Monday, January 28, 2013

Volunteers Plant Buffer in Bethel

Appalachian State University Students got involved with water quality protection this winter when they installed 500 live stakes along Rubes creek in Bethel.  This was part of the Watauga River Partners grant they received in 2011 to improve fishing and water quality in the Beaverdam Watershed.  Collaborating with the Watauga County Cooperative Extension and Watauga County Soil and Water, the Watauga River Partners are working with landowners to fence livestock out of streams, plant native plants along the creeks, and provide alternate watering sources, and other agricultural best management practices on farms in the watershed.

Live stakes are cuttings from native plants that will grow into beautiful shrubs providing habitat, shade, and bank stabilization for years to come.  Since Rubes creek is a designated trout stream, temperature moderation is very important.  These plants will not only provide shelter for wildlife but also cool mountain water for the trout.   For more information or to get involved with river protection contact the Watauga River Partners at or contact the Watauga County Cooperative Extension,, or Watauga County Soil and Water Conservation District

Backyard Stream Repair Workshop

Is your backyard stream washing away? Here's your chance to learn more about sustainable backyard stream-repair solutions to reduce erosion and return stream banks to a healthy, attractive state. Attendees will have the opportunity to watch, ask questions, and even install plants that stabilize and beautify a stream bank.

When: March 27, 2013 from 9 am to 3:30 pm (snow date is April 3)
Where:  Newland Volunteer Fire Dept - 342 Estatoa Ave. Newland, NC 28657
Cost: $25 includes lunch 
Who Should Attend: homeowners, local government personnel, landscapers, utility workers, park managers
9:00 a.m.Registration
9:30Classroom discussion of problems and solutions
12:00 p.m.Lunch (provided)
1:00Field Demonstrations of Streambank Repair
This workshop is sponsored by the NC Cooperative Extension, NCSU Biological and Agricultural Engineering Dept, the Town of Newland, and Avery County.  
Questions?  Contact Wendy Patoprsty at 828-264-3061 or email

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

IRS Provides Penalty Relief to Farmers and Fishermen

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it will issue guidance in the near future to provide relief from the estimated tax penalty for farmers and fishermen unable to file and pay their 2012 taxes by the March 1 deadline due to the delayed start for filing tax returns. 

The delay stems from this month’s enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA). The ATRA affected several tax forms that are often filed by farmers and fishermen, including the Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization (Including Information on Listed Property).  These forms will require extensive programming and testing of IRS systems, which will delay the IRS’s ability to accept and process these forms.  The IRS is providing this relief because delays in the agency’s ability to accept and process these forms may affect the ability of many farmers and fishermen to file and pay their taxes by the March 1 deadline. The relief applies to all farmers and fishermen, not only those who must file late released forms.

Normally, farmers and fishermen who choose not to make quarterly estimated tax payments are not subject to a penalty if they file their returns and pay the full amount of tax due by March 1. Under the guidance to be issued, farmers or fishermen who miss the March 1 deadline will not be subject to the penalty if they file and pay by April 15, 2013. A taxpayer qualifies as a farmer or fisherman for tax-year 2012 if at least two-thirds of the taxpayer’s total gross income was from farming or fishing in either 2011 or 2012.

Farmers and fishermen requesting this penalty waiver must attach Form 2210-F to their tax return. The form can be submitted electronically or on paper. The taxpayer’s name and identifying number should be entered at the top of the form, the waiver box (Part I, Box A) should be checked, and the rest of the form should be left blank. Forms, instructions, and other tax assistance are available on

Monday, January 14, 2013

Horse Group Forming

Love horses?  A 4-H horse group is in the process of forming.  An informational meeting is targeted for Tuesday, January 29 at 6:00 at the  Agricultural Conference Center.  Parents and children of all ages can join us for a fun meeting with activities for kids.   For more information and to confirm the meeting, contact Watauga County 4-H at 264-3061 or
There is so much you can do through the 4-H horse program.  Check here for a listing of some of the programs. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

High Country Winegrower’s Association Viticulture Educational Series

The High Country Winegrower’s Association is proud to announce the Viticulture Educational Series. Beginning in February, 2013, the series shall consist of 12 class meeting and 2 field days. The classes will cover all aspects of growing wine grapes on a commercial basis. Topics to be covered are: Cost & returns of vineyard establishment, vineyard site selection, wine grape varieties, pruning & training, canopy management, disease & insect management, wildlife deterrence, time to pick? And grape contracts.

The viticulture series will cost $100 per person, this will include text book (Wine grape production guide for eastern north America) and all handout materials. Participants, who attend 90% of the classes and pass an after course quiz, will be awarded a certificate suitable for framing. Upon completion of this viticulture series an attendee will be able to find a suitable site for a commercial vineyard, pick suitable grape varieties, manage grape vine growth, choose trellis system, pest management, grape sale marketing and know when to pick.

The viticulture class will be held at the Watauga County Cooperative Extension downstairs offices, located at 971 west King St. Boone, NC. Time of class will be 6 to 9pm on Monday nights, twice per month, February thru June (dates to be posted). Gill Giese will be the instructor for these classes.

The Viticulture Educational Series is made possible by Specialty Crop grant from a USDA program funded by the 2008 farm bill, administered by NCDA&CS and the High Country Winegrower’s Association with administration by PHARMN (Preserving Heritage Agriculture, Regional Markets Now) Goodness Grows in NC.

Sign up date is January 28, 2013 at 7 to 8pm, you will receive your book and class syllabus. Class dates: Feb 11, 25 ; March 11, 25 ; April 8, 22 ; May 13, 27 ; June 10, 24

Thursday, January 10, 2013

NC Cooperative Extension offers Healthy Cooking Classes on Saturdays

Learn cooking skills that boost flavor and the nutritional power of food. Optimal nourishment helps control food cravings and weight, plus supports athletic performance.
On Saturday, February 2nd from 10 -12:30, we will make vegetarian patties from scratch, cook French fries without the fat, and learn yummy ways to prepare cancer preventing greens. Many of the recipes are vegan and gluten-free.
On Saturday, February 9th from 10 – 12:30, we will learn ways to prepare lean proteins: fish, tempeh and tofu. We’ll cook a couple of yummy vegetable recipes and then prepare the grain quinoa.
Offered by two moms with their teen-age daughters, children 12 and older are welcome. Charge is $10 per person for each class, and includes lunch. Classes to be held at Agricultural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Rd., Boone. Space is limited, so register in advance by calling 264-3061 and paying at NC Cooperative Extension, 971 West King St, Boone. May send check by mail.