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County Extension

  • Pineapple is tasty any time of the year

    It’s hard to get fresh fruits this time of year. The selection at the grocery store is limited and the prices seem to be going up each week.
    For a special treat and a little variety, you may want to try a pineapple. If you can’t find fresh, it’s always available in the canned fruit section.
    Although available year round, the peak season for Hawaiian pineapple is late spring into summer and Caribbean pineapples have two seasons: December through February and August through September.

  • The pest is back: Kudzu bugs overwinter here

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    There is a new pest in town: the kudzu bug. Megacopta cribraria, commonly referred to as the kudzu bug, was first discovered on kudzu in the vicinity of Atlanta, Ga., during the fall of 2009. Unfortunately kudzu is not the only plant it has on its diet. It quickly moved across Georgia and South Carolina, causing extensive soybean damage.
    In 2011, it was found in North Carolina, Alabama and Virginia, and by 2012 is being found in at least two more states—Florida and Tennessee.

  • Wear red Feb. 1 for heart health

    Sarah Barnwell
    Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
    Brunswick County Cooperative Extension
    Now is the time of year we begin to see pink, white and red for Valentine’s Day. We take our time picking out the cutest Valentine cards, planning special memories and even choosing festive red and pink outfits for the day.
    This year, I encourage everyone to be fashionable for a different reason…to raise awareness for the number-one killer of women: heart disease.

  • Seasonal gardening: There are plenty of winter gardening chores

    By Judith Wojcik Ashley
    UGA Cooperative Extension

    Gardeners who chose not to grow cool season crops may be getting restless as temperatures drop and the growing season comes to an end. Well, a gardener’s work is never done. Here are a few garden chores that can be accomplished over the next few months:

  • Can you really make your own 2-percent milk at home?

    I don’t make this stuff up. A friend recently posted this story on Facebook.
    Her husband went to the convenience store on the corner to get milk. Their family with two young boys usually drinks 2-percent milk. He discovered the store only had whole milk and 1-percent. This enterprising man (not wanting to drive to a full-service grocery store several miles away) purchased a gallon of each and informed his wife when he got home that if she’d mix them together they would get 2-percent.

  • Rotisserie chickens and their love affair with sodium

    In last week’s column, I talked about my investigation into rotisserie chicken. I’ve always wondered if they were a “good deal.” We all know you can’t beat them for their convenience, but there is also a saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” They are not just simply a roasted chicken.
    While many companies label rotisserie chickens by saying they have no added steroids or no hormones, they all seem to have some added seasoning or flavoring.

  • Protect your plants throughout the cooler winter months

    By Shirley Waggoner-Eisenman
    Master Gardener
    In this area of North Carolina, protecting your plants from cold is easy enough to do, since our winters are mild; however, certain plants need protection from the cold to survive the winter months.
    Protecting your plants in winter does not mean you have to keep them warm. It simply means providing protection from damaging winds, snow, ice, alternate freezing and thawing of the soil and heat from the sun on cold days.

  • How to start eating healthier

    One of the biggest challenges to eating healthier is finding substitutions for existing foods in your diet. Here are some tips to make the transition easier:
    Use mustard instead of mayo on your sandwiches. You’ll get lots of flavor with much fewer calories and fat.
    Select whole-wheat bread instead of white bread. Be sure to read the label to ensure you’re getting whole grains, not just colored white bread.
    Start using lean ground beef, pork tenderloin or fish instead of high-fat cuts of meat.

  • Stuck inside with winter blahs?

    By Tammy Harrison
    Master Gardener
    Now that the holidays are over, many gardeners’ hearts begin yearning for spring.
    Looking through gardening catalogs is a fun way to spend cold winter days, but there’s something else you can do on warm, pretty days: Go to gardens.
    Winter is a wonderful time to visit gardens and arboretums. There are many gardens and arboretums in our state that are free, open year round, and in the winter, you have them pretty much all to yourself.

  • Oh what a feeling: Seduced by a (rotisserie) chicken

    As you pass them in a grocery store, a big box store or even a discount store, the aroma and promise of quick, hot meal entices you to buy a cooked rotisserie chicken.
    Then, the smell in your car is so tempting that you may want to nibble on the way home. Who hasn’t been seduced by one of these chickens?
    No matter how enticing, I’ve always wondered: “What’s the catch?”