Home Insteading With Cooperative Extension (Week 57)

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2021 Livestock Show Was A Success

Camaryn Byrum, 4-H Agent

Tuesday, April 20, 2021, marked the 67th Annual Chowan County 4-H Livestock Show and Sale. Fifty-six Chowan County youth participated this year. There were 12 goat exhibitors and 44 hog exhibitors. Matthew Morrison, North Carolina State University Animal Science Research Project Coordinator, was the judge for the 2021 show. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the show was limited to parent/guardian spectators.

The show began at noon with Cloverbud exhibitors. Cloverbuds are participants that are ages 5-7. There were three Cloverbud goat exhibitors and nine Cloverbud hog exhibitors. These youth were given the opportunity to take their animals into the ring to gain experience in showmanship techniques. Animals shown by youth ages 8-18 were judged on market conformity of the animals, and the participants were judged on their showmanship abilities. Award banners are given for grand champion, reserve champion, and third place animals in market competition. Participants in the junior and senior divisions were presented banners for first, second, and third place in showmanship competition.

Hannah Pippins, daughter of JP and Megan Pippins, showed the Grand Champion hog this year. Hannah is a John A. Holmes 11th grader. The Reserve Champion hog belonged to Laine Goodwin, son of Chris and Amanda Goodwin. Laine is in 6th grade at Chowan Middle School. Third place hog belonged to Thatcher Bass, son of David and Laura Bass. Thatcher is a 3rd grader at D.F. Walker. Hog Junior Showmanship honors went to: 1st place – Camryn Pippins, 2nd place – Harper Evans, and 3rd place – Laine Goodwin. Hog Senior Showmanship honors went to: 1st place – Hannah Pippins, 2nd place – Caroline Goodwin, and 3rd place – Brayden Pippins.

The Grand Champion goat was shown by Kerringtin Lane, daughter of John and Tara Lane. Kerringtin is a 12th grader at John A. Holmes High School. The Reserve Champion goat belonged to Amaris Oliver, daughter of John and Jessica Oliver. Amaris is a 9th grader at John A. Holmes. Third place goat belonged to Georgia Parrish, daughter of Carey and Rosanna Parrish. Georgia is an 8th grader at Chowan Middle School. Goat Junior Showmanship honors went to: 1st place – Georgia Parrish, 2nd place – Bella Parrish, and 3rd place – Holton White. Goat Senior Showmanship honors went to: 1st place – Kerringtin Lane, 2nd place – Adrianna Parrish, and 3rd place – Karley Byrd.

The auction took place at 7 p.m. Over seventy local businesses and individuals registered as buyers for the auction. Brent Winslow served as the auctioneer with the help of Alden Winslow.

The N.C. Cooperative Extension of Chowan County office would like to thank all of the participants, parents, sale buyers, and volunteers for making the 67th Annual Chowan County 4-H Livestock Show and Sale a great success.

gc hog

The Grand Champion Hog belonged to Hannah Pippins. S.E. Brabble and Sons was the buyer.

gc goat

The Grand Champion Goat belonged to Kerringtin Lane. Chowan County Farm Bureau was the buyer.

2021 NC Wildflower of the Year

Katy Shook, Area Horticulture Agent

The North Carolina Botanical Garden recently announced the 2021 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year. Started in 1982, this program celebrates one southeastern native wildflower each year by collecting, cleaning, and distributing thousands of packets of its seed to interested parties throughout our region. This year’s winner is Callicarpa americana, “American beautyberry.”

From the NC Botanical Garden: “Once again, we are bending the definition of a wildflower to offer American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) as our 2021 Wildflower of the Year. This deciduous understory shrub is native to woodlands, open forests, and disturbed areas throughout the central and southeastern United States. Beautyberry has pale green leaves along graceful arching stems and forms clusters of dainty pink flowers nestled in the leaf axils in late spring and early summer. However, the real show starts in fall, when the developing berries ripen to such a vibrant shade of magenta that they have been described as “neon violet.” In fact, the genus name Callicarpa comes from the Greek words kalos, meaning beautiful, and karpos, meaning fruit. Even after the leaves have turned yellow and dropped in late fall, the bright berries persist along the stem and feed many species of birds during fall migration. They also provide a striking contrast of vibrant color amongst the warm tones of fall foliage and make beautyberry a real gem in the garden!

The medicinal and ethnobotanical uses of beautyberry are widely documented throughout history. Indigenous tribes in the Southeast cultivated beautyberry, making a tea from the roots to treat a variety of stomach ailments, and using the leaves and roots in sweat lodge ceremonies for the treatment of malaria, rheumatism, and fevers. Another traditional use is to crush and rub the leaves on the skin as a natural mosquito repellant, which has recently been confirmed by scientists at the USDA who isolated a chemical compound from the leaves called callicarpenal that does indeed repel mosquitos and other biting insects. Additionally, the berries are edible, and though somewhat bland and mealy when consumed raw, they can be cooked and prepared into jelly or wine.

Beautyberry is very easy to grow and requires minimal care once established. It prefers sites in full sun to part shade with average to moist, well-drained soils that don’t stay too wet for extended periods. Beautyberry typically grows 4-6 feet tall and wide, but in favorable conditions it can grow up to 9 feet tall. In order to keep a more compact form, it can be pruned back to 6-10 inches tall in March, before the growing season begins. Because of its loose, open form that could be perceived as untidy, beautyberry is best planted in a group to give a fuller appearance, at the back of a shrub border, or in a naturalistic woodland garden where it can stretch out.”

Gardeners living in the southeastern United States can get a free seed pack of this year’s Wildflower of the Year! (Available while supplies last.) Send a self-addressed, stamped business-letter envelope to: 2021 NCWFOY, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Campus Box 3375 UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3375.


Gardeners can receive a free seed pack of American beautyberry – this year’s Wildflower of the Year! (Available while supplies last.)

Strawberry Season Is Here

Submitted by: Mary Morris, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Get out your buckets, your boots, and head to the strawberry fields to get pickin’.

Fresh-picked strawberries are the best but if you are seeking a way to store fruit in season to take advantage of its availability at a great price. Follow these recommendations to avoid allowing fruit to go to waste because there is more than you can eat at a given time.

While making jams, jellies and other sweet spreads is a popular way to utilize fruit, there is a simpler way to preserve it; freeze it. If you have the space and a freezer that will maintain 0ºF (use a freezer thermometer to check), freezing fruit is easy, convenient and can be quickly done.

Freezing stops microorganisms from growing and slows down spoilage which affects food quality. The best containers for freezing include freezer bags and rigid plastic freezer containers, as well as glass canning jars that are designed for freezer use. Canning/freezing jars are wide mouth and narrower at the bottom than they are at the top to allow for expansion. New jars will indicate that they are appropriate for freezing on the box. Freezer foil and freezer paper will work as well and are great for odd shapes.

Avoid paper cartons (such as empty milk cartons) or plastic yogurt, butter or dip containers as these are not designed for freezer use.

Wash but do not soak the fruit. Discard blemished fruit, remove stems, slice and/or peel depending on how you want to prepare your strawberries. Some fruit such as peaches may darken when sliced because of exposure to air, you can use ascorbic acid or fruit color preserver (follow package directions) to help avoid this. Strawberries don’t really have this problem so this step is not needed.

You may have better flavor and texture if you pack in syrup or sugar but this is not necessary. More information on this method.

Freezing the strawberries in a single layer on a tray before packing in containers will allow you to take out only what you need instead of having to defrost an entire solid block. Here is some information on packing and freezing fruit.