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County Extension

  • Curbing childhood obesity

    This is a sad statistic: One out of every three American children is already overweight or obese.
    September is National Childhood Obesity Month, a time designated to bring further awareness to this problem and encourage action.
    In the past four decades, obesity rates in the United States have soared among all age groups. This rise in obesity has affected our youth in alarming fashion. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2-19 are obese or overweight, a statistic that health and medical experts consider an epidemic.

  • Growing great evergreens for screens and hedges

    Tom Woods
    Agricultural Technician
    Story by Charlotte Glenn
    Need some privacy? Want to screen out the view into your neighbor’s yard? Consider planting a living fence of evergreen shrubs, but look beyond the common disease-plagued Leyland Cypress! Local garden centers carry many evergreens suitable for screening…and fall is the perfect time to plant.

  • 4-H’ers take part in dairy event

    During the month of July, a group a 4-H’ers took a trip to N.C. State’s dairy facilities. The young campers, along with their leaders, had the opportunity to learn about the campus’ own source of dairy products.

  • Finding holiday recipes online

    I know it’s early in the season, but it seems once kids are back in school and Labor Day has passed, people begin to think about those winter holidays. I had a couple phone calls and email requests about making homemade canned products for Christmas gifts.
    Please beware—while numerous recipes circulate on the Internet, in recipe blogs, and on television shows, not all of them are safe.
    Canning chocolate sauce

  • As summer winds down, turn to your turf

    By Tom Woods
    Horticultural Technician

    The following information is courtesy of Charlotte Glen, Pender County Cooperative Extension horticultural agent.
    When areas of your lawn that were healthy in the fall fail to green up and grow right away in the spring, cold damage (often referred to as winter kill) is the likely culprit. Minimize winterkill in your lawn by applying potassium fertilizer and raising your mowing height this month.

  • We’re going bananas—to the tune of 27 pounds of them per year

    I know the buzz word with food these days is “local.” For most items, that’s a great goal; however, there are some foods that just can’t be grown close to home. One popular food that fits into this category is the banana.
    It’s estimated the average American eats about 27 pounds of bananas a year. More than 96 percent of us buy bananas at least once a month. Why not? You don’t have to wash them or cook them and they are easy to take with you for a quick snack or dessert at any time.

  • Warm, dry spring and summer lead to West Nile virus fears

    This article references Georgia but has value in North Carolina as well, especially the recommended precautions.
    —Tom Woods, Master Gardener volunteer coordinator
    West Nile virus usually peaks between Aug. 15 and Sep. 15 in Georgia, but this year, doctors are seeing an earlier start.
    Entomologists and public health officials are worried that a near record number of Georgians will be sickened with West Nile virus this year.

  • Fall is the time to give your landscape a good cleanup

    By Tom Woods
    Horticultural Technician

  • Growing amaryllis bulbs at home for holiday bloom is simple

    By Tom Woods
    Horticultural Technician

    Amaryllis are extremely easy and fun to grow and now is the time to get them started to bloom for the holidays. Fortunately, the enjoyment does not end after the blossoms fade.
    Amaryllis are hardy bulbs in our area, which means you can plant your amaryllis outside in the landscape in spring, where it will blossom each spring for years to come.

  • Enjoy the great taste of summer tomatoes just off the vine

    "Grown in the dirt and ripened by the sun.” I saw this sign on tomatoes at a local farmers market. It tells the story about how many of us feel about the fresh taste of tomatoes, just off the vine and still warm from the sun.
    Is there any taste that says summer better? This is the vegetable we long for most when supermarkets offer rather flavorless winter tomatoes.
    Some just want a few tomatoes to enjoy with a salad or perhaps sliced on a sandwich. But if you want to preserve this taste of summer, here are a few tips on canning tomatoes.