Southern-Style Gardens Still Taste the Best

first_imgGrowing up and living all my life in the South, I know what freshvegetables taste like. Our family ate what we grew. We also ate what was in season. In the early spring we anticipated fresh lettuce and other greens. It wasa real tragedy when wilted lettuce salads went out of style because of fears about fat.You don’t know what good eating is until you sit down to the table and pour the hotvinegar and bacon grease mixture, with fresh green onions, over your salad greens. I remember the green peas and new potatoes grubbed out from under thegrowing potato vines. Sometimes we served them in a cream sauce with plenty of freshlyground pepper. Later on came the king of the garden: fresh tomatoes.My family was big on the Creole tomato. I’ve eaten many kinds, colorsand shapes over the years, but the Creole is still my favorite. We ate it fresh off thevine while it was still warm. We ate it on BLTs, in salads, stewed, stuffed with crab meatand just about any other way possible. But it’s best still warm in the field. We canned many jars of tomatoes and used them in the winter for stewedtomatoes over biscuits for supper. That always brought back the essence of summer, even inthe dead of winter.We loved another favorite, too: peppers, both sweet and hot. We served hotcayennes with all meals.Eggplants were the first “hamburger helper,” used to extend themeat course for six hungry kids. When you cubed and added eggplant to oyster stew, youcould save on the oysters. During August, when other vegetables had played out in the dead of summer,it was time for brown crowder or Mississippi Silver peas and okra, cooked together in myfavorite black iron pot. Mama stewed it long and slow with potlikker and served it withstone-ground cornbread and sweet iced tea. Now we go out to “country restaurants,” which try to duplicatethese dishes with frozen or canned products. Once you’ve had the original, it justisn’t the same. The real key to Southern vegetables is picking them at the right time. Butyou don’t have to grow up Southern to figure out perfect timing. Just stop by your countyExtension Service office and pick up any of the gardening publications. Harvesting too early or too late can change the flavor of vegetables. Theway you handle them after harvest can also affect the flavor.If the part eaten is a leaf or root, the harvesting is not as critical asit is with fruits. Leaves and roots can grow a little larger without greatly changingflavor. The main factor in leaves is that the midrib may be more fibrous, and you canremove it.On the other hand, some fruits can go over-the-hill quickly. Others can beleft on the vine to grow a little larger.Tomatoes, everyone’s favorite, must be picked at the proper time. Theyreach maturity (full size) and then start ripening.The ripening process depends on cultivar and environment. Usually thehotter the weather, the quicker the ripening. If there is excess water during ripening, itwill dilute the sugars and acids which give the tomato its characteristic flavor. After you pick them, NEVER put tomatoes in the refrigerator. Serve them atroom temperature. If they’re very ripe, you can refrigerate them, although they will lose alittle flavor. Just be sure to take them out several hours before serving them so they canwarm up to room temperature. You can enjoy Southern vegetables as they should be. Just grow themproperly, harvest at the proper time and handle with care. You’ll have a summer feast likeMama used to make.last_img read more

Floyd Threatens Ag

first_imgHurricane Floyd could strike a major blow to Georgia crops. The 140-mph-plus sustained winds in Floyd could cause more damage than even hurricane-related water damage, say University of Georgia scientists. Pecan crop in particular dangerGeorgia’s pecan crop is in particular danger. “The trees are really loaded with green nuts rightnow,” said Tom Crocker, an Extension Service horticulturist with the UGA College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Wind from Floyd could easily break the alreadystressed branches right off the tree.” Crocker said about 30 percent of Georgia’s pecan orchards are in the southeast corner of thestate. Experts have estimated the 1999 crop at 100 million pounds, and economists say prices arelikely to be strong, too, with low carry-in stocks. But wind damage from Floyd could change all that, Crocker said. “Unfortunately, we’ll just haveto wait and see.”Cotton lint vulnerable to windCotton farmers are in much the same situation. But with harvest already under way in many areas, some farmers may have already made their crop more susceptible to wind damage.Extension cotton scientist Glen Harris said some fields have already been defoliated, so the leavesaren’t there to provide some protection against the wind. His advice to cotton growers: “If thefield has been defoliated, try to go ahead and get that cotton picked. If you haven’t defoliated,don’t yet.” Leafy cotton plants can also provide support to each other, preventing further losses from plantsbreaking under the wind, which can make them nearly impossible to harvest. A combination of rain and heavy wind could be disastrous for Georgia cotton farmers. Rain can weigh down and string out open cotton bolls, making the crop more susceptible to strong winds. Once cotton hits the ground, it’s gone, Harris said. Soybeans helped more than hurt, but wind damage probableSoybeans in southeast Georgia are likely to take a hit, too, said Paul Raymer, a researchagronomist with the CAES. “The crop, overall, will be helped more than hurt by rain from Floyd,”he said. “But wind at more than about 40 mph could cause lodging – the plants to bend and break- and cause problems at harvest.”He also noted that fields that have come through the drought and still look good are the ones most likely to be hurt by Floyd’s wind and rain. About 60 percent of the Georgia soybean crop is grown in the area most likely to be hit by Floyd. To dig or not to dig? That is the question for peanut farmersPeanut farmers are facing relatively good news. “Wind is a ‘non-factor’ for peanuts,” said JohnBeasley, an extension peanut agronomist. That leaves southeast Georgia peanut farmers asking one very important question: To dig or notto dig? Beasley offers these rules: * If the vines are in good shape, leave them in the ground until the storm passes and fields aredry.* If vines are in poor condition and could not stand several days of wet conditions, digimmediately. Waiting could cause heavy losses. Once they’re out of the ground, storm-soakedvines can dry quickly and be harvested. Waiting can further weaken vines, resulting in morepeanuts falling off during digging. “As dry as it’s been, several inches of rain probably won’t hurt,” Beasley said. “If the system stallsand brings 10-plus inches of rain, we could have problems later getting back into fields on a timelybasis.”last_img read more

10 Salad garden

first_imgBy William Terry KelleyUniversity ofGeorgiaModern-day salads consist of more than just lettuce, tomatoes,cucumbers, bell pepper and loads of your favorite dressing.Boiled eggs, cheese and bacon do add variety. But they also addlots of fat and calories.Adding some novel vegetables to your garden may make your saladstastier and more healthful, too.Here are a number of salad crops gardeners can grow in mostGeorgia gardens at some point in the year. They’re basicallycool-season crops, although they may not stand hard freezes.Arugula, or rocket or roquette, isa leafy green that looks a lot like radish leaves. It’s tenderand has a slightly bitter, mustard-like flavor. Arugula can beused as a flavoring ingredient in soups and vegetable dishes andmakes your salad a bit zestier, too.It can be grown much in the same way as leaf lettuce, with plants4 to 6 inches apart in rows 18 to 24 inches apart.Bok choy, or pak choi, is aChinese cabbage related to broccoli, cauliflower and chard. Ithas wide, white stalks that lead to a wide, dark green leaf. Itcan be stir fried, cooked in soup, eaten raw in salads or cookedlike spinach.Bok choy can be grown as you would grow broccoli or cabbage. Youcan grow Napa types in the same way, but they have a leafier,tighter head with crinkled leaves and a wide, white midrib.Escarole, endive and radicchio are types of chicory that forma green (or red), loose-leaf head. Escarole has a broader leafthan endive. Endive has ragged leaves that curl at the end. Thecenter is mild and is yellow-white, while the outer leaves aremore bitter. Radicchio is shaped like cabbage with shiny, smooth,red leaves with a white midrib.These can all be used in salads or cooked in other dishes. Theycan be grown in the garden in the same manner as lettuce,allowing 10 to 12 inches between plants. They add flavor andtexture to salads.Cilantro, or Chinese parsley, is atype of coriander and looks like parsley with broader leaf tops.It’s a popular ingredient in Mexican and Chinese dishes. With apungent, musty, spicy and aromatic flavor, it can be used in stirfry, salsa, salads, stews, meats, soups and pickles. You can growit in the garden much like regular parsley.Red-leaf and green-leaf lettuces are loose-leaf typesthat don’t form heads. They may range from light to dark green,red and bronze. Grow them just like other leaf lettuces. Theleaves may be ruffled or smooth. They can add color and textureto salads. Or use them in sandwiches or as garnishes.Romaine lettuce, or Cos lettuce,is an upright type with a loose head of cupped leaves and adistinctive midrib. Plant it in rows 12 to 14 inches apart with 8to 12 inches between plants.Romaine has very big, crunchy leaves that are more blanchedtoward the heart of the plant. Use it in any salad — many saladsyou order in restaurants contain Romaine lettuce. Grow romainelettuce like other lettuces, but space it a little farther apart.Swiss chard and beet greens both belong to the samefamily, except chard lacks the fleshy root the beet has. Chardhas large, fleshy, dark green (or red) leaves with fleshy, whitestalks. Grow chard and beet greens as you do common garden beets.Use chard in salads, stuffings and egg dishes and cook it as avegetable.Beet greens are simply harvested from the top of the plants. Ifyou don’t want to harvest the beet you can plant them closertogether.(Terry Kelley is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.) Volume XXIXNumber 1Page 10last_img read more

‘Gardening’ time

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaHost Walter Reeves offers advice on summer vegetables, melons,peaches and azaleas on “Gardening in Georgia” June 25 on GeorgiaPublic Broadcasting.”Gardening in Georgia” is produced by GPB and the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Itairs each Saturday at 12:30 and 7 p.m.On this week’s show, Reeves revisits some vegetables he plantedin an earlier show at the UGA Research and Education Garden inGriffin, Ga.UGA entomologist Dan Horton then shows how tough it is to controlinsects on peaches. He describes some integrated pest managementtechniques you can follow in growing backyard peaches. One goodtip: get the UGA publication, “2002Disease and Insect IPM in the Home Orchard.”It’s just about watermelon time, and UGA horticulturist emeritusWayne McLaurin tells about the varieties, planting and culture ofmelons in your own home garden.Finally, Reeves tackles the question, “Will a florist azaleasurvive and produce flowers outside?” You bet, he says — if yougive it special care during the first year after you plant it.last_img read more

Hidden danger

first_imgRead the instructions.Wait until the storm subsides before turning it on. Never usea generator in wet weather.Put the generator on a dry, flat surface as far away from thehome as possible. Use a rated extension cord to take electricityback into a home. Never place a generator near a door or window,even if they’re closed, or in a garage.Before touching the generator, make sure your hands are dryand you’re not standing in water.Never plug the extension cord running from the generator intoan outlet in the house. This causes the electricity to flowbackwards and could electrocute someone in the house or inanother home. By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaTropical weather systems like Hurricane Dennis leave some hiddendangers behind. Among them is carbon monoxide poisoning fromusing portable generators improperly, said a University ofGeorgia expert.”Really and truly, we’re trying to raise as much awareness aboutthis as possible,” said Gina Peek, a housing program assistantwith the UGA Extension Service. “If you can avoid it, don’t use(a generator) at all.”As the hurricane season rolls on, “if a storm comes through andyou lose power, go to a shelter,” she said.Peek does give tips for those who do plan to use a generator whenthe power goes out. (Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

25 Watch for root rot

first_imgIn 2007, the University of Georgia Homeowner Integrated Pest Management Plant Disease Clinic saw a lot of turfgrass samples. Take-all root rot was the most frequent diagnosis for problems in homeowner lawns. This turf pathogen, which was almost unheard of a decade ago, has now spread throughout Georgia. It’s a severe problem for warm-season grasses, especially St. Augustine and centipede.The fungal pathogen responsible for the damage is Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis. Most simply refer to the problem as take-all root rot. Symptoms of the disease are most prominent on lawns stressed by hot, dry weather like we’ve had the last several summers in Georgia. Initial symptoms of take-all root rot are patches in the turf that are circular to irregular, yellow to light brown and thinning. They can measure anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet in diameter. As the disease progresses, patches may unite and reoccur in subsequent years, eventually killing large areas of the lawn. When a homeowner notices symptoms in late spring or early summer, the fungus has likely caused extensive damage because it actually colonized and attacked the turf the previous fall. Many times, severely damaged areas will need to be reseeded or new sod planted.As the common name infers, this is a root rot infection. A preliminary test for homeowners would be to tug on a blade of grass. If it pulls out of the soil without any resistance and there are little to no roots or the roots are blackened, shortened and rotted, then this could be an indication of take-all root rot infection. At this point, have the problem accurately diagnosed at a local county Extension office or by the Homeowner IPM Diagnostic Clinic. Integrated management is the best approach to preventing and managing take-all root rot in home lawns. Since take-all root rot is associated with stressed lawns, take these disease-management steps: Test the lawn’s pH. Maintaining a soil pH below 6.5, preferably between 5.5 and 6.0, will reduce the disease’s severity. Provide adequate drainage. Core aerate the lawn in the spring to help reduce compaction. Water once a week to a depth of 3-4 inches. This amount is sufficient. Fertilize properly. This depends on the type of turfgrass and the site conditions, whether sunny or shady. For example, centipede lawns should only get a pound of nitrogen per year – a half pound each in the spring and fall. Mow at the proper height for your particular turfgrass species. Avoid applying herbicides to damaged areas of the lawn. St. Augustine, for example, doesn’t have a high tolerance for herbicides.More recently, Texas A&M professor Phillip Colbaugh found that applying a sphagnum peat moss topdressing to St. Augustine grass has proven to reduce symptoms of take-all root rot in home lawns. Additional information can be found at http://dallas.tamu.edu/People/pcolbaugh/PeatmossPoster(051605).pdf. Lastly, fungicide applications in the fall (before dormancy) and early spring will prove to be most effective. Fungicides containing the active ingredients triadimefon or myclobutanil are available to homeowners at local retail garden centers for control of this disease. Remember to always read and follow label directions carefully when applying fungicides. By Holly ThorntonUniversity of Georgia Volume XXXIIINumber 1Page 25 last_img read more

