Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Preparing for the Gardening Season

With spring-like weather teasing us to get outside and start gardening, it can be hard to practice self-control and keep ourselves from planting too early! The average date of the last spring frost for Watauga County is May 15th... not February 15th as the recent weather would have us believe!

While we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, winter weather and temperatures are surely going to reappear. To keep you motivated until planting season FULLY arrives, catch up on some basic gardening guidelines. Here are two brief factsheets written by Watauga County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers to help home gardeners start the season off with success:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

4-H Testimony

This article is submitted by Emily Cornett, a 16 year old 4-H participant

What 4-H Means to Me
By - Emily Cornett

4-H. It is something that has certainly changed my life forever. In the year of 2002 my Mother and Mrs. Lori Hubert became enthused about putting together a 4-H group for Watauga County. Being in 4-H had always been one of my mom's dreams as a child, but somehow she never really had the opportunity to participate in it. It was her hope that maybe we could get the opportunity to enjoy 4-H. It took lots of hard work to get things going. Mama and Mrs. Hubert, along with the help of our 4-H extension agent, Ms. Karee Mackey, organized Appalachian Trailblazers 4-H club of Watauga County.
I started 4-H as a charter member of the club when I was 7 years old and a very shy, less-than outgoing little girl. If there was anything I enjoyed most, it was having animals. At the time, my interest lay only in horses, but my Dad suggested that we participate in the 4-H poultry project group that the Huberts were leading that first year. Although I wasn't crazy about the idea, I went along with it. That spring of my first year of 4-H we ordered 25 Buff Orpington chicks from a hatchery in Iowa. Needless to say, I fell in love with the adorable little fluffy peepers. For over 5 years I participated in 4-H poultry project. I put a great amount of study into knowing more about my poultry. I really dug in and researched something in depth. This is something that I will always appreciate learning how to do. Learning to master a general working knowledge on a subject is a very valuable skill. Slowly but surely 4-H became a large part of my life. Over those 5 years I led several 4-H groups with the help of my parents and in doing so taught several families about the basics of raising poultry. 4-H worked well for our family, we could participate in the project groups and big meetings as a family. During that time I also learned much from holding several offices in the big 4-H club. 4-H began to teach me the aspects of responsibility. Other projects we enjoyed included sheep and gardening. Although I no longer use my poultry as my main
4-H project, still raise a flock of layers each year and our family raises broilers for the freezer.
Now, as I look back at over 9 years of my 4-H career I can see how much 4-H has taught me. 4-H has taught me how to love to learn and how to do my best. As the current second-term president of Appalachian Trailblazers I am still learning so much about working together with a variety of people. The variety of interests that our upcoming 4-Hers have shows me again just how unique and special God made each person. Leadership is something that is not to be taken lightly, but it is something I have come to enjoy. Over the years, I have given many speeches and presentations that have introduced me to the basics of public speaking. Now, as a high-schooler, I am taking speech class, and my 4-H speaking experience is helping me to catch on faster. I have gained a great love for working with and teaching the younger generation. 4-H has also taught me to take time to stop and listen to the advice of those older than myself. 4-H isn't only learning about a project, but it is learning about people. 4-H, for me is learning to appreciate God's great handiwork when he created the human mind. 4-H is learning how to develop that mind in the things that interest it. 4-H is learning to serve others around us with hearts of joy. 4-H is a world of knowledge and fun. Words can't express my gratitude to my parents, who have helped me to open a whole world of knowledge through 4-H; they have put much effort into getting me to the meetings and helping me plan. My project helpers and the many dear friends I have made through 4-H have enriched my life in so many ways. The knowledge 4-H has given me has helped to give me a well-rounded education. As I begin this my 10th, and one of my last years of my 4-H student career, I admonish kids and parents alike to get involved in this wonderful program. 4-H can help us explore the world that God made, and to further understand it. 4-H can make us better educated and more mature. 4-H is loads of fun and is a gateway to friendships. So I encourage you, get involved! Let 4-H help you do your best and learn to love learning.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hitchhikers in your Firewood?

