Featured stories and content

FEATURED CONTENT
NC Cooperative Extension Service_Conference Listening Session_11-6-13

NC Cooperative
Extension Service Announces Strategic Plan

The Cooperative Extension Service at NC State outlines its vision for restructuring over the next 22 months by targeting its strengths and improving access to services across the state.

READ THE REST »
NC Cooperative Extension Service_Conference Listening Session_11-6-13

NC Cooperative
Extension Service Announces Strategic Plan

The Cooperative Extension Service at NC State outlines its vision for restructuring over the next 22 months by targeting its strengths and improving access to services across the state.

READ THE REST »
You can use your own homegrown apples to make cider, using apples and cinnamon.

Grow and Eat Holiday
Series: Planning your Menu

Grow and Eat Holiday Series You can use your own homegrown apples to make cider, using apples and cinnamon.[/caption] **Grow and Eat Holiday Series** Column for Salisbury Post Thomas Cobb, Danelle Cutting, & Toi Degree December, 4th, 2013 As one holiday ends another begins. In this series, the local Cooperative Extension agents will help you prepare for your next event with party ideas, ham selection and spicing up your holiday treats. With Thanksgiving behind us, we now look forward to Christmas and the Christmas parties. If you are planning to host your own Christmas party, let’s get started. First, you must decide on a date to host your party. As we get closer to Christmas, more and more invitations for parties will begin showing up in your mail and email. So timing is of the essence, and you may even consider having an after-Christmas party. Next, decide on your guest list — who and how many will you invite to your party? Now, find a place for your party. Make sure the size of the party venue fits the number of guests you have invited — comfortable guests are happy guests. So what type of party would you like to have? You may choose to have a cocktail party, tree-trimming party, brunch, dinner party, or cookie swap to name a few. Whatever you choose, make sure that your menu accompanies your theme. For instance, if you choose to have a brunch, try a cocoa or coffee bar; they are fun and an icebreaker for guests plus something warm to sip on before the meal begins. Now for the invitations. Just a simple invitation will be fine and printable invitations can be found easily online. To make a simple invitation special, try hand delivering them to your guests. Setting The Mood Again, you want to be sure that table settings, food and atmosphere all are in sync. Create a chic and modern brunch table using a neutral palette of cream and white. Pops of dark cypress greenery add a festive touch that’s distinctly “holiday.” Custom place cards that feature the menu printed on brown card stock make the event feel tailored and special. And, of course, a must is seasonal tunes that allow guests to play deejay with a few choice holiday albums. With options ranging from old standbys like Bing Crosby to new classics like She & Him, guests are sure to enjoy spinning their favorite holiday tunes. Lastly have fun and enjoy the holidays! For more information contact Toi N. Degree, toi_degree@ncsu.edu Family & Consumer Education Agent at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office 704- 216-8970. Christmas Ham by Thomas Cobb Ham is Ham right? Wrong, there are a few differences one may want to know about the ham they purchase. The great thing about Christmas is that everyone seems to look forward to the ham.  North Carolina has 1.46 billion in gross state product when it comes to hogs, so ham shouldn’t be too hard to come by, right?  Getting pork seems to be the easy part; it is knowing what you’re buying that tends to get people confused, with the marketing statements like organic, pasture raised, hormone free, and a variety of others can make selection tough. Question: Is organic healthier than conventional pork?  There is no research evidence that shows organic is healthier than conventional.  Typically eating organic foods is a lifestyle decision not necessarily a food health or safety decision. Question:  Pasture raised pork eats only grass right?  No, pasture raised is a term that describes the type of production system that the animals are raised in; pasture raised pork is often fed the same type of feed as conventional farms. Question: Hormones are they safe? Yes, Hormones seem to be something that people don’t know a lot about but try to avoid like the plague.  Animals can be injected with hormones that help with growth throughout the production cycle but these are FDA approved and safe. For more information visit the link provided: http://www.beef.org/uDocs/Growth%20promotants%20fact%20sheet%20FINAL_4%2026%2006.pdf Question:  If I buy no hormone added meat, will the meat I buy be hormone free?  No, when producers advertise no hormones added, all this means is that the animal did not receive any additional hormones other than what naturally occurs in the body. Since hormones are naturally occurring all meat will have some traces of hormones. For more information feel free to contact Thomas Cobb at the Rowan County Cooperative Extension office (704) 216-8970. Spicing up your holiday favorites by Danelle Cutting Homegrown and homemade are definitely popular items now a days. Who doesn’t like something grown from their own garden or delicious goodies made by hand? Herbs, fruits, and vegetables are great homegrown and in handmade sauces, desserts, and festive drinks. Some of the most common items grown are apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, squash, and herbs. Using your own apples to make apple pie, cider, or juice can make that treat even better. Having control over what you make gives the dish greater importance and makes you proud of your creation; but only if the guests enjoy it! Herbs such as dill are great in dips and roasted vegetables; it is not only used in making pickles. Probably the best part is that most of the ingredients in your favorite holiday dishes can be grown yourself. For herbs, vegetables, and fruits essentially you need to have a site that receives full sun, meaning that the location needs to have at least six hours of sunlight. Before you plant, especially with perennials such as rosemary, thyme, apples, peaches, and pecans you need to take a soil sample. These crops prefer a pH of around a 6.5 and it is much easier to improve the soil before you plant so you don’t have to worry about soil headaches in the future. Once your soil is amended to the crop you want to plant, select the variety that suits your needs. For example, if you like a sweet apple choose a sweeter variety instead of a tarter one. For more information on plant selection, soil sampling, or deciding what is the best plants to grow for your holiday party contact your local Cooperative Extension agent at 704-216-8970.