Vermont General Assembly Honors Vermont Federal Credit Union

first_imgOn May 6, 2003, the Vermont State House of Representatives and the State Senate passed Concurrent House Resolution H.C.R. 112, honoring Vermont Federal Credit Union for its contribution to the communities in which it operates, on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary.The resolution recognizes Vermont Federal Credit Union as an integral member of the financial services community; for providing needed financial services to over 20,000 Vermont consumers in six counties; for actively supporting the communities in which it does business through involvement in the March of Dimes, United Way, Vermont Special Olympics, and the American Cancer Society, the Credit Union contributed over $100,000 to community involvement projects over a three-year period; and for celebrating its 50th anniversary of improving the financial well-being of many Vermonters.Vermont Federal Credit Union’s President/CEO Joseph M. Finnigan, Vice President of Finance, Kelly McDonough, Vice President of Lending, Phillip Shepard, Jr, and Robert G. Cowie, Jr, Vice President of Member Service and Marketing, along with Curran “Spike” Robinson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, were honored at the state house on the day the resolution passed.last_img read more

Web Site Design by Cambium Group Wins Awards

first_imgCambium Group, LLC, a leading web site development firm specializing in innovative web site designs and content management systems has developed a nationally recognized web site for Telephone Credit Union (TCU) of Manchester, New Hampshire. The Telephone Credit Union site, www.tcu.org(link is external), recently received two individual awards for web site design and production.The first award, from the CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council (CMC) recognizes TCU’s web site with the “Merit Award” in the Internet Marketing category. Entries in the CMC’s 2003 Diamond Awards were judged by nationally acclaimed credit union marketers, based on criteria such as strategy, creative concept, design, copy, and results. The CMC is a national network of Credit Union marketing and business development professionals.Telephone Credit Union also received the 2003 Silver Web Site Award from the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC). Each year, during the MAC Annual Conference, members have the opportunity to compete for the coveted MAC Marketing Awards. Winners of these awards receive national recognition through credit union trade publications. MAC Marketing Award winners are selected by a panel of judges with extensive background in credit unions and marketing. Results, production quality, and creative design are considered in the selection process. Since 1986, the Marketing Association of Credit Unions has been recognized as the preferred trade association for credit union marketing professionals.”It’s an honor to have received these awards. We see the success of our site daily through the way our members and prospects use the site and conduct business. But it is always neat to have other marketers acknowledge the planning and thought that went into the development of the site.” stated Nathan Saller, TCU’s Vice President of Marketing.last_img read more

