Thursday, October 25, 2012

4-H Holiday Plant Sale

Alleghany 4-H is currently taking orders for their first ever Holiday Plant Sale.  There are 3 choices of poinsettias available.  

  • Desktop Size (10"-12") with decorative foil on the pot = $6
  • Large Size (15"-18") with decorative foil on the pot = $12
  • Large Size (15"-18") with decorative foil & a bow = $12
All orders are due by Friday, November 16, 2012 and payment is due at the time the order is placed. 

There will be 2 pick-up days:
Thursday, November 29th from 9am to 4pm
Friday, November 30th from 9am to 4pm

Click here for your printable order form.  For more information, contact the Extension Office at 336-372-5597.

*All proceeds will help send kids to summer camp and other 4-H sponsored activities.*

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food Safety for Zombies

Be sure to check out this fun but informative blog post by Richard Auffrey, the champion of the1st Annual Tweet & Blogfest at the International Boston Seafood Show 2011. While Food Safety is no joke, a deadly serious matter to all, humor can help illustrate and shine light where a more serious treatment may miss a connection. A humorist as well, Richard has taken an opportunity to expand upon the vital message that "Food Safety is Always Important for Everyone, Everywhere." Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Saving Money at Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  Here are some tips you can use to save a little money, time and stress.  If you’ve ever hosted a Thanksgiving for friends and family then you realize how easy and quick the costs can spiral out of control.  Even with great intentions your grocery bill can get way of hand really quick and that’s before you even think about decorating.  Here are a few tips that might be able to help keep this under control.

Ask everyone to BYOD (Bring your own dish).  It’s a lot of work for one person to host what is typically a pretty extensive meal and in addition to all the work can pose a real financial burden on your host.  If you’re doing the shopping, cooking, cleaning and decorating it can all become very overwhelming and then all the fun is out the door.  Asking your friends and family to help ease that burden is a great way to save money on Thanksgiving expenses. You’ll be able to spend less at the grocery store, you’ll also save time cooking which leaves more time for socializing and enjoying the day.  Request types of dishes, not specific ones. For instance, ask people to bring an appetizer, side dish, or dessert.
Volunteer:  We know that there are lots of people in need and the holidays are a great time to help out.  If you want to really want to make it a year to remember, volunteering is a great way to spend your Thanksgiving.   Soup kitchens and Meals On Wheels are always in need volunteers to help out on this important day. Not only would you skip all the buying, cooking, and cleaning, but you’d get to help others and make a great impact on others.   Volunteering together with friends and family is also a great way to be with them while celebrating this day of thanks.  We always are looking for ways that our children can give back to the community.  Let them help out too.  To find out about local opportunities contact you can contact your local food closet, Council on Aging or Ministerium.
Save money on your grocery bill.  One of the easiest ways to save money and ease the sticker shock at the grocery store is to plan ahead and start buying now.  Don’t wait until the last minute to buy everything.   Grocery stores typically do some great promotional and discount opportunities ahead of time.  The reason why it’s so smart to plan ahead for Thanksgiving is because you can start shopping early for deals, and you can use discount coupons for groceries way ahead of time. This can help you save significantly!
 Keep It Simple.    It's tempting it is to make complicated meals with expensive ingredients to give your guests the ultimate Thanksgiving dinner.  But doing this adds money, time, and stress to your Thanksgiving. Why not keep things simple? The more ingredients in a dish doesn’t always make it better.  You can also make stews or casseroles ahead of time giving you more time to enjoy the day.  Holiday dinners aren’t usually the best time to learn a whole new meal or cooking technique.  You’ve got too many other things going on.  Maybe pick one new dish to try but stick to things that are familiar and easy to you.   
    Use Natural Decorations    One of the best ideas I have found is to use natural decorations.  Skip the trip for store-bought Thanksgiving decorations. Use what you have available in your back yard.  Fall leaves and branches, beautiful dark green acorn squash, pine cones, the dried hydrangea in your garden, and other fall fruits that can be eaten later. There are tons of great ideas online for decorating the table the natural way. For those decorations you need to buy, try the dollar store, local famers markets or produce stands for some great deal.

Other quick tips - Try to plan so that all of your pies, casseroles or dishes that bake at the same temperature go into the oven at the same time.  this will save on energy costs.

If you have time make double batches of your Thanksgiving meals. This way you can freeze some and have plenty for leftovers in the months to come. Kill two birds with one stone!

You can also make your own pie crust which is much cheaper than buying it frozen or prepared. Find a recipe that freezes well and make it up to a month in advance. It’s also more delicious!


Growing Together - October 2012

The October Edition of the Growing Together Newsletter is now available.  This newsletter provides tips and advice for parents of preschool children. 


In this edition:

Games and Activities:  Making a Mask
Parenting:  Enjoy the humorous side of parenting
Grandma Says:  Listening to Children
Behavior:  Sometimes Fours and Fives can be "Bratty"
Discipline:  Praise and Criticism
October Activity Calendar

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Extension's Successful Family

The summer edition of Extension's Successful Family is now available.  Find some great tips on Retirement planning after the Great Recession.   There's also information for caregivers, finding the truth about health related questions and ideas for making the most of Bell Peppers.


Monday, October 8, 2012

The Produce Lady - Fall Favorites

October Edition of The Produce Lady is now available. Check out some great info some of your fall favorites: