Monthly Newsletter
April 2023

Extension programs and resources are available to all county residents. Feel free to forward our newsletters on to family and friends. Watch out for monthly announcements of events as this newsletter arrives in your inbox each month or keep up with us on Facebook or Instagram.

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Our annual Report to the People highlights some of our hard work over the past year and our commitment to the citizens of Moore County. The Moore County Extension staff works together and with countless partners, leveraging expertise and research-based knowledge to innovate, evolve and promote positive change for Moore County.

Click here to register for the 2023 Sandhills Farm Tour:

Pork, King of Bar-B-Que

In my twenties looking to explore more opportunities, I moved to Washington, D.C. Not long after settling in, a newly found friend invited me over for a “bar-b-que.” Since one of my favorite meals is pulled or chopped pork bar-b-que, I was looking forward to what I assumed was a “pig-pickin” like the ones I had grown up going to in Georgia. Imagine my shock when I arrived and discovered the host was actually cooking hotdogs and hamburgers on his grill outside on his condominium patio! Clearly, this friend needed an education on the traditional culture of southern bar-b-ques.

Just about any North Carolinian has a memory of a pig pickin’ at a community gathering, the perfect pulled pork sandwich at a favorite BBQ joint, or a succulent rack of fall-off-the-bone pork ribs. Even “transplants” to North Carolina soon learn that barbecue is more than a meal, and to be authentic, it is pork.

In this edition of Homegrown find out why Pork Is King, and why it’s not just tradition; it’s also a matter of economic importance.

Deborah McGiffin, County Extension Director
Moore County



Butterflies are facing a crisis with habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change, and butterfly gardens provide food, shelter, and water for a butterfly’s four life stages: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult.

A butterfly garden should have a sunny location for nectar plants and larval food plants.  Nectar plants provide adult butterflies’ main food as they pollinate. The sun encourages nectar flow, and helps adult butterflies maintain a body temperature of 85 to 100 degrees F, so they can fly.

Plants should be grouped in bold colors, as red, pink, yellow, orange, and purple, with garden rocks to add heat.  Some wonderful nectar plants are butterfly bush, butterfly weed, lantana, purple coneflower, coreopsis, aster, black-eyed Susan, liatris, Joe-Pye weed, zinnia, chives, and bee balm.

Females lay eggs on larval food plants so growing caterpillars have food. These plants include wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and grasses. Host plants are specific for butterfly species.  Eastern black swallowtails search for dill, parsley, and rue, whereas monarchs search for milkweeds, such as butterfly weed. Good larval plants include aster, blueberry, dogwood, milkweed, parsley, fennel, tulip poplar, and oak.

Butterfly gardens need shelter from wind, and a shallow pool to provide minerals and water. Include both annuals and perennials with varied bloom times and plant heights, avoid chemicals, and be sure no one pulls caterpillars off the parsley!

For more information, contact the Extension Master Gardener Helpline at 910-947-3188, Monday-Friday

By: Ruth Stolting, EMGV, Moore County
Photo: by Susan Strine

The Bradford Pear,
an Invasive Tree

The Bradford pear tree is an ornamental commonly planted tree in North Carolina but did you know it is an invasive species? Sure, it has pretty blossoms, but it also smells of rotten fish, breaks easily during storms, and outcompetes native trees. Bradford pears can also breed with other varieties of pear trees that produce long thorns and spread in natural forests, replacing native trees and creating “food deserts” for birds. These trees are damaging to our natural ecosystems and need to be removed and replaced.

NC Cooperative Extension is teaming up with the NC Forest Service, NC Urban Forest Council, and NC Wildlife Federation to encourage North Carolinians to properly remove and replace these invasive trees.
When you cut down your Bradford pear tree, we’ll give you a native tree to replace it (up to 5 native trees)! You must sign-up and provide proof of removal to attend an NC Bradford Pear Bounty event and receive native trees.

*We are planning events in various locations across NC. Specific dates and locations can be found on

The property owner is responsible for tree removal. You may choose to remove it yourself or hire a professional (find a Certified Arborist). Stumps should be treated with an herbicide to prevent resprouting. Don’t forget to take before and after photos to act as proof of removal.

For more about Bradford pears and related cultivars, check out this NC State Extension publication.
Spring Is Here, and So Are More Market Days

Moore County Farmers' Market

Armory Sports Complex, Southern Pines, Thursdays,
Year-Round, 9 AM-1PM

(closed Thanksgiving)
Saturdays, April 15-October 28, 8AM-12 Noon

Sandhills Farmers Market

Opens for the 2023 Season April 15
Season hours:
Saturdays from April 15-October 7, 2023
(except Memorial & Labor Day Weekends)
10 AM-1 PM
Wednesdays from April 19-October 4, 2023
3:00 PM-6:00 PM

Sandhills Farm to Table Open for 14th Season

April 18 & 19 - November 8 & 9
Sandhills Farm to Table Cooperative is a multi-farm CSA (community supported agriculture) of farms throughout the Sandhills and beyond that brings to member subscribers the best variety of seasonally fresh produce from our farms to your tables. Subscribe to a box on a weekly, bi-weekly or on a selected week basis that's packed with the abundance of Sandhills fresh-picked fruits and veggies and have them delivered to your door or Pick-up Site. Click to subscribe and to find out the freshest of seasonal choices you can choose from. As a consumer member, you will have convenient access to the highest quality, local food that you want, at a price comparable to current quality food prices!

See what Moore County farms have going on this spring. Download the Visit NC Farms app to find out where to buy local plants and food, where to eat or drink at local restaurants, breweries and wineries, or where to tour local farms and learn about agriculture in Moore County.
Foaling Checklist

Spring is full of life! The grass is starting to grow, pollen is everywhere, and foals are on the way.  Having foals is exciting but can be nerve-racking and quickly become scary.  The best way to prevent nerves and an emergency is to be prepared.  Here are some tips to help you be prepared.

  1. Phone Number:  Your emergency and normal veterinarians are saved in your cell phone and posted in the barn.
    1. Make sure that your veterinarians know the relative due date of your mare. Do not hesitate to contact them if you suspect something is not going right.
  2. Thermometer: the key to telling if the temperature of foal/ mare is normal, or if an infection is present
    1. The normal temperature
      1. Mare: 99-100 F (37-38 C)
      2. Foal: 100-102 F (37.7-38.8 C)
  3. Stethoscope: helps indicate heart and respiratory rates
    1. Normal Heart Rate
      1. Mare: 28-40 bpm
      2. Foal: 80-120 bpm
    2. Normal Respiration Rate
      1. Mare: 8-16 bpm
      2. Foal: 20-40 bpm
  4. Scissors
  5. Flashlight:
    1. Charged batteries
  6. Tail wrap:
    1. keep the tail out of the way
  7. Obstetrical (OB)  Gloves:
    1. check position or pull (if no progress)
  8. OB Lube:
    1. This is essential before checking the position or pulling
    2. KY, J Lube, Livestock Lube
  9. Exam Gloves:
    1. handling placenta,
    2. cleaning mare or foal
  10. Liquid Soap
  11. Umbilical tape or clamp
  12. Umbilical cord disinfectant:
    1. Iodine or diluted chlorhexidine
  13. Towels
  14. Colostrum
    1. Frozen
    2. Replacer
      1. Make sure that you get colostrum replacers and not supplements.

Tom Shea, Livestock Agent
Moore County

Click here to register for Planning with Permaculture:

Live Healthy, Reduce Clutter

Having a healthy lifestyle means more than just eating healthy and getting plenty of physical activity. Living in a healthy environment plays an important role in the prevention of chronic diseases and accidents. Ensuring your home is safe inside and out creates a healthy home and lifestyle. 

Clutter accumulates in our homes over the years.We have clutter in our homes because we have emotional attachments to items, or a strong desire to not waste anything that could be used again. Sometimes, the clutter comes from the lack of an organizational system that works for your family or poor time management. 

If we reduce clutter, we have a safer home because of reducing tripping hazards.We experience reduced stress, improved relationships and clearer thinking. Reducing clutter also gives us a sense of accomplishment.

To begin decluttering your home, set manageable goals. Focus on one drawer, one closet or one room at a time.  Adopt the five in five strategy. Set a timer for five minutes. Everyone in the household finds five things to put away, donate or throw away. To move forward, establish a household rule that for every item brought into the house, one item must go out. Start small and work toward a clutter free home!

Janice Roberts, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
Moore County
Moore County 4-H Grows Greatness

Here is a question to answer. What do these people have on common?

Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rosalind Carter, Luke Bryan, Ned Jarrett, Reba McEntire, Julia Roberts, Trisha Yearwood, Archie Manning, Jennifer Needles, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, And Jimmy Carter.

All of these people were, of course, 4-H members.

In addition to these famous people, since WWII there have been 25 governors, 35 senators, and 80 members from the US house of representatives who were all 4-H members.  Most all of these celebrities and legislators credit their confidence, leadership and speaking skills to

4‑H is America’s largest youth development organization—empowering nearly six million young people between the ages of 5 to 18 with the skills to lead for a lifetime. 4-H’s mission is to “grow greatness” by helping develop young people who are empowered, confident, hard-working, determined, responsible and compassionate—seeing a world beyond themselves so that they have the life-long skills to succeed in post-secondary education, and careers.

At the “Growing Greatness” 4-H Achievement Celebration on March 17th, the Moore County 4-H Program and the Moore County Extension Staff celebrated the 2022 accomplishments of Moore County 4-H members and their leaders. Some of the accomplishments recognized included: 4-H’ers who took on leadership roles as club, county or district level officers; youth involved in the Moore County 4-H Teen Council; youth involved and active in 4-H community clubs; youth who completed, competed, won awards, or were honored for their participation in county and district 4-H project record book competitions; youth who made oral presentations and won awards for competing at county, district and/or state competitions; youth who were awarded trips to 4-H State Congress, NC Citizenship Focus and/or 4-H district retreats; members of the 4-H Horse program who competed and placed in the District Horse Bowl, in the district Horse Artistic Expression competition, and/or in the district and state horse show riding events; 4-H’ers who raised and competed in county, regional and state livestock and poultry shows; and youth who participated and attended Moore County 4-H day camps, 4-H residential or 4-H residential specialty camps.                   

Moore County 4-H members, have their futures ahead with the opportunity to go where they want to go, so, speaking on behalf of the Moore County Extension staff, we are honored to serve the youth who have chosen 4-H as a path to help them achieve greatness and reach their goals to “Make the Best Better” for all of us!

To find out more about the Moore County 4-H Program and the opportunities available for youth, contact Moore County 4-H Agent, Kaley Lawing at kaley_lawing@ncsu.ed or call 910-947-3188.

Read more Moore County Extension news »
NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership called N.C. Cooperative Extension.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made at least 5 days before the scheduled event
to Deborah McGiffin at or 910-947-3188.


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