Safe Holiday Meals
Holiday meals have been linked to many harmful pathogens, including
Cooking for a large crowd, whether in the home or a community kitchen, can lead to mistakes at the expense of food safety.
Follow these tips to have a safe and happy holiday season:
Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces after preparing raw turkey for roasting.
Wash your hands after handling raw meat or poultry.
Don't wash your turkey - research shows that when washing poultry, pathogens can be spread within 3 feet of the sink, where other foods may be prepared.
Color is not an indicator of safety or doneness - the only way to know whether the turkey is done is with a tip-sensitive digital thermometer reading at least 165 degrees Farenheit
Test temperature in multiple spots, without hitting the bone - hitting the bone could give an inaccurate temperature reading
Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of taking it out of the oven - Turkey should be cooled to 41 degrees Farenheit quickly. This is best accomplished by slicing it and putting it in small resealable bags and laying them flat in the refrigerator. Some spore-forming bacteria will grow and form toxins if kept at room temperature for too long.
Nickels for Know How Referendum
November 1, 2016
How it began:
Famers started Nickels for Know-How in a referendum held November 3, 1951. The General Assembly authorized a vote on the self-help program after it had been requested by the North Carolina Farm Bureau and the NC State Grange.
How it works:
Manufacturers originally added a nickel - five cents - to the price of their feed and fertilizers to support the referendum. Over time, the amount collected has increased to 15 cents.
Who can vote:
If you or your family buy feed or fertilizer, you can vote. Consumers decide every six years if they wish to continue the program. If two thirds of the voters vote "Yes" in the referendum, the Nickels for Know-How program will continue for another six years.
Where to vote:
In Burke County, there will be three polling places open from 8:00 - 5:00 on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
Burke County Cooperative Extension Office
130 Ammons Drive, Morganton
3851 Kathy Road, Morganton
Homer's Feed & Seed
305 3rd Street, Hildebran
Fall 4-H Scrapbook Crop
November 5, 2016
Are you a scrapbooker or card maker? Would you like to spend a day with others who share your passion for this hobby? If so you'll want to attend the Fall 4-H Crop on Saturday, November 5th at the Burke County Agricultural Building in Morganton. This crop offers a great place to spread out your materials on your own 6-foot table, loading and unloading assistance, continental breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the day, door prizes and goody bags. Vendors will be onsite and participants will have access to a computer and printer as well as Cricut and Sizzix.
The cost is $35 and all the proceeds go to help fund 4-H programs right here in Burke County. Call our office at 828-764-9480 for more information or a registration form or
visit our website
to download the registration form.
#Extension Eats Cookbook
The Extension Cookbook will be available soon; just in time for holiday gift giving. The cost of the cookbook will be $15. Check our website or Facebook page for updates on when the books are here.
Become a Master Gardener
The 2017 class will start on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 and continue on Wednesday mornings through mid-April.
This class is for anyone who has a desire to learn about gardening. There will be hands-on activities as well as classroom work.
We are accepting applications now. You can call our office at 764-9480 if you have questions or would like to have an application mailed or emailed to you or visit our website to download an application. Deadline for applications is Tuesday, January 3, 2017.
The Secret to Growing Great Onions
If you have ever planted onions only to grow a lackluster harvest of small bulbs, your growing technique may not be the issue. You may have started with the wrong onion. There are three types of onions, each one better suited for a certain part of the country. If you plant the wrong one, you may not get much of a harvest. Here's how to tell which onion is right for you.
How Onions Grow
Onions form bulbs in response to day-length. When the number of daylight hours reaches a certain level, onion plants start bulbing, or forming bulbs. Long-day onions need about 14 to 15 hours of daylight to bulb. Short-day onions need 10 hours of daylight. Day-neutral onions form bulbs regardless of daylight hours and produce well in almost any region. As soon as day-length hits the 10-hour mark, a short-day onion starts forming a bulb. If the top of the plant hasn't had enough time to grow big and lush, the resulting bulb will be small. Conversely, if you live where day-length never hits 14 hours, long-day onions will never form a bulb. All you'll get are green leaves. By choosing the right type of onion for your region, you'll get healthy green stems that are large enough to fuel forming fat and tasty bulbs.
Choosing the Right Onion for You
Planting onion seedlings ensures a good start for both green onions and bulbing.
Which onion type you should plant depends on where you live.
Burke County is in zone 7.
- In the South, summer days don't vary as much in length from winter ones. This region includes zone 7 and warmer. If you garden in this area, grow short-day onions.
Types of Onions
When to Plant
- Form bulbs with 10 to 12 hours of daylight
- Need mild winter climate (zone 7 or warmer)
- Planted in fall, mature in late spring
- Can be grown in the North, but bulbs don't get as large
- Matures in 110 days in the South with fall planting, 75 days in the North with spring planting
- Examples: Georgia Sweet, Sweet Red, Texas Super Sweet, Texas Sweet White
You want to tuck onions into soil at the right time to allow them a long growing season for top growth (leaves), which is necessary to yield plump bulbs. In general, follow these planting guidelines:
- Short-day onions: In zone 7 and warmer, plant in fall, grow through winter, harvest in late spring.
Burke County 4-H County Council
November 7, 2016
The program will be on project record books and planning the holiday service project.
Burke County Beekeepers Meeting
November 8, 2016 at 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.
The program for the November meeting will be conducted by Travis Snodgrass. Travis is a pesticide inspector with NCDA. Travis will address "Bee Watch" a program designed to give a measure of protection to bee yards when a pesticide is being applied nearby.
Farm City Week Celebration
November 29, 2016
Join Burke County Cooperative Extension on Tuesday, Nov. 29th at the Marque Cinemas in Morganton for a viewing of "Farmland - The Evolution of a Tradition," to celebrate 2016 Farm City Week. Participants will have the opportunity to view this documentary and have discussion about the importance of Agriculture to our community. To find out more or to get a ticket, contact our office at
Dining In for Healthy Families
December 3, 2016
Join families across the country as they "Dine In" on December 3rd in celebration of home prepared meals. Celebrate with the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences as we "Dine In" for Healthy Families. Get ideas at
Show your commitment by pledging
Safe Plates Training
Rescheduled for January
NC Safe Plates is a food safety certification course developed by North Carolina State University. NC establishments must have at least one supervisor certified as a food protection manager through an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)- accredited program or face a two-point violation from the health department. NC Safe Plates has the same ANSI certification as ServSafe.
Upcoming Class - January 11,12, & 13, 2016. Each day will begin at 9:00 am and end at 1 pm. The two-hour exam will be on January 18, 2016 starting at 9:00 am. Please register and pay by January 9, 2016. The cost of the class is $115.00 which covers the cost of the book, exam, handouts and refreshments.
Call our office at 828-764-9480 for more information.
- Cows should be turned out on stockpiled pastures which were set aside and fertilized in August.
- Begin supplementary winter feeding when needed.
- Have forages tested and properly balance winter rations.
- Excellent hay can be harvested from cool season grasses this month. Avoid baling hay that is too high in moisture as drying conditions are often slower this time of year.
- Cattle herds should be split into the following categories for winter feeding; replacement heifers, bred heifers, bulls, backgrounding steers, and dry cows. Each category has different nutritional requirements. Suggested winter rations for each of these categories can be found in the Burke County Cattle Management Calendar or from your Extension Agent.
- Mares due to foal in February should be removed from fescue pastures at this time and fed a forage other than fescue to avoid endophyte related foaling problems.