Alexander County Center Newsletter
August, 2021

Wow...summertime flew by and it is almost time to get back into the school routine! One major topic that comes with going back to school is...What can we pack for lunches?? Here is a great article with some great ideas to help you prepare for the new school year and a new way of preparing lunches for your young ones.

Back to School Lunch Ideas
More In My Basket

Millions of children and families living in America face hunger and food insecurity every day. They can be neighbor, friends, church members, or family members. Hunger can affect people from all walks of life. Many Americans are one job loss or medical crisis away from food insecurity – but some people, including children and seniors, may be at greater risk of hunger than others.

What’s worst is that the corona virus has only exasperated the food insecurity problem in our county. In 2019, the USDA estimated that 14% of Alexandrians were food insecure, new data show that Alexander County is now increased to 18.1 %, higher than the estimated state food insecurity level.

There are several programs that help people access food. The largest federal program is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly Food Stamps. Alexander County Cooperative Extension offers a program called More In My Basket (MIMB), which provides education about the SNAP/FNS program. Through More In My Basket, participants learn if they are likely eligible for SNAP/FNS, how SNAP/FNS can expand their food budget, and receive individualized assistance with completing an application. MIMB staff reach the community to screen for SNAP eligibility, assist with SNAP application completion, and bridge the gap between community and local Department of Social Services.

To learn more about More in My Basket and how they can help read more at:

Green Thumb Gazette Newsletter-August Edition is out and available.  To read what garden tasks to do in August, what to be on the look out for around your lawn and garden or just to stay-in-the know with what our horticulture agent, Cari Mitchell, is offering please click on the following link:  August 2021 Newsletter

Also, if you would like to receive this newsletter by email please contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension-Alexander County Center.
Plan Now to Stockpile Fescue

It’s hot and summer is still going full force. At this point, most of us dream about cooler weather.  Fall will be here soon enough and if you plan to stockpile fescue, you need to start planning for that now.  Fescue grass is ideal for stockpiling for winter grazing mostly because it grows very vigorously in the fall, stays relatively palatable in the field, and has an ability to resist deterioration due to freezing/thawing. Fescue responds well to late summer nitrogen applications and maintains nutrients better than other cool season forage options.  Stockpiled fescue will most likely outperform most grass hay as far as nutrient content goes. Ultimately, stockpiling some fall growth for winter grazing, instead of putting it up for hay can help to reduce production costs if done well. Here are some tips to start thinking about now when it comes to stockpiling:

- Most studies show that accumulation starting in late summer (August 1- September 1) is important, especially if rain is short.
- Do not overgraze pastures that you will stockpile in, especially during hot weather, which could reduce carbohydrate reserves in the plant, reducing yield in the fall.
- Nitrogen application is critical for maximizing fall growth. Apply based on soil recommendations, but no more than 60lbs of N/acre.
- Fertilizer applications made prior to August 15th may encourage warm-season weed growth. Wait til late summer/early fall to make nitrogen applications to promote fescue growth.
- Because ammonia in sources of nitrogen will volatilize in the hot, humid days of late summer, apply fertilizer immediately prior to a rainfall of >0.25”.
- Quality and utilization of the grass are increased by controlled grazing and are maximized by daily strip-grazing of the stockpiled fescue.

Now is the time to think about which pastures you want to section off so that fescue growth may begin and stockpiling shall commence. For more information about stockpiling fescue, or improving your pastures, contact Allison Brown, Agriculture Agent, at 828-632-4451 or by email at

4-H Update
The Alexander County 4-H Program has been holding Summer Opportunities for youth.  For a recap and to see what programs are coming up in August please click the following link:  August Newsletter
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.

Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign