Monthly Newsletter
November/December 2021

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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North Carolina grown Christmas tree is selected for the Blue Room in the White House.
Hemp: A North Carolina
Budding Industry

The North Carolina Industrial Hemp Pilot Program is ending. Since it began in 2014, approximately 1,500 licensed hemp growers and more than 1,200 registered processors have come on the scene in North Carolina.

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, all hemp production in North Carolina must comply with the USDA Domestic Hemp Production Rule and farmers must hold a USDA-issued hemp license.

On this episode of Farms, Food and You, we talk to NC State Extension specialist David Suchoff about what we learned during the pilot program about growing hemp, this budding industry, and its roadblocks.

Master Gardener Tips:

Preventing Fires & Growing Christmas Cactuses

Planting to Prevent Fires

Smokey the Bear said, "Only you can prevent forest fires".  This advice just isn't for California, but it is also applicable for us.  Spring and fall are our more flammable months. Of course, fires can occur from faulty wires, appliances, or even from Christmas trees.  However, there are measures that we can take to be more mindful and make our property less vulnerable to fire damage.

Controlled burns are beneficial.
Flammability of certain plants on our properties - ex. azaleas and rhodis are more flammable. Dogwoods are less flammable.
Removal of pine straw from next to our homes.
Spacing and maintenance of plantings are critical.
Lawns, dry riverbeds, and walkways are good fuel barriers.
Removal of vines on house - a vertical conduit.
Fire-pits and grilles should not be placed on pine straw - embers are 1/8" and can be air-born.  Adequate precautions should be made to protect the area from embers.

This doesn't mean we have to remove our plantings - just be more mindful and make Smokey happy. Contact: for additional information.

By: Barbara Cohen, EMGV, Moore County

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

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus, genus Schlumbergera, is not a desert plant, but rather originates in the tropical rain forests of South America. The flowers hang downward and the stem segments have smooth, scalloped edges.

With care, this plant will bloom giving years of enjoyment. In fall, night temperatures around 50-55 degrees and the shorter days will trigger holiday cactus to form flower buds. Do not over water; this is the number one reason for their demise in our homes. Additionally, the plants flower best when slightly pot bound.

Placing the plant outdoor in the spring after the threat of frost & bringing it indoors in October or November before temperatures freeze will produce flower buds.  Outdoors the cooler nights and shorter days trigger the bud formation.

When flowering is finished, an active growth period begins. Keep the plant in a sheltered place until danger of freezing is over. Water carefully. Move the plant outside, out of direct sunlight, during warmer months and fertilize with a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer with trace elements.

They are the ultimate pass-along plant since they are so easy to root. Just pinch off a “Y” shaped piece from one of the branches and stick it in a pot of sterile soil or vermiculite. It will root in no time.

By: Dolores Muller, EMGV, Moore County
Photo from House Beautiful

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

Featured in the state-of-the-art Hunt Library on the Centennial Campus at North Carolina State University is a digital display of North Carolina's Emerging Issues.  Highlighted in green, including Moore County, are the counties leading the way in the state's DIgital Economy.
The Moore County Commissioners recently established a Digital Inclusion Task Force to spearhead the effort to make broadband and the internet accessible to every Moore County resident. Along with several other municipalities, the commissioners have declared December 2021 as Digital Inclusion Month and asks residents to answer the broadband survey linked below:

Slow Internet. No Internet. We need to know!

During Digital Inclusion Month, as proclaimed above, the Moore County Digital Inclusion Task Force is asking you to help expand broadband access to all Moore County residents, by taking
the NC Broadband Survey and sharing the survey with your friends, and families. Reliable and affordable internet is critical to access education, healthcare, emergency responders, and online commerce.

The data collected from the survey will help the task force identify where the gaps in broadband are in Moore County and will enable us apply for grant funding that will target broadband expansion of the internet to those underserved areas in the county.

For those without access to the internet, the survey can be completed by phone: 919-750-0553 (English); 919-750-8860 (Spanish).

In the meantime, Moore County Cooperative Extension has compiled some useful information and resources for addressing the digital divide in Moore County. Go to the Extension Broadband Access page and scroll to find links that accentuate rural broadband issues that affect how all of Moore County can better learn, earn, and access healthcare with equitable connectivity to broadband and digital technology.

Holiday Leftovers

Whether you are cooking for a crowd, or your household this holiday season and beyond, you are bound to generate leftovers at some point. Just like washing your hands is an easy way to prevent foodborne illness while cooking, there are steps you can follow while storing leftovers to stay healthy and continue enjoying your meals!

