Plan for Backyard Fruit

first_imgIn the years to come, all this hard work will be worth it. Just keep thinking about how good allthat fruit from your backyard will taste. Fruit plants require a little more care in some areas than others. But with some planning andwork, you can enjoy tasty fruits from your own garden. Krewer said right after you order your stock, start preparing the soil for planting. Most small fruits get their best start if you plant them in December through February. Manynurseries take orders for plants in mid-September. Ordering early helps you make sure you’llget plants. Then break up the soil in the planting hole. Krewer said new fruit plants need a hole at least 2feet deep and 2 feet across. “Be sure to break up any clay or hard pans that could slow or stoproot growth,” he said. As plants emerge from dormancy in early spring, their leaves and shoots grow quickly. Winterplanting helps the plants establish a strong root system. That helps the young plants surviveduring those first few critical months. “Many procedures and varieties we develop for commercial production are well-suited forbackyard growers, too,” NeSmith said. Backyard gardeners benefit from commercial fruit research, too. You’re more likely to get the best plants, too, Krewer said. And you can be assured of gettingthe variety you want. Georgians grow all types of fruits in their yards, gardens and even in pots. Fruit experts withthe University of Georgia say blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and figs flourish in mostof the state.center_img There are truly dozens of varieties of every fruit. But not all will grow well in your area. Sochoose carefully, said Scott NeSmith, a CAES research horticulturist in Griffin. “For backyard fruits, the two most important things to do in early fall are ordering nurserystock and preparing the soil,” said Gerard Krewer, an extension horticulturist with the UGACollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Research has identified at least five or six really good variety choices for every area of thestate,” he said. NeSmith checks varieties for fruit size, abundance, harvest window and othergrowth characteristics. “There is more of an advantage to planting during early winter in south Georgia than in northGeorgia,” he said. “But there is still a definite advantage to planting in winter, instead of laterin the spring, all over the state.” Testing allows time for lime to increase the pH level, Krewer said. Mix lime with the soil inthe planting hole. Most fruit plants like slightly acid soils — those with a pH around 6.0 to 6.5. Blueberries arethe exception, he said. “They prefer very acid soils with a pH around 4 to 5.3, so don’t limesoil for blueberries.” Test your soil to find out the pH level. Your county extension office can send your soil sampleto the UGA Plant Services Lab. The lab will test your soil and make lime and nutrientrecommendations specific to the plants you want to put in that soil. Planting during winter assures that the young plants are dormant, Krewer said. Plantingactively growing trees and plants decreases the chances the plants will survive.last_img read more

Read More

Calm Snake Bites

first_imgNo one anticipates being bitten by a snake. But accidents do happen. And with a snakebite, remaining calm is essential, says a University of Georgia wildlife expert.”If you’re bitten by a nonvenomous snake, you can either just do nothing or wash the bitten area with soap and water,” said Jeff Jackson, an Extension Service wildlife specialist and a professor in the D.B. Warnell School of Forestry at UGA. Jackson said sometimes a venomous snakebite can be harmless, too, if the snake didn’t inject venom. “Don’t take a chance, though,” he said. “If a venomous snake bites you, make reasonable haste to the nearest hospital.” Stay calm, he said, and immobilize the bitten area. “Never cut into the bite,” he said, “unless you’re a true expert.” Farm workers, children playing outdoors and snake handlers are the most frequent snakebite victims. Jackson said bites of pit vipers cause intense pain. “They hurt worse than a bee sting,” he said. “Coral snakes are an exception. They don’t hurt much.” The good news for snakebite victims is that nearly everybody recovers. The U.S. snakebite fatality rate is less than 1 percent. This includes people who refuse treatment. “In short, very few people die of snakebite,” Jackson said. “You are 20 times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a snake.”last_img read more

