Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 51)

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Living Well Month – Healthy Home

Submitted by: Mary Morris, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Written by: Dr. Sarah Kirby, State Program Leader for Family and Sciences, NC State

Is your kitchen a healthy kitchen? Here are some ideas on how to keep your kitchen clean and healthy. During this pandemic, many have found themselves spending a significant amount of time at home cooking. The CDC has specific information on how to clean and disinfect for COVID-19. If you are not dealing with COVID-19 disinfection and cleaning needs at your home, there are still items you can address to keep your kitchen healthy. Making a habit out of regular cleaning makes chores easier.

Here is a list of cleaning suggestions for your kitchen -Daily: Wash dishes, wipe kitchen work surfaces (countertops, cooktops, sinks), sweep floor, empty trash -Weekly: Check refrigerator and discard spoiled food, mop floor, scrub kitchen sink, disinfect kitchen cleaning sponges, wash and rinse kitchen trash can . -At least every 3-6 months: Wash kitchen cabinetry, thoroughly clean refrigerator and microwave . -Yearly or as needed: Clean out and wash cupboards, wash walls and woodwork, wash curtains/window covering, clean oven, wash light fixtures.

For more information on Healthy Homes

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Evergreen Leaf Drop is Normal

Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

Evergreens are prized in the landscape for their attractive foliage that remains green year round. Shrubs and trees like hollies, gardenias, rhododendrons, pines and wax myrtle all offer added greenery while other shrubs and trees in the landscape are bare. Most people are familiar with the annual, autumn leaf drop of deciduous trees and shrubs, therefore, concerns are raised when evergreens begin to exhibit leaf drop. However, evergreen leaf drop is a normal process that should not cause alarm.

As evergreens continue to produce new foliage, older leaves are shed. Older foliage is located further “inside” of a plant, unlike new foliage which is located on the tips of branches. As older foliage dies and is shed, it turns shades of yellow, orange and red. The yellowing and leaf drop are what cause concern for homeowners. As much as one-third to one-half of the tree or shrub may yellow, depending on factors like recent rainfall and temperatures. Following wet years, some evergreens will shed an excessive amount of leaves in response to the extra growth produced with last year’s additional moisture. Most evergreens shed foliage that is one to three years old.

Different evergreens shed at different times of year. Hollies shed older leaves from March through April, while gardenias and magnolias shed around April and May. Azaleas and rhododendrons drop older leaves during early spring and late summer. Overall, evergreen leaf drop usually occurs from November through May with some years being more excessive than others. Despite the temporary bareness, new growth will soon emerge.

Yellowing and leaf drop of evergreens is often confused with iron deficiency. However, iron deficiencies affect the newer leaves on a plant, which are located at the tips of branches. Deficiencies also result in a more veiny appearance on the leaves as they yellow. If nutrient deficiency is a concern, homeowners should take a soil sample (available at Cooperative Extension offices) and apply soil amendments accordingly. Recently transplanted trees and shrubs can also result in yellowing and leaf drop.

Chowan County 4-H to Host Virtual District Activity Day

Camaryn Byrum, 4-H Agent

Presentations are a huge part of North Carolina 4-H. The 4-H Presentations program is an opportunity for youth to research a topic of interest, develop a poster or PowerPoint presentation, and utilize public speaking skills to present to a panel of judges. There are 4-H presentation competitions at the county, district and state levels.

District Activity Day (DAD) is the annual 4-H public speaking/presentations competition. DAD will be virtual again this year. Youth will create and submit a video of their presentation. This event is open to youth ages 5-18. Presentations can be on any topic of interest. Chowan County will host a County Activity Day prior to the DAD submission deadline.

For more information or to register, please contact Camaryn Byrum at cibyrum@ncsu.edu or 252-482-6585.

For more information on Chowan County 4-H DAD

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