• Updated

There are many reasons to watch your step in a garden. Most beds are usually teeming with fragile sprouts, tiny creatures and various tripping hazards, all of which would be best for you to avoid. But after a rain, especially in areas with heavy clay soils, walking through a garden could hav…

It is common for poultry of the female persuasion to exhibit what is called “little bitty biddy envy.” Hens who are determined to be mothers exhibit these signs early, stealing eggs from rival hens, hoarding eggs beneath their bellies, stashing a “clutch” of eggs in hidey holes. When a hen g…

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Wednesday, June 03, 2020
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

When one imagines a bustling factory, the usual scene conjured in the mind is a spot-lit imposing building, with torrents of workers moving to and fro underneath clouds of particulates spewing into the skies. While this is certainly true of many man-made factories, the most prolific factorie…

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

It is common for poultry of the female persuasion to exhibit what is called “little bitty biddy envy.” Hens who are determined to be mothers exhibit these signs early, stealing eggs from rival hens, hoarding eggs beneath their bellies, stashing a “clutch” of eggs in hidey holes. When a hen g…

Summer is just around the corner and cattle producers will be managing flies, deworming and may even be considering other vaccinations as part of their herd management program. These things got me thinking about cattle handling facilities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency in Jackson County is accepting applications for the Emergency Conservation Program to address damages from recent spring floods. ECP signup will end Monday, June 29.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Wednesday, May 06, 2020

MountainTrue kicked off a series of topic-specific online info sessions on the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest Draft Management Plan on April 28 with a deeper dive into water-related issues.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

As the weather is getting warmer more people start cooking with their outside grill. Grilling is a fun, easy and quick way of cooking that usually doesn’t leave behind too much of a mess. Most likely if a person grills regularly they know a little about grilling safety, but here are some saf…

In celebration of National Park Week and Earth Day, Great Smoky Mountains Association is re-releasing “the missing issues” of Smokies Life magazine online at no charge for readers.

Friends of the Smokies launched the Alum Cave At-Home Adventure, a virtual hiking event that provides supporters a unique opportunity to raise funds for critical programs of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Your yard is being invaded. From the shadowy fringes of the lawn to the exposed corners of the garden, a superplant is stretching its roots and biding its time. It is not a picky organism, able to survive in almost any soil or location.

EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems announced last week Sylva’s Gnome Mountain Farm is the second recipient of funding from its grant and loan program. The program is designed to “buy down” the cost of purchasing equipment or infrastructure for farm and food businesses.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

In the last couple weeks we have all seen the memes on Facebook making jokes about homesteaders not seeming so weird anymore. All jokes aside, the threat of COVID-19 to our grocery store shelves probably has most people wishing they had paid a little more attention to grandma/mom all those t…

The importance of iron in our lives cannot be overstated. Believed to be one of the final elements created in stars as they sputter out and eventually explode, iron is distributed widely throughout the universe.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Few can deny the unique beauty of a manicured backyard, with a lush lawn and attractive plants from around the globe, closely controlled to create a pleasing site for the casual observer.

Hard times. We heard our older generation talk about “hard times,” but I do not think we really understood. Maybe we still don’t fully, but I think we understand a little more than we did.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open the statewide wild turkey season April 11 through May 9, preceded by a youth-only turkey season from April 4 -10.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The natural world is full of impressive predators. Our gardens are the hunting grounds of aggressively efficient mantids, dragonflies and wasps, each with their own unique methods of securing a meal.

Last month we discussed the coming of spring and the importance of scouting our pastures and hayfields for buttercup. Along with that, this month, we will discuss grass tetany and what producers need to know going into the spring.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Balsam Mountain Preserve will present “Leaf it to the Trees,” a program to acquaint the casual observer with trees in winter from noon until 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at 81 Preserve Road, Sylva. The program is free, but donations are appreciated. A trail walk from the nature center to the b…

An interesting thing about the location of the Cooperative Extension Office is that we share space with the Department of Motor Vehicles and see all kinds of people from around the county.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

The U.S. Forest Service is planning 16 prescribed burns, including seven in Jackson County, in the Nantahala Ranger District in the coming months to reduce the risk of wildfires. The low- to medium-intensity burns also create healthier, more diverse and more resilient forests that can better…

The U.S. Forest Service is currently revising the master plan for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. All of the national forest land in Jackson County is part of the Nantahala Ranger District. The proposed plan and draft environmental impact statement is available online at www.fs.us…

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission voted at its business meeting last Thursday to adopt rules related to wildlife management, fisheries, game lands and law enforcement for the 2020-21 seasons.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will close approximately 1,000 miles of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters to fishing one-half hour after sunset on Saturday and reopen them at 7 a.m. on April 4.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Insects are capable of supremely impressive tasks accomplished through the dogged pursuit of hard work. Conservative estimates of the economic value of insects in the United States alone are over $50 billion a year through the pollination, recycling of nutrients, and pest control that these …

Brannen Basham, Sylva Herald weekly nature writer and contributor to Smoky Mountain Living Magazine, has published a compilation of 60 different nature-based topics in “A Guide to the Wonderful World Around Us: Notes on Nature.”

Pollution is one of many problems plaguing the environment today. When living in a semi-rural community like Sylva, one would think that pollution would not be as prevalent. Unfortunately, even rural communities are not safe from the effects of pollution.

Greening of pastures and hayfields will be here before we know it and a sure sign of spring each year is the identifiable yellow flower of buttercup. Although some may enjoy the sight of these pretty yellow flowers, most livestock producers know that they are not enjoyable for livestock to eat.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers are recruiting volunteers to adopt a monitoring plot in areas throughout the park. In an effort to track nature’s calendar, or phenology, volunteers will collect information as part of an important research project tracking seasonal biological data…

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Bullying. Unfortunately this is not a new topic. This subject is uncomfortable to discuss and even harder to prevent, because of the nature of human interaction. People use power and control to get what they want every day. When people cannot get what they need or want in appropriate ways, t…

Wednesday, February 05, 2020

It doesn’t matter where you’re going, you’re getting there using a road. This isn’t a recent development; humans have been hitting roads since before ancient Sumerians started paving their city streets more than 5,000 years ago.