County Extension

  • All you wanted to know about butterflies, part I

    By Shirley Waggoner Eisenman
    Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

  • Some tips for food safety when the power goes out

    I originally wrote this column back in August 2011 when everyone in Brunswick County was preparing for Hurricane Irene. Fortunately we were spared major damage from that storm.  But I thought it might be a good idea to share this information again, before we’re all in a hurry to get things done before another storm.

  • Downy mildew coming to a garden near you
  • You can’t beat a fresh tomato

    There really is something wonderful about fresh grown tomatoes. One of my favorite tastes of summer is a sandwich with a thick slice of tomato as fresh from the garden as possible. I saw a sign at a local farmers’ market once that said, “Grown in the dirt and ripened by the sun.” Can’t beat that!

  • Black twig borers: Tiny insects pose a big threat to trees

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture Extension Agent

    What’s small and brown, about half the length of a grain of rice, and has the potential to kill your ornamental trees and shrubs? Why, the black twig borer, of course.
    But have you ever actually seen one? Unless you happen to be extremely observant and own a high-powered microscope, then the answer is most likely no. However, the black twig borer is fast-becoming a major pest in nurseries and home landscapes throughout surrounding counties.

  • Putting up green beans for a cooler season


  • July is Baked Beans Month

    It seems that every food has a month and every month has a food. July is Baked Beans Month. That seems logical. July is a great time for family reunions, holiday cookouts and picnics. Baked beans traditionally have been a perfect addition to these menus.
    First, let’s explore the joy of beans. Why dedicate a whole month to these legumes, especially in the produce-rich height of summer? Well, beans are pretty amazing. They are high in protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, yet low in sodium and fat.

  • Don’t blame mayo—the egg is cooked

    Summer days just seem to cry out, “time for a picnic.” This is ideal weather to cook and eat outside, but it is also the ideal temperature for bacteria to multiply and cause a foodborne illness.
    Of course, we all know food needs to be kept cold. The general rule-of-thumb is food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours, and this goes down to one hour when it’s one of those really hot over-90-degrees summer days.

  • Have you pruned your tomatoes?

    By Sam Marshall
    Horticulture Agent
    Now is the time of year to consider pruning your tomato plants. For several reasons, pruning is a good way to ensure that your tomato plants produce as much fruit as possible. Pruning excess vegetation will encourage more of the plant’s energy to go into fruit production and ripening.

  • Grandma called it ‘roughage’

    Your grandmother probably called it “roughage”. They’re now calling it fiber. I remember once I had to try to teach a group of third graders about why they should eat fiber…that’s a delicate subject. But, we all know we should be getting more fiber in our diets, but we can only eat so much whole wheat bread or prunes.