03 Keep veggies safe

first_imgDiseases can seriously damage or completely destroy a vegetable garden. But there are a few things the home gardener can do to reduce the risk these veggie enemies pose.”Most vegetables are susceptible to a number of diseases,” says David Langston, a vegetable plant pathologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Types of problems and their causesWilts, leaf spots, blights and fruit rots, he says, are just a few of the problems that plague vegetable gardens every year.Plant diseases are caused by four primary types of organisms: fungi, bacteria, nematodes and viruses.When conditions are wet and temperatures warm, your vegetable plants are more susceptible to diseases caused by fungi and bacteria. Scout your garden regularly.When garden conditions are dry, nematode damage is more evident. Soil may be sampled for nematodes by submitting a sample through your county extension office.Viral diseases can occur at any time, he said.Many plant diseases can be on or within seed. “Seeds should not be saved from year to year,” Langston said. “This is important to prevent a number of diseases.”Buy seed from a reputable dealer, because you can’t distinguish healthy seed from diseased seed. And make sure you follow directions on when and how to plant them. Your best bet for control Disease-resistant plant varieties are the most efficient way of controlling vegetable diseases. So buy resistant varieties when you can. Resistance traits are usually listed in seed catalogs and in plant stores.Don’t plant your garden near or beneath trees. The shade will reduce the drying of plant foliage after rain and increase the chances of diseases. Besides, vegetables like a lot of sunlight, and the trees will compete for vital nutrients.Crop rotation is important. If you continue to plant the same vegetables in the same spot year after year, you’re asking for soil disease problems.Grow the same or closely related vegetable plants in the same soil only once every three to five years, Langston said. This practice starves out most pathogens that cause stem and leaf diseases.Vegetable families include: Alliaceae (chives, garlic, leeks and onions). Brassicaceae (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, mustard, radish, rutabagas and turnips). Cucurbitaceae (cantaloupes, cucumbers, honeydew melons, pumpkins, squash and watermelons). Fabaceae (all beans, English peas and Southern peas). Solanaceae (eggplant, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes). Asteraceae (lettuce). Poaceae (corn). Malvaceae (okra). Chenopodiaceae (spinach) Apiaceae (carrots).Everyday prevention”Trap crops” can reduce virus diseases carried by small insects. Plant a few rows of a crop like rye or corn around your main garden. This will tempt insects to feed there first, reducing the risk of diseases some small insects are known to carry.When watering, avoid splashing soil onto plant foliage. If possible, irrigate by running water between the rows. Use a mulch layer of straw, bark, shredded paper or plastic to keep soil from splashing onto plants and keep fruit from touching bare ground.If you use tobacco, wash hands thoroughly before handling plants. This will prevent the spread of tobacco mosaic virus, which can infect many kinds of vegetables, particularly tomatoes and peppers.After harvest, remove and destroy all plants from the garden, and sanitize your garden equipment. This will reduce the overwintering of disease-causing organisms.Most important, use proper cultural practices to keep your plants healthy.”Healthy plants don’t get diseases as easily as weak ones,” Langston said. “Healthy plants are the best control against plant diseases.” By Brad HaireUniversity of Georgia Volume XXVIII Number 1 Page 3last_img read more

