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Today's Features

  • We’ve usually had a couple of days well into the 60s by this time of year to remind us that spring isn’t far away. While our winters are mild by comparison to New England and the Midwest, the cold has been reluctant to leave this year.

  • The hotline has received several requests for information concerning pruning in the last few weeks. Following are guidelines as to when and how much to prune:

    As the weather cools in the fall, many of us emerge from the air-conditioning and begin looking around the landscape again. One thing we may see is some plants grew a lot over the summer and have gotten somewhat out of bounds. There is often a strong temptation to get out the pruning saw and start fighting back the jungle.

    In gardening, timing is everything. Knowing when and when not to perform tasks is important.

  • Brunswick County community leaders, many of them Eagle Scouts, along with local Scout leaders, met outside the Brunswick County Courthouse on Monday afternoon to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Boy Scouts of America.

  • My grandmother on my father’s side was from the Irish “Kirkbride” clan. I had many aunts, uncles and cousins from this side of the family. With this background, I remember eating many traditional Irish dishes, especially corned beef and cabbage, which we always had on St. Patrick’s Day. But we liked it so much we ate it quite often throughout the year.

  • Vegetables don’t always have to be served on the side. We tend, myself included, to focus on a protein (meat or fish) and some kind of carb, like potatoes or rice, and then just add a vegetable as an afterthought.

    Vegetable soups, casseroles and roasted veggies are great wintertime dishes. So why do we tend to relegate them to a small portion of our plate, especially when they’re so filling? Why not feature them as a main course instead of focusing on the usual proteins and carbos?

  • This Swedish dish takes its name from Hasselbacken, the Stockholm restaurant where it was first served.

    These thinly sliced, seasoned potatoes, called “accordion potatoes” by most other European eateries, is an elegant alternative to the everyday baked, fried or mashed potato.

    When properly made, the potato will open just like an accordion, into a fan shape. The outside will be crispy and the inside will remain soft and tender.

  • In Celebration of Black History Month, H.K. Edgerton will be North Carolina Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 794’s featured speaker at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, at Peace Baptist Church at 653 Love Mill Road in Whiteville.

    The public is invited, and there is no admission charge.

    H. K. Edgerton is a black Southern heritage activist and former president of the NAACP’s Asheville branch. He may best be recognized as the man who marched from North Carolina to Texas to build awareness of Southern culture and history.

  • Even though Old Man Winter seems insistent on hanging around, our gardens are beginning to awaken.

    The early daffodils are already up and the red maples are letting us know why they’re called “red maple” (the red flowers).

    If that’s not enough to chase away your winter blahs, consider adding Japanese flowering apricot to your garden. It always blooms in January and February in shades of white, pink and red.

  • I came across an interesting article the other day that triggered an idea in what little frozen brain I have left. Master Gardeners throw out terms concerning America’s favorite pastime as if everyone was familiar with the terms. I will try and explain some of the more common terms as well as some unusual ones.

    •Soil pH: All soils range from 0-14 with 7.0 being neutral.

    •Acid soil is soil with a pH below 7.0. Most vegetables, fruits, trees and grasses grow best in a soil with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0.

  • Religion, if not spirituality, is plagued by a certain passivity. Even the words we use denote a presence that requires response but seems not to evoke participation.

    We attend worship services and Bible studies. We say our prayers. We love our neighbor—though often less than ourselves. There is activity involved, but rarely the radical action that tries human souls and resurrects the spirit.