Monthly Newsletter
March/April 2022

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.

(If you do not wish to continue getting this newsletter you may unsubscribe at the link below.)
New Study Shows 29% of American Jobs Tied to Food and Agriculture

In a study reported by Farm Bureau, 7% of the nation’s economy and 29% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. Amidst the global supply chain and inflation crises, these sectors also exported $182.91 billion worth of goods, helping the U.S. maintain its position as a leading player in global agriculture. In 2021 these sectors contributed a total of $3.01 trillion to the U.S. economy.

In addition to providing insights on nationwide impact, the report breaks down the sectors’ impact by state and congressional districts. Key findings include:

  • Total Jobs: 43,464,211
  • Total Wages:$2.30 trillion
  • Total Taxes: $718.15 billion
  • Exports: $182.91 billion
  • Total Food and Industry Economic Impact: $7.43 trillion

Read more details here about the study's findings and agriculture's impact on the economy.

Crepe Myrtle

What is the most beautiful flowering majestic tree in North Carolina?  It just has to be Lagerstroemia (Crepe myrtle).  Graceful with abundant blooms in July and August.  A silhouette of branches and attractive bark displayed in the winter months.  Pleasing through all seasons.

It is a deciduous tree requiring full sun that comes in a variety of colors.  The indica variety is the premier summer flowering tree in our area.  Tolerates heat, humidity, drought tolerant and does well in most soils.  Varieties range from dwarf size (2 - 3' in height) to a small tree (30' in height).  

To encourage the natural form only prune cross-over and dead branches back to the trunk. Severe pruning only grows weak branches which can be too heavy and can cause the branches to split.   In early spring, use hand pruners to reduce the height of your tree to display your tree to its fullest beauty.   

This multi-trunk tree is a marvelous addition to any garden as a specimen by itself or in a group with evergreens.  

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

By: Barbara Cohen, EMGV, Moore County

Asian Vegetables to Grow in the Garden

As a vegetarian some of my favorite foods to cook and eat include a host of Asian vegetables. Some of the more popular Asian vegetables include bok choy, Napa cabbage, Daikon radish, Japanese eggplant, shiitake mushrooms, Chinese broccoli, lemongrass and yardlong beans and these are often available in many grocery stores today. If you have the opportunity to visit an Asian market dozens of other vegetables are also available for shoppers.

Many of these vegetables are ideally suited to be planted in Moore County gardens. Seeds to all of the above plants and hundreds of other less known Asian vegetables can be purchased from the Kitazawa Seed Co., one of the oldest seed companies in the country. Some of the seeds that I have purchased from them and planted in my garden include Red Noodle yardlong bean, kabocha squash (similar to buttercup), Korean bulam (“avocado’) squash, and watermelon radish.

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

By: John Bowman, EMGV, Moore County

Spring into Farmers' Markets

Moore County Farmers' Market

Downtown Park, Southern Pines, Saturdays,
April 16-October 29, 2022, 8AM-Noon

Armory Sports Complex, Southern Pines, Thursdays,
Year-Round, 9 AM-1PM
(closed Thanksgiving, November 23)

Sandhills Farmers Market In Pinehurst

Tufts Park,Pinehurst,
Saturdays, April 16-October 1, 10 AM-1 PM
Wednesdays, April 20-September 28, 3 PM-6 PM

Sandhills Farm to Table
Community Supported Agriculture
subscribe @
Deliveries from April 20-November 10


Pollen Season

The clocks have jumped forward, flowers are bursting into bloom and all of our vehicles are dyed a dull shade of yellow. Welcome to another North Carolina spring and the arrival of pollen season.

The yellow pollen coating your car – as well as sidewalks, patio furniture, pets and so on – is produced by pine trees. Mostly loblolly pine trees, to be specific, which are the prevalent pine species in the Southeast. Pine pollen grains are large and coat pretty much everything, so they’re easier to see – which also makes pine pollen a prime suspect for seasonal allergies.

As it turns out, pine pollen is not an allergen, according to Bob Bardon, a forestry expert and associate dean for Extension in the College of Natural Resources at NC State University. The real culprits behind your coughing, sneezing and watery eyes this time of year are likely hardwood trees, such as maple and oak, which produce a fine grain pollen that’s also quite rough.

While pollen tends to catch a bad rap, what with allergies and all, our lives would look very different without it. As a society, we rely on plants for food, fiber, medicine, materials and many other everyday applications. Since pollen is how plants reproduce and continue providing year after year, it’s safe to say the benefits outweigh the seasonal inconvenience.  

Find out why suffering through pollen season is worth the sacrifice in this episode of Homegrown, "Pollen Season Is Nothing to Sneeze At."

