrote about a woman who died from botulism toxin after attending a church potluck dinner. She had eaten potato salad made with improperly home-canned potatoes. Everyone seems to know about botulism in canned foods, but there are some other sources of this deadly toxin.

    Before I get into that, here’s a little more background information.

  • Pest alert: Bagworms now active in landscapes

    By Sam Marshall

     

  • Advice regarding fruit and the diabetic

    When asked to bring something to share at a dinner party I usually take some sort of fresh fruit. Fruit is the kind of food that can be served as an appetizer, salad or dessert. Taking a fruit dish is always a good idea, because it assures me there will be some food at the meal I know is healthful.

    I was surprised to hear one of the other guests comment he avoids fruit because of what it does to his blood sugar. Since then, I found an article in a Food and Health Communications newsletter on this very topic written by Hollis Bass.

  • Take this food preservation quiz

     Preserving food really isn’t a practice that is going out of style. With the growing focus on local and homegrown food, many people want to preserve the fruits and vegetables of summer for later use.

    If you’re an old hand at preserving or are thinking of giving it a try for the first time this year, here’s a quiz to see if you’re on the right track. Answers if you think these statements about food preservation are true or false.

    1) All vegetables and meats must be pressure canned.

  • Plants struggle during the Great Heat Wave of 2015

     Back in the dark ages of the early 1980s before Eddie Murphy grew too rich to be funny anymore, he made a movie called “Beverly Hills Cop.” Glenn Frey of earlier and later Eagles fame recorded a song called “The Heat is On” for its soundtrack. While the temperatures haven’t been tickling the triple digits in the past few days, that song title aptly describes most of the month of June.

  • More on hot dogs

     Last week I talked about a few basic food safety tips to think about during the summer months. There are some special foods that we tend to eat more often in the summer than other times of the year. One of these is hot dogs. I just touched on them previously, but checking the facts for that column lead me to think more about this summertime favorite.

  • Leaf-footed bugs: a mid-season pest for vegetables

     Have you ever noticed a small, orange-and-black critter congregating on your summer vegetable plants? Similarly, have you encountered a larger one that appears to be wearing bell-bottom pants? A common mid-season pest, leaf-footed bugs are nuisance pests on many fruit and vegetable crops, as well as nut trees and some ornamental plants. And as the summer wears on, they will become more problematic, so act now to avoid damage to your summer vegetables.

     

    What are leaf-footed bugs?

  • Take the fruit trivia quiz

     

     

    June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. No one can argue with the fact that most people should eat more fruits and vegetables. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans stress the wisdom of moving to a more plant-based diet, and MyPlate encourages us to fill half our plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal. If you’re counting fruit servings, men and women should eat at least 2 cups of fruit every day and children ages between the ages of 9 and 13 should get at least 1½ cups.