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September Is Food Safety Month

September Is Food Safety Month: N.C. Cooperative Extension Initiative Focuses on Year-Round Fresh Produce Safety N.C. Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, is leading an initiative to educate fruit and vegetable growers and consumers about measures that can minimize food safety risks. The organization has received more than $250,000 in grant funding to support the statewide Extension and research effort. N.C. Cooperative Extension has conducted train-the-trainer workshops for Extension agents who, in turn, will train producers. The training focuses on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and what it takes to obtain GAPs certification. Industry, such

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Southeast Strawberry Expo

November 8-10, 2009 Sheraton Imperial in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Expo attendees may attend educational sessions, workshops and an industry trade show at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. They will also have the opportunity to tour Vollmer Farm in Bunn, N.C., and several Raleigh sites such as the N.C. State Micropropagation Unit, the NCDA&CS; Agronomics Lab and the N.C. State Farmers Market. Hot topics for breakout sessions include: Fumigation Options, Insect & Disease Diagnosis & Management, Season Extension Technology, Cover Crops in Strawberries, Community Supported Agriculture, Managing the Farm Market, How to Have Sweet, Flavorful Berries, Farm Image Makeover, Using Email

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The Produce Lady Launches E-newsletter

The Produce Lady, a program of N.C. MarketReady, continues its educational outreach to North Carolina fresh produce growers and consumers with the launch of an e-newsletter. The monthly newsletter encourages N.C. families to eat healthy fruits and vegetables purchased at local farmers markets. It includes selection tips, health benefits and recipes. Each issue will focus on a seasonal crop – apples in September, for example – and will assist consumers with selection and preparation tips for the fruit or vegetable. Each issue also will feature a “what’s in season” list that highlights other available produce items. The Produce Lady is

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N.C. Extension Agent an Advocate for Asparagus

Growing Asparagus in North Carolina for Direct Market Carl Cantaluppi recognizes that asparagus is not a traditional Southern food and, therefore, not a garden staple in North Carolina. However, with residents relocating to North Carolina from northeastern states and the revival of culinary sophistication and healthful eating prompted in part by the local foods movement and the emergence of self-proclaimed “foodies,” Cantaluppi suggests that N.C. farmers give asparagus a closer look as a high-value, low-input specialty crop ideal for direct market. Cantaluppi is an N.C. Cooperative Extension area horticulture agent with the Granville and Person County Centers. He has been

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