January 2018

Winter Storm Preparedness
This winter, stay one step ahead of any unexpected winter danger by taking these few extra precautionary steps.
Talk to your family about what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Discussing winter storms can help reduce fear, particularly in younger children. Make a check list of what to do if a winter storm hits your area. Determine your routes and destination if you need to seek shelter from a storm or from heat and power loss.  Remember to check your emergency supply kit and replenish any missing items. Make sure that you have enough materials to last you three days.
We travel so often that we forget the tiny details for the drive. Remember to check your car battery, antifreeze, windshield washer fluids, lights, brakes, car oils and other car maintenance so that you don't have the last minute car trouble during a winter storm. Try to keep your gas tank at least half full to make sure that you're not left stranded during these colder days. Keeping some matches in a waterproof container in your car is a tiny detail, but one that could help you out during an emergency. 

You can continue reading the Winter Storm Preparedness article through our website at 
 Additional information can be found on the FEMA website at or the American Red Cross at

Med instead of Meds:
Eating the Mediterranean Way Series
January 23rd - February 6th : Tuesdays & Thursdays Wednesday February 14th 
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Extension Learning Center
Cost: $60

Join us in this four part series to learn more about the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean-style eating pattern incorporates the basic of healthy eating that are traditionally practiced in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. Eating like those who live the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic disease. Eating the Mediterranean way is not only healthy, it is delicious and satisfying. Food that you once thought of as too high in fat or unhealthy, including nuts, olive oils, olives, and whole grains, becomes an everyday part of your diet. 

Participants will learn about the Mediterranean way of eating and cook different recipe.  For additional questions, please contact Der Holcomb at

  Participants must pre-register to attend.  Please make checks payable to Alexander County. 

2018 Landscapers' Workshop
Thursday, January 25, 2018, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
NC Cooperative Extension-Caldwell County Center

Join us for an all-day Landscapers' Workshop on January 25, 2018 in Lenoir, NC hosted by N.C. Cooperative Extension in Caldwell County. This workshop is designed for commercial landscapers and will offer continuing education credits towards a North Carolina Landscape Contractors' and pesticide applicators licenses. The event will take place  8 am - 4pm at the Caldwell County Library Meeting Rooms ( 120 Hospital Ave NE, Lenoir, NC 28645).

The workshop will feature speakers from NC State University, N.C. Cooperative Extension and the N.C. Forest Service, and the Small Business and Center and Technology Education Program at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Participants will have time at lunch and during breaks to visit with vendors. Participants can attend for the whole day to get 7 NC Landscape Contractors' credits, or they can attend for the technical and pesticide credits ( 8 am -2 pm), or only for the business credits ( 2 pm -4 pm). 

Landscape Contractors' credits offered: 5 technical credits, 2 business credits
Pesticide applicators license credits offered: 5 (L,N,D,O,X)

Register online and pay at the door:  here.
See the brochure and mail payment*:   here.

*Please make check payable to Caldwell Ag and  mail to:

 Caldwell County Center

With questions or for more information,  contact Eli Snyder, Horticulture Agent, Caldwell County, at or  828-757-1254

Cost: $15 per person for morning technical session and lunch ( 8am- 2pm)
  $10.00 for the afternoon business session ( 2pm-4pm)
  $25 per person for both sessions and lunch
Includes: 7 Landscape Contractor CEUs (5 technical, 2 business) 5 hours NC Pesticide Credits (L, N, D, X, O)

Participants can choose to attend the technical section, business section, or both. In order to receive credits for either section, participants must attend all technical or all business sessions.

*NCDA Pesticide Credits L,N,D,X,O and NCLCB Technical Credits Offered
For more information on this program, please  contact Elina Snyder@ 828.757.1254 or

Alexander 4-H After School Programs

A quote from Nelson Mandela states:  "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

And Alexander County 4-H is doing just that.  For the month of December, Alexander County 4-H held afterschool programs at the following schools: Ellendale, Wittenburg, Taylorsville, and Stony Point.

The topic was Christmas Tree Farms in NC.
Did you know:

  • NC has approximately 1,300 growers producing Fraser Fir Christmas trees on an estimated 40,000 acres.
  • Fraser Fir represents over 98% of all species grown in NC
  • North Carolina produces over 19% of the Real Christmas Trees in the US.