Read More

Sunbelt Expo

first_imgGeorgia will definitely be on the minds of the estimated 90,000 people that will flock to this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo in October.Not only is Georgia the host state for the 37th annual Sunbelt Expo in Moultrie, it’s also the 2014 Spotlight State. Georgia’s exhibit, called “Always in Season,” is housed in a newly constructed building donated by the Spotlight State committee. Spotlighting Georgia will provide Expo attendees the chance to see Georgia’s agricultural diversity and discover why it’s the state’s No. 1 industry.“Each year the Sunbelt Ag Expo brings many new and exciting opportunities to our state, and this year is no exception,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said. “We’re proud that Georgia has been selected as the 2014 Spotlight State and the addition of the new Spotlight State building is certainly something to celebrate.”Members of Georgia’s spotlight state committee — comprised of faculty and staff from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Agribusiness Council, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Georgia Farm Bureau and the University of Georgia — wanted to leave a lasting legacy by constructing the new building. With funds generated by various agricultural groups around Georgia, a permanent building was constructed to house the Spotlight State exhibit. State seals on the concrete floor recognize the 10 states that make up the Sunbelt Ag Expo. The Spotlight State building will be used every year by future Spotlight States.“We are humbled and very appreciative of the Georgia Spotlight State committee for raising the funds to build a permanent Spotlight State exhibit building at the Sunbelt Ag Expo,” Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock said. “This building will allow Georgia this year, and all future Spotlight States, to exhibit in a building instead of a tent and be better protected from the elements in a much more inviting setting. We also say thanks to all of the donors who have made the dream a reality. The 10 Southeast state seals in the center of the building set the building off and give the 10 participating states the permanent recognition they so richly deserve.”Georgia Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall helped break ground on the Spotlight State building in July.“To put the largest industry that controls most of the economy in the state in a tent just didn’t set right with Georgia Farm Bureau,” Duvall said. “I’m proud to be part of an organization that wants to take the lead alongside the (Georgia) Department of Agriculture and all of our other friends at the University of Georgia and others, to make sure the Spotlight State has a home at the Sunbelt Expo from now on. We’re just real proud of that.”Georgia agriculture’s farm gate value totals almost $13 billion annually. Part of Georgia’s Sunbelt exhibit this year will include a mural that spans more than 60 feet and depicts the state’s agricultural diversity. Of the more than 60 commodities Georgia farms, poultry production leads the way with a total of 33 percent of the state’s annual farm gate value. Georgia also specializes in cotton, peanuts and beef production, and leads the country in peanut production.“Georgia has a rich history of agricultural production and we are proud to share that tradition with our neighboring states,” said Joe West, assistant dean on the UGA Tifton Campus. This is the third year Georgia has served as the Spotlight State. It was also recognized in 1985 and 2001.last_img read more

Read More

Radon Awareness Contest

first_imgHousehold radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, but the hazards of this dangerous gas are still relatively unknown to many Georgia families. That’s why the University of Georgia Radon Education Program is asking students to get the message out: Testing for radon is easy and could save someone’s life. Radon is a gas released by the natural decay of uranium deposits contained in Georgia’s granite bedrock. It seeps up through foundations and accumulates in homes. Radon can be a problem anywhere in the state, but higher levels are typically seen in the upper third of Georgia due to the soil conditions and granite bedrock. The good news is that radon problems can be fixed and that testing for radon couldn’t be easier because test kits are available throughout the state at UGA Cooperative Extension offices and online at ugaradon.org.The trick is raising people’s awareness of this potential hazard in their homes, said Gabrielle Walters, a radon educator with the UGA Extension Radon Education Program. To help get the word out, the UGA Radon Education Program asks 9- to 14-year-olds across the state each year to design a poster to help alert the general public about the dangers of radon and how they can keep their families safe. This year students can win up to $100 for their designs, which may be used in future public awareness campaigns. The deadline for entries is September 30, 2015. Students should first research the dangers of radon on the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension website at ugaradon.org. They can then create a poster on one of five themes: What is radon?Where does radon come from?How does radon get into our home?Radon can cause lung cancer.Test your home for radon.Winners will be notified in November and may have the chance to meet Gov. Nathan Deal during Radon Awareness Month in January. For more information about testing for radon or the poster contest please visit ugaradon.org.last_img read more

