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  • Pizza Farm

    first_imgThere’s nothing exotic about a pizza, but for many students the origins of their favorite slice — the stalks of wheat or the dairy cow that produces milk for mozzarella — might as well be from another planet. Recently, more than 800 Metro Atlanta elementary school students got a behind the scenes look at where pizza comes from at University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s Pizza Farm. UGA Extension and Georgia Department of Agriculture officials hosted the end-of-year field trip at the State Farmers Market in Forest Park as a way to help urban and suburban children make the connection between agriculture and the food on their plates.They learned how wheat plants are processed into flour to make pizza dough and were able to examine tomato plants and taste and smell the herbs that go into pizza sauce. The students also saw a dairy cow and learn how much feed and water she needs to make the milk that is used to make cheese.Food doesn’t just come from the grocery store “A lot of young people don’t have agriculture in their backgrounds, and they really don’t understand where their food comes from,” said Beverly Sparks, associate dean for Extension at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “I think events like this really help them realize that food does not come from the grocery store. In an event like this we’re helping them understand what all it takes to produce a pizza.”Kisha Faulk, a UGA Extension agent in Fulton County, helped lead the charge to develop a agricultural awareness curriculum for the program. “There is a lot to learn from a pizza,” Faulk said. “By walking through the parts of the pizza, you can learn about the dairy cows that we have here in Georgia, the wheat that we grow here and use in our mills. We have information about tomatoes and herbs that we use in sauce. And we even have live animals, that we use for our toppings.”Diet and exercise are keyIn addition to learning more about what it takes to produce the food that is sold in restaurants and the grocery store, they also learned how a pizza fits into the My Plate dietary guideline for proper nutrition. They also learned the importance of exercise and fun ways to get active through a dance party. Getting students interested in where their food comes from can help make them more interested in nutrition in general and hopefully more apt to make healthier decisions about food, Faulk said. The teachers who brought their students said Pizza Farm was a fun and educational way to wind down the school year, with one calling it the best field trip that she and her class had taken. Adults learned, tooState Senator Valencia Seay, who represents Clayton County, visited the Pizza Farm along with elementary school students from her district. She said she identified with the young people at the farmers’ market. Growing up in in-town Atlanta, Seay had no experience with farming when she was first elected to the George House of Representatives in 2001 and was immediately assigned to the agriculture committee. “Coming out of the city of Atlanta, being a city child, I was never around farming,” said Seay. “I was never around animals. That was not a part of who I was, but I was determined to find out more about what drives the state of Georgia. And today I’m so excited to have Pizza Farm Day here at the Georgia State Farmers market in Senate District 34.”Faulk and the rest of the team who put on the exhibition are already planning next year’s event. They hope to expand the event and invite even more students to the Pizza Farm. “The part of the Pizza Farm that I love the best is just the pure excitement when kids are going through the different stations,” Faulk said. “We are so busy in the urban center that we miss out on some of the simple things in life and on some of the important things that make us healthy and happy.” For more information on UGA Extension in your county, call 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more

