August, 2017

Solar Eclipse
August 21, 2017  

On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.

You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality.  That could severely hurt your eyes.  However, there are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing - which requires some type of filtering device and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. Both methods should produce clear images of the partial phase of an eclipse. 

For more information on the eclipse and how to safely view it, visit

Viewing events in our area:

Hickory, NC 
It's the 2017 Eclipse across America! Join us on the SALT Block the day of the eclipse from 1:00 - 3:00 pm for family friendly activities, and safe viewing of the solar eclipse! Hickory, NC will NOT be in the path of totality, but there will be a 97.2% eclipse of the sun. If you're unable to travel to the path of totality, come out and watch the eclipse from the SALT Block. There will be live streaming of the eclipse in the Patrick Beaver branch of Hickory Public Library, planetarium shows in the Milholland Planetarium, and celestial themed refreshments available. The Hickory Museum of Art will also have activities for families available! This event will take place rain or shine, and did we mention it's FREE? Come learn all about this exciting celestial event of the year!

Find areas in Western NC for Total Eclipse viewing:  
Drexel Community Fair 
August 7-12, 2017  

The Drexel Fair is fast approaching and now is the time to start making plans to enter your flowers, fruits, vegetables, art, canned goods, baked goods and crafts in the fair.

Entries will be taken on Sunday, August 6 from 2-6 pm in the exhibit hall at the Drexel fairgrounds.

New in the exhibit hall this year!  4-H Project Booth where 4-Hers can enter/exhibit their project work to earn ribbons and premiums. 

Local 4-H clubs will have booths on display in the exhibit hall and the barn will feature 4-H project animals throughout the week.    
On Tuesday night from 6:00 until 8:00pm the Veggie Varmint contest will take place. Come out and create an animal out of vegetables. There will be Elementary, middle/high school and adult categories. There is no fee to enter and prizes will be awarded.

The 4-H & Youth Livestock Show will start at 6:30pm on Tuesday at the cattle barn. Show animals must be at the barn by 5:00pm on Monday. Trophies and ribbons will be awarded. 

Come by the Cattlemen's food booth and enjoy a hamburger or hot with all the fixins and a side of chili cheese fries. 

Burke County Beekeepers 
August 8, 2017
6:30 pm

The Burke County Beekeepers Association (BCBA) meets monthly at the Burke County Agricultural Building located at 130 Ammons Drive in Morganton.  There is a featured speaker each month and the public is invited to attend. The BCBA is a chapter of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association. 

#Extension Eats

Cookbooks are here!

Recipes, tips & tricks, cuts of meat and more are included in the cookbook.

$15 each

Summer Canning Series 
Meat & Poultry  

August 12, 2017 
9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Come learn the "ins and outs" of home food preservation.  Hands-on classes are $15 each. Class size is limited.  Pre-registration and payment required. Classes will be held at the Burke County Agricultural Building. 

Call our office at 828-764-9480 for more information.   

N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center is looking to add a member to our team! A position is open for a Nutrition Educator to deliver Steps to Health.

NC State University's SNAP-Ed Program is Steps to Health. Steps to Health provides nutrition and food resource management education designed to serve the needs of specific groups. Program for preschoolers, kindergarteners, 2nd grade students, and 3rd grade students focus on nutrition education, while the programs for adults, Latino families, and older adults include nutrition and food resource management education.

If you're interested in joining our team go to
What to Do with the Summer Lawn
During the hot summer months there isn't much you can do to a cool-season lawn except mow it and keep the weeds at bay. Lawns are stressed during hot weather and in many years our late summers turn off dry which increases turf grass stress. The most important thing to take away from this article is that fertilizing the lawn during hot weather isn't going to help things at all.
Grass goes dormant at around 90 degrees and this a self-preservation technique to keep cool-season grasses alive in extremely hot weather. It stops growing, which makes water needs much lower. It doesn't look great during these times but it will quickly perk up when cooler weather arrives. When properly fertilized during February and early March, the lawn is set up to withstand most extreme weather conditions.
A complaint that I get during the late summer is that the lawn looks off-color and not as green as it was during the spring. This happens when a plant goes dormant. It also stops taking up nutrients and some of the nice, green color is sacrificed. But there is a little trick that can temporarily solve the off-color problem. The use of a liquid chelated iron product will green up a lawn for about 2-3 weeks without causing growth. By using a liquid product, the mineral is taken in through the leaves and works quickly. It can be re-applied as needed. You can find granular forms of these products, and they work, but not as quickly.
There are numerous chelated iron products available and any one of them should take the "dog days of summer" out of the lawn in a hurry.

Canner Gauge Testing 
If your canner has a pressure gauge, it should be tested for accuracy to ensure safe food processing. Dial gauges on canners should be checked for accuracy and overall condition every year prior to the beginning of canning season.

You can get your canner gauge tested for FREE at the Cooperative Extension Office. Call our office at 828-764-9480 to schedule an appointment.  

Extension Advisory Council Meeting
August 22, 2017

Extension Advisory Council members help N.C. Cooperative Extension link NC State University and A & T State University to problems identified in their communities. They also help educate elected officials and the community about the scope of N.C. Cooperative Extension programs and their impact on the quality of life of Burke County citizens.
The Burke County Extension Advisory Council's mission is to keep Cooperative Extension programs relevant and valuable to Burke citizens. The next meeting will be held on August 22, 2017 at the Burke County Agriculture Building.  The Family & Consumer Sciences and Consumer Horticulture programs will be highlighted at the August meeting. For more information, contact Spring Williams-Byrd at 828-764-9480 or

Pesticide Collection Day
August 31, 2017
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in cooperation with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Burke County Center, will be offering a Pesticide Collection Day for residents in Burke and surrounding counties. The local site manager will be Donna Teasley, Agricultural Extension Agent for Burke County. Collection will be Thursday, August 31st from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Burke County Agricultural Building located at 130 Ammons Drive in Morganton.
Nearly all pesticide products will be accepted. For liquid pesticide containers larger than 5 gallons or for unlabeled pesticides, please contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office for information before bringing to the collection event. No gas cylinders are accepted at the event; however, assistance information can be provided. Contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center at 828-764-9480 for more information.

2017 NC Farm School Summit
September 14-15, 2017 
Mountain Horticulture Crops Research & Extension Center Mills River, NC

The NC Farm School Summit is coming to western North Carolina to celebrate is 3rd year in bringing NC Farm School graduates together from across the state. NC Cooperative Extension Agents from several western counties are hosting anyone who is interested in gaining understanding of specific production practices.  This will be an exciting two-day event for farmers interested in gaining knowledge in production.

For more information or to register, visit the NC Farm School page.
Check the Label Before You Spray!
With the frequent rain and hot weather, weeds have had a banner year! Whether they are growing in our lawns or vegetable and flower gardens, they've done well this year. But, gardeners need to remember a few things about the use of weed killers in the summer:
  1. Never apply in vegetable gardens unless the product is listed for use in the vegetable garden.
  2. Never apply just before rain because it can get washed off before it has a chance to work.
  3. Look at the temperature restrictions before spaying herbicides. Some weed killers such as Round Up don't work well when temps are high. It is listed on the label.
  4. Some products having planting restrictions which means you have to wait a certain number of days before planting where herbicides have been applied.
  5. Make sure the herbicide is labeled for the weed you are wanting to kill.
Following these simple rules will make weed control safe and successful this summer.

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Burke County Center
130 Ammons Drive, Morganton, NC 28655