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County Extension

  • 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:

  • Controlled burn helps pitcher plants flourish

    Myrtle Head Savanna is small–just 72 acres–but it is home to a number of rare plants.
    One of the most charismatic is the pitcher plant (Sarracenia). Three varieties of the carnivorous plant are found in the Brunswick County preserve, which is why the North American Sarracenia Conservancy financed a recent controlled burn there.

  • Master Gardeners to offer horticulture classes

    The Master Gardeners of Brunswick County will offer a unique horticulture class for Brunswick County residents beginning Sept. 10 for six consecutive Mondays at the Bolivia Government Center Extension Services Training Center in Bolivia.
    The class, which runs from 9-11:30 a.m., will provide the basic knowledge needed to maintain a yard/garden in the coastal plain of the Carolinas. Shorter and less expensive than the Master Gardener class, it contains less science and more “how to” content.

  • Sneaky zucchini mysteriously appear at night

    By Cheryle Syracuse

  • 4-H’ers meet real super heroes

    On Monday, July 16, the 4-H Clover-Buds, youth ages 5-8, met an array of real super heroes at a camp called “Real Super Heroes.”
    Day-campers started out at the sheriff’s office, Sgt. Burt Reaves took them on a tour of the sheriff’s office, where they met chief deputy Charlie Miller and deputy Chris Powell with his bloodhound, Bonnie, used for searching for missing people.

  • What’s causing those tiny sawdust piles? Carpenter bees

    By Tom Woods
    Agricultural Technician

    Tiny piles of sawdust found in random spots are likely caused by large wood-drilling insects called carpenter bees.
    Carpenter bees are large, black and yellow bees often seen flying around the wooden eaves of houses, wooden decks and wooden fences. They are often mistaken for bumblebees, but unlike bumblebees, they have a black shiny tail section.