Farm co-op grant

first_imgAn ethanol production co-op among Georgia corn growers.The Sunbelt Organic Gold co-op of south Georgia poultrygrowers who want to make and market organic fertilizer fromchicken litter.A Community Food Network that would match organic producegrowers with markets in suburban Atlanta. By Chowning Johnsonand DanRahnUniversity of GeorgiaA growing interest in farm co-ops got a boost last month from a$266,000 federal grant to the Georgia Center for Agribusiness andEconomic Development. The grant will give Georgia its firststatewide farm co-op development center.The new Georgia Cooperative Development Center will be one of 20such centers in the United States.The GCDC will support fledgling co-ops and help farmers who wantto form others, said CAED coordinator John McKissick. Before thegrant, he said, there weren’t enough resources to meet all of theneeds.The CAED, part of the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences, secured the grant fromthe Rural Development program.”The grant will focus on cooperative development and providingmore services to those in agriculture who think they have afuture to develop as a co-op,” McKissick said.ExpansionIt will fund two business development specialists and otherresources. “It will enable us to do a lot more of what we’ve beendoing,” he said.The CAED has played a key role in successful co-ops like theSunbelt Goat Producers in Washington County and Farm FreshTattnall, a co-op of roadside markets and pick-your-own farms inTattnall County.Co-ops, McKissick said, are a way for business people to worktogether and do what they couldn’t do separately.The new center’s steering committee has already approved newfeasibility studies, board training, market analyses, businessplans or other support for four co-ops: Success rates”The center will improve new co-ops’ success rates by making surethey have a good foundation from the start and giving them thenecessary supplies to update business plans as needed,” said BillThomas, a GCDC co-op development specialist.A market analysis for a newly formed Southwest Georgiaagritourism co-op, for instance, showed that televisionadvertising would reach its best audience. Without the study,Thomas said, they might have made some key marketing mistakes.The 11 Resource, Conservation and Development Councils of theUSDA Natural Resources Conservation Service are partners of thenew GCDC.(Chowning Johnson is a student writer and Dan Rahn a newseditor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)center_img A co-op that would match organic-minded markets withgrass-finished beef.last_img read more

2005 in review

first_imgAgricultureBusinessEducationEnvironmentFood& HealthHome& GardenLifestylesInternationalScienceWeather Between the Christmas gifts and the New Year’s resolutions, youmay want to look back on the news of 2005 before you get startedon 2006. Here’s a look at the year’s top stories from the GeorgiaFACES news to use about Georgia Family, Agricultural, Consumerand Environmental Sciences. Sorted by date and linked to thestory in our archive, here are 2005’s top 10 stories in 10categories: agriculture,business,education,environment,food& health, home& garden, international,lifestyles,scienceand weather.last_img read more

Landscape for Wildlife

first_imgBy Bob Westerfield University of GeorgiaIt seems a little strange writing a landscaping article about attracting wildlife. I’ve spent much of my career telling folks how to keep critters out of their landscape.As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension horticulturist, I get lots of questions about how to stop deer from eating flowers and how to deter squirrels from digging up bulbs. Lately, however, I’ve seen a noticeable shift in landscape- and wildlife-related calls. People actually want to encourage wildlife into their landscape and enjoy bragging to neighbors and family about furry creatures visiting their landscape and feeders. As a wildlife enthusiast, I think this is a great trend.You can have an attractive landscape and still make it eco-friendly for wildlife. You just have to realize that some plants are like salad bars to deer. All animals look for three critical elements: food, water and shelter. Many landscape plants add beauty to your landscape while providing one or more of the basic elements. Water is critical. Incorporate a water element by adding a small pond and a few bird baths. Deer, raccoons, birds and opossums are just a few of the critters that may visit your landscape watering hole.Ponds don’t have to be large or fancy. Water tubs from farm supply stores or even metal wash tubs placed into holes dug in the ground make a miniature oasis for many animals. To help fight evaporation and keep the water cool, put bird baths in the shade. Food is the next major element to attract wildlife. Depending on what wildlife you like and what lives nearby, many different plants can draw them into your landscape. Birds love to feast on berry-producing plants. Consider shrubs that fruit, such as Japanese hollies, inkberry, phyracantha and wax myrtle. There are many others to choose from.Squirrels and deer appreciate nut-bearing trees such as oak, hickory and Chinese chestnut. It’s also good to include some fruit producers like crabapple, plum and persimmon trees or muscadine vines. If you have room, plant a small food plot of wheat, clover, rye or oats to attract deer or turkey. Planting these near escape cover encourages daylight feeding. A one-eighth to one-fourth acre food plot provides a good food source year ‘round. I set a digital trail camera close to my food plots to capture images of what visits when I’m not around. These cameras, available at sporting goods stores, are fun and easy to use. Humming birds are also fun to watch and are easy to attract. Humming birds love plants that flower for a long time. They prefer trumpet-shaped blooms. Vines such as trumpet creeper, honeysuckle, crepe myrtle, or Carolina jasmine bring them in. You can add hummingbird feeders visible from your window.Set up feeders for birds, squirrels and whatever else shows up. There are many great feeder designs out there to compliment any landscape design. I like natural looking wooden feeders.Cover or shelter is the final element that wildlife needs. They need a place to escape from enemies, find refuge from weather and feel secure while they rest. Different animals need different types of cover. Woodpeckers and flying squirrels like dead trees. Rabbits make nests in tall grass and weedy areas. Deer like to spend their afternoons in a secure shrubby area. Include trees, bushes, brush piles and rock piles to attract more wildlife. Place different sizes of bird houses around the landscape, too, to bring in feathered friends.Provide water, food and shelter, and your landscape can quickly become a wildlife sanctuary. (Bob Westerfield is a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension consumer horticulturist.)last_img read more

Cloud 9 Caterers celebrates 16th year of business with launch of new website

first_imgSouth Burlington, VT — March 7, 2006 Celebrating their 16th year of creating unforgettable weddings, private parties, and corporate events in Vermont, Cloud 9 Caterers has launched a new website (http://www.cloud9caterers.com(link is external)), developed by local wedding marketing company, Injoy Marketing (http://www.injoyweddings.com(link is external)). The new website showcases the beauty and allure of Cloud 9’s outstanding food and impeccable service, which has distinguished Cloud 9 as Vermont’s premier catering company.Cloud 9 owner Sarah Moran first came to the Burlington area in the 1980s, graduating from the University of Vermont in 1984 and going on to pursue graduate studies at St. Michael’s College. After living and working in New York for a few years, the birth of her first child prompted Sarah to return to the Green Mountain State. Seeking a way to pursue her passion for food while devoting time to her new family, in 1990 she established Coggio Caterers with a business partner. Five years later, Sarah changed the name of the company to Cloud 9 Caterers.Cloud 9 today has a reputation for food that is eclectic, contemporary, and fresh, and they are proud to be a member of the Vermont Fresh Network, an alliance of farmers and chefs committed to using and promoting organic, locally produced ingredients. Offering top-notch service along with the resources and experience to make any event unforgettable, Cloud 9 continues to grow, allowing Sarah ample opportunity to do what she loves mosthelping people make great things happen.last_img read more

Teach Your Teens the Value of Money

first_imgAs your teens grow older and come closer to adulthood however, it just becomes important to teach them how to be responsible and independent. This is especiallytrue during the teenage years because much of what they learn about the value of hard work, responsibility, and money during this time will shape their adultbehaviors.Teaching a child the value of money is not all that difficult and you can start rather early. Something as simple as having a “piggy bank” is great way to teach childrenhow to save early on in life. It’s a first step towards them learning how to not squander money on small things but rather to save for something more important such asa car, their college education, a home, or for the “rainy days.”It is pretty well known that something given to you rarely has as much value as when you’ve worked to get it. A sure way of not instilling these values in your childrenis to give them far more than what they need and without them lifting a finger for it. Buying them expensive clothes or the car they always wanted may make themhappy and be important for their status, but you’ll likely end up teaching them how to be dependent rather than independent.Even if you paid for your child’s first car in its entirety, having them continually work to make token payments on it or the insurance premium can instill the sense thatthey’ve worked for what they have.As children get older, working odd or part time jobs can teach them a great deal about responsibility, the value of hard work, and how good it feels to earn what youhave.These times it’s extremely difficult for a child to buy their first car or to pay for college all by themselves. It’s hard for parents to do the same, especially if you havemultiple children, and especially if you haven’t started saving early. Not preparing for these expenses could mean having to buy an inexpensive car with constant repairbills that eat up more money in the end.When it comes to handling money, the example you give your children may be the most potent lesson of all.For professional help just log on:http://www.abundantlifeacademy.com/(link is external)http://www.troubledteens4jesus.com/(link is external)http://www.troubledteenministries.com/(link is external) They can be of great help. Abundantlifeacademy Group’s schools and programs excel at finding anindividualized plan for troubled children and teens. Their purpose is to introduce, or re-introduce, their students to the Holy Spirit. There are ways to help manage thedepressions and all it takes is some effort to find those answers.About Author: Nivea DavidFor listings please visit http://www.abundantlifeacademy.com/(link is external) (Leading Website For Troubled Teens) TroubledTeen Help You can also visit http://www.troubledteenministries.com/(link is external) For Troubled Teens Campslast_img read more