Read More

FFAR Innovator Award

first_imgJason Wallace, an assistant professor at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), has received one of nine 2018 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Research Awards from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR).The New Innovator Award provides the early investment needed to successfully launch a scientific career in food and agriculture. Award recipients were selected based on a number of criteria including scientific merit, innovation and a demonstrated commitment to mentoring other young scientists. FFAR has awarded $292,000 to Wallace, a researcher in the CAES Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, an amount that will be matched by funding from UGA. Wallace will use the award to fund his study of how crops are affected by the microbes that live inside them, referred to as the “microbiome,” and how the environment impacts this relationship. This work will help researchers understand how microbes affect crop production and how they can be harnessed to improve agriculture. This new funding will allow his lab to scale up experiments to test hundreds of corn varieties for how they are affected by microbes, sample corn growing at dozens of locations across the U.S., and “breed” microbes that improve corn growth. “There’s a ton of potential in using microbes to improve agriculture,” Wallace said. “Although we know a lot about crop diseases, we know very little about the microbes that help plants. Understanding how plants work with beneficial microbes will help us make agriculture both more efficient and more sustainable.” FFAR will invest $2,332,051 over three years in the work of the nine recipients, with matching funds from the award recipients’ respective institutions doubling FFAR’s investment for a total of $4,675,795.These grants allow early-career faculty members to spend less time applying for grants and more time working on creative research that has an impact on agriculture, said Sally Rockey, executive director of FFAR. The New Innovator program invests in the next generation of scientists committed to changing the way food is grown, processed and distributed. “FFAR New Innovators also are terrific mentors for the next generation of food and agriculture scientists who will follow them,” she said.A full list of the researchers receiving FFAR innovator awards this year can be found at https://foundationfar.org/2018/12/17/ffar-announces-recipients-of-the-2018-new-innovator-award/. FFAR, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. Leveraging public and private resources, FFAR will increase the scientific and technological research, innovation and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food for a growing global population. Established by the 2014 Farm Bill, FFAR is governed by a board of directors chaired by former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and with ex officio representation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and National Science Foundation.Learn more at www.foundationfar.org.last_img read more

Read More

VBT Bicycling Vacations returns to its Vermont Roots

first_imgBRISTOL, VERMONT – Alan E. Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Grand Circle Corporation in Boston, announced that Gregg Marston has purchased Vermont Bicycle Tours Bicycling Vacation (VBT) from Grand Circle. Mr. Marston has served as VBT’s President since 1999.”We are delighted to have sold VBT to someone who shares our passion for adventurous, discovery-oriented travel experiences that have the power to change people’s lives,” said Lewis. “We know that VBT is in excellent hands.””As an avid traveler and bicycling enthusiast who has had the privilege of leading VBT for the past six years, I am very enthusiastic about the acquisition of VBT,” said Marston. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to offer the best bicycling vacation choices around the world, at the best value in the industry. Further, I am delighted to bring this company back to its roots in Vermont.”Established in Bristol Vermont in 1971, VBT Bicycling Vacations is the oldest bicycle touring company in the USA. The company specializes in deluxe bicycling vacations throughout the Europe, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and Vietnam. Additionally, VBT offers several bicycling and barge vacations throughout Holland, Belgium, and France in conjunction with Continental Waterways, a Grand Circle subsidiary. VBT will serve nearly 4,500 travelers in 2005.Headquartered in Bristol, Vermont, VBT has regional offices in Italy, France and England, and will continue to develop bicycle vacations throughout Europe, North America and other destinations throughout the world. VBT can be reached in Vermont at 1-800-245-3868 or at www.vbt.com(link is external).last_img read more

