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County Extension

  • Growing hops in your garden

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture Agent
    Cones from female hop vines offer a wide variety of wonderful smells and flavors prized by brewers.
    With increased popularity of home brewing and a demand for locally grown ingredients, interest in backyard hop production is growing. Primarily used as bittering and aroma agents in beer, hop plants are hardy perennial plants that can be successfully grown in the home garden. Whether you are a home brewer trying out your green thumb or just want to try something different this year, consider planting hops!

  • Grow heirloom tomatoes for the home garden

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture Agent
    Not your average tomato, heirloom varieties come in all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors.
    Spring is right around the corner and now is the time to start planning your vegetable garden. An icon for any garden, nothing stands out more than the tomato. A growing number of home gardeners are seeking out heirloom varieties. Because they offer a diversity of shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, heirloom tomatoes add an interesting perk to the garden, as well as the dinner table.

  • Choosing a great breakfast

    My mom has been visiting us this past month. One of the times I enjoy the most is having breakfast with her. We’ve had a variety of different “breakfast foods” from eggs, to cereals, to waffles, fruit and yogurt. One of our favorites is a big pot of oatmeal and other whole-grains with nuts and dried cranberries.

  • Safety tips for eating at work

    The last couple of weeks I’ve been writing about the importance of regular meals and snacks to help maintain a healthy weight. These columns have discussed packing lunches and snacks so you can have healthier foods available when away from home. Now that you’ve got great meals packed and a good snack pack, too, have you thought about the safety of these foods?

  • Pack a snack to balance metabolism and control appetite

    In last week’s column, I talked about the importance of eating regular meals. I know you’re saying that eating isn’t your problem; it’s what or how much you eat that’s the problem. That may be true, but eating regular meals can balance your metabolism and control your appetite.

  • Pack a smart lunch

    “Pack a smart lunch” was the topic of my Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class this past week. This is a topic in this class series because eating lunch is important if you’re trying to lose weight.
    Do any of these statements sound familiar?
    “I ran out of the house this morning and didn’t have time to pack my lunch.”
    “I didn’t have anything to pack for my lunch anyway, because there was no food in the house.”

  • Pack a smart lunch

    “Pack a smart lunch” was the topic of my Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class this past week. This is a topic in this class series because eating lunch is important if you’re trying to lose weight.
    Do any of these statements sound familiar?
    “I ran out of the house this morning and didn’t have time to pack my lunch.”
    “I didn’t have anything to pack for my lunch anyway, because there was no food in the house.”

  • Thermometers and bleach for food safety in the new year

    Last week was full of New Year’s resolutions and goals for folks to be happier and healthier this year. I bet food safety resolutions weren’t up there on your list, but I do have a couple ideas on how you can easily help keep your family and home safer when dealing with food.
    First, I suggest that you purchase three simple items that can make this task easy: regular chlorine bleach, a quick-read food thermometer and a refrigerator/freezer thermometer.

  • Make SMART resolutions for the new year

    It seems everyone is offering ideas this week for New Year’s resolutions we should be making. I don’t know the statistics on how quickly people break their resolutions, but I am sure that someone on the Internet will tell us. Resolutions don’t need to be something that’s easily dismissed.

  • This season, change the way you think about eggnog

    Eggnog, an annual tradition in many American homes, has its roots in early American history. It’s reported that even George Washington had his own favorite recipe for this holiday beverage.
    Traditionally, eggnog is made by combining raw eggs with milk or cream, flavorings and perhaps alcohol. I’m betting that George’s recipe had lots of eggs, cream, sugar and possibly rum.
    If your family enjoys eggnog, here are a couple of things to think about before indulging in this holiday tradition: