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County Extension

  • 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.

  • Students county extension staff go to state 4-H Congress in Raleigh

    More than 560 4-H’ers, volunteer leaders and North Carolina Cooperative Extension staff attended the 4-H Congress in Raleigh July 16-19.
    Attending full-time were Brunswick County 4-H youth Angelique and Alexis Apple, Sammi Lawrence, Bryan and Justin Simmons, Andrew Walton, Garrett Williams and Amber Yurgel. Many of the youth attended with assistance from a BEMC grant, used to assist 4-H Teens in Leadership Training, a committee from Brunswick County 4-H’s Teen Council.

  • ‘Apple Gals’ and pals pick pears

    When the Tinker Divas and Hickmans Crossroads 4-H club members found out that Brunswick Family Assistance needed helpers to pick pears to share at the food bank, they jumped at the opportunity to “make the best better.”

  • Get outside and catch the gardening bug

    By Tom Woods
    Agricultural Technician
    Each year new people get the gardening bug. Maybe it’s the do-it-yourself movement or economics. No matter, it’s worth a try even if some disappointments are to be expected by even the most experienced gardeners.
    If this is your year to dip your toe into freshly tilled soil, go for it. If your non-gardening friends try to discourage you, ask them the following questions: