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With spring on the horizon, it is time to start preparing vegetable transplants. When growing vegetable transplants for the home garden, there are several considerations to be made from sowing seeds to proper care.

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Deck the halls with boughs of holly—and pinecones, cotton bolls and magnolia seed pods. Backyard greenery can be combined to create beautiful holiday decorations. Trees, shrubs, plants and fruits are ready-made materials to build show-stopping indoor and outdoor decor.

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Poinsettias reign supreme as the main flowers of the holiday season. Also known as the Christmas flower, these beautiful plants offer a variety of colors that compliment any holiday decorations. During Christmas, red and green poinsettias are the most common. However, there are a wide variet…

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Those who have chickens may find the laying hens in the back yard provide more eggs than a family can use before going bad. When the bounty is overflowing, preserve farm-fresh eggs by freezing.

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With the holiday season approaching, it is vital to consider ways to save money and not end up creating new debt. Developing some type of spending plan is essential to helping individuals manage their income. Be smart about your spending this holiday season. Below is a list of 10 things that…

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The ghoulish sights on the front steps this Halloween season should be a glowing Jack-O-Lantern creation, not a rotting pumpkin. Knowing how to best preserve both whole and carved pumpkins are essential to ensure they are fresh throughout the fall season.

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As leaves begin to darken and pumpkins decorate every doorstep, pecans are ripe and ready for harvest as fall settles in the Southeast. These nutritious nuts are members of the hickory family and grow on towering shade trees commonly found in yards, orchards and pastures throughout Alabama. …

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Mornings can be a busy time for many people. Whether it’s preparing for work, getting kids ready for school or merely trying to jump-start the day, breakfast is an important tool to get things going on the right foot.

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Prepare for battle. Handwashing is the first line of defense in avoiding illnesses. With the coronavirus (COVID-19), the respiratory disease first identified in China, making its way into national headlines, handwashing is now even more important.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) has appeared in the South. It is important that people prepare to face the possibility of diagnoses in Alabama. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people have all of the necessary things in order in the event they have to be q…

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An African proverb says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” The Alabama Cooperative Extension System strives to embody this proverb by continually forming partnerships, both internally and externally, to benefit Alabama residents, families and communities.

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Welcome to Alabama—where the weather is always in a state of confusion. It may be warm during the day, but take advantage of the waning days of winter and cozy up at night with a warm bowl of soup. These soup recipes are sure to warm you from the inside out.

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Smoking, obesity, a poor diet; these are all traditional risk factors of heart disease. However, there is new trend steadily making its way through the population—vaping. In observance of American Heart Month, take time to learn about teen vaping and the heart health risks associated with it.

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A partnership between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) will allow county residents to complete 2020 census forms online in Extension offices.

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The flu claimed the lives of 910 people in the United States in 2019, according to the CDC. In addition to the flu-related deaths, there were an estimated 16,000 hospitalizations, 800,000 visits to physicians and 1.7 million confirmed flu cases during the 2019-2020 flu season. This time of y…

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For many, finding the perfect Christmas tree can make or break the holiday season. Luckily, people can easily find a perfect tree if they keep a few things in mind.

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Bird feeding is a hobby that over 62 million Americans enjoy. Alabama boasts a diverse gathering of bird species, making bird feeding an especially popular activity in the state.

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For many busy moms and dads, supper time is a last-minute dash to whip up whatever is in the pantry for the nighttime meal. With hundreds of things to grab and hold attention throughout the day, dinner is sometimes an afterthought. Using pressure cookers can be a great way to save time when …

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Alabama 4-H has experienced record-breaking enrollment for several years. Now with almost 180,000 young people involved in 4-H, the program is so large that students sometimes must wait to participate in science and camping programs at the 4-H Center located south of Birmingham.

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Childhood obesity has been a growing concern for the last 10 years. A child is diagnosed as obese when their weight is over the 95 percentile for age and height. Nationally, the childhood obesity rate for children 10 to 17 years old is 15.8 percent.

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Beekeeping is going digital. Beekeepers across the state will have the opportunity to participate in an online beekeeping course series designed for both hobby and small commercial beekeepers. The workshop, conducted by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, will cover several topics of i…

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Alabama joins a rapidly growing number of states confronting reports of severe illness related to vaping. The Alabama Department of Public Health has announced investigations into five reports of potentially severe lung disease associated with e-cigarette use.

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From tomatoes to squash, summer is filled with a wonderful bounty of garden vegetables. Wouldn’t it be great to have these fresh vegetables all year long? Luckily, people can freeze fresh produce from the local markets or homegrown vegetables this summer and enjoy it throughout the fall and winter.

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The Alabama 4-H Foundation recently awarded thirty-five scholarships to 4-H high school seniors. Scholarships for $1000 were presented at a recognition and awards program following 4-H Competitive Events Day at the Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana.

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Summertime in the South means the smell of cut grass, playing in the sprinklers and watermelon. The perfect watermelon on a hot summer day is sweet, juicy and bright red. However, picking the perfect ripe watermelon can be tricky.

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Have you ever wanted to have a true voice in your community? A say so in some of the education and programming offered here? Here’s your chance. This time of year, the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) asks citizens like you to help us by completing a survey that asks their opinio…

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Officials have identified blooms of blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) in Hancock County, Mississippi. The confirmation of this algae triggered Mississippi beach closures beginning in June. At this point, officials closed all beaches along the Mississippi coast. While the blooms ar…

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The gardening season is in full swing. Flowers are blooming and gardeners are harvesting their bounty.

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The Alabama Cooperative Extension System precision agriculture team invites Alabama producers and crop consultants to attend a precision ag field day July 30 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Participants will have an opportunity to listen to experts on topics ranging from use of drones i…

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When people hear the word “pickle”, many automatically think of cucumber pickles. However, there are many foods that can be pickled. Pickling foods at home may sound difficult or time consuming, but there are both quick and traditional options for people to choose from.

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Alabama is home to mighty rivers; providing nourishment, transportation, habitats and recreation for those who call Alabama home. Alabama Water Watch, which is part of the Auburn University Water Resources Center and receives support from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, is providin…

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Lauryn Bryght of Macon County is part of an expanding group of farmers—women farmers. From 2012 to 2017, the number of women involved in U.S. agriculture grew by nearly 27 percent. Out of 3.4 million farmers nationally, more than 1.2 million are women.

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For many, watermelons are an all-time favorite summer treat. More recently, consumers are seeing more availability of seedless varieties of watermelons. The genetics of these varieties are quite complex. This complexity may explain why costs are greater with seedless watermelon varieties.

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More than 634,000 people in Alabama, live with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, another estimated 127,000 Alabamians have this disease but don’t know it. Alabama Extension offers various diabetes education programs to citizens across the state.

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Pollination is one of the most common concerns when planting spring and early summer gardens. How do gardeners know if their cucumbers and squash are really getting pollinated?

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Rabies is a deadly disease with more than 5,000 cases of rabid animals spreading the disease to people nationally each year. To protect pets from this disease, owners should have their pets vaccinated. This will not only protect pets, but owners as well.

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Backyard chickens and other poultry (ducks, turkeys) can carry germs like Salmonella. After you touch a bird, or anything in the area where birds live and roam, wash your hands so you don’t get sick. Owning backyard chickens and other poultry can be a great experience. However, people have g…

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Minutes stretch to hours as storm victims and volunteers work through the rubble and the mess to recover family heirlooms, items of clothing and other belongings. In these same hours, scam artists are devising recovery scams to swindle storm victims out of money.

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From stress about family issues, to stress about the job, stress is a part of all of our lives. It is important to know that there are some stresses in our life than can be managed by just cleaning up the clutter in our homes. An Extension professional offers information on how clutter can a…

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In February we not only observe Valentine’s Day, but also National Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. In fact, nearly 837,550 people die each year from heart disease and 133,000 from strokes.

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As I am struggling to get over a terrible case of bronchitis, I’m reminded of the importance of staying healthy by making sure to wash your hands. Following some basic sanitation procedures can help you avoid the flu and help stop the spread of flu and other diseases. It is just that simple.

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From stress about family issues, to stress about the job, stress is a part of all of our lives. It is important to know that there are some stresses in our life than can be managed by just cleaning up the clutter in our homes. This article offers a few tips on how clutter can affect our live…

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Although we’re technically into January now, it’s not too late to start giving your finances a checkup and discover if you need to make saving a (late) New Year’s resolution. You may discover that you have debt that needs to be paid down or that you are ready to take the next step in savings.

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The busiest shopping season of the year is just around the corner. Consumers should add yard sales to their list of shopping places for holiday items.

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Every fall, most people’s yards are covered in leaves. Many people dispose of them by tossing them out with the trash. Instead of throwing them away, try recycling leaves in your yard this year.

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It’s the holidays. This season of goodwill and giving thanks is also a festive celebration of food. With so many delightful foods to choose from, it’s important to keep holiday treats safe from bacteria.