Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 15)

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4-H at Home
Camaryn Byrum, 4-H Agent 

Garden of Greatness

With all of the events going on in our world today, it’s easy to often focus on the negative aspects rather than the positive ones. This Garden of Greatness is an activity that will help young children think about the positive traits within themselves and others. This activity can be done at home or within a classroom setting.


  • Bulletin Board or Display Area
  • Stapler and staples
  • Masking tape
  • Construction Paper, cut into circles (1 circle per child) and strips wide enough to write on (4-8 strips per child)


  1. Give each child a circle with their name in the center. Give each child four to eight strips of colored paper.
  2. Instruct children to write down things that they love about themselves, or something they enjoy doing on the strips of paper. If they are having trouble thinking of things, ask their friends or siblings to list their great qualities. One quality per strip.
  3. Once they have their petals completed, help them tape each strip onto their circle.
  4. Staple or tape each flower to the bulletin board or display area (the refrigerator works great).
  5. Discuss how they are all unique with different qualities and interests. Discuss how all of their individual strengths and character traits create a beautiful garden of greatness.

*Note: This activity can also be done by having classmates or siblings write positive traits about one another.

garden of greatnessActivity and photo can be found here.

Family and Consumer Sciences at Home 
Mary Morris, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent 

Correct Way To Wear A Mask

The Governor has issued an extension on Phase 2 in our state and the Executive Order for everyone to wear masks in public places. What does that mean for us? We will need to have masks with us at all times. Keep the mask handy if you need to go into a store or if you will be outside and cannot social distance. I agree that they are hot and uncomfortable for the most part, but if worn correctly masks can help protect you from COVID-19.

View the documents below for information on proper mask wearing.

Proper Ways To Wear A Mask – 1

Proper Ways To Wear A Mask – 2

Proper Ways To Wear A Mask – 3

Horticulture at Home 
Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent 

Managing Snakes In The Garden

From the NC Extension Gardener Handbook

Snakes in the garden may cause concern for some people, but often the snake is not causing any harm and may be one of the gardener’s best friends. Snakes help keep rat, mice, vole, and rabbit populations in check. Snakes are seen most often in the spring or fall as they search for food or move to and from hibernation areas. They are frequently associated with small mammal habitats because rodents are primary food sources for many snake species.

Several venomous snakes, including the copperhead, cottonmouth (also known as water moccasin), three rattlesnake species, and eastern coral snakes are found in North Carolina.

When snakes are observed on your property, keep a safe distance unless you can positively identify the species as being non-venomous. Wild snakes often bask in the sun and this is when they become highly visible. In most cases, the snake will move on by itself. It can be very difficult to differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes. As a general guideline, the three rattlesnake species are pit vipers and can be identified by a pit between and slightly below the eye and nostril, long movable fangs, a vertically elliptical pupil, and a triangular head (see image). Nonvenomous snakes have two rows of scales on their tails, while venomous snakes have one row of scales. For help in identifying snakes, Davidson College has created a free app for Apple iPhones (it can be downloaded from iTunes) and has multiple pictures of each species of snake in North Carolina. Search Snakes of North Carolina.

To Discourage Snakes in the garden, follow these strategies:

  • Reduce cover and food supply by mowing closely around homes, gardens, and storage buildings.
  • Store firewood and lumber away from the house and preferably elevated off the ground.
  • Reduce mulch layers around shrubs to discourage small animals.
  • Close cracks and crevices in buildings and around pipes and utility connections with 1⁄4-inch mesh hardware cloth, mortar, or sheet metal.
  • Repellents are not effective.

Characteristics of venomous and nonvenomous snakes. A. Venomous- elliptical pupils, pit between eye and nostril, one row of scales on the tail, and a triangular-shaped head. B. Nonvenomous- round pupils and two rows of scales on the tail.