Friday, April 18, 2014

Greening My Plate Week April 27th – May 4th

It’s time to celebrate spring and our growing season during Greening My Plate week, leading up to the opening day of the Watauga County Farmers’ market on May 3rd. Over a dozen community events will take place from April 27th – May 4th, including a farm tour with greens being harvested by high school students, a greens culinary contest and tasting at the high school, film viewings, educational workshops, children’s book readings and activities, and even county and town proclamations for Greening My Plate Week.  Events have been organized by a coalition of non-profits and individuals, the Greening My Plate Gang. This coalition is dedicated to improving the economic and personal health of our community by encouraging the consumption of fresh, locally produced food.

Wednesday, April 23, 2 pm
Medicinal Herb Speaker: David Cozzo
ASU Living Learning Center
Free and open to the public

Saturday, April 26, 8 am
New Life Farm Workday

Sunday, April 27, 3 – 5 pm
Seasonal Cocktail Workshop
Cobo Sushi Bistro and Bar
$30 donation

Tuesday, April 29, 11:30 am
Seed Planting and Meet Mr. and Mrs. Spring
Watauga County Library

Tuesday, April 29, 7 pm
ASU Sustainability Film Series:
A Place at the Table
IG Greer Auditorium
Free and open to the public

Wednesday, April 30, 12 – 3 pm
Dig Into Local Fair
ASU Sanford Mall

Wednesday, April 30, 7 pm
Film showing: Eating Alabama
FARM Café, King Street
Free and open to the public

Thursday, May 1, 11:30 am
Vermiculture for Kids, Meet Wiggle the Worm
Watauga County Library

Thursday, May 1, 5:30 pm
Learning Garden Teacher Training
ASU Child Development Center

Saturday, May 3, 9 – 12 pm
Kids’ Corner at Watauga County Farmers’ Market

Saturday, May 3, 1 – 3 pm
Mozzarella Cheese Making Workshop
Agricultural Conference Center
$15 donation

Sunday, May 4, 6 pm
S.E.A.M. Participatory Dinner
Basil’s Fresh Pasta and Deli
$30 per plate donation

For more information, check out

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Childhood Leisure a Thing of the Past?

It’s time for spring break!  What will your kids be doing with their time away from school?  Whether your children will be traveling or staying at home, the simple opportunity for free play can be a gift. 

Are youth losing time for free play?  It seems that young people are more likely to be in structured, supervised activities.  According to Melman, over the past 20 years, youth have faced a 25% decrease in playtime and 50% decrease in outdoor activities.  Less free time and leisure activities and overscheduling may lead to increased anxiety and stress.  That does not mean we want to entirely give up structured activities, but discern how much is too much and work to create balance.  

While we may be pushing for academic achievement and other structured activities, a play break could help out in our endeavors more than we realize.  Play is cited as an integral part of child development, helping increase cognitive and academic success, building social skills and self-esteem,  fostering emotional strength, helping youth explore the natural world and more.   If we take a play break, we actually boost our learning.  So, while a week’s break is great, how can we add breaks and free time into our regular schedules?

May you allow space for free time and play during spring break and beyond.

For more thoughts on the benefits of play, see here:

Monday, April 7, 2014

4-H Fruit Plant Sale

It is not too late to get fruit plants with the 4-H fruit plant sale.  Plants will be on-hand Friday, April 11 from 12:00-6:00 and Saturday, April 12 from 9:30-12:30 at the Agricultural Conference Center on 252 Poplar Grove Road.   Blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry plants are available, as well as heritage apple trees.   You can still reserve your berries before Friday, or drop in Friday afternoon or Saturday morning to see what is still available.  For more information about the varieties, see here:

or download information here