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Today's Features

  • 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.

  • Volunteers who pick up a hammer and help a local family are now one-step closer to vacationing with Mickey, Minnie and Donald.

    Brunswick County residents can now volunteer locally and participate in the “Give a Day. Get a Disney Day.” program. Those who volunteer eight hours of time with one of the participating agencies will receive a voucher good for one day at a Disneyland or Walt Disney World theme park.

  • Staff report

    With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, Silver Coast Winery in Brunswick County is setting the stage and mood early with its annual Wine and Chocolate Pairing from noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.

    Participants will enjoy award-winning Silver Coast wines served in a signature Silver Coast wineglass and paired with four handmade gourmet chocolates.

    The cost is $15 per person.

    Seatings are on the hour starting at noon, with the last one at 4 p.m. Reservations are limited.

  • Cooking seafood is really rather simple once you know the basic cooking techniques and a couple of tips to ensure success.

    When cooking fresh or even frozen fish, the standard rule of seafood cookery is 10 minutes cooking time per each inch of thickness. This will vary, though, depending on the density of the flesh or whether it’s being stuffed or cooked from frozen. You can tell when it’s done when the flesh becomes opaque all the way through and flakes easily with a fork.

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to go to the Green and Growin’ Show in Greensboro and hang out with lots of plant people from all over the state. While the economy continues to struggle, there are some wonderful new plants that will soon find their way into the nursery trade.

    One of the most interesting talks was by Dr. Dennis Werner, a plant breeder at my employer, N.C. State University. Werner worked on coming up with great commercial peach varieties for more than 20 years. In the past five years or so, he has devoted his ample skill to redbuds and butterfly bushes.

  • It’s cold outside and you really don’t feel like working in your garden. Those seed catalogs sitting by the fireplace look much more inviting, but the garden looks so unkempt. Well, that is just fine because those frozen perennial stalks look messy but they serve a purpose.

    The seeds of Echinacea and Rudbeckia will attract and feed the birds: There are also plants that like the protection their foliage provides for their crowns. Asclepias (milkweed), Chrysanthemums and Heuchera (Coral Bells) fare best if cleaned up in the spring.

  • I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in providential happenings. These are the events, experiences and episodes in life that occur with the sudden surprise of grace. They happen while we are busily doing something else, alerting us to the constant presence of a creative God. They cause us to exclaim, “You won’t believe what just happened!” And then, we begin our tale of the unexpected, the unusual, or the unimaginable—a saga we label coincidental.