Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Through the campaign website – www.nc10percent.com -- consumers and business will pledge to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally, purchasing products from area farmers and food producers. Campaign participants will receive weekly email reminders to report how much money they spent on local food. The website will show consumers how their dollars spent on local foods grow.
North Carolinians spend about $35 billion a year on food. If each person spent just 10 percent on food locally – roughly $1.05 per day – then approximately $3.5 billion would be available in the state’s economy.
Cooperative Extension’s local foods coordinators will help connect consumers and food producers and support local businesses and organizations who want to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally. Local food coordinators will personally contact businesses and organizations that register through the website to help them develop a plan for purchasing local products.
In addition, the 10% Campaign website provides a “Find Local Foods” page with links to help consumers find local food and farm products in their own communities. A “Learn More” page includes links to information on a variety of partner organizations, such as Slow Food USA and Eat Smart, Move More NC. There are also links to educational information on topics ranging from how to set up a workplace community-supported agriculture program to how to cook seasonal, local products.
To find out what’s happening with local foods in your county, visit your Cooperative Extension website http://henderson.ces.ncsu.edu/. A link to the Local Foods page can be found in the left hand column of your county center’s home page. Help us build North Carolina's local food economy by joining the campaign and encouraging your family, friends and neighbors to do the same.
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and Cooperative Extension are partners in the campaign. Extension, based at N.C. State and N.C. A&T State universities, serves all the state’s 100 counties and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. CEFS is a partnership of N.C. State, N.C. A&T State and the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Sciences that provides research, outreach and education on sustainable agriculture and promotes local food economies in North Carolina.
The Compass Group of Charlotte, the world’s largest food service provider, is leading the way in the campaign by pledging to purchase 10 percent of its food from local sources. Compass Group is developing a parallel model farm-to-institution buying program and will purchase 10 percent of the produce it serves in its North Carolina accounts from local farmers in the state.
Funding for the 10 Campaign and website is provided by Golden LEAF.
Edited by Sue Colucci, area extension agent
Friday, September 17, 2010
The Commissioner of Agriculture, the Plant Industry Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), and the Plant Pest Administrator hereby immediately establish an exterior quarantine for the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, and the fungal pathogen, Geosmithia morbida sp. nov., that causes Thousand Canker Disease in walnut trees, Juglans spp., for the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Washington and any other state found to be infested or infected. This exterior quarantine is needed to prevent the establishment, dissemination, or potential spread of Thousand Canker Disease ands its vector into North Carolina and other states.
For complete information, go to this website.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Check out this press release from Tennessee. I will be sure to send more information as it becomes available as NC assesses the threat of this pathogen to our native forests.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Agriculture today announced the discovery of Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), the first detection of the destructive tree pest east of the Mississippi River. The discovery was made in July by a TDA forester.
“The discovery of TCD in Tennessee is unexpected, but we’re prepared to help slow the spread of the infestation and protect our forest resources.” said state Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens. “We will be working closely with stakeholders to determine the extent of the infestation and to take steps to limit its spread.”
TCD is a progressive disease that kills a tree within two to three years after initial infection. The disease-causing fungus, Geosmithia, is transmitted by a small twig beetle. Branches and trunk tissue are killed by repeated infections by the fungus, as the beetles carry the fungus into new bark.
The TCD discovery comes a week after emerald ash borer (EAB) was found. Both TCD and EAB have the potential to cause significant damage to Tennessee forests. It is imperative that citizens work to prevent the spread of both.
In response to the find, TDA plans to issue a quarantine in Knox county prohibiting the movement of firewood and black walnut nursery stock and limiting the movement of black walnut timberland other material that can spread TCD. TDA plant inspectors and foresters will conduct a thorough survey of trees in the areas to assess the extent of the infestation and to see if more quarantines are warranted.
See this link for more information including a disease checklist and control measures.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
With the fair being a little earlier this year, I expect to see an increase in both flowers and vegetables. Therefore, it is even more important that you carefully select your entries. Judges will be looking for quality entries that adhere to the fair guidelines. If you are planning to enter something in the fair please be sure to read the fair brochure for specific guidelines for the division that you are entering. If you don't have a brochure, you are welcome to stop by the extension office and pick one up.
We will have volunteers available on the day of take in to help you with your entries.
Please be sure to attend the fair and support our local agriculture!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Without proper preventative measures, late blight can completely defoliate and destroy a crop within one to two weeks. The disease can be severe on tomatoes grown in the mountains of North Carolina, as well as in late plantings in the Piedmont.
The first symptoms of late blight on tomato leaves are irregularly shaped, water-soaked lesions on lower leaves. During high humidity, white cottony growth may be visible on underside of the leaf. As the disease progresses, lesions enlarge causing leaves to brown, shrivel and die. Fruit lesions appear as dark, greasy spots that eventually turn a chocolate brown color, and can enlarge to the point of encompassing the entire fruit.
