Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Clay Soil Amendments for Durham County: the Recommended Materials

Dried manure from livestock offers great soil amending
properties, but surprisingly not much in the way of fertilizer.
Durham gardeners quickly learn that heavy clay soil needs amending to properly grow every plant from vegetables to landscaping hardwoods. But what type of materials are best? Commercial nurseries and big box home improvement stores stock bags labeled "soil amendment," however, are these products really effective or just another marketing scheme?
Here are the top recommended soil amendments from the NC Cooperative Extension Office and considerations about other commonly (and mistakenly) used materials.

Compost (Humus)
Compost, or humus, is decomposed plant material. It makes an excellent organic amendment for clay soils. Almost, any plant-derived material will make good compost. Your lawn, your trees, and your household are excellent sources of FREE raw materials. Creating compost from them takes just a little collecting and a few months' time. 
  1. From your lawn and garden: save yard waste, grass clippings, spent annuals, etc. 
  2. From your trees: save raked-up leaves in fall, and grind them up by making several passes over them: with the lawn mower. Leaves will decompose much more rapidly when ground up. 
  3. From your household: save vegetable peelings, canning wastes, coffee grounds, etc. (but not cooked food or animal by-products). 
“Cold” composting simply means piling your organic debris somewhere and letting nature take its time decomposing it…takes a year or two, depending on the materials in the pile. Putting mulch on your beds and letting it decompose there is a simple form or cold composting. 

"Hot" composting means building a pile that contains both nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich materials, keeping it moist, and turning it regularly to encourage the microbes that carry out decomposition. The pile heats up from the microbes’ activity, and the elevated temperature is usually hot enough to kill weed seeds and disease pathogens that may be in the pile. 
Get Your Compost!
  • Start a compost pile. Your environment, your plants, and your landfill will all benefit. Compost is one of the best soil amendments available and it’s free.  Detailed information on Composting is available from the Durham County Extension Center.
  • Municipal Compost & Mulch. Call the Solid Waste Management office of the City of Durham and ask about free compost and mulch made from shredded and decomposed yard waste. The City’s material varies - if you can, tell what individual pieces used to be, it's still too fresh to be used as a soil amendment, but can be used as mulch.
  • Purchased Compost (Humus). Few homeowners have sufficient quantities or compost to amend heavy clay soil. Compost can be bought in bags at gardens centers, or by the truckload from companies that sell mulch or topsoil. 

Pine Bark Soil Conditioner
Finely- ground nuggets sold as "pine bark mulch" is an excellent soil amendment, and has the advantage of being a native and renewable resource. A pea size grind (1/4 to ½ is ideal.  The nuggets sold as “pine bark mulch” are too big.  Brands and names of products vary, so look before you buy. 
Pine bark soil conditioner is available in bags or by the truckload. Look in the Yellow Pages under “Soils.”  Ask suppliers to describe what they sell, as some places mix it with soil. Straight pine bark is a better deal.  There are other products on the market call “soil conditioner” but many are too fine to provide the needed pore space.  

Composted Manure
Well-aged manure is an excellent soil amendment material that provides some minor nutrients as well, though its fertilizing capacity is often over-estimated, most analyze at about 1-1-1 .
Some examples:   





Cow Manure, dried  




Hen Manure, fresh




Horse Manure, fresh




Once it is sufficiently composted, manure has no ‘barnyard smell.’  A load or fresh manure in your driveway, however, may raise some concerns among your neighbors.   

