Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 43)

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4-H at Home 
Submitted by: Camaryn Byrum, 4-H Agent 

Create a Time Capsule

Taken from: Julia’s Table Kids in the Kitchen


  • A shoe box, small box, oatmeal container, or mason jar – you can use anything to hold all of your time capsule trinkets!
  • Craft supplies! Anything you have around your house – glue, colored paper, pom poms, pipe cleaners, paint. Get creative!


  • Design your box! Get creative – you can paint your box, put stickers on it, throw on some glitter! Make sure to write TIME CAPSULE in big letters on it!


  • Answer some of the questions (below) on a piece of paper. Then add some of your favorite things to the box. Here are some of our favorite examples:
    • Favorite picture of yourself
    • Draw a picture of the house you live in right now
    • Draw a picture of your family or friends
    • The label of your favorite snack


  • What is today’s date?
  • How old are you?
  • What is your favorite song?
  • What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  • What makes you excited?
  • Who is someone that makes you smile?
  • Write down a list of everyone in your family (pets included!). Write down your favorite thing about each person.
  • What is your happiest memory?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What makes you unique?
  • What do you think you will be doing in 20 years?


  • Place the lid on your time capsule. Ask a parent or guardian for help picking a place around your house to store your time capsule. Don’t forget where you place it. Set a time to open the capsule. One year. Two years. Five years. When the time comes, open up your time capsule and take a walk down memory lane.

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

Weeknight Roasted Chicken

Weeknights are crazy, trying to cook a meal, get homework done, and get the kids and yourself to bed by a reasonable time can be a challenge. I think it’s a struggle that all families face on a daily bases. One way to feed your family a healthy meal and not break the bank is to prepare more meals at home. One of my favorite recipes is the Weeknight Roasted Chicken. This dish is easy and cheap, and you may be able to get more than one meal out of cooking a whole chicken at home. The secret to this recipe is a cast iron skillet. A whole chicken will cost about $6, a lot cheaper than buying chicken breast already cut up. The more convenient the higher the cost.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS (recipe from Americas test Kitchen)

Roast chicken is often described as a simple dish, but the actual process—brining or salting, trussing, and turning—is anything but easy. We wanted a truly simple way to get roast chicken on the table in just an hour without sacrificing flavor. We quickly realized that trussing was unnecessary; we could simply tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath the bird. We also found we could skip flipping the chicken during cooking by taking advantage of the great heat retention of cast iron. We cooked the chicken breast side up in a preheated skillet to give the thighs a head start and allow the skin to crisp up. Starting in a 450-degree oven and then turning the oven off while the chicken finished cooking slowed the evaporation of juices, ensuring moist, tender meat, even without brining or salting. A traditional pan sauce pairing lemon and thyme was the perfect complement, and it took just minutes to make while the chicken rested. Pan drippings contributed meatiness, and finishing the sauce with butter gave it the perfect velvety texture.

roasted chicken

Horticulture at Home
Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

FAQs About Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Do I need to prune?
Maybe. If you are otherwise happy with the health and performance of your plant, you do not have to prune. Annually, gardeners can remove these types of branches from trees and shrubs: crowded, crossing/rubbing branches, broken, dead, diseased branches, and water-sprouts growing in the crown and at the base of the tree.

When is the best time to prune?
Prune when it’s most convenient for you. Pruning in January and February is best for plant health. To avoid removing the blooms on spring blooming plants, wait until after the plant is finished blooming. Younger trees and shrubs recover better from heavy pruning and are easier to reach at a young age. Don’t delay pruning trees that may be a hazard.

Can I control the size of my plant with pruning?
No. Pruning is a temporary management of plant growth. You cannot permanently reduce the size of a plant with pruning. Topping is not recommended for this reason; plants will quickly regrow to their predetermined height. If a plant is too large for the space in which it’s growing, consider removing and replacing with a more appropriately sized plant.

How do I permanently remove a branch?
Make sure to remove the branch at the “collar.” The collar is a natural pinch-point at the base of most all woody stems. When cuts are made along the collar, plants seal off growth and will not resprout. In addition, don’t go farther in past the collar as this will cause permanent damage to the trunk.

How should I cut shrubs?
Pruning shrubs is usually for the purpose of rejuvenation. Make cuts along the stem where you want the plant to respond. Try to avoid removing more than 50% of a shrub’s growth in a year.

For more information about pruning ornamental trees and shrubs, contact the Ask A Master Gardener Helpline at (252) 482-6585. An online training is available at go.ncsu.edu/gita.

To permanently remove, prune woody tree and shrub branches at the collar.

To permanently remove, prune woody tree and shrub branches at the collar.