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County Extension

  • Resolutions for gardening in 2013: Learn, compost and mulch

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    To start out the new year right, sign up for a gardening class at the community college and/or take a seminar offered by the Extension Center. There is always new information coming out that will help you with your gardening skills and it’s a great way to meet more gardeners.
    Fertilizer offers a wonderful boost to help your turf and your bedding plants to grow healthy and robust; however, fertilizer that falls on roadways will go directly into creeks, streams and rivers and can cause excessive aquatic plant growth.

  • Gardening tips for those who would love to have a beautiful landscape

    By Judy Koehly
    Brunswick County Master Gardener
    If you would like to have an abundance of flowers without spending hours and hours on maintenance your wish is my command!  Here are my tips for having a beautiful garden without investing a ton of time or money:  

  • Make a resolution to practice food safety in the New Year

    This past year I’ve frequently written in this column about food safety at home and in restaurants. This week I’m reviewing of the basic concepts by suggesting some “food safety” New Year resolutions that can help prevent you or a family member from getting a food-borne illness.
    Another good thing: These resolutions may be easier to keep than most and they might save you a trip to the doctor or hospital.
    •I will wash my hands and encourage kids to wash their hands before eating.

  • Eat Smart program begins Jan. 10

    After scrounging around the kitchen for one last holiday goodie, you find a single sugar cookie hiding in the bottom tin. You grab it, and head toward the mountain of decorations that need to be packed away until next year. Several hours later, the last box has been shoved into the attic or garage.
    Surveying the house, you see that all the gifts have been put away and everything appears to be back to normal…finally. And then you spot it, shouting at you from the bathroom floor…your old friend, the scale.

  • Protein foods: Eating a variety is key

    Eat a variety of foods from the protein foods group each week. Experiment with main dishes made with beans or peas, nuts, soy and seafood.
    Choose lean or low-fat cuts of meat like round or sirloin and ground beef that is at least 90 percent lean. Trim or drain fat from meat and remove poultry skin.
    Try grilling, broiling, roasting or baking. They don’t add extra fat. Some lean meats need slow, moist cooking to be tender. Try a slow cooker for them. Avoid breading meat or poultry, which adds calories.

  • How to plant a landscape in a little bit of time

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    Combine annuals, bulbs, perennials and shrubs; no one plant should have to do all of the work. Plant your beds with a backbone of perennials, shrubs and bulbs. These plants provide permanent color in your garden. Leave some open spaces that you can fill with annuals for all-summer color. Because perennials, shrubs and bulbs don’t need to be planted each year, spring planting takes less time.

  • Don’t lick that spoon! Practice cookie safety

    Holidays are the time for traditions. Special holiday foods are some of the biggest traditions of all. Unfortunately, these foods may include some risky products or cooking methods that might result in a food-borne illness.
    Salmonella food poisoning might happen after eating raw or undercooked eggs. Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells may occasionally contain the salmonella bacteria. Researchers say that, if present, most bacteria are usually in the yolk, but it also has been found in the white, but not as often.

  • ServSafe Food safety class offered for restaurant managers

    Learn the right techniques for handling, preparing, serving and storing foods safely during the ServSafe Food Safety for Restaurant Managers class being offered in three sessions on Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 at the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce, 4433 Long Beach Road in Southport. Classroom sessions will be from 12:30-4:30 p.m.
    Students who successfully complete the class and exam will receive a certificate from the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, which is often seen prominently displayed in restaurants.

  • Healthy holiday suggestions you can live with

    Several days a week I meet a great group of women early in the morning for a one-hour walk. We’ve been doing this for more than five years and I highly recommend it.
    Having friends to walk and talk with makes exercising easier. There’s also that peer pressure that encourages me to get out of bed. It’s also a great way to share ideas.
    A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about Thanksgiving and all the food. Several commented that it’s really hard to avoid all the excess food that’s around during this season of the year.

  • Brunswick County to offer Cooperative Extension Master Gardener class

    The Brunswick County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service will offer the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program beginning Feb. 5, 2013. The program is designed to teach home gardeners the basics of horticulture for coastal North Carolina.