Healthy Tips for Eating Out

According to the study posted to the National Library of Medicine, more than 50% of American adults eat out three or more times a week and over 35% eat fast-food meals more than twice a week.

Whether you eat out to celebrate a special occasion or just for convenience after a busy day at work or school, going out to eat too often can lead to weight gain and other adverse health issues. However, following a few tips for decoding restaurant menus can help you make healthier menu choices, and let you enjoy a good meal with friends and family without the fuss of meal preparation, cooking and clean-up.

Read Smart Tips for Reading Menus from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to find out how you can have your proverbial cake and eat it too.

Broadband Will Improve Agriculture and Rural Communities

There has been a lot in the news about available governmental funding for making broadband accessible in rural areas. In fact, you may have answered a recent Moore County survey that will help to identify areas of the county that need accessible broadband coverage.

NC State Extension is helping demonstrate how new technologies can enhance agriculture and rural communities. This video highlights a demonstration at Harvey Farms in Kinston, showing how broadband connectivity enables emerging technology and farming techniques that provide faster, more accurate, and efficient data-driven decisions that positively affect farm operations and rural economies.

Community Announcements
Moore County Community Development
Presents a Fair Housing Training
First Health Community Survey

Firat Health is concerned about the health and well-being of Moore County families and individuals.  Please take a minute a take their survey and help First Health learn how they can better serve Moore County The survey can be found at


Healthy Fermented Foods  

Interested in consuming and enjoying healthy bacteria in fermented foods?  Want to learn about how to safely ferment foods as well as exploring how to make sourdough, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

If you want to know all about food fermentation, contact the Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, Janice Roberts.



Youth Poultry Shows Cancelled

The State Veterinarian Mike Martin announced that all North Carolina poultry shows, and public sales will be suspended due to the threat of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). This includes all exhibitions, farm tours, shows, sales, flea markets, auction markets, swaps and meets pertaining to poultry and feathered fowl in North Carolina. This impacts upcoming 4-H Chicken Chain projects, as well as the Youth Market Turkey Show. For the next 4 weeks, the youth poultry programs will be postponed. If youth currently have chicks on the ground, they will need to stay in place.

“This suspension is due to the continued spread of HPAI that has affected commercial and backyard flocks in numerous states, including North Carolina,” said Martin. “We do not make this decision lightly. HPAI is a serious threat to our poultry industry and this is a precaution to help limit the introduction of the virus to backyard and commercial flocks.”

North Carolina joins several other states, including Georgia, that have also cancelled or altered poultry events due to HPAI. Poultry owners across the state need to practice strict biosecurity. This includes keeping flocks indoors without access to outside and reporting sick birds to your local veterinarian, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Veterinary Division, 919-707-3250, or the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System 919-733-3986.

The warning signs of HPAI include:

  • Reduced energy, decreased appetite, and/or decreased activity
  • Lower egg production and/or soft-shelled or misshapen eggs
  • Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb and wattles
  • Purple discoloration of the wattles, comb and legs
  • Difficulty breathing, runny nares (nose), and/or sneezing
  • Twisting of the head and neck, stumbling, falling down, tremors and/or circling
  • Greenish diarrhea

Since March 29, HPAI has been detected at seven commercial poultry facilities in Johnston and Wayne counties. More than 90,000 turkeys and more than 280,000 broilers have been depopulated and composted on-site to prevent further spread of the virus. Additional updates to the current HPAI outbreak will be posted to

This type of HPAI virus is considered a low risk to people according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. There are no cases to date of this strain of HPAI infecting a person. The virus is also not considered a food safety threat and infected birds do not enter the food supply. All properly cooked poultry products are safe to consume.  

See what Moore County 4-H has planned through its
4-H Summer Fun program sponsored by United Way of Moore County. Activities are open to all youth ages 5-18. Workshops are designed for specific age groups. You do not have to be a current 4-H member
to participate.
Join us for a fun and exciting time! All Moore County 4-H Summer Fun registrations will open in 4honline on May 2nd and close on May 27th. Registration is first come first serve and spots are limited. Please take advantage of the early registration dates to ensure your child’s space in the workshop of their choice. Participants will receive a Moore County 4-H t-shirt with registration.

Payments will be accepted at the Moore County Cooperative Extension Center located at 707 Pinehurst Avenue, Carthage, NC 28327. Total payment is expected prior to the first camp your child will attend. You may pay using cash or a check made out to Moore County. Credit and/or debit cards are not accepted. There will be no refunds or exceptions.

Light snacks and water will be provided at each workshop. We are very excited about the programs that we have planned!
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.


Email Marketing by ActiveCampaign