County Extension

  • Take this quick test to find out if your kitchen is bacteria-laden

    Many people worry about the safety of foods cooked in restaurants, but foodborne illness can happen at home, too. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates 21 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks can be linked to food cooked in the home. Food safety concerns at home revolve around three main functions: food storage, food handling and cooking.
    How safe is your home? Answer these questions to see how your family does in the “clean kitchen test” courtesy of Clemson Cooperative Extension.

  • 4-H Club attends Youth Horseman’s Day

    The Bits-n-Boots girls went to the North Carolina State University Vet School Horseman’s Youth Day in Raleigh on Saturday, March 6, attending several lectures on horse health and touring the school.
    Those attending included Rebekah Taylor, Mackenzie Snyder, Sierra Hart, Kaitlin Jones, Jillian Bowling, Lena Devlin and Breanna Long.
    The day of equine-oriented activity combines education and fun and is designed to provide students ages 9-18 hands-on experiences with the anatomy, physiology and veterinary care of horses.
    Participants were grouped

  • How to control pests using horticultural oils

    By Charlie Spencer
    Master Gardener
    Now is the time of the year to start preparing for spring. One of the best activities any gardener in this area can accomplish is applying horticultural oil.
    February and March are an ideal time to apply horticultural oil to your ornamental trees, shrubs and fruit trees to control scale and several other over-wintering insects. However, to prevent harm to your plant, it is important to understand how horticultural oils work and their limitations.

  • These do-it-yourself snack packs contain just 100 calories

    What would give you more satisfaction: 3/4 of an ounce of cookies (about 2, depending upon the type) or 1 cup (about 35 grapes) of grapes? OK, I’ll admit satisfaction might not be the correct word, especially when it comes to comparing cookies to fruit, but what they do have in common is 100 calories.
    That amount of cookies (3/4 oz.) is how much you get in one of those cute little 100-calorie snack packets. Many companies have been trying to make eating on-the-go easier for people by making these pre-packaged 100-calorie snacks.

  • Summer food safety: How much do you really know?

    Have you ever wondered, “What is the safest way to store food on your way to and from an outdoor picnic or barbecue?”
    Food-related illnesses tend to increase during the summer months for several reasons. Family vacations and hot weather are both contributing factors. More families eat outdoors…everywhere from backyard picnics and the beach to hiking trails and boats. Special effort is also necessary to keep cold foods cold in hot, summer weather.
    Unfortunately, there are many myths, and there is much misinformation out there about food safety.

  • Bluebirds need help with housing if they’re going to make a comeback

    By Charlie Spencer
    Master gardener
    Bluebirds are flying over the area in search of accommodations. It’s a little early, but like other smart animals, it’s time to plan ahead. Bluebirds are particular in their nesting habits.

  • Too much screen time can put on the pounds

    Last week I had the opportunity to teach another class as part of Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less (ESMMWL) program at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness and Aquatics Center. The ESMMWL class is a 15-week program developed by the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and N.C. Public Health.
    It is part of the statewide movement called Eat Smart, Move More...North Carolina. The whole idea is to increase opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity wherever North Carolinians live, learn, earn, play and pray.

  • Eat breakfast to lose weight, says long-term study

    These past couple of weeks I’ve had the opportunity to speak for the Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class sponsored by the Brunswick County office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension. This is a series of classes held at the Dinah E. Gore Fitness and Aquatics Center at Brunswick Community College. The goal of these classes is just what the name suggests—to learn how you can eat smart, move more and weigh less.

  • Eggactly what do you want to do with those eggs?

    Seems like people are always coming up with new and interesting ways to cook food, and then they tell everyone on the Internet how to do it. This week, the latest craze is eggs.
    It seems folks on Pinterest and Facebook are offering instructions on how to hard-cook eggs in the oven. I actually heard some of my neighbors talking about this last week, too. Another friend tells me she’s been doing it for years, as when making fancy Italian Easter cookies and breads with decorated eggs baked in the dough.

  • Planting a garden insectary so good bugs will get rid of bad

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    As you plan your vegetable garden, you will choose what vegetables you wish to grow, and you should also choose which plants would attract beneficial insects.
    A garden insectary is a small garden plot of flowering plants designed to attract and harbor beneficial insects. These “good insects” prey on many common garden insect pests and offer the gardener a safer, natural alternative to pesticides.