Edwin Colodny receives Champlain College award

first_imgEdwin Colodny was awarded the 2004 Champlain College Distinguished Citizen Award during the college’s 126th Commencement Ceremony. Each year the College singles out an individual from the community who displays exceptional personal and professional achievement, a strong record of community service, and dynamic leadership. In his remarks at Commencement, the chairman of Champlain’s board of trustees, William G. Post, Jr., described Colodny as a humble leader who has been a vital force in the economic, intellectual and artistic life of the area over the course of six decades.The Burlington native was president, CEO, and chairman of the board of US Airways, and chairman of the board of Comcast Corporation. He was on counsel in a high-powered Washington law firm and he was a sought-after corporate board member.He returned to Burlington three years ago to guide the University of Vermont through its fourth presidential transition in seven years. Colodny drove key initiatives forward aggressively and left the school a stronger place for his successor.After leaving UVM and retiring yet again, Colodny almost immediately stepped into another executive role, serving as interim CEO at Fletcher Allen Health Care during a challenging year in the history of the state’s largest hospital. Colodny serves on the boards of the Vermont Law School, Vermont Symphony, Vermont Mozart Festival, Shelburne Museum, and the New England Culinary Institute. He’s a member of the Rotary Club and he’s chairing the steering committee for Governor Douglas’s Clean and Clear Water Action Plan.“He’s just a guy who can’t say no,” says David Coates, who has worked with Colodny on a number of boards. “He has the ability to ask the right questions and in a way that’s not intimidating. As a result, he gets the right answer. And he has an amazing ability to analyze a very complicated matter and bring it down to a level that everyone can understand.”Theresa Albergini DiPalma, a friend and colleague at Fletcher Allen, says, “Ed’s a people person at the core of it all. He understands that so much in life is about relationships. He’s somebody who always has time to stop and talk.”Colodny’s love of the arts, reverence for education and affection for his hometown are essential parts of who is, Post noted. “That infuses his work with a special kind of energy and enthusiasm, and we, as a community, are fortunate to benefit from it.”last_img read more

Fairpoint gets written approval to buy Verizon’s Maine lines

first_imgFairpoint gets written approval to buy Verizon’s Maine linesMaine Public Utilities Commission on Friday, February 1, 2008, issued a written order approving FairPoints proposed acquisition of Verizons wireline business in Maine. The PUC had previously agreed to the deal and this latest move formalizes its ruling. It stated that it will reserve the right to re-visit its decision based on what the regulators in Vermont and New Hampshrie ultimately rule.In a joint release at the end of January, FairPoint Communications, Inc and Verizon said they expected transer of ownership of Verizon Communications’ 1.6 million landlines in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine for $2.7 billion to be done by February 29.The Vermont Public Service Department and the staff of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission in January agreed to the deal with conditions, such as on a de facto reduction of the price and on reducing the level of dividends FairPoint will be allowed to pay its shareholders (for updates, www.vermontbiz.com). The Federal Communications Commission also gave its approval in January.The regulators in both Vermont and New Hampshire still need to approve the deals, which are negotiated and approved separately. Meanwhile, Maine regulators already have approved a deal similar to those in Vermont and New Hampshire. Mains PUC, however, said it cold revisit its decision based on the structure of deal in the other two states.In addition to the key financial conditions in the amended stipulation in Maine and the key conditions in the settlement agreement with the Vermont Department of Public Service, FairPoint committed to additional conditions in New Hampshire which address capital expenditures, network and service quality improvement plans, broadband expansion and assurances of financial viability. The financial viability of FairPoint has been a concern of regulators and opponents of the deal, including the IBEW union. FairPoint will have to borrow upwards of $2 billion.The Vermont and New Hampshire agreements mimic the plan previously approved in Maine, which includes a steep reduction in FairPoint’s shareholder dividend (35 percent, resulting in a $50 million per year savings) and what is a de facto reduction in the price of the sale by $235.5 million. The financial moves were considered important in ensuring that FairPoint would be financially able to consummate the deal and live up to other provisions in the agreement, including extension of DSL service and other service and reliability guarantees.The deal also includes penalties up to $12.5 million if goals are not met. The Vermont agreement states that FairPoint must invest at least $40 million each year for the first three years and starting in 2009 spend at least $35 million to reduce debt. The entire deal still needs final approval by the Vermont Public Service Board, and by the regulatory body in New Hampshire.FairPoint has also agreed to make broadband Internet access available to all of its customers in at least half its exchanges by 2010.Even if FairPoint ultimately gains approval, discrepancies in the final rulings among the three states would have to be dealt with by each state’s regulatory board.last_img read more