Recent Posts

  • A small cabin surrounded by pine trees, covered in a few inches of powdery, white snow.

    Wednesday morning, the outside temperature was 23 degrees Fahrenheit. The furnace at my house stopped working on Sunday, so the inside temperature was 56 degrees. This was an unpleasant reminder that it’s time to do all the winterizing tasks that help keep our homes comfortable during cold weather and potential winter storms. Task 1 –…

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  • Two adult women helping several young children start seeds in seed trays.

    Forsyth County has undergone tremendous growth and change since 1987. The completion of Georgia Highway 400 in the 1980s turned Forsyth County into a suburb of Atlanta, encouraging population growth. Along with this growth, many locals have watched the county go through significant amounts of change, including a decrease in farmland within the county. In…

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  • An overhead image of a holiday table centered on a golden roasted turkey.

    Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. Family, favorite foods, fall weather, football, and a fridge full of leftovers – other than a nap on the sofa, what more do you need? Answer: a plan for safe food preparation and handling. Every year, one in six Americans comes down with a case of foodborne illness,…

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  • A section of crape myrtle branch with several white, felted, waxy growths.

    Crape myrtles are popular ornamental trees throughout Georgia. Properly pruned, they’re elegant flowering trees with relatively few pests. In our highly mobile society, however, pests get opportunities to spread across natural barriers, like oceans. Such is the case with crape myrtle bark scale (Acanthococcus lagerstroemiae), an insect native to Asia that has invaded several southern…

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  • Two young men and a white and brown goat posing for a picture before a Georgia National Fair backdrop.

    The Georgia National Fair Livestock Shows are hosted annually in Perry, Georgia, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. The show ring can teach several life lessons and introduces youth to competition at a young age. Youth can begin showing certain animal breeds with 4-H when they are in first grade. Healthy competition teaches young…

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  • Celebrate Bats Year-round

    A large brown bat clutching the trunk of a tree, with its head pointed toward the ground.

    At the end of October, bats get a week of recognition. The timing coincides with Halloween, but we should really celebrate bats all year long. Why? Because bats are very cool, very unique, and very important to ecosystems around the world. With more than 1,300 species of bats, there’s a lot of diversity, but the…

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  • A close up image of the face of a household electricity meter.

    Believe it or not, most households have vampires greedily drinking energy and driving up electric bills. They may look small and harmless, like that little light on the cordless tool battery recharger or the idling computer waiting to be stirred to life. But collectively, energy vampires can increase monthly household electric bills by a monstrous…

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  • A colorful field of tulips in bloom.

    Dark mornings and evenings and colder temperatures at night let us know that winter is on the way. It may seem paradoxical, but October to December is the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. That’s because most types of spring-flowering bulbs need 3-4 months of cold to stimulate those cheerful flowers to bloom. Where to plant…

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  • A garden mostly covered by a fabric dome to prevent cooler weather from harming plants.

    Floating row covers and low hoop houses can extend the gardening season later into the fall and can help gardeners get a head start on early spring plantings. They work by capturing ground heat and keeping it around the plants under the covering. These temporary structures can increase the temperature inside the hoop house by…

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  • A heavily fogged rural road, bordered on each side by tall evergreen trees.

    Some recent headlines caught my attention, and as September is National Preparedness Month, I thought I would revisit them in the context of emergency preparedness and prevention. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Preparedness Month is a campaign to raise awareness of potential emergencies and disasters and encourage people to take actions…

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