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Wednesday, August 05, 2020
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In most landscape settings, vines tend to be relegated into the “pull ASAP” department. This can be for good reason – tenacious and opportunistic vines can completely engulf trees, shrubs and garden beds if left unchecked for multiple years.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Many county fairs in the area have been canceled this year, for good reason. I am sure many community members are disappointed they do not get to share their crafting, baking and artistic efforts this year.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Regardless of the state of the economy, growing a plant is one of the best investments you can make.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

During July, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is celebrating National Picnic Month with a new twist on a summer tradition, the Picnic for the Parkway event. Fans of the national park unit are invited to connect through this virtual fundraising event and host a picnic in support of the sceni…

A new survey commissioned by National 4‑H Council, and conducted by the Harris Poll, finds that seven in 10 teens are struggling with their mental health in the wake of COVID-19.

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When the going gets tough, the tough get better. Adversity breeds strength, character and resilience. These are common sayings, recited with the intent to help put a perspective on one’s current ailments and the positives that they can bring.

Wednesday, July 01, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Many of the benefits of soil are easy to appreciate. It grows the plants we love to admire and consume and makes up most of the ground we walk on. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Every summer, groups of large green and black insects emerge from our soils with one intent – to mate. Their revelry can be heard from dusk until dawn, as each animal has bodies crafted into flying instruments used to attract mates and signal incoming danger.

Well, now it’s summer. The kids will all be home from school and it’s time to figure out what activities to do. Oh wait, the kids have been “home from school” for months now due to COVID-19 and now they don’t even have classwork to do. Wait, what’s a parent to do?

Wednesday, June 03, 2020
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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…

Wednesday, May 27, 2020
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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.