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County Extension

  • Late-winter garden chores

     The shortest month of the year with Valentine’s Day in its middle should be a great time for romance. If your relationship is still in that stage, enjoy. For those who have been together long enough that leather and lace has given way to coffee makers and car tires, you might get some extra points by taking care of some late-winter garden chores like pruning and controlling weeds.

  • Making your own baby food: Keep baby safe

     There’s a new baby in your house and you’re thinking of making your own baby food. Not only can this be a nutritious alternative to store-bought baby food, it can be a real money saver.

    First off, don’t rush adding solid food to baby’s diet. By age of 4 months to 6 months, most babies’ energy needs increase, making this the ideal time to introduce solid foods. Until this age, they usually don’t have enough control over their tongues and mouth muscles to eat solid foods.

  • Smart shopping

     For the past couple of weeks in this column, I’ve been talking about grocery shopping and offering simple shopping tips that can both help with your food budget and offer healthy eating. For years, home economics, dietitians and health professionals have been promoting something called “shopping the perimeter” as a way to help you choose foods that support a healthy diet.

  • Giving up on traditional turfgrass? Plant a meadow garden

     

     

     By Sam Marshall, Horticulture Agent

    NC Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center

     

  • Healthful savings at the grocery store

     I don’t have to tell you the price of eating is over the top. I swear, prices of some of my frequently purchased items at the grocery store are going up on a monthly, if not weekly, basis. Last week in this column, I offered some ideas on how to make some healthy changes to that grocery cart, but you may be thinking you can’t afford to eat healthy.

  • Addressing cold weather plant damage

     It’s been a couple of weeks now since the winter blast that sent the temperatures plunging into the teens. From what I’ve seen at the New Hanover County Arboretum and at my humble abode, the usual suspects — oleanders and sago palms — got fried. While that was no surprise, the level of flower damage on pansies and violas was a bit worse than I expected. And, my poor ornamental beets look like they may have gone to the great compost heap in the sky.

  • Shopping cart makeover

     It’s the third week into 2017 and I’m going to bring up those New Year’s resolutions again. If your goal is to eat more healthfully this year, I have some simple ideas to try in the grocery store. Rethink what you’re putting in your cart.

  • Chaste tree: A stunning plant for a tough climate

      By Sam Marshall

     

  • Back to basics of growing plants

     The end of a tumultuous year has many of us wishing for simpler, and seemingly better, times when we weren’t bombarded with “news” 24/7 and there was no such thing as Twitter, Facebook or selfies. The good, old days may not have been as great as we remember them, but in a time of rampant smart phone addiction, getting back to the basics of life, love and growing plants certainly is appealing.

  • Going gluten-free

     Going gluten-free is something we’re hearing more and more about these days, but it also causes a lot of confusion. You may actually be wondering, “What is gluten anyway?” My husband’s favorite comedian, John Pinette, has a routine where he says, “I don’t know what gluten is but apparently it is delicious.” Well, it isn’t quite as simple as Pinette claims, but there is some truth to that statement.