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County Extension

  • Turf transition help

     This time of year, I usually write about poinsettias, Christmas trees or something sentimental (some might say “sappy”) about family, friends and days gone by. The plant breeders have made poinsettias so good, most of the things we once discussed don’t really matter anymore. Fraser fir trees are durable enough to last well into January without becoming a fire hazard. And, for whatever reason, the sentimental stuff hasn’t kicked in yet.

    So, let’s talk about the subject that always generates the most questions in my world: lawn care.

  • Sending gifts in the mail

     It’s getting close to the time to make some final decisions if you’re going to mail food gifts to someone for Christmas.

    Many people are interested in sending their own family favorites to friends and family. I’ve heard of a mom putting frozen sausage in a post office overnight envelope because the daughter couldn’t get a special kind where she moved. (Note: I don’t recommend this unless you take special care to send it in an insulated container with some form of ice. Thawing food at room, or mail truck, temperature is not recommended!)

  • Get out and play in the dirt

     Holidays bring the warm feelings of family relationships renewed, twinkling lights, roasting chestnuts and wrapping paper torn asunder around an evergreen tree cloaked in memories of Christmases past. All that Norman Rockwell imagery may not work for you if you’ve just awakened from a tryptophan-induced coma with the television remote in one hand and the shrill musings of your in-laws reverberating through your gray matter.

  • Mindful holiday eating

     Mindful. That’s a term we’ve been hearing more and more regarding lots of things in life, including healthful eating. Living (or eating) mindfully simply means paying attention to the events, activities and thoughts that make up your daily life instead of just operating on autopilot. Mindfulness is taking time to think about the choices you make and doing things on purpose.

  • Dine-in on Dec. 3

     What are you doing for dinner this coming Saturday, Dec. 3? If you don’t have plans (or even if you do), I’m offering a suggestion. Why don’t you dine in? Think about eating at home that night.

    Dec. 3 marks the third annual Family and Consumer Sciences’ Dine-in for Healthy Families Day. In observance of this day, the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) and the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) are asking families to plan, prepare and eat a healthy meal together.

  • Don’t blame the turkey

     You always hear about people falling asleep after a big Thanksgiving meal and blaming it on the turkey.

    According to Chow Line from The Ohio State University Extension, this is just one of those urban myths that isn’t true:

  • Compost year-round with worm

     By Sam Marshall

     

    Looking for a more cost-effective way to fertilize your lawn or garden? Did you know almost 75 percent of discarded materials in North Carolina can be composted? Ever considered using earthworms to help you accomplish this task? Composting with earthworms, or vermicomposting,is a highly effective way of turning food and yard waste into nutrient-dense fertilizer that can boost plant health and increase flower and fruit production.

     

    What is vermicomposting?

  • Time for the cool weather weed invasion

     We have enjoyed a mild autumn, but things are cooling down letting us know Old Man Winter will soon join us for, thankfully, a short visit. Our winters aren’t usually too bad, but these cooler temperatures set the stage for winter weeds like wild garlic and annual bluegrass to fill in weak spots in the lawn.

  • Don’t give that bird a bath

    It’s hard to believe it’s just one week away from Thanksgiving. The television chefs, magazines and Internet have been sharing lots of recipes, ideas and “hacks” to make your holiday bird easier, healthier and tasting better. I’m joining the pack and offering a food safety pointer. This tip is one the food safety people have been encouraging for the past few years:
    Don’t wash the turkey!

  • Why is my lawn dying?

    By Sam Marshall