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County Extension

  • Harness spring fever by sprucing up landscapes

    New landscape projects may be on the top of your list as spring fever progresses through the population. It will continue unabated until June’s mid-90’s temperatures have us scurrying for the beach or the a/c. Projects range from the simple “spruce up” to elaborate redesigns.

    If you like the basics of your garden, just freshen the bed edges and add new mulch. Crisp edges where the lawn meets the beds and along sidewalks and driveways really make a difference. 

  • ‘Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well’

    I’ve been writing these columns in the Beacon for about eight years. I know some people think I work for the newspaper, but I don’t. At the end of each column there is a statement that says I’m part of the Family and Consumer Science team at the Brunswick County Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension. I know some of you really don’t know who we are or what we do. Since this is Living Well Month, I thought I’d take some time to share a little more information about the FCS program and Cooperative Extension here in Brunswick County.

  • Crimson Fire loropetalum at the New Hanover County Arboretum Welcome Garden

    Winter’s relentless grip held through most of the week, but it looks like warmer temperatures are on the way. That’s good news for Wilmington’s North Carolina Azalea Festival and Cape Fear Garden Club’s annual garden tour. There should be plenty of azalea blooms for all of the festivities.

  • What are your chances?

    I frequently write about pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses. I think the one people are most familiar with is Salmonella. But, what really are your chances of getting ill from salmonella in your chicken, or beef or pork?

  • Redbuds are showing that spring flower time is here

    Loropetalums, phlox, daffodils, crabapples, redbuds and cherries are in various stages of bloom. That must mean we’re in the main spring season in southeastern North Carolina. It’s a bit overwhelming with everything blooming at once. Sometimes I wish I could spread it out a bit.  But, it is a glorious time in the garden so get out and enjoy it.

  • Cleaning and sanitizing

    Looking to keep the germs down and prevent a foodborne illness in your home? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the two things you can do that make the biggest impact are washing your hands and cleaning kitchen surfaces.

    There are two steps to having a clean and sanitary kitchen. Think of this as if brushing your teeth is the cleaning and using mouthwash is the sanitizing. Two steps. Clean first and then sanitize.

  • Lawns already starting to ‘green up’ for spring

    We’ve had a weather roller coaster ride this year with record cold in January and record warmth in February. Things have settled into a more “normal” pattern for now, but our lawns are already greening up.

  • Food safety in the news

    There was an interesting and scary story going around the Internet a couple of weeks ago related to food safety. Perhaps you read about the man in California who pulled a five-foot tapeworm out of his body. Doctors are thinking this tapeworm came from a parasite found in raw salmon. The man confessed he loves sushi and eats it frequently.

    First, you may ask, could this really happen? Yes it could. The tapeworm is a form of parasite that can enter the body in food and then continue to live and grow within the host. Yikes!  

  • Eat the MED way

    Editor’s note: Last in a series of eight columns on “Med instead of Meds.”

    For the last two months I’ve been writing about “Med instead of Meds for Better Health,“ a way of eating that can help reduce your chances of a chronic illness and needing to take medication. The “med way” is modeled after the traditional eating style of people that live in the Mediterranean region.

  • Make your grains whole

    Editor’s note: Seventh in a series of eight columns on “Med instead of Meds.”