From the US Forest Service's Forest Health Highlights from 2010:
The full report can be found by clicking HERE

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Organic EQIP Sign-Up Deadline is March 4

The 2011 sign-up for the EQIP Organic Initiative is now open. 
The deadline is March 4, 2011. 
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a US Department of Agriculture program that helps farmers and ranchers who want to protect natural resources on their farms. Producers can apply for funds and technical assistance through this program. EQIP has an Organic Initiative available only for organic agricultural producers and those transitioning to organic.

The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conservation program administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, an agency within USDA). EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to growers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. Through EQIP, NRCS develops contracts with agricultural producers to implement conservation practices that address environmental natural resource problems. Payments are made to producers once conservation practices are completed according to NRCS requirements. EQIP is open to applications from all agriculture producers, regardless of whether or not they are organic.

The EQIP Organic Initiative
In 2009, NRCS created the EQIP Organic Initiative, a targeted program in EQIP which provides financial and technical assistance specifically to existing organic farmers and to growers transitioning to organic production systems. The Organic Initiative funds conservation measures specific to organic production systems. USDA allocated $50 million for the Organic Initiative in 2010, and has the same amount for 2011. Sign-up for the 2011 Organic Initiative is open here in NC until March 4, 2011

In the Counties of Watauga and Ashe (North Carolina), our NRCS District Conservationist is David Tucker. He tells me that the best way to reach him is at the Jefferson USDA Service Center (336-246-8875, extension 2), between 8:00 AM and 8:30 AM. Because he works several Counties, his location after 8:30 AM will vary day to day, but the folks at the Jefferson USDA Service Center will be able to relay messages and provide further information.

Certified organic growers and those transitioning to organic can apply to both the regular EQIP and the EQIP Organic Initiative. The regular EQIP has higher payment limitations but is a much more competitive program. The EQIP Organic Initiative has lower payment limitations, but the pool of applicants will be smaller and less competitive. Visit the EQIP webpage on the NRCS website for more information on the non-organic EQIP.

The EQIP Organic Initiative is available to agricultural producers who are:
  • In the process of transitioning to organic.
  • Already certified organic (or exempt) and interested in transitioning more acreage to organic.
  • Already certified organic (or exempt) and interested in adopting conservation measures on their farm.
  • Already certified organic (or exempt) and interested in transitioning more acreage to organic AND adopting conservation measures on their farm.
*Also included are “exempt producers,” whose gross agricultural income from organic sales total $5,000 or less annually but who still comply with the applicable organic production, handling, and labeling requirements mandated for certified organic producers.
Other eligibility requirements include the following:
  • The applicant must be either an agricultural producer with at least $1,000 in farm income or a private, non-industrial owner of working forest land.
  • The applicant must be the owner or operator on record and must have documentable control over the land for the EQIP contract period.
  • The applicant's average annual adjusted gross income must not exceed $1 million, unless two-thirds of that income is from agriculture, ranching, or forestry operations.
  • The applicant is in compliance with provisions to protect highly erodible land and wetlands. For more information, read the NRCS webpage on these compliance provisions.
In 2009, the EQIP Organic Initiative had six core conservation practices related to organic farming. Producers applied to NRCS for financial and technical assistance for implementing these six practices on their farms. In addition to the six, some states offered facilitating practices for which producers could receive assistance.
This year, states must select which practices they will offer to growers under the initiative. States have until January 3, 2011 to decide which practices they will offer. NRCS Headquarters has provided state offices with a comparison chart identifying conservation practices that align with requirements of the National Organic Program. Contact your state NRCS office or your local NRCS Service Center to find out which practices your state will offer. 

State NRCS offices must develop payment schedules for each of the practices they offer through the Organic Initiative by January 3, 2011. In developing the FY 2010 Organic Initiative payment schedules, states must take into consideration increased costs and income foregone as a result of implementing a practice on an organic or transitioning operation.
Producers who receive contracts through the initiative will receive 75 percent of the cost of implementing the conservation practices. Beginning, socially disadvantaged, and limited resource farmers (those considered historically under-served by the USDA) will receive 90 percent of the cost of implementing the conservation practices.
Participants in the EQIP Organic Initiative can receive a maximum of $20,000 per year, and no more than $80,000 over six years. 