Read More

$1.3 million granted to Vermont schools for safety projects

first_imgThe Vermont Agency of Transportation today announced that 22 schools received a total of $1.3 million in Infrastructure Awards through the Agency’s Safe Routes to School program.Safe Routes to School is a federally funded safety program that is administered through VTrans. The program, which supplies money for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, has a goal of increasing the number of students who can safely walk or ride bikes to school.‘Safe Routes to School is about kids walking and biking to school regularly, routinely, and safely,’ said VTrans Secretary David Dill.  ‘The program is an opportunity to have schools and communities work together to solve some of their pressing safety, environmental and health challenges.’Competition for funding was stiff, as VTrans received 31 applications for a total request of $2.8 million.  The Agency was able to provide $1.3 million that will aid 19 projects.  Awards were granted to safety projects that include sidewalks, improved crossings, school zone signs, and traffic calming.A complete list of schools and awards is provided below.Seventy schools across the state have participated in the program since the 2006/2007 school year.  Efforts include student and parent surveys regarding transportation behavior and attitudes, as well as safety education.   Schools have also encouraged students to walk and bike to school through the use of chaperoned ‘Walking School Busses’ and regular ‘Walking Wednesdays’ that offer incentives like water bottles and T-shirts.  Participating schools work in partnership with their local governments to identify infrastructure needs on the routes to school.Source: VTrans. 7.14.20102010 Grant Receiving SchoolsSchool NameCityProject DescriptionTotal Guilford Central SchoolGuilfordFeasibility Study$26,500Chamberlin SchoolSo. BurlingtonFeasibility Study$20,000Jericho Elementary SchoolJerichoSidewalk connecting sidewalk on VT 15 to School entrance$175,000Warren SchoolWarrenRadar feedback signs and feasibility study51000Warren SchoolWarrenFeasibility Study$35,000Moretown Elementary SchoolMoretownInstall radar signs, upgrade signage and crosswalk markings$42,000Weathersfield ElementaryWeathersfieldUpgrade signs and radar speed sign$12,000Readsboro CentralReadsboroFunding for construction of additional sidewalk and curbing on VT 100$27,809Barre Town ElementaryWebstervilleUpgrade School Zone signs and erect radar speed feedback sign$33,500Middletown Springs Elementary SchoolMiddletown SpringsConstruction of sidewalk along School House Road$196,000Rutland Middle School & Rutland Intermediate SchoolRultandSign and pavement marking improvements to intersection around School Complex$10,607Saxtons River Elementary SchoolSaxtons RiverConstruction of sidewalk from school to village and bus drop off lane$209,000Champlain ElementaryBurlingtonFeasibility Study$24,000Champlain ElementaryBurlingtonUpgrade signs around school and radar speed sign$23,000Dothan Brook SchoolWhite River Jct.Feasibility study$27,000Waitsfield ElementaryWaitsfieldUpgrades to school signs, radar feedback signs, and intersection improvement near school.$141,000Poultney Jr. Sr. High SchoolPoultneySign upgrade, 4 radar signs$67,100Poultney Jr. Sr. High SchoolPoultney6 foot wide sidewalk, curbing 300 linear feet near jr/sr high school, retaining wall$149,200Malletts Bay SchoolColchesterMulti-Use path to access mallets bay school – small sections and crosswalks$31,537 $1,301,253 Total Awardlast_img read more

Read More

Stowe Mountain Lodge prepares to open new additions

first_imgStowe Mountain Resort,With the launch of the new winter season, Stowe Mountain Lodge and Stowe Mountain Resort are poised for a grand re-opening. A multitude of new additions including the South Wing of Stowe Mountain Lodge, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, new menu launch in both of Stowe Mountain Lodge’s dining options, KidSpa and additional meeting space will nearly simultaneously open in December 2010. Stowe Mountain Resort officially opened for the 2010/2011 winter season on November 24. The centerpiece of Stowe Mountain Resort is undoubtedly the four-diamond, ski-in ski-out Stowe Mountain Lodge located at the heart of the resort.  Stowe Mountain Lodge will open an additional 173 guest rooms on December 10, more the doubling the current capacity of the lodge and bringing the total room count to 312. The South Wing of Stowe Mountain Lodge will feature the same lavishly appointed accommodations as the 2-year old North Wing.The culinary team at Stowe Mountain Lodge is preparing to launch a new menu for the signature restaurant Solstice and apres-ski lounge Hourglass. Stowe Mountain Lodge appointed new Executive Chef Tiffany Sawyer last month, a 21-year luxury hospitality veteran, who will create the new menus which will be released in December 2010, just in time for ski-season.With its grand opening slated for December 27, Stowe Mountain Resort will also be home to the 420-seat state-of-the-art Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center is located just a few yards from the South Wing of Stowe Mountain Lodge, and will host a variety of music, dance and cinema performances.The Spa and Wellness Center at Stowe Mountain Lodge will launch a KidSpa in December 2010, dedicated to providing fun and simplistic spa services to children of all ages. The KidSpa will not only provide parents with additional children entertainment options, but it will also allow kids to stop, breathe and re-sensitize to their surroundings.Boasting over 56,000 square-feet of flexible meetings space, Stowe Mountain Resort is now the largest meetings venue in Vermont. With options including 12,000 square feet of indoor meeting space at Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe Mountain Resort accommodates a diverse spectrum of groups. SOURCE Stowe Mountain Lodge. STOWE, Vt., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — About Stowe Mountain LodgeThe new Stowe Mountain Lodge is the centerpiece of Spruce Peak at Stowe, a new $400 million alpine neighborhood that has been in planning and development stages for the past 16 years.  As part of this new community, guests of Stowe Mountain Lodge will enjoy five-star service, 312 guest rooms, a 21,000-square-foot spa and wellness center, ski-in/ski-out access to over 100 legendary trails, exclusive access to Stowe Mountain Club, an 18-hole mountain golf course designed by Bob Cupp, and a heated outdoor pool. The property offers more than 12,000 square feet of event space, as well as high-end boutiques, restaurants and limitless on-mountain recreational options.  The lodge offers farm-to-table cuisine in Solstice restaurant and Hourglass bar.  In addition, 34 fractionally-owned condominium units are available for vacation home ownership in the Lodge’s Front Four Private Residence Club.  Rooms begin at $435 for a studio unit, with special lodging offers and packages available by calling (802) 253-3560 or (888) 4-STOWE-VT or by visiting www.stowemountainlodge.com(link is external). For real estate inquiries, please call (888) 403-7739 or (802) 253-0320.About Destination Hotels & ResortsDestination Hotels & Resorts is the fourth largest independent hospitality management company in the United States with more than 30 luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and conference centers. The company has developed a variety of initiatives to better serve its communities, stakeholders and customers including Destination Earth, an environmental sustainability program, and the Destination Delivers guest loyalty program, which provides the best available offers to members. Destination operates properties in key metropolitan areas and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Denver, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Aspen, Palm Springs, Houston and Lake Tahoe. Destination is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises.  For more information on the properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit www.destinationhotels.com(link is external) or to join Destination Delivers, visit www.destinationdelivers.com(link is external).last_img read more