  • Check your refrigerator and freezer temperatures. Keep your refrigerator temperature at or below 40 °F and freezer at 0 °F. (from
  • Refrigerate leftovers as soon as possible. Maybe spend a few minutes doing this before sitting down to eat.
  • Disposable dishes containing perishable foods (meat, poultry, seafood and eggs) or cooked vegetables or grains should be thrown out or composted if left…
    • At room temperature for more than 4 hours
    • Outdoors at a temperature above 90 °F (32 °C) for more than 1 hour
  • Package leftovers in small, shallow containers for quicker cooling.
  • Eat leftovers within 7 days. Be sure to reheat and enjoy your food one portion at a time rather than reheating and cooling leftovers repeatedly.
  • Aren’t sure if you and/or your household will eat all of your leftovers within a few days? Freeze a few portions after initially cooking and enjoy them later in the month.

Additionally, keep these guidelines in mind while meal prepping or batch cooking.

Maintain, Don't Gain
Holiday Challenge

This holiday season, the only thing that should be “stuffed” is the turkey. Many Americans gain between 1 and 5 pounds each holiday season. While it might not sound like much, most people never manage to lose those extra pounds. You are invited to join the 15th annual Eat Smart, Move More, Maintain, don’t gain! Holiday Challenge. Rather than focusing on trying to lose weight, this FREE seven-week challenge provides you with strategies and resources to help maintain your weight throughout the holiday season.
Last year, more than 44,670 people from around the world participated. Now it’s time for the 2021 Holiday Challenge!

The 2021 Holiday Challenge:

November 15th – December 31st

Registration does not close and you may sign-up at any time.

For questions regarding the Holiday Challenge, please refer to the Holiday Challenge FAQ Page.

Holiday Challenge Features

All Holiday Challenge features will be sent directly to your email inbox when the program begins. Holiday Challenge features include the following:
  • Weekly Newsletters
  • Daily Tips
    • Survive a holiday party
    • Manage holiday stress
    • Stay active during the winter
  • Weekly Challenges
  • Healthy holiday recipes
  • Support through social media

Landowners with Land in Forests: Learn to
Save on Taxes

Many forest landowners pay more taxes on their timber than they should. Accountants can help to calculate taxes, but forest landowners need to understand how timber expenses should be reported, and how they are taxed. Saving money on timber taxes starts by keeping good records and knowing how tax rules will affect your bill.

The Southern Region Extension Forestry has put together a 5-week Woodland Stewards webinar series on forest tax issues. The series will begin on January 18th and run each Tuesday through February 15th. Each webinar begins at 1 pm eastern time and each session will last one hour.  The topics covered in each session are as follow:

1. Seeing the Forest for the Trees: An Overview of Forestry Taxes
2. Basics of Timber Basis: Re(setting) the Table:

3. Timber Management Expenses and Deductions

4. Keeping More of Your Timber Income Following a Timber Sale

5. Coping with losses from Nature and Chance

Go to to register for the series.

Moore County 4-H members spread Holiday Cheer during the Carthage Annual Christmas Parade.
Be Positive Influence to Youth:
Become a 4-H Leader

4-H is the largest youth organization in the United States with more than 7 million participants. 4-H is best identified by its green four-leaf clover with an H on each leaf. The four H’s on the clover stand for Head, Heart, Hands, and Health. 4-H is the only youth organization based at land-grant universities and the first experience many youths have with higher education.

In 4-H youth “Learn by Doing” and meet new friends that share their interests. Youth primarily get involved in 4-H through community 4-H clubs that are led by adult volunteer leaders. In 4-H clubs youth gain essential life skills in leadership, citizenship, and how to maintain nurturing relationships. Whether they are working together on projects in Science & Technology, or focusing on environmental awareness and community service, 4-H Club youth learn the importance of being engaged in the community, country, and world. 4-H Clubs must consist of at least 5 youth from 3 different families. Youth ages 5-18 may be club members, but clubs may have specific age ranges.  4-H clubs can be geared toward a special interest, like animal care or be a general club that have a variety of interests for 4-H members to pursue.

The 4-H club model is successful because of caring adult volunteers who want to make a real and positive difference in the lives of youth. You can give the youth in your community the opportunity to get involved in 4-H by starting a 4-H club. Volunteer 4-H leaders are trained and supported by the county 4-H Extension Agent and are provided with the resources from the NC 4-H Program in their respective county. Organized clubs meet at least 6 times a year. 

Call the Moore County Extension office to start to process of starting a club in your community.

4-H Scholarships:

North Carolina 4-H scholarships are offered to encourage 4-H members to continue their education beyond high school.   The 4-H Scholarship Guide lists the educational scholarships awarded in the North Carolina 4-H Program.

ELIGIBILITY: Current North Carolina 4-H members who are graduating high school seniors are eligible to apply.  Applicants must have accumulated at least a minimum of 3 years of 4-H work.  All Scholarships will be directly paid to the college or university. They will not be made payable to a 4-H’er nor his/her parents.  Recipients must be full-time students. Refer to the guide linked above to find out more about NC 4-H scholarships.

Online registration is now available, but will close at 5:01 pm on Feb. 1st.

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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