The Application Process
Producers interested in applying for the EQIP Organic Initiative should visit their local NRCS Service Center to begin the application process. Below are the basic steps for applying to the program. 

Please note that there are different requirements depending on whether you are a certified organic producer or are transitioning to organic production.

All applicants have to fill out a Conservation Program Application (form NRCS-CPA-1200). Applicants also need to establish a record with the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) at their local FSA Service Center, if they have not already done so. The FSA Service Centers are often in the same building as the NRCS Service Centers (this is true for both Watauga and Ashe Counties in NC). 

Certified organic producers must submit a copy of their current Organic System Plan and the name and contact information of the USDA-accredited certifying agent for their operation.

Producers transitioning organic production must submit a "self-certification" letter that states the applicant "agrees to develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an organic system plan." Transitioning producers must also have contacted a USDA-accredited certifying agent that you plan to certify with and provide NRCS with the name. The USDA National Organic Program has an online list of USDA-accredited certifying agents.

If you applied to the EQIP Organic Initiative in 2009 and your application was deferred, you will receive a letter from NRCS informing you of your options for 2010. If you do not receive a letter, please contact your local NRCS Service Center.

Although the application process for EQIP is continuous, NRCS establishes periodic deadlines (typically once a year) where they rank all of the applications they have received to determine who will get a contract. In North Carolina, this application deadline is March 4, 2011.

NRCS established two separate ranking pools for applications, one for transitioning farmers without any current certified organic production, and one for existing certified organic farmers who are either adding new transitional production or adopting new conservation measures on existing organic production.  In both cases, those in these special ranking pools will be competing only against applicants in the same pool, and will not compete with applicants in the much, much larger general EQIP pool.  

For More Information:
The EQIP Organic Initiative Guidance for 2011 (pdf) - This document is the instructions developed by the NRCS headquarters on how states must implement the 2010 EQIP Organic Initiative.

NC Choices-Carolina Meat Conference

NC Choices is hosting the First Annual Carolina Meat Conference. The conference is designed to bring together producers, processors, buyers and others interested in the meat industry for a weekend of workshops and discussions. These activities are designed to strengthen the meat rapidly growing regional meat industry. The dates for this conference are March 25-27 at the Cabarrus Arena and Event Center in Concord, North Carolina. To register visit www.carolinameatconference.com

Disappearing Water Trick

Most parking lots form puddles. As those puddles grow, gas, oil, trash, and other pollutants accumulate until the storm water flows into a storm drain and into a creek. But this does not happen at the new Casey and Casey Law Office parking lot in downtown Boone. In fact, when rainwater lands on this parking lot, it infiltrates and disappears from the surface! Pretty amazing! This is beneficial to the nearby creek because it cleans, cools, and slows the water down.

Under this permeable parking lot, there are layers of gravel and aggregates allowing the water to infiltrate before flowing into the creek. The parking lot is divided into three cells with varying depths of gravel and aggregates and data loggers embedded within. These loggers are collecting data every 10 minutes to determine how long the water is stored and temperatures, which is important information for trout streams. In the spring, water quality sampling will begin and continue for two years. With all this data, researchers from North Carolina State University will be able to determine which depth of aggregates and gravel are most efficient for purifying and cooling the rainwater. This information can be used by permeable parking lot engineers nationwide!

This research project was funded through the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund and made possible with the following partners; Casey and Casey Law Offices, National Committee for the New River, North Carolina State University, Brushy Fork Environmental Consulting, Watauga County Cooperative Extension, Town of Boone, and Belgard Hardscapes. For more information on permeable pavers or stormwater, contact Wendy Patoprsty at the Watauga County Cooperative Extension.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Regional Christmas Tree Marketing Conference

Happening Feb. 18 8:30AM - 4:30PM

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service presents the 3rd Annual Regional Christmas Tree Marketing Conference happening Friday, February 18th from 8:30AM - 4:30PM at the Watauga Agricultural Conference Center in Boone. A snow date is scheduled for Friday, Feb, 25th in case of inclement weather. This conference is designed to provide small and mid-sized growers with strategies for reaching new customers and improving customer retention. This year collaborative marketing, social media, international marketing, value-added products, and pre-sale programs will be explored. Speakers include Extension agents and specialists as well as private industry marketing and tourism professionals. Registration is $ 15 per person and includes lunch. Please contact the Watauga Cooperative Extension Service by February 15th to register: 828-264-3061.

Got Trees???

School Garden Meeting

Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Breeds Of Poultry For The High Country


Standard Weights: Cock 6 lbs., Hen 4 ½ lbs., Cockerel 5 lbs., Pullet 4 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: White

Use: An egg-type chicken, Leghorns figured in the development of most of our modern egg-type strains.
Origin: Leghorns take their name from the city of Leghorn, Italy, where they are considered to have originated.

Characteristics: A small, spry, noisy bird with great style, Leghorns like to move about. They are good foragers and can often glean much of their diet from ranging over fields and barnyards. Leghorns are capable of considerable flight and often roost in trees if given the opportunity. Leghorns and their descendants is the most numerous breed we have in America today. The Leghorn has relatively large head furnishings (comb and wattles) and is noted for egg production. Leghorns rarely go broody.

Contact: American Brown Leghorn Club
Don Schrider
13794 Hollowell Church Road
Waynseboro, PA 17268

Varieties: Single Comb Dark Brown, Single Comb Light Brown,
Rose Comb Dark Brown, Rose Comb Light Brown,
Single Comb White, Rose Comb White, Single Comb
Buff, Rose Comb Buff, Single Comb Black, Single
Comb Silver, Single Comb Red, Single Comb Black
Tailed Red, Single Comb Columbian


Standard Weights: Cock 8 ½ lbs., Hen 6 ½ lbs., Cockerel 7 ½
lbs., Pullet 5 ½ lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown

Use: Meat or Eggs.

Origin: America. The Silver Laced variety was developed in New York State and the others in the north and northeastern states in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th century.

Characteristics: Wyandottes is a medium-weight fowl for small family flocks kept under rugged conditions. Their rose combs do not freeze as easily as single combs and the hens make good mothers. Their attractive “curvy” shape, and many attractive color patterns make them a good choice for fanciers as well as farmers. They generally have a good disposition. Common faults include narrow backs, undersized individuals and relatively poor hatches. Also, it is not uncommon to see single combed offspring come from rose-combed parents. These single combed descendants of Wyandottes should not be kept as breeders.

Contacts: Wyandotte Breeders of America
District 5 Director
Jesse Paul
Dade City, Fl

Varieties: White, Buff, Columbian, Golden Laced, Blue,
Silver Laced, Silver Penciled, Partridge, Black

Rhode Island Red

Standard Weights: Cock 8½ lbs., Hen 6½ lbs., Cockerel 7½ lbs., Pullet 5½ lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Varieties: Single Comb, Rose Comb
Use: A dual-purpose medium heavy fowl; used more for eggs than meat production because of its dark colored pinfeathers and its good rate of lay.
Origin: Developed in the New England states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, early flocks often had both single and rose combed individuals because of the influence of Malay blood. It was from the Malay that the Rhode Island Red got its deep color, strong constitution and relatively hard feathers.

Characteristics: Rhode Island Reds are a good choice for a small flock owner. Relatively hardy, they are probably the best egg layers of the dual-purpose breeds. Reds handle marginal diets and poor housing conditions better than other breeds and still continue to produce eggs. They are one of the breeds where exhibition qualities and production ability can be successfully combined in a single strain. Some “Red” males may be quite aggressive. They have rectangular, relatively long bodies, typically dark red in color. Avoid using medium or brick red in color for breeding because this is not in keeping with the characteristics of the breed. Also, don’t breed from undersized individuals or birds with black in their body feathers (smut). Black in the main tail and wing feathers is normal.

Contact: Rhode Island Red Club of America
Mike Hawkins
5963 Dwady Drive
Miami, AZ 85539

Plymouth Rock

Standard Weights: Cock 9½ lbs., Hen 7½ lbs., Cockerel 8 lbs., Pullet 6 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Use: Meat and Eggs

Origin: Developed in America in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. Several individuals claimed its invention, using crosses of Dominique, Java, Cochin, and perhaps Malay and Dorking, The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties developed later. The breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken; hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat. Early in its development, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird, but as more varieties were developed, it became the designation for the breed. The Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry in the 1920’s, and the White Rock continues to be used as the female side of the commercial broiler cross.

Characteristics: Plymouth Rocks are a good general farm chicken. They are docile; normally will show broodiness; posses a long, broad back; a moderately deep, full breast and a single comb of moderate size. Some strains are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They usually make good mothers. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. Some males and hens are big and active enough to be quite a problem if they become aggressive. Common faults include shallow breast, high tails, narrow bodies and small size.

Contact: Plymouth Rock Fanciers of America
Robert Blosl
14390 South Blvd.
Silverhill Al 36576

Varieties: Barred, White, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Blue, and Columbian


Standard Weights: Cock 8½ lbs., Hens 6½ lbs., Cockerel 7½ lbs., Pullets 5½ lbs.
Skin Color: White
Egg Shell Color: Brown

Use: Generally a very good egg producer with a fairly meaty body of intermediate size.

Origin: The Australorp was developed in Australia from Black Orpington stock. It is smaller than the Orpington with a trimmer appearance.

Characteristics: Australorps have intense beetle-green sheen on the black birds, dark eyes, deep bodies and are very attractive. They are one of the best dual purpose fowls, having gained attention in the 1930’s and ‘40s by being one side of the successful AustaWhite cross. This cross of Australorp X White Leghorn became the successor to purebred breeds on many midwestern farms. Broodiness was a problem with the cross and some markets discounted the tinted eggs they laid. Therefore, it soon fell victim to the inbred hybrid crosses of “Hyline” and “Dekalb.” Australorps are good egg producers and hold the world’s record for egg production with one hen having laid 364 eggs in 365 days under official Australian trap nest testing.

Contact: American Australorp Breeders
278 County Road CNA
Champion, MI 49814


Standard Weights: Cock 11 lbs., Hen 9½ lbs., Cockerel 10 lbs., Pullet 8 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Varieties: Light, Dark, Buff
Use: A very heavy fowl for the production of heavy roasters or capons. Fair egg layers.

Origin: The ancestry of the Brahma traces back to China although much of their development took place in the U.S. between 1850 and 1890.

Characteristics: Good Brahmas are beautiful, stately birds. Their large size and gentle nature combined with intricate color patterns makes them favorites for the country estate. The Brahma’s appearance in the showroom never fails to command the admiration of one and all. These qualities have made them a favorite with showmen and fanciers. Brahmas do go broody and are fairly good mothers. Their small comb and wattles, together with profuse feathering and well-feathered shanks and toes enable them to stand cold temperatures very well. The relatively slow rate of growth and long time required to reach maturity have caused Brahmas to be passed by as a commercial fowl.

Contact: American Brahma Club
Doris Robinson Secretary
Zipperer Rd.
Bradenton, Fl 34202


Standard Weights: Cock 10 lbs., Hen 8 lbs., Cockerel 8½ lbs., Pullet 7 lbs.
Skin Color: White
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Use: A heavy dual-purpose fowl for the production of both meat and eggs.

Origin: Orpingtons were developed in England at the town of Orpington in Kent County during the 1880’s. They were brought to America in the 1890’s and gained in popularity very rapidly, based on their excellence as a meat bird. As the commercial broiler and roaster market developed, the Orpington lost out partly because of its white skin.

Characteristics: Orpingtons are heavily but loosely feathered, appearing massive. Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. They exist only in solid colors; are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations; and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together. They are a good general use fowl.

Contact: unitedorpingtonclub.com


Standard Weights: Cock 11 lbs., Hen 8½ lbs., Cockerel 9 lbs., Pullet 7 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Use: Mainly an ornamental fowl, but their ability as mothers is widely recognized and Cochins are frequently used as foster mothers for game birds and other species.