Refer to this website for more details on the symptoms of this disease. The application of fungicides plays a significant role in the control of late blight. Fungicides containing copper, chlorothanonil, or mancozeb are recommended for treatment in home gardens.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Blossom-end rot is caused by a lack of calcium in the fruit. If the soil pH is too low, calcium is not available to the plant. Dry weather contributes to the problem.
You can also reduce blossom-end rot by spraying with a calcium chloride solution. Ideally, you should start spraying when the first green tomatoes are about the size of a silver dollar then spray once a week for three to four weeks.
Inconsistent watering encourages the problem of blossom-end rot. So, water as needed to maintain uniform soil moisture. Tomatoes need about 1 inch of water per week. During hot dry weather they may need more. Blossom-end rot tends to be worse on staked tomato plants and when high rates of nitrogen fertilizer have been applied.
While the tomatoes that are already affected will continue to be deformed, they are safe to eat. Simply cut out the bad portion and eat the rest.
For more information see: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-28-d.html
Photo credit: Darrell Blackwelder
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tomato field day is sponsored by North Carolina State University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, NC Agricultural Research Service and NC Cooperative Extension Service, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the North Carolina Tomato Growers Association. For more information, contact Denny Thompson at 828.684.7197 or Jim Walgenbach at 828.684.3562.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Follow these guidelines to insure a safe and pleasurable gardening season.
Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer. There are no safe UV rays or safe suntans. Be especially careful in the sun if you burn easily or spend a lot of time outdoors.
Here’s how to block those harmful rays:
• Cover up. Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Be sure to follow application
directions on the bottle or tube.
• Wear a hat. A wide brim hat, not a baseball cap, works best because it protects the neck, ears, eyes, forehead, nose, and scalp.
• Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses (eye protection). Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive, but they should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Before you buy sunglasses, read the product tag or label.
• Limit exposure. UV rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
The combination of heat and humidity can be a serious health threat during the summer months. If you work outside you may be at increased risk for heat related illness. So, take precautions.
• Drink small amounts of water frequently.
• Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable
clothing—cotton is good.
• Take frequent short breaks in cool shade.
• Eat smaller meals before work activity.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol or large
amounts of sugar.
• Work in the shade.
• Find out from your health care provider if
your medications and heat don’t mix.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Many farmers and home gardeners have reported damage to vegetable and flower crops after applying horse or livestock manure, compost, hay, and grass clippings to the soil. The symptoms reported include poor seed germination; death of young plants; twisted, cupped, and elongated leaves; misshapen fruit; and reduced yields. These symptoms can be caused by other factors, including diseases, insects, and herbicide drift. Another possibility for the source of these crop injuries should also be considered: the presence of herbicides in the manure, compost, hay, or grass clippings applied to the soil.
To read the full article from NC State University, click here.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Nearly all pesticide products will be accepted. For liquid pesticide containers larger than 5 gal or for unlabeled pesticides, please contact the Cooperative Extension Office for information before bringing to the collection event. No gas cylinders are accepted at the event; however, assistance information can be provided. Contact the Cooperative Extension Office for more information. Don't miss this opportunity for residents in Henderson and surrounding counties. For more information contact the Henderson County Extension Center at (828) 697-4891.
Monday, June 7, 2010
Early in the year the best strategy is to hand pick the bags before eggs hatch to prevent infestations. Although it is too late for that now, at this point the small caterpillars have not eaten much or caused much damage. This increases dramatically as they will grow until they easily defoliate branches, causing unsightly ornamental plants. Small caterpillars are also much easier to kill than large ones. This is because they have less body mass to dilute toxins and their protective bags are not as thick. Therefore less toxic chemicals such as Bt formulations can be very effective when targeting small caterpillars. Other chemical options that are considered compatible with natural enemies are Acelepryn, TriStar, and spinosad. More information can be found in Ornamentals and Turf Insect Information Note No. 81.
Steve Bambara, NCSU Extension Entomologist
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
These gardens incorporate some of the many unusual mature trees that Mr. Bullington collected and introduced to the area. There is a half-mile nature tail through the wooded area of the grounds. The facilities at the Center include a multipurpose room, a greenhouse and headhouse (used for hands-on workshops) and an amphitheater.
Click here to visit the new Bullington Center website and for more information.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Lightning bugs (or fireflies) produce a heat-free source of light through a biochemical reaction. The light flashing patterns are used to attract mates. Different species have different flash patterns. There are even flashing predator beetles which attract a meal by mimicking the flash of the female and wait for their meal to arrive. In some species, the larvae, which live in shallow soil, are known to glow, also. What could be better than the miracle of light coming from an insect? How about . . . the larvae eat snails and slugs! It doesn't get much better than that.
Steve Bambara, Extension Entomologist, NCSU
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Standing water is the critical item because mosquitoes will not be able breed without it. Permanent bodies of water can pose a more formidable impediment but most of our problems in residential areas are the result of MMOs or "Man-Made Objects" (yes... we guys will take the blame).
Natural low-lying areas will begin to dry slowly but make sure you're not contributing to the problem with clogged drainage ditches, tire ruts, etc.
Other water-collecting items such as empty buckets, tires, dishes under outdoor potted plants, the tarps over boats, equipment, etc. need to be emptied, inverted, discarded or whatever is workable to remove the water.
Have birdbaths? They make great observation posts for watching mosquito larvae in the water. There's no need to add chemicals. Do yourself and the birds a favor and flush out the birdbath. Same thing applies to pet water bowls outdoors (livestock water troughs out in pastures are another issue since they're not always as easily flushed out or routinely maintained).
Excuse time is over - get out the ladder and climb up there and unclog those rain gutters. The decaying leaf material and other debris actually attract mosquitoes. If you're planning home improvements, consider gutter guards to divert the debris. Also, make sure that your downspouts direct the water away from the house and not simply create a big puddle along the side of the house. If you have those concrete or plastic splash blocks, make sure they're directing water *away* from the foundation.
Finally, if you're using rain barrels to collect that precious rain runoff, make sure you have them screened, which helps keep out the junk and the mosquitoes as well.
And while you're at it, get your neighbors to do the same. Mosquito control "takes a village" but it only takes one village idiot to make life miserable for the rest of the neighborhood.
From Charles Apperson and Mike Waldvogel, NCSU Extension Entomology
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The fungus that causes the disease, Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae, is unusual because it must spend a phase of its life cycle as a parasite on Juniperus species, such as red cedar or ornamental junipers and a part of its life cycle on apple or crabapple trees.
Cedar-apple rust can be severe on apple, therefore Henderson County apple growers are more aware of this disease than most homeowners. Infections of apple fruit result in lower fruit quality and early fruit drop. Leaf spots may cause early defoliation, especially during dry summers. If trees are defoliated several years in a row, they become weakened and stressed. Fruit bud formation may be reduced after one year. The disease is not as harmful to juniper, causing galls but not severely affecting plant vigor.
Click on the link for more information on Cedar Apple Rust.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Operation Medicine Drop takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Howard Gap Road and Highland Lake Road Ingles in Hendersonville, as well as the Fletcher and Etowah locations.
See my previous post from November 13th for more information on the importance of keeping medicines out of our waterways.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Preemergent herbicides are typically applied late winter for control of many summer annual weeds, particularly annual grasses including crabgrass and goosegrass species. Application timing is critical with these products to obtain desired results. Specifically, smooth and large crabgrass germinate when 24 hour mean soil temperatures (four inch depth) reach 55 degrees F whereas goosegrass germinates when 24 hour mean soil temperatures reach 60 degrees F. Since these herbicides control susceptible species as they grow through the herbicide treated zone, the herbicide barrier must be established prior to weed seed germination. In most areas in NC, this occurs in mid- to late-March. If you are not able to track 24 hour mean soil temperatures on-site, you can visit this site and find a site in your geographic region to track 24 hour mean soil temperatures.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Resources have been posted to Cooperative Extension's disaster page. Other winter storm resources from the national Extension Disaster Education Network are online so look for those too.
For a complete list of Cooperative Extension experts who can speak about disaster, visit: www.ces.ncsu.edu/disaster/media/experts.html.
Additionally, extension specialists are available to provide information on the following topics.
Preventing frozen pipes
Frozen water and sewer pipes can cause extensive damage to a home. Dr. Sarah Kirby, Cooperative Extension housing specialist, can provide information on preventing frozen pipes.
Dr. Sarah Kirby, 919-515-9154 or email@example.com.
When the power goes out, the clock starts ticking on foods in refrigerators and freezers. Dr. Ben Chapman, Cooperative Extension food safety specialist, can provide information on what's safe to eat and preparing meals when the power is out.
Dr. Ben Chapman, 919-809-3205 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Trees and shrubs are often damaged by winter storms. Dr. Barbara Fair, North Carolina Cooperative Extension landscape specialist, can answer questions about dealing with damaged trees and shrubs.
Dr. Barbara Fair, 919-513-2804, 919-749-2011 (mobile) or email@example.com
North Carolina is a major producer of both pigs and poultry (chickens and turkeys). Because these animals are typically raised in buildings, a winter storm is unlikely to have an impact, unless there are power outages. Farm animals such as cattle, goats and sheep, on the other hand, are typically kept in pastures and could be impacted by winter weather. Dr. Matt Poore, Cooperative Extension livestock commodity coordinator and ruminant nutrition specialist, can answer questions about cattle, goats and sheep. Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, Cooperative Extension specialist, can answer questions about goats and sheep.
Dr. Matt Poore, 919-515-7798 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, 919-515-8743 or email@example.com
North Carolina Cooperative Extension is an educational agency supported by county governments, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and N.C. State and North Carolina A&T State universities. County agents, backed by specialists at the two land-grant universities, conduct educational programs related to agriculture and forestry, family and consumer sciences, 4-H, community and rural development and other issues.