July 2019
Inside this Issue

Grilling Safely for the 4th of July Celebration
Celebrate this Independence Day by not getting sick with food poisoning. Follow these steps to keep you, your family, and your guest from getting sick

REMEMBER TO WASH YOUR HANDS!   Healthy food comes from healthy hands. Germs such as norovirus or Salmonelle E. Coli 0157 can get onto peoples hand after using the restroom or handling raw meat. A single gram of human feces can contain one trillion germs. Handwashing can prevent 30% od diarrhea-related sickness and about 20% of respiratory infections.

DO NOT CROSS-CONTAMINATE! Never reuse marinade used on raw meat or poultry unless you boil it first to destroy any harmful bacteria. Remember to always marinate food in the refrigerator and never on the counter. Use separate utensils, or clean in between when putting meat on the grill, flipping, and plating. 

COOK FOOD THOROUGHLY! Cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy harmful bacteria. Meats can be charred and burned but still unsafe to eat if it hasn't reach the minimum internal temperature. Smoking cooks food indirectly in the presence of a fire. Smoking is done much slower than grilling which is why it's important to maintain the temperature at 250 to 300F. 

KEEP COLD FOODS COLD! When grilling, remember to keep your meats refrigerated until they're ready to be use. Only take out what you need to grill and keep your meats cool. If you're storing food in a cooler, remember to keep it in a shaded place and away from direct sunlight. Keep cold food at or below 40F and no longer than 2 hours at room temperatures. 

For more information around Grilling food safety, call our office or visit these great resources: 

July Garden Calendar

Calling All Youth Ages 13-18! 
Do you have what it takes to be chopped?

If you have a child between the ages of 13-18, consider signing them up for the foods competitions. The NC Foods Competition is based off the Texas 4H Foods Challenge and will be hosted on July 12th from 1pm till 4pm. 

At the Food Challenge, teams of 3-5 students will receive a list of ingredients and have 40 minutes to create a dish. The teams then present their dish to be judged based on preparation, serving size, food safety concerns, nutritional value and cost. 

An interest meeting will be held Tuesday, July 2nd from 5:00pm to 6:00pm in the Extension Kitchen to go over the guidelines, rules, and requirement for the challenge.  Youth will be training on Monday July 8th - 11th from 5:30pm till 8:00pm. There is no cost to attend and no cost for the competition. 

If interested, please contact Der Holcomb at 828-632-3125 or

Alexander County Farmer's Market
will be open on Saturday's
8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Old Hospital Parking Lot

If you would like to be a vendor at the farmer's market please visit the website below:

Preserving the Harvest

Pickling & Fermentation
July 30th, 2019
Demonstration Kitchen
5:30pm till 8:30pm
Cost: $15

Ever lost some of your pickles and wonder what you did wrong? Pickling and fermentation is a great and old age way of preservation but proper preservation technique is highly important to follow. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics which help feed your beneficial gut bacteria. Join us as we trouble shoot your pickling problems and make some pickles and ferment some kimchi.

To register, call 828-632-3125 or email  
Must register by July 19th to reserve a spot!



Attend the 2020 NC Farm School!!
Realize the dream of owning your own farm....Learn from the successful farms of our graduates!

  • Marketing, budgeting, finance, risk management, and farm production training tailored to your goals
  • One on one business consultations with NC State University Specialist
  • Continued events and relationships to help you develop your business beyond 2020 NC Farm School
  • Access to farming resources developed in our program exclusively for NCFS Students
  • Relationships with Extension Agents in your county connecting you to valuable resources
For more information please call 828-632-4451 or visit the link below:

Alexander County Offices 
will be closed  Thursday, July 4th  for 
Independance Day
 Read more N.C. Cooperative Extension news at >>
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