Gravel is useful as a soil amendment for improving drainage. The best size is a pea gravel called “78". Which is about 3; 8" diameter. It is a permanent soil addition that does not' break down. It does not, or course, add nutrients to the soil; you still need organic material for that. As an added bonus, sharp gravel in the soil seems to deter tunneling moles and voles.  A similar material is expanded shale, sold under brand names such as "Perma-Till." Expanded shale is lighter weight than gravel, but more expensive. 
Putting gravel in the bottom of a planting hole is NOT a good way to improve drainage in poorly - drained clay soils. A planting hole in such soils can form a "bathtub without a drain," and gravel at the bottom will not drain the water. It is better to incorporate amendments into the soil, and raise the level of the bed above the existing soil.
NOT Recommended:  Peat, Moss
Peat moss is acceptable for houseplants, for starting seeds, and for amending sandy soils: these applications put peat's water-retention characteristics to good use. Peat moss does not perform well as a soil amendment in clay; it first turn; the bed into a soggy bog, and then decays rapidly, leaving the soil as sticky as when you started. 
NOT Recommended: Sand
Sand is not a good amendment for clay soils. Any mixture less than 70% sand in 30% clay actually packs more densely that straight clay. This makes a readily compactable soil that isn’t fun to garden in. Add a bit of water and make your own bricks. 
NOT Recommended: Gypsum
Gypsum "clay buster" sold in garden centers is useful in alkaline clay soils, but is not effective on our type of clay.
NOT Recommended: Fresh Manure
Fresh animal manure (in addition to being fragrant) is too salty to use near plants. It will dry out roots and cause burned edges on the leaves. Compost it until it no longer smells like the barnyard; once decomposed it makes an excellent soil amendment. Manure is also a good nitrogen source in the compost pile, to offset higher-carbon materials like dried leaves and plant stems. Don't use human waste or pet wastes, as these can transmit diseases to humans. Cow, horse, rabbit and chicken manure are fine. 
NOT Recommended: Fresh Wood Chips or Sawdust
Wood chips can take years to decompose, and wood needs a lot of additional nitrogen to balance its high carbon content. If wood chips or sawdust are decomposing in your garden soil, they will take nitrogen from the soil to the detriment of your plants. 
  • Hardwood chips break down faster than pine chips. Loads of wood chips from the city or from tree cutting crews may contain large log chunks that will break down even more slowly than chips. Some types of wood may raise soil pH undesirably. 
  • Wood chips are sometimes used as barn bedding for farm animals; the manure mixed in will provide additional nitrogen for decomposition. (Owners of horse stables may be glad to have you take their barn waste away, but don't till it into your garden until it's well rotted.) 
  • Decomposed sawdust is a good soil amendment. 
  • Of course, undecomposed materials can be used on top of the soil as mulch.
MAYBE: "Topsoil"
Purchased topsoil is not necessarily better than amending your native soil with organic materials Sometimes the "topsoil" you purchase is not much different from your existing soil; it's just not compacted yet. Sometimes it contains too much sand. Unsterilized topsoil may contain weed seeds. 
Topsoil is offered in many formulations; you can sometimes request a topsoil mixture with extra organic material added. Purchased topsoil is fine for raised beds, though the caveats above still stand. Ask suppliers to describe what they sell. Better yet, visit the yard yourself. 

Whether you use purchased topsoil or make your own amended soil, be sure to mix the new materials thoroughly with the native soil. If new soil is just spread over the existing so 1, plants will not root into the clay underneath, and the plants will dry out in hot weather. 

It's worth the work to amend your soil!
Durham's heavy clay soil CAN become good soil. Adding organic material and relieving compaction makes a world of difference to your plants.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Bouquet Inspired by a Richard Diebenkorn Painting

ARRANGEMENT | A Richard Diebenkorn canvas comes to life as
a bouquet of sunflowers, yarrow and wildflowers.
Antique French Earthenware Confit Pot, similar styles available
at Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson for WSJ,
Styling by Lindsey Taylor.
By Lindsey Taylor 
WSJ, Sept. 17, 2014

Spring and fall seem to bookend the summer growing season with bursts of yellow. In early spring, forsythia, cornus mas and daffodils cut through the post-winter drabness. In early fall—along with sunsets that seem to go on forever—sunflowers, rudbeckia and goldenrod make their appearance, before the shift to the richer jewel cast of deep autumn.

THE INSPIRATION | 'Berkeley #54,' a 1955 canvas by American painter
 Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

With that in mind, when it came time to choose an artwork to interpret this month, I selected "Berkeley #54," a 1955 canvas by American painter Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), part of the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. I like the chalkiness of Mr. Diebenkorn's paintings, the way he scraped at his colors and the tension between his energetic lines and a persistent sense of order. Most important, this canvas, from his Berkeley Series (1953-1955), has the warmer earth tones I was seeking to evoke September.
To contain this arrangement, I chose a 19th-century French earthenware confit pot that I picked up in Hudson, N.Y. Its chalky patina felt suitably Diebenkornish. Although it could just as easily hold a simple van Gogh-esque massing of sunflowers, I pushed my flower palette, taking cues from Mr. Diebenkorn's canvas to create a generous, more complex wildflower bouquet.
Even though the style of this design would be considered natural, I didn't completely freestyle it but took care to get the right undulation of form and to capture the look of Mr. Diebenkorn's work. I started with the bigger, firmer blooms, like the sunflowers and yarrow, to establish a basic structure. Next, I worked in the softer flowers, fennel and Queen Anne's Lace. Then I massed together mauve button mums as a nod to the color blocking you see in the painting. To prevent the arrangement from taking on an overly mounded form, I poked in some spokelike sprigs of light purple amaranth and yellow lysimachia. When I stood back to appraise the bouquet, it was as if a sunny ball of light had landed on my table.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Planting Spring Bulbs - Start Planning!