GAW Acquires Power Shift’s Wireless Network

first_imgOn February 1st, GAW (Brattleboro, VT) acquired Power Shift of Stowe, VT, the second largest broadband Internet provider (based on coverage area) supporting northwestern, VT with service from Stowe to Morrisville and greater Lamoille County. From its humble beginnings as a small computer services company in Montreal, Canada, Power Shift’s President, Joe Allen, moved the business to Stowe, VT in 1995. Rapid demand for Internet services in the area required Power Shift to become an ISP (Internet Service Provider) enabling them to serve thousands of previously under-served area residents. Power Shift’s long standing reputation and commitment to quality service is well known.GAW’s acquisition of the Power Shift wireless network means existing customers and Lamoille County residents will be well supported by Vermont’s largest Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP).Power Shift customers can expect enhancements to service offerings in the coming months, including more service plan options, and eventually a cost-effective high-speed voice and data plan.  As the largest wireless broadband provider in Vermont, GAW is committed to rural broadband development.  “We recognize that when we can bring broadband Internet to regions of Vermont discovering this for the first time, or when we can combine voice and data offerings for lower cost to Vermonters, we connect communities and significantly expand people’s horizons, stated Josh Garza, CEO of GAW.  “Maintaining the Vermont environment we cherish, while bringing services that allow us all to connect and compete with the world is fundamental to GAW’s mission.”GAW will leverage its extensive technical resources and experience serving many other rural communities in Vermont.  Some of the coming enhancements to the network include:More cost-competitive service offerings for customersImproved broadband speedsVoice and Internet bundled services, offering better value alternatives to separate voice and Internet plansEnhancements to the back-haul infrastructure that feeds the wireless towersBetter support for customers through access to a state-of-art customer service centerLocal call center in Vermont–offering Vermonters the peace of mind that they are speaking with VermontersSteve Ames, a long time Power Shift customer stated, “I am excited about the potential for faster download and upload speeds from my house in the woods.  I am also thrilled that another Vermont company is continuing the great work Power Shift began with its wireless services.”  In addition, to current subscribers, State Senator, Vincent Illuzzi pointed out what is at stake for Vermont, when it comes to ensuring broadband access for Vermonters.”Broadband access, including high speed Internet access, is as necessary today as electricity at the turn of the last century.  You cannot have economic development without it,” stated State Senator, Vincent Illuzzi.Current Power Shift customers may go to www.GAW.com(link is external) for complete details of new and enhanced service offerings. For new customers seeking information or to sign-up for service, visit the site or call 877-220-2873 and speak with a GAW Customer Service Representative. Anyone who is not able to receive service currently in their area may add themselves to the list of people who wish to receive service by submitting a request through the community application (http://gaw.com/community(link is external)). This information will be used for evaluation of any future expanded coverage. About Great Auk WirelessGreat Auk Wireless (GAW) was formed in 2005 by Josh Garza and partners. Great Auk Wireless (www.gaw.com(link is external)) currently operates a successful wireless Internet service to subscribers in Vermont and New Hampshire. Great Auk Wireless offers subscribers broadband wireless Internet access on a network that defies rough terrain and topography in areas not currently served by standard cable or telephony-based broadband services. With more than $5 million committed in network infrastructure and deployment, Great Auk Wireless is committed to the future of rural High-Speed Internet access in areas under served or not served at all by traditional cable or DSL services. For more information about Great Auk Wireless or to find out how to get deployment of Great Auk Wireless services, visit www.gaw.com(link is external), call 1.877.220.2873 or email info@gaw.com(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