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  • Mexican paloverde

    first_imgI’ll never forget that rare cold morning at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas. Monarchs and queen butterflies — cousin butterflies — were roosting in the retama trees waiting for the sun to warm them for flight. I had already fallen in love with the trees’ flashy display of thousands of yellow blooms, but also the green bark that seemed so prevalent.Retama means “broom” in Spanish, but the green bark gives it another common name: Mexican paloverde, or green tree. I love both names, but officially its name is “Jerusalem thorn.” It has nothing to do with Israel, and the thorns in the tree are not a reference to Christ or the Crucifixion. According to the University of Texas at Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the name comes from a corruption of the Portuguese and Spanish word “girasol,” which means “turning to the sun.”Like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, I’ll use paloverde. The paloverde is known botanically as “Parkinsonia aculeata” and is native from central Texas, west to Arizona and south through Mexico, actually reaching South America. The U.S. Department of Agriculture map shows distribution and establishment throughout the South, including Georgia and South Carolina.Historic Southern landscapes are rich with allées such as those picturesque, old plantations lined with a garden walk or avenue of stately live oaks. At the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia, we have a crape myrtle allée, and at the National Butterfly Center, we had a paloverde allée. Both are rewarding in their performance and classic design.Right now at the Coastal Botanical Gardens, our paloverde trees are putting on quite a show. They are completely covered in blossoms. The flowers have five yellow petals, but one petal has a honey gland and turns an orange-red, giving the blooms a distinctive bicolored look. It is doubtful that we will ever find butterflies roosting in the fall like I saw at the National Butterfly Center, but I can tell you that our paloverde blooms are swarming with pollinators of all types.The paloverde is about as tough of a tree as you can grow. Should the drought be so severe that it defoliates the tree, the stems and bark take up the task of photosynthesis, hence the green bark and stems. This also happens when cold causes the leaves to fall. The paloverde is cold hardy in zones 8 and warmer. As a point of reference, they are growing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and are part of the Texas A&M Earth-Kind Landscaping program.The Coastal Botanical Gardens’ oldest specimen is planted in the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden and is probably the only place in the world where you can see the bright yellow flowers of a paloverde against a backdrop of red foliage from a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple. We have also been planting some in the new Sun Garden.Paloverde trees will reach around 15 feet in height, possibly 25 feet. They are graceful in their pendulous state, but do remember that they are armed with spines. Select a site that is well-drained and receives almost full sun. They do not require or want a rich, moist soil and are capable of surviving on 12 inches of rain a year. Luxuriant, moist soil can lead to rampant reseeding. It has not been a problem in Savannah. This is a fine tree for those in zones 8-11 who are looking for both drought and salt tolerance.Follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org.last_img read more

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  • Fairy Rings

    first_imgMany residents have noticed mushrooms popping up in lawns and landscapes this season. When the “fungus among us” forms a circle or arc pattern, it’s commonly known as a fairy ring. According to medieval folklore, they were thought to appear after a band of fairies had danced in a circle. In some cases, fairy ring mushrooms can cause turfgrass discoloration or abnormal growth in lawns.More than 50 different mushroom species can cause fairy rings. Fairy ring mushrooms are decomposers that grow in soil with high levels of organic matter and in areas where trees were recently removed. Old tree stumps, logs and roots that are buried in the soil begin to decay and are colonized by various mushrooms.Growths of fairy ring fungi begin in the center of a ring (e.g., near a tree stump) and expand outward in a uniform, circular pattern over time. Mushrooms might only be visible during periods of wet weather, particularly in the fall.Fairy rings can grow as large as 15 feet in diameter and cause the grass to have a different color or texture than the grass outside the ring. Half arcs or semicircular ring patterns can also occur. Depending on the conditions, grass with fairy rings can be denser, greener and faster growing, or browner and drier than surrounding grass.The good news is that fairy ring mushrooms do not typically cause the grass to die in home lawns. These mushrooms are mainly viewed as a nuisance and will often disappear as weather conditions change. Waiting for them to disappear naturally is usually the best approach. However, they may reappear during the next rainy season or return for many years, depending on how much wood or organic debris is buried in the soil.If you want to try to manage fairy ring mushrooms, spraying a fungicide is typically not effective. Consider routine core aeration of your lawn, which can improve drainage and reduce thatch buildup that harbor fungi. Fall is an excellent time to aerate tall fescue lawns.In some cases, fairy rings cause the lawn to form a dense, green ring of grass due to the decay of organic matter. In this situation, adding nitrogen to the surrounding lawn can help green up your grass and mask symptoms of the problem.Mushrooms can be concerning if you have small children or pets that might accidentally eat them. Discourage children and pets from eating mushrooms, as they may be poisonous. I taught my son at a young age that mushrooms are fun and interesting to look at, but we should never touch or eat them unless they come from a grocery store. The majority of mushrooms might not be lethal, but they could cause severe gastrointestinal distress.If mushrooms are problematic, consider raking or hand removing the mushrooms with gloves and disposing them in the garbage.For more information, see University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Bulletin 1233, “Turfgrass Diseases in Georgia: Identification and Control.”last_img read more

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  • Lawless Water

    first_imgDear EarthTalk: The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to strip the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its authority over state water quality. Why did they do this, what are the ramifications and what do leading green groups have to say about it?   — Joseph Emory, York, PAThe legislation in question, the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011 (H.R. 2018), passed the House of Representatives this past July with strong support from Republicans and will likely be voted on by the Senate in the Fall. It aims to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (also known as the Clean Water Act (CWA) in order to give authority over water quality standards back to the states.The bill’s backers—including most House Republicans and lobbyists for the mountaintop coal mining industry and factory animal farms—claim it will bring jobs to Appalachia and other distressed regions of the country where they say economic growth has been crippled by stringent environmental regulations. The bill would prevent the EPA from overruling decisions made by state regulatory agencies. “By second-guessing and inserting itself into the states’…standards and permitting decisions, EPA has upset the long-standing balance between federal and state partners in regulating the nation’s waters, and undermined the system of cooperative federalism established under the CWA in which the primary responsibilities for water pollution control are allocated to the states,” says GOP.gov, the website of the Republican majority in Congress. “EPA’s actions have created an atmosphere of regulatory uncertainty for the regulated community, and have had a chilling effect on the nation’s economy and job creation.”But those opposed to the bill, including the White House and many Congressional Democrats, say that its provisions would undermine stringent federal water quality protections some four decades in the making.“H.R. 2018 could limit efforts to safeguard communities by removing the Federal Government’s authority to take action when State water quality standards are not protective of public health,” said the White House after the bill passed in the House by a count of 239-184. Such changes, they added, could adversely impact public health and the environment through increased pollution and degradation of water bodies that provide drinking water, recreation and tourism opportunities, and habitat for fish and wildlife.For their part, environmental groups couldn’t agree more. “Make no mistake: This bill would take the environmental cop off the beat and put at risk drinking water for millions of people, the habitat for scores of wildlife, and the jobs and economic growth that depends on a safer, cleaner environment,” said Larry Schweiger of the non-profit National Wildlife Federation, adding that, if enacted, the bill would take us “back to a time when rivers caught fire because of rampant pollution.” 1 2last_img read more

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  • NCUA approves small credit union threshold proposal

    first_imgby: Nicholas BallasyThe NCUA Board approved a proposal to raise the definition of a small credit union from assets less than $50 million to assets less than $100 million at the agency’s board meeting Thursday.Board Member Mark McWatters supported the proposal but said he preferred raising the asset threshold to less than $250 million.The NCUA said it estimated the proposed change would allow an additional 745 credit unions to receive consideration for regulatory relief under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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  • Cornerstone Foundation tells CUs 3 keys to financial literacy

    first_imgEmbracing financial education programs leads to many positive returns for credit unions because they’re seen as do-gooders in the community. Financial education advocates, like Executive Director Courtney Moran of the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation, says it exemplifies the credit union motto.“By providing financial education—what some would view as an above-and-beyond service—you’re creating lifelong members; together building a foundation based on trust,” said Moran. “It’s no small thing to entrust strangers with your funds, while also taking cues on how to spend, save, and share their hard-earned monies. Caring and honoring your members’ well-being truly exemplifies the People Helping People philosophy.”Kathryn Greiner, director of credit union education at University Credit Union in Ann Arbor, agrees that financial education is a win-win. “You get more hugs and people love your credit union,” says Greiner. “Members won’t want to cause a loss because they’re very dependent on the wonderful support and service they get.”Greiner and other financial counseling advocates recently shared their experiences and three keys to successful financial education programs in a CUNA webinar, “Successful Financial Counseling and Education Programs.”1. Make it SimpleSuccessful financial education programs teach people how to help themselves, says Greiner, who aims primarily to simplify budgeting. She works with troubled members on a budget analysis that lists income, base living expenses, and debts. Together, they develop a monthly spending plan, which she emails to the members so they can implement the process. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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  • American tourist goes missing while diving in Ambon Bay

