Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Maple Syrup House Tour

When I think of maple syrup, Canada and New England usually come to mind.  Did you know that maple syrup is being processed right here in the high county?  If you would like to learn more about Maple trees and the process of making maple syrup, we will host an event on Friday March 7th to give you that opportunity.  We will meet at the Watauga Agriculture Conference center at 9:00, where we will have a brief lesson on the biology of the maple tree and other trees that are tapped for their sugar.  Next we will head to Ashe County to tour Sugartree’s Finest Maple Syrup House.  We will look at both traditional and modern methods of collecting and transporting sap.  Then we will see how it is processed into bottled maple syrup.  It will be worth the trip just to smell the syrup boiling.  There is limited space inside the syrup house so we will limit the trip to 15 people.  If more than 15 are interested we can make another trip at a later date.  Please RSVP by calling the Watauga Extension office at 828-264-3061 or email Paige Patterson at  Transportation will be available for 6 people on a first come first serve basis, others will need to caravan to the site, which is approximately 25 miles from the Watauga Extension Office.  We should be done with our tour by 12:00.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Parenting can be a challenging process that is anything from perfect. At times (or many times)  we get into ruts or experience difficulties. Sometimes we need to hit the parental re-set button. It helps to take a step back and reflect on how we interacting.   Reminders of the good old basics, like parental warmth can be helpful. Parental warmth has been shown to positively influence youth in many areas, such as academic achievement, eating habits and health, self-esteem, and psychosocial well-being, and is even associated with reduced substance use. Warmth includes positive, supportive, and responsive interactions rather than reactive reactions. Other key words include affection, acceptance, showing concern, and providing encouragement. Research also shows that warmth from other figures in the lives of youth make a positive difference as well.

When considering parental warmth, it is useful to reflect on what is not warmth: rejection, criticism, and hostility.

For some reminders on interacting with warmth and encouragement, see these reources:

This article on Family Checkup: Positive Parenting lists five important parenting skills: encouragement, communication, negotiation, setting limits, and supervision.

More on parental encouragement

Communicating and Connecting with teens

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Watauga Extension Service to Host Reception and Presentation

Watauga Cooperative Extension Service will host a reception and presentation on February 25th at 6:00 pm at the Agriculture Conference Center, at 352 Poplar Grove Road in Boone.  We will begin with a reception where you can meet our new Consumer Horticulture Agent, Paige Patterson.  After the reception Paige will do a presentation on ways to add winter interest to your garden.  The Watauga Extension Service will be offering Master Gardener training classes this spring.  This event would be a great time to discuss taking part in the training, as well as an opportunity for current Master Gardener volunteers to regroup and plan volunteer activities for the coming gardening season.