Posted on by
By: Michelle Wallace, Consumer Horticulture Agent – Durham

I love fall, it’s my favorite time of year. It is usually the time of year I rescue my garden from the weeds which established themselves when the heat of the summer was too oppressive for me to get down and dirty. The gardens fall colors of yellow, orange, and red warm me up even though the temperatures outside are beginning to drop. The prospect of gardening outside in mild temperature is a definite motivator combined with the fact that fall is one of the best times to install new plants in the garden.

Gardeners are strategic yet patient planners. We have to be, patience and planning are required since plants must establish themselves in their new homes, develop strong root systems and months later bloom. This is a great time of year to plant spring flowering bulbs. They can easily be combined with winter annuals and spring flowering perennials. They add color and extend bloom. Generally, they need full sun 6 or more hours, good soil drainage, and low competition of roots from trees and shrubs. There are a few expectations; the world of bulbs is vast.

Bulb – form plants are referred to as geophytes. This term comes from Greek meaning “earth plant.” It refers to an assortment of underground storage structures that include: bulbs, corms, tubers, tuberous root, tuberous stems, and rhizomes. Some are hardy and will survive the cold winter temperatures while others are tender and must be replanted each spring. Since bulbs store their own energy, the first year after planting you are guaranteed performance. However, continued performance will depend on the how the bulbs were planted and the type of care they receive. Bulbs like moist well drained soil – preferably a sandy loam. Most of the triangle has clayey soils that have poor drainage. To improve the drainage of clayey soils a generous amount of compost must be incorporated. Spread a 4” layer of compost over the planting area then till it into the top 12” of soil. If the soil has excessively poor drainage you may want to consider planting the bulbs in a raised bed or installing a drain tile under the bed to remove excess water. Bonemeal is an excellent organic fertilizer for bulbs with a low nitrogen and high phosphorus ratio of 1:3:2. We always recommend soil testing first prior to adding fertilizer. Our soils are generally very acidic. The ideal pH for bulbs is 6.5 to 7.2. A soil test will also let you know if lime is required to raise the pH. The fertilizer should be incorporated in the same two inch layer of soil where the bulbs are being planted. If you have problems with critters eating your bulbs surround them with a ½” wire mesh. This will prevent the critters from eating the bulbs yet allow them to grow and flower.
Bulbs should be grouped to create the most color impact in spring.

With bulbs, bigger is better. Always choose high quality large bulbs. The bigger the bulb the larger the flower will be. Remember the bulb stores the energy for next year’s flower. If the bulb is not large enough, there may not be enough energy stored to flower. Bulbs look better when planted in groups. To do this it is easier to excavate a large area at the proper depth and lay out all the bulbs at one time then back fill. The general rule of thumb is to plant the bulb at 2 to 3 times the depth of the height of the bulb. There are charts available for the different bulb planting depths at

Bulbs can be layered to extend the bloom. Different bulbs can be planted in the same hole with a layer of soil in between the different bulb types based on size of bulb and recommended planting depth, kind of like making lasagna. In addition, forced bulbs of the same type but with different bloom times can be planted together in the same hole to extend flowering. This technique works especially well with annual tulips.

Bulbs are a reminder that we gardeners are optimists. We plant them in the fall with the hope for a beautiful spring. For more information on planting bulbs, contact the Durham County Extension Master Gardeners at 919-560-0528 or email us at

Spring Flowering Bulbs

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Town and Country Garden Club Commemorates 50 Years

Town and Country Garden Club celebrated it's 50th Anniversary on Tuesday, September 9 at Hope Valley Country Club.  Seventy-five guests enjoyed a retrospective showcasing the club's history and a superb lunch!  In attendance were 47 current members, as well as 28 previous members, including the founding president, Adrienne Gantt.  
Photos by Jennifer Menezes of Hope Valley Living