    first_imgAntoni said the couple had been in Ambon since March and had not been able to go back to the United States due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.Pool, Lakien’s husband, said both of them were diving instructors and had come to Ambon on a vacation as they could not return to their home country yet.He explained that, when the incident happened on Friday, bad weather struck as they were about to dive. Not long after that, the bad weather died down, and at 9 a.m. Kevin decided to dive first, before his wife.An hour later, he said, his wife had joined him. Later, Pool reportedly rose to the surface and waited for Lakien on their yacht, called Aquabago, but after several hours, she was still missing. He then called for help from local authorities.Djunaidi, head of the Ambon Search and Rescue Office, said his office had been alerted and set out on a rescue effort at 1:39 p.m. with the help of local residents.The search was suspended due to bad weather and resumed on Saturday.On Saturday, Djunaidi said, a joint team of 20 professional divers from the Indonesian Navy, the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) in Ambon, the Maluku Police’s water and air unit (Polairud) and a diving association was deployed to search for Lakien.The divers were divided into three teams with a focus on the location where Lakien was reported missing.“We added personnel on the second day because of the changing currents and weather conditions,” he said, adding that the search was still ongoing. (syk)Topics : An American tourist and professional diving instructor has reportedly gone missing while diving with her husband in Ambon Bay, Maluku.Ambon administration secretary Antoni Latuheru said the victim, Carol Marie Lakien, 56, better known as Laila, had come to Ambon with her husband, Kevin Scott Pool, and stayed at a hotel in Amahusu village, Nusaniwe district.“[Lakien] is a professional diving instructor. She went to Ambon on a private yacht with her husband, and they often dove in Ambon Bay,” Antoni told reporters.last_img read more

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  • Rights watchdog doubts police accountability in repurposing civil security apparatus

    first_imgThe Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) has voiced its distrust over the National Police’s move to repurpose a private security apparatus dubbed Pam Swakarsa, arguing that the force has a checkered record when it comes to accountability and resolving violations committed by its officers.In its position paper published on Wednesday, the human rights watchdog rejected the recently issued National Police Chief Regulation No. 4/2020, which grants civilian security actors, such as private security guards (Satpam) and members of the community watch (Satkamling), certain police functions under the force’s discretion.Kontras researcher Danu Pratama Aulia expressed fears that the public might find it hard to make the police accountable if the civil security apparatus committed violations, even though the National Police had assured them that it would train the private guards to prevent them from being repressive. According to its report published in July, Kontras had recorded 921 instances of police brutality, in addition to other forms of ill-treatment, such as persecution and arbitrary arrests, since June 2019.Danu noted that almost none of the cases were taken to court.“How can we trust an institution that so far has not been able to professionally control and also give fair sanctions to its members who committed violence?” Danu said on Wednesday. “How can we trust them to supervise and control those who later will be allowed to carry out limited police functions?”[FA::Fears of repression as police move to repurpose civil security apparatus::https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/09/19/fears-of-repression-as-police-move-to-repurpose-civil-security-apparatus.html] He added that the name “Pam Swakarsa” carried a bad reputation, being that it brought to mind the Pam Swakarsa paramilitary security forces, which were set up by the Indonesian Military in 1998 to break up demonstrations.The paramilitary forces allegedly committed many repressive acts against demonstrators at that time, most of which remain unresolved to date.Danu further said that the newly issued regulation possibly violated the 2002 National Police Law, which stipulated that the civil security apparatus should be established under the willingness of the public and be given authority in a limited area.By giving the police full discretion to appoint which groups would be given power with no clear limitations, Danu said that the regulation took away the aspect of “public willingness” in forming Pam Swakarsa.The regulation, he added, also gave unclear boundaries on the police functions the civil security apparatus would be allowed to have, thus potentially opening loopholes for abuses of power, human rights violations and for the apparatus to be used for purposes that go against the interests of the public, such as silencing voices in protests or advancing political interests.Kontras has demanded that the National Police revoke the regulation.“The police should not use a security approach by giving civilians the authority to carry out partial police functions without comprehensive limitations and arrangements.”Topics :last_img read more

