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County Extension

  • Crape myrtles offer colorful summers and elegant winter silhouettes

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    Crape myrtles are in their glory during the hot, humid days of summer, but most people do not realize that they make a beautiful four-season statement. In summer, they bring us a splendid variety of colorful blooms, and in winter the smooth bark and graceful natural shape of the tree add a lovely contrast to the many other deciduous trees. To keep the blooms coming all summer, trim off the flower heads as soon as they finish their blooms and a new set of blooms will follow shortly.

  • Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day

    Do you constantly find yourself eating breakfast “on the run” or worse yet, skipping breakfast entirely? Are you settling for coffee and a donut or whatever’s in the break room at the office? The first meal of the day is important, so don’t short-change yourself.
    Why eat breakfast?

  • A fall vegetable garden will extend your growing season

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticultural Extension agent

    Fall is an exciting time in southeastern North Carolina. We finally get a reprieve from the heat and humidity and the bugs are more tolerable, which means you can begin to reclaim the outdoors and get back in the garden; and now is the time to start a fall vegetable garden. If you typically grow a summer garden — tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, squash — and no fall garden, you are only getting half the production potential from your beds and are missing out on some tasty cool-season veggies.

  • Allergens are focus of National Food Safety Month

    If you or a family member has a food allergy, you probably worry a little when eating at restaurants. This is a concern for restaurant staff, too. They don’t want to serve anything that may cause someone to get sick. To help restaurants learn more about allergies and how to help customers, allergens and preventing a reaction is the theme of this year’s National Food Safety Month.

  • Freezer problems and solutions

    Although it doesn’t happen often, the loss of power or a broken appliance can cause problems keeping food safe in your freezer. Here are a few tips on what you can do to help prevent a food borne illness or the loss of food caused by a freezer that isn’t working.
    Refreezing thawed foods

  • Get on the right track with weight loss program

    The kids have gone back to school. Summer visitors are long gone. The days are getting a little cooler and shorter. We’re all getting back into a normal schedule, but before you go back to all your old habits, why not start a new routine that includes eating smarter, moving more and ultimately weighing less?

  • Freezing sandwiches make packing lunches easier

    Sandwiches continue to be a popular food today because of their versatility and convenience. Freezing sandwiches offers several additional benefits. Save money by making your own “fast food” sandwiches for a sack lunch or meal at home. Save time by making several sandwiches at once. Use leftovers or cook extra at a meal for use in tasty and different ways at future meals. Control the type of bread (such as choosing a whole grain bread), type of filling and spread (amount, salt, fat and so forth) by being in charge of the ingredients.

  • It’s National Sandwich Month

    Everyone seems to love sandwiches. August is National Sandwich Month and with just a few days left in the month, we can still recognize this quick, easy and nutritious favorite. With kids and teachers heading back to school, it’s also a great time to think about redesigning this lunch mainstay. Perhaps try a different type of sandwich or have fun inventing a new sandwich in celebration!
    Ideas for making your
    sandwich more nutritious

  • Wildflowers in the landscape

    By Shirley Waggoner-Eisenman
    Master Gardener Volunteer

  • Back to school: It’s a good time to get a free soil test

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture Extension Agent