Vermont Coffee Company raises $1,000 for temporary shelters

first_imgAs part of a shift in its donation policy, Vermont Coffee Company conducted two local fundraisers for area homeless shelters over the past week.  We are directing our resources towards helping our neighbors, said Paul Ralston, owner of the company.  Over back-to-back weekends, a total of $667 was raised for the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) and the John Graham Emergency Shelter.  Ralston topped up that amount to an even $1,000.Staff from Vermont Coffee Company traveled to events at Burlington s City Hall Park and Castleton College and served iced-coffee shakes to attendees.  Donations were collected in these Shaking for Shelter promotions.  According to Deborah Bouton, Community Service Director at COTS, even small donations are important.  For as little as $15, we can provide a night of emergency shelter for an adult or pay for a credit report that may help a family get an apartment, she said. For Elizabeth Ready, Executive Director of the John Graham Shelter, local fundraising is critical to their continued success.  This economy not only increases the needs of our clients, it makes it more difficult for us to get enough funds from our traditional sources, she said.Information on raising money with coffee fundraisers is available at vermontcoffeecompany.com.last_img read more

Rachael Ray and John Cusimano visit Vermont Institute of Natural Science

first_imgThe Vermont Institute of Natural Science recently welcomed Food Network star Rachael Ray to the VINS Nature Center in Quechee. On Wednesday July 22nd, Rachael and her husband, John Cusimano, lead singer of the band The Cringe, visited VINS to film a segment for Rachael s popular television show, Rachael s Vacations.During their visit, Rachael and John were given a personal tour of VINS natural science exhibits, live birds of prey enclosures, and avian rehabilitation facilities by VINS naturalists. “Our staff was really impressed by Rachael s interest in VINS environmental education programs and rehabilitation work. It was an honor to have her and John choose the VINS Nature Center from among all the exciting visitor destinations in this region, and we appreciate the national media exposure she is giving us,” commented VINS president John Dolan.Rachael and her husband got an up-close look at a few of VINS resident raptors, including an American Kestrel, a Red-tailed Hawk and a Great Horned Owl. The celebrity couple also participated in one of the most important events held at the VINS Nature Center: the release of successfully rehabilitated wild birds. With guidance from VINS naturalists, they released five yellow-bellied sapsuckers to excited applause from onlookers.Rachael s Vacations will air the segment on VINS and the VINS Nature Center in early 2010. Rachael s Vacations takes Rachael and John across the country to discover how to “rough it” in style, showing viewers new ways to enjoy the outdoors, 21st Century style. From river rafting in Upstate New York, to waking up in a cozy Bed & Breakfast on a Vermont farm, Rachael uses her unique take on travel and lifestyle to offer fresh and affordable ways to enjoy the great American outdoors.Founded in 1972, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS) is a non-profit, member-supported environmental education, research and avian rehabilitation organization headquartered in Quechee, Vermont. VINS mission is to motivate individuals and communities to care for the environment with a priority placed on making high-quality, compelling and fun environmental education programs and learning opportunities accessible to more people and communities.Source: VINS. July 28, 2009 – Quechee, VT –last_img read more

Vermont Route 74 bridge in Shoreham reopened to public travel

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) over the weekend opened a bridge along Route 74 in Shoreham that was closed for repair in mid September. Reopening the bridge in less than seven weeks was possible due to an accelerated construction process that reduces not only the length of construction, but also reduces the cost of repair. Final repair costs are expected to run about $450,000. Repairing the bridge using more traditional construction techniques that include either erecting a temporary bridge or maintaining one lane of traffic over the bridge while it is under construction likely would have added between $100,000 to $300,000 to the cost of the project, and added as many as 12 weeks to the construction schedule. ‘Closing the bridge location to all traffic does inconvenience the public to a greater degree, but it also allows us to finish the project much more quickly and at a significant cost savings,’ said VTrans Secretary Brian Searles. ‘The accelerated construction process is not the best choice in all locations. But as transportation funding becomes tighter, we will be looking for more opportunities to use this technique so that we can stretch our dollars and repair as many deficient bridges as possible.’ The Shoreham bridge, which was closed on September 20, 2011, had significant deck repair needs, including full-depth holes that caused the bridge to be closed, in an emergency fashion, for several days in the spring. The holes were covered with a steel plate, which allowed the bridge to remain open until long-term repairs could be conducted. Reopening the bridge, which was closed as part of VTrans’ regular bridge construction program and not as a result of Tropical Storm Irene, eliminates a 20-mile detour and allows two-way traffic to flow freely along Route 74.last_img read more