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  • Cairns family home in Redlynch for less than $1million

    first_imgThe backyard.There is an abundance of storage including a study nook, dimmable LED lighting, discreet cabinetry under an island bench and pullout drawers, plus the addition of the built-in dining area to the island bench.The main bedroom, with a walk-through robe with pull down clothes rail and dresser, ensuite with spa bath, double shower, vanity and toilet plus access to the deck, is also on this level.“There are also three additional bedrooms with built-in robes and a fifth bedroom or media room with a built-in cupboard and access to the deck,” Ms Krause said. More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoLiving room.“The lower level can be used as a self-contained granny flat with its separate entrance and a generous bedroom and open living area, which can be separated by the Shoji sliding doors.“A bathroom with a shower, vanity and toilet, a laundry with auto taps for the washing machine, a man cave or workshop area and a covered expansive tiled entertainment area accessible by the full custom-made Rosewood bi-fold doors are also a feature of the bottom floor.”An in-ground heated pool with a cover can also be accessed from the bottom tier of the home.The middle section is where the action happens – there is a tiled entrance leading to the expansive open plan living and dining area with exceptional light fittings, and executive central kitchen with Corian stone benchtops, double NEFF ovens, a 900m induction cooktop, a ducted rangehood, a built-in convection microwave, double inset sink with insinkerator, dual drawer dishwasher, plumbing for fridge and a butler’s pantry. 6 Riverview Cl, Freshwater.WITH views of the leafy rainforest over three levels, and situated in a quiet and neighbourly cul-de-sac, you won’t believe the price tag on this luxurious and well-appointed home.Although much loved by the current owners, circumstances have intervened and the family is selling 6 Riverview Cl in Freshwater. The bathroom“An exclusive family bathroom comes with an in-built sauna with seating and a shower including a rainfall shower head. The room also has Corian stone benchtops with a dual vanity, freestanding large bath, toilet and floor to ceiling tiles plus a separate storage room.”Tucked away on the top floor, this is the place everyone will enjoy escaping to, even if it is to do work. A carpeted office with double built-in desks and cabinetry and views across the tree tops also displays the exceptional fixtures and fittings evident throughout the home.Positioned in the Freshwater State School Primary and Redlynch State High School catchments, this home is close to parkland and amenities and a 15 minute-drive to Cairns CBD. The deckFor less than $1 million, the new owner will get a “multitude of living options perfect for those with teenagers or a home business”, according to selling agent Tiffany Krause from RE/MAX Australia. She said an inspection was “a must to truly appreciate all that this home has to offer”.“With the size of the residence being over 500 sqm under roof and positioned on a usable and well-designed 1541 sqm allotment, there will be plenty for you to see,” Ms Krause said.last_img read more

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  • Simon Møkster scores new batch of contracts

    first_imgNorwegian shipowner Simon Møkster Shipping has been awarded new contracts for four of its vessels.Stril Polar (front), Stril Challenger (back); Photo by: Gary Bembridge; Source: Wikipedia – under the CC BY 2.0 licenseSimon Møkster said on Thursday that it won contracts for the Stril Polar, Stril Orion, Stril Mar, and Stril Server vessels.Namely, the company won a three-month extension for the Stril Polar and the Stril Orion from Aker BP.The Stril Orion initially started working for the Norwegian oil company in 2015, chartered by Det Norske before its merger with BP Norge into Aker BP. Its sister vessel, the Stril Polar, began working for the company in 2016 as a substitute for the Orion during its five-year classing.The two sister vessels are of an STX PSV 09L CD design. The Stril Polar was delivered in February 2012 while the Stril Orion was delivered in October 2011. Both vessels are 93.5 meters long and 19 meters wide.The second contract was awarded to the Stril Mar vessel for servicing DEA’s exploration drilling at Gråspett, an area in license 721 in the Barents Sea.The company said that the campaign would start in late August and that it was estimated to last about 40 days.The Stril Mar is one of the newer vessels in Møkster’s fleet. The 91-meter long vessel of a UT776 WP design was delivered in March 2016. It was built by Astilleros Gondan S.A. and can accommodate 25 persons.The final contract was awarded to the Stril Server for W2W activities at the Beatrice Windfarm, which lies North East of Scotland. The contract was awarded by Siem Offshore Contractors (SOC) for 21 days plus options.Simon Møkster said that the vessel would fill the gap up to next W2W project starting for VBMS in mid-August. The Stril Server is a subsea/windmill support vessel delivered in 2014. It has 70 tons AHC crane, ROV hangars, and accommodation for 90 persons according to SPS guidelines.It is worth noting that both DEA and Siem Offshore Contractors were new customers for the company.last_img read more

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