Fertile Ground Main Cover

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 N.C. Blueberry Festival in Burgaw has been canceled, but blueberry farming and harvesting continues to thrive as it has for many generations, undeterred.  Blueberry cultivation is, in fact, growing in our region with North Carolina now farming over 7,500 acres a year. New varieties of blueberry plants sprout up…

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Flight is fascinating. It is empowering. Learning to climb into the cockpit of an airplane and “slip the surly bonds of earth” is a lifelong process that takes you to heights, literally and figuratively, you never thought possible. But while exhilarating, this experience is rare. Pilots comprise an infinitesimal percent of our population. Female aviators…

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No Bees No Berries

Blueberry enthusiasts might love to pick and admire the perfect berry before plopping it in their mouth. Visions of pies, smoothies, summertime and even festivals may fill their minds. But most likely, they don’t give a thought to the necessity of honeybees in the creation of one of their favorite fruits. All types of bees…

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Like many people, Lauren Calhoun had heard about declining honeybee populations in the United States. But she didn’t understand the extent of the problem until she studied the impact of pesticides and disease on bees during her freshman year at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. “The big takeaway was how important honeybees are to…

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No matter what you had planned for this spring, it certainly didn’t include social distancing, quarantine, or anything else that comes along with a global pandemic. By this point, you’ve been mostly confined to home for weeks. You’re tired and probably bored. So here are 31 ideas — one for every day in May —…

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Urban Cultivation

When I moved from central Florida to take the job as director for the N.C. Cooperative Extension center at the New Hanover County Arboretum, I left my “Agriloft” residence, a repurposed barn that I had converted into a living space with mostly recycled and thrift store materials. The 800-square-foot industrial strength hideaway was nestled lakeside…

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Being Available

Full disclosure:  I do not have a master’s degree in education. I am not a teacher, a coach, a psychologist, a nurse or an IT professional.  Yet, like many others who are fortunate enough to call themselves parents, I step in and try to fill those roles occasionally for Bridget, my 6-year-old daughter. During these…

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Family Friendly Cooking

Let’s face it, cooking and children don’t always mix. From picky eaters to busy family schedules, cooking can seem like a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of simple ways to make it more enjoyable, including recruiting help from little hands in the kitchen.  Planning for kid helpers requires some thoughtfulness…

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Hidden Gem

Wayne Drive meanders from a bustling Market Street intersection into Forest Hills, sloping down and around the community that made history when it was developed in the late 19-teens and early 1920s as a first among Wilmington’s suburbs. One stately, two-story house, built in 1949, possesses all the bones of traditional Colonial Revival brick homes…

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In 1861, the United States and Mexico were both in crisis. The U.S. was in the first year of the Civil War, which would become the bloodiest conflict in American history. After a war for its own independence from Spain, a territorial war against the U.S., and a civil war against its own people, Mexico…

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