Origin: Cochins came originally from China but underwent considerable development in the U.S. and now are found and admired in many parts of the world.

Characteristics: Cochins are literally big, fluffy balls of feathers. They are mainly kept as an ornamental fowl and are well suited to close confinement. The profuse leg and foot feathering makes it desirable to confine Cochins on wet days and where yards become muddy to keep the birds from becoming mired or collecting balls of mud on their feet. They exhibit extremely persistent broodiness, are good mothers and are intense layers for short periods of time.

Contact: Cochins International
Jamie Matta
283 State Hwy 235
Harpursville, NY 13787


Standard Weights: Cock 7 lbs., Hens 5 lbs., Cockerels 6 lbs., Pullets 4 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Light to Dark Brown
Use: Meat and Eggs

Origin: The Dominique breed developed from the fowl introduced during the early settlement of New England. These were the type predominating in the south of England and from which the Sussex and Dorking descended. This stock was widely distributed in the Eastern half of the U.S. by the mid 19th century. The breed was generally known as Dominiques except in the region of origin where they were known as Plymouth Rock and occasionally as Pilgrim Fowls. The differentiation between Plymouth Rock and Dominique was not made until 1870 when the management of the New York state poultry show ruled that only one rose combed fowl of intermediate size could compete as Dominiques, and that all medium and large single combed fowl of this color would be know as Pymouth Rocks. A small single combed bird of this color was called a Dominique Leghorn.

Characteristics: Dominiques have many advantages besides their handsome appearance. They are hardy, do well on open range as well as in confinement, and are generally calm by nature and are easy to work with and show. They hatch well, are early feathering, mature young, and are of moderate size.

Contact: The American Livestock Breed Conservancy
Box 477
Pittsboro NC 27312

Stunning Fish

I had the opportunity to sample fish in a stream with the Wildlife Resources Commission last week.  This is something they do on a regular basis to keep tabs on the ecological balance of the surface waters across the state.  The quantities and types of species found is important information because the fish present tell a story about the aquatic system.   Some fish eat plants or algae, some are predators, but no matter what their adaption, they all fill a niche in the creek.

At first the method used to collect the fish certainly feels strange; sending electrical current into the water to stun the fish, crayfish and salamanders for a few seconds.   It seems too easy.  They float belly up making it easy to capture every species in the creek.  They are netted and then placed in a bucket where they “come to” in a few seconds.  This method allows the Resource Biologist to analyze the creeks diversity and rate streams health.  

While on the creek, we stopped at a place where it was obvious that all the neighborhood dogs spent a lot of time there.  You could tell because of all the piles of dog poop that had been left in the floodplain.  It was like walking in a land mine.   So I started thinking about all of the dog poop that washes into our streams.  YUCK! Know what’s even grosser than that? Swimming in, fishing from, and drinking water that has dog poop in it!

Pet waste left on the ground, especially near streets and sidewalks, gets washed into storm drains and drainage ditches which flow to the local waterway. This water, called runoff, does not get cleaned or treated along the way, so anything that goes into the storm drain or ditch goes into the water.  Bacteria, parasites, and viruses found in pet waste can be harmful to water quality and human health.

When you think about how many people own dogs, the pollution can really build up. Don’t worry; nobody has to give up his or her pooch! Pet owners can improve water quality by picking up after their pets and throwing their pet’s waste into a trashcan.  Not only is picking up after you pooch the neighborly thing to do, it’s the healthy thing to do… for you and the environment!

I was happy to find fish in the creek with the Wildlife Resource Commission and am glad they take the time to monitor and stock our streams.   But it is up to each one of us to take responsibility for our actions to keep our local waterways clean!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Free Radon Test Kits! (No, this isn't an infomercial!)

Now Available: We now have free Radon Test Kits available for home radon testing--compliments of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. As you may or may not know, Watauga County has one of the highest average Radon levels in North Carolina. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer. There is lots of information out there at http://www.ncradon.org

You're welcome to come by and pick up a free radon test kit at our office on 971 W. King Street or call 828.264.3061 for more information.