Read More

Former Vermont Governor Jim Douglas joins National Life Board

first_img‘I am honored to be joining the board of National Life Group,’ said Douglas, who stepped down as governor earlier this year after serving eight years in office. ‘National Life has a storied history of delivering on its promises to millions of Americans for 162 years.’ Douglas’ election came at the annual meeting of National Life Holding Company on May 13, 2011. National Life Group,Former Vermont Governor James H Douglas has been elected to the Board of Directors of National Life Group. National Life is Vermont’s largest domiciled company. It is based in Montpelier.‘Governor Douglas is a man of unquestioned integrity who brings sound judgment, strong values and broad executive experience to our board,’ said Mehran Assadi, president and chief executive officer. James H. Douglas served as governor of Vermont from 2003-2011. Prior to his election as governor he served 12 years as Vermont’s secretary of state and eight years as state treasurer. He also served in the state House of Representatives and as executive assistant to Gov. Richard Snelling. The companies of National Life Group, a Fortune 1000 company, offer a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, and investments. Agents can also help to provide financial solutions in the form of estate, business succession and retirement planning strategies. As of Dec. 31, 2010, National Life Group held $28.9 billion in assets under management and served in excess of 840,000 customers. Source: Montpelier, Vermont ‘ National Life Group is a trade name representing various affiliates that offer a variety of financial service products. National Life Insurance Company is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Life Insurance Company of the Southwest, Addison, TX is licensed to do business in 49 states and the District of Columbia. It is not licensed to do business in New York. Securities offered solely by Equity Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, a Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Adviser affiliate of National Life Insurance Company. All companies, unless otherwise noted, are affiliated and are located in Montpelier, VT. Each company of the group is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. www.nationallife.com(link is external) While governor Douglas served as chairman of the National Governors Association. He also has served as president of the National Association of Secretaries of State, president of the National Association of State Treasurers, and president of the Council of State Governments. He is currently the Executive In Residence at Middlebury College – his alma mater – and serves on the Governor’s Council of the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center.last_img read more

Read More

Wisconsin utilities move ahead with clean energy plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:Wisconsin’s two largest public utilities are making bigger stakes in renewable energy and have pledged far deeper cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases than previous predictions.Madison-based Alliant Energy says it intends to stop burning carbon-intensive coal altogether in its electric power plants by 2050. Alliant and Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group recently said they are setting new goals to reduce carbon emissions by 80% from 2005 levels by 2050.That’s a shift from 2016 pronouncements when the utilities envisioned carbon dioxide reductions of 40% by 2030. (WEC Energy Group, which operates We Energies, says it now expects to reach the 40% goal by about 2023.)The moves to renewables are driven by tumbling prices for wind and solar power at the same time power companies in Wisconsin and nationally are using more natural gas as an alternative to coal.“We’re glad to see that the utilities are recognizing that this is what people want,” said Elizabeth Katt-Reinders of the Wisconsin chapter of the Sierra Club. “But actually it’s very underwhelming. We need to move off coal completely —and sooner.”Still, the actions of the companies are an about-face from a decade ago when Alliant was seeking regulatory approval to build a new coal plant in Wisconsin. The state Public Service Commission in 2008 rejected the plan with one commissioner then calling it the “wrong project at the wrong time.”More: Two Wisconsin utilities are increasing solar and wind power as they dramatically cut coal use to combat climate change Wisconsin utilities move ahead with clean energy planslast_img read more

Read More