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County Extension

  • 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.

  • Food trends

     

     By Cheryle Jones Syracuse

     

    When I listen to people talk about food or read some of the things posted on the Internet, I frequently hear concern and real confusion about the safety of the food we buy. Two words that get tossed around a lot are “hormones” and “GMOs” (genetically modified organisms).

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


    By Sam Marshall

     

    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.

     

  • Great food preservation resources
  • Ground pearls plague turfgrasses

     Ground pearls are native scale insects that attach themselves to the roots of turfgrasses and suck the life of them. Centipede is especially susceptible, but all grasses except bahia are negatively affected. The “pearl” moniker comes from the cyst stage that looks much like a granule of polymer-coated fertilizer such as Osmocote. This time of year you may see the pinkish-red females crawling around on the surface waiting for a hookup with the tiny, fly-like males. Once they mate the females burrow back into the soil and lay eggs to start another generation.

  • Local strawberries

     Local fresh strawberries are a real treat this time of year. The growers have had quite a season this year with the Mother Nature. With the really warm weather in late February, some of us were lucky to get early berries. Then the cold weather in March slowed things down. While the April rain was appreciated, it too slowed the ripening and picking. According to one local grower I spoke with, if the weather continues to be favorable, we will have berries through May.