Students learned facts about tree farms and different kinds of trees grown.  We read a Christmas Tree Farm written by Ann Purmell and made a Christmas Tree craft.

Thank you to the schools for allowing us to do programs with your after school students!

Wonderful World of 4-H Workshop for Volunteers and Parents: 

WHEN:  Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Join us at Catawba County Cooperative Extension for a dinner and workshop on many aspects of 4-H.  Dinner will be from 5:45-6:15 p.m.  Workshops and Sessions begin at 6:30p.m.  Come learn about Presentations, Travel in 4-H, AIRE, Project Books and 4-H judging.  If you are new to 4-H this is a great way to learn what 4-H has to offer!

2018 Alexander-Caldwell Master Gardener Training Class
Dates: February 7-May 9, 2018 on Wednesday afternoons, 1:00-4:00p.m. :00-4:00p.m.  (with a few exceptions; class time may vary to accomodate travel)

Applications:  Due January 20  (Applications can be picked up at the N.C. Cooperative Extension-Alexander County Center)

Class fee:  $125 per person; includes training manual, all travel and material fees.

Do you want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of plants?  Do you enjoy working on community projects and sharing knowledge?  Consider enrolling in the Alexander Extension Master Gardener Training Class!!

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program is a national program of trained volunteers who work in partnership with their local Cooperative Extension Center to extend horticultural information throughout the community.  Accepted applicants enter the training portion of the program, and can begin volunteering during the class.
The 2018 class will meet for 13 weeks on Wednesday afternoons.  Most classes will be held in Alexander or Caldwell county.  Participants from Alexander, Caldwell and neighboring counties are invited to participate.  

For more information please call the Alexander Center at 828-632-4451 or visit:

NC Agritunity Conference & Tradeshow
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Iredell County Agricultural Center

Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. 8
Programs from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.     8:30am-2:30pm
NC Agritunity is a one-day educational conference for farmers of all types, featuring a tradeshow and a keynote speaker. Large commodity producers, livestock producers, small farm managers, beginning farmers, and anyone just interested in agriculture are welcome to attend. Continuing education credits (CEUs) and pesticide training credits will be available in some of the presentations for existing license holders.  To learn more about the educational session and feature vendors, please visit our website at or contact your local Cooperative Extension Center. 

The event is free and open to the public. 

You can sign up via  the 2018 NC Agritunity registration form or call the Iredell County Cooperative Extension Center at 704-873-0507. Please  contact  Lenny Rogers at  (828) 632-4451 if you are interested in setting up as a vendor. For additional information on how to be a vendor please visit our website. Walk-in registration may be limited. 

Six Steps to Safe Food and Legal Sales for 
Small Farms under FSMA

Alexander County Extension Service
376 1st  Ave SW 
Taylorsville NC
Friday, Feb 23, 2018
11 AM - 2:30 PM
Cost: Free
Lunch provide (please register)

The  FSMA for Small Farms workshop will cover practices that are expected by the FDA, by wholesale buyers, and by knowledgeable consumers.  

Participants will also learn how FSMA will affect any CSA's & Food Hubs.  We will discuss required practices under FSMA as a preparation & requirement for potential GAP audits & certifications.

Interested growers should register by  2/20/18  by e-mailing Lenny Rogers at  or calling the Alexander Cooperative Extension Center at  828-632-4451 .

January Garden Tips

  • Use wood ashes on your vegetable garden, bulb beds and non-acid loving plants if the pH of the soil is below 6.0.
  • Plant asparagus crowns this month when soil is dry enough to work.
  • Prune grape vines.
  • Prune broken and undesired limbs on your shade trees.
  • Remove "weed" or undesirable trees from your landscape.
Lawn Care
  • Keep tree leaves from collecting on your lawn.
  • Slow-release fertilizers may be applied on cool-season lawns.
  • Hardwood cuttings of many landscape plants like forsythia (yellow bells), flowering quince, weigela, crape myrtle, juniper, spirea and hydrangea can be taken this month.
Specific Chores
  • Order your small fruit plants like strawberry, blueberry and blackberry for a mid-March planting.
  • Visit your local Extension Center for landscape and garden information.
  • Prepare a spot in the vegetable garden for early spring vegetables like English peas, cabbage, carrots, onions, Irish potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.

 Read more N.C. Cooperative Extension news at >>
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