READ THE REST »
WTF

2015 Southern
Piedmont Farm School

The demand for locally grown food continues to grow despite a faltering economy. Direct sales from farms to consumers grew 215% from 1992-2007. The average farmer in NC is 57 years old, and looking forward to retirement. We need new farmers to meet the demand for locally grown food in North Carolina. Quite often people come to Cooperative Extension and say "I have some land that I want to do something with... but I don't know what. Can you tell me what I can grow and make some money?" This is really an open ended question, because it really depends on the market and the operator on whether an agriculture venture will be successful. Any good business starts out with a good plan and lots of research. More and more families are looking at ways to supplement their incomes and put their land into something productive. The Southern Piedmont Farm School is a 7 month educational program that trains beginning and transitioning farmers with a strong commitment to operate successful small-scale sustainable farms. The school offers seven business planning seminars, which will give farmers the tools to create a viable business plan. Each business session will focus on different areas of writing a business plan including financial management and effective marketing strategies. The school also includes seven, day-long field trips at different working farms led by innovative experienced farmers and agricultural professionals. Participants will learn about low-cost sustainable farming methods, from fruits, vegetables, cows, pigs, poultry, goats, specialty crops and agritourism. The business classes will meet the second Thursday of the month beginning in January from 6-9pm at the Rowan County Extension Center, and the farm field days will typically be the 4th Thursday of the month from 9am-3pm. The farm field days will take place at various farms throughout the piedmont. Registration deadline is November 14th, one person: $250, two people: $400, call 704-216-8970 for more information. For the brochure and application click this link: 2015 Southern Piedmont Farm School Application and Brochure

READ THE REST »
NC Cooperative Extension Service

Crop and Animal
Science

Most ethnic holidays change from year to year (even Christian Easter) with the exception of Christmas. This article describes what various ethnic groups like to buy for their holiday festivities; at the end, I have included a table with the various holidays from 2014 until 2018. Ethnic Holidays 2014-2018 -       Foot scald typically happens in grazing animals and is typically associated with spring dew and wet conditions. Foot Scald -       Coccidia will affect kids when stressed, and weaning is a stressful period. ANS 09-616MG Coccidiosis -     Do  not to wait until 6, 10, or more animals die to call extension for help or to bring a dead animal in for necropsy. I still occasionally receive such calls, which really is a pity. ANS 06-613MG Herd Animal Death Problems/ANS 09 614MG Enterotoxemia

READ THE REST »
DSC05215

Rowan County
Staff

Rowan County Center gives our county's residents easy access to the resources and expertise of NC State University and NC A&T State University.

READ THE REST »
NEWS View All
Banner for Dig In Event

Dig In

AHA will host Dig In! again at Marbles Kids Museum on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Agenda and registration materials will be available in January. Plan to join us as we weave edible landscapes–community MORE » – from   Community Gardens

Cards made by the students of Mrs. Laura Lindley

Millbridge Elementary

Millbridge Elementary Teaching the fifth graders in Mrs. Laura Lindley’s class at Millbridge Elementary has been very rewarding the past couple of months. The children have been exceptionally interested and have always wanted MORE »

Amie Baudoin from Morgan Ridge Vineyards shows the class of 2014 Piedmont Farm School the different varieties of grapes and how she helped start the vineyard.

2014 Piedmont Farm School Class

2014 Piedmont Farm School Class Last week wrapped up the final 2014 Piedmont Farm School class. I have to say that it was an amazing finale for the 2014 graduates. If you have MORE »

Color wheel made in the program by using plant materials from the Cooperative Extension office

Junior Master Gardeners

Junior Master Gardeners I know most of my readers have heard of Extension Master Gardeners, but I wonder how many have heard of Junior Master Gardeners? Junior Master Gardeners is a youth gardening MORE »

Low tunnel at Sacred Heart growing leafy greens

Keep your Gardens Growing

Keep your Gardens Growing Would you like to keep your gardens growing throughout the year? Of course! Most of us want to, but we either don’t know how to do it or we MORE »

The winter squash trial at the Piedmont Research Station. Extension Master Gardeners are pictured helping harvest the squash.

Workshops

Workshops When we receive a new client, they always ask about the activities and programs we have throughout the year. During October, we have tons of programs and activities! All of the activities MORE »

Monarda is a great addition to a pollinator garden.

IPM

IPM What is IPM? What if I told you that it is one of the most beneficial tools a gardener or homeowner can have for any garden or pest or disease issue! No, MORE »

rooster

Piedmont Farm School

The Piedmont Farm School is a 7-month educational program that trains beginning and transitioning farmers with a strong commitment to operate successful small-scale, sustainable farms.  The school offers seven business-planning seminars, which will MORE » – from   Forsyth County Center

More News
EVENTS View All
Holiday - Office ClosedWed Dec 24 - Fri Dec 26, 2014 - ALL DAY— 4 days away
Holiday - Office ClosedThu Jan 1 - Thu Jan 1, 2015 - ALL DAY— 2 weeks away
4-H PALS/County Council MeetingThu Jan 8, 2015
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM— 3 weeks away
SCD 4-H Teen Winter Lock-InFri Jan 9 - Sat Jan 10, 2015 - ALL DAY— 3 weeks away
Project Record WorkdaySat Jan 17, 2015
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM— 4 weeks away
Holiday - Office ClosedMon Jan 19 - Mon Jan 19, 2015 - ALL DAY— 4 weeks away
4-H Project Records DueTue Jan 20 - Tue Jan 20, 2015 - ALL DAY— 1 month away
4-H Achievement Plans DueTue Jan 20 - Tue Jan 20, 2015 - ALL DAY— 1 month away
More Events