Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 3)

— Written By Katy Shook
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N.C. Cooperative Extension of Chowan County is sharing a new series called Home-Insteading. We’re focusing on educational topics that encourage at-home learning and hands-on activity. For more information about our local program and how to connect, visit our website.

4-H AT HOME – Egg Drop Challenge

Camaryn Byrum, Chowan County 4-H Agent

Chowan County 4-H STEM Challenge

Have some free time at home? Try out this engaging and educational 4-H STEM activity. To participate: Complete the STEM experiment/activity below. E-mail Camaryn Byrum a picture of you completing the given task. A $5 credit will be applied toward any 2020 Chowan County Summer Fun Program that you plan to attend. A new challenge will be published each week in the newspaper. Camaryn Byrum can be reached at cibyrum@ncsu.edu.

Supplies Needed

  • 1 raw egg
  • Miscellaneous household items of choice (styrofoam cups, bubble wrap, paper towels, cotton balls, tape, cardboard, sponges)


Design a structure that will protect the egg from cracking when dropped. You can use any household items that you feel will protect your egg from cracking. Once you have designed and constructed your structure, go outside and see how well your design works. Start by dropping the egg from 3-4 feet off the ground. If the egg doesn’t crack, try dropping it from higher up. (Be sure to wash your hands after handling the raw egg).

Reflection (discuss these questions with a parent, guardian, or sibling):

  • What household items did you use to design your structure?
  • Did your egg crack on the first try?
  • How high up were you able to drop your egg from before it cracked?
  • What household items do you think worked best for this challenge?

FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCE AT HOME – Freezing Milk, Bread, and Eggs

Mary Morris, Chowan County Family & Consumer Science Agent

To help cut down on trips to the Grocery Store go ahead and pick up enough supplies for 2 weeks when you go. Milk, eggs, and bread may not last past 1 week. Did you know that you can freeze these items and thaw for later use.

Tips for Freezing Milk

  1. Consider the space you have in your freezer. If you don’t have room for a number of large milk gallons, think about stocking up on half gallons and quarts of fresh milk.
  2. Drink some first! When milk freezes, it expands. So, drink enough from each container to leave a little bit of room for the milk to expand safely when it freezes. Leave 1 to 2 inches of empty space in each container.
  3. Thaw your frozen milk in a refrigerator, not at room temperature.
  4. After your milk is thawed, give it a good shake before drinking!

Source: American Dairy

Tips for Freezing Bread

Store-bought bread can be frozen for up to 2-3 weeks in its original packaging. If you are storing bread for longer than a couple weeks then you will need to double wrap before freezing.

Tips for Freezing Eggs

Select fresh eggs and break each separately into a clean saucer. Thoroughly mix yolks and whites. Do not whip in air. To prevent graininess of the yolks, add 1-½ tablespoons sugar, 1-½ tablespoons corn syrup OR ½ teaspoon salt per cup whole eggs, depending on intended use. Strain through a sieve or colander to improve uniformity. Package, allowing ½-inch headspace. Seal and freeze. Source: How to Freeze Eggs

Remember these tips for when you go to the grocery store.

Grocery shopping tips

HORTICULTURE AT HOME – Spring Garden Chores

Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

Spring weather and spare time may encourage you to tackle those spring garden chores. If you’re thinking about what needs to be done in the garden, consider the following:

  • Cut back dead growth.  Whether it’s an old perennial with winter damage or last season’s growth, you can cut it back now (if you haven’t already). Keep in mind that many plants have already flushed with new growth, so take care not to cut what’s newly emerged.
  • Prune lightly.  Heavy pruning should already be complete, but it’s not too late to touch up trees or shrubs that have a few branches in the way, or that may be broken or damaged. Use sharp, sterilized pruning tools.
  • Mulch after the soil has warmed. Mulch can be applied around the base of a plant to encourage health and reduce weeds. Mulch with an organic material (ex. pinestraw, shredded hardwood) to a depth of around 3 inches. Avoid letting the mulch touch the plant, and avoid using landscape fabrics.
  • Fertilize trees & shrubs.  If you want to give the plant a boost, now is a great time to get some fertilizer out. Plan to fertilize again in late June.
  • Study up on your lawn.  What to do in your lawn can depend on what type of lawn you have. Visit Grasses to find out more.
  • Ask for help.  Cooperative Extension continues to maintain assistance through online, email, and telephone contact. Call the office at (252) 482-6585 or email katy_shook@ncsu.edu with any questions.
Tree bloom