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County Extension

  • March is living well month

     This week I’m tooting my own horn a little by sharing information about Living Well Month and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS). At the end of this column each week, there is a statement that says that I’m part of the Family and Consumer Science team at the Brunswick County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. I know some people reading that don’t know who we are or what we do.

  • Too much turkey

     If you read my column last week, you know I’m working my way through Taylor Flannery’s “Eat from the Pantry and Freezer Challenge.” Flannery writes a blog about decluttering your home. This challenge was to eat as many meals from what’s on hand in an effort to get these areas cleaned and organized.

  • Interesting privacy screens for home landscapes

     By Sam Marshall

  • Learning about listeriosis

     A couple of weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook about a food recall. The “shocking” headline was about a popular refrigerator stable having deadly bacteria. Unlike many things you read on the Internet, this one was a true. The food recall was for packaged cheese and the bacteria are Listeria monocytogenes, frequently just called listeria. The food-borne illness you get from these bacteria is called listeriosis.

  • Some plants mask their green

     You would think that horticulture folks would be happy in March when everyone’s “wearin’ the green.” After all, green is our color — the color of chlorophyll found in plant leaves that allows the life-giving process of photosynthesis to happen. But, in this month of green beer and shamrocks, I started thinking about all of the great plants we grow that mask their green behind other pigments such as the red and burgundy Japanese maples, ‘”Summer Chocolate” mimosa and Cordyline ‘”Red Star” with its striking form.

  • Eat what’s in the freezer

     For the past couple of years I’ve been following a blog on home organization by Taylor Flannery. The concept is to do something little every day and by the end of the year your house will be “decluttered.” While I don’t always do the daily or weekly organizational challenges, I do get some good ideas. The real challenge is to get busy and do something.

  • Don’t guess, soil test!

     

     

    By Sam Marshall

     

    Any successful gardener in this area will tell you that the key to a beautiful lawn or garden starts with healthy soil. The only way to ensure your soil is healthy is to conduct a soil test. Soil test results guide decisions like which type of fertilizer to use and whether or not to apply lime. Different types of plants have different pH and nutrient requirements. By soil testing, you can ensure you are applying the proper amounts for optimal growth of all your plants.

     

  • Can you spot the mistakes?

     Doug Powell says he can’t watch cooking shows on television. Why not? He complains the music is terrible, the chefs awful and the food safety non-existent.

    I happen to agree with Dr. Powell. I usually can’t watch cooking shows because the food safety practices concern me. On one half-hour show, I spotted at least three things, including recipes for home canning and meat cooking temperatures, that were just wrong!

  • Eat more nuts and nut butters

     Earlier this year I wrote about the Mediterranean diet. This eating pattern incorporates the basics of healthy eating traditionally practiced in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases.

  • Summer squash for the home garden

     By Sam Marshall

     

    Warm weather will be fast-approaching our region and now is the time to start squash seeds for your spring garden. Easy to grow, quick to mature and full of flavor, summer squash is a great early-season vegetable that will turn any “brown thumb” into a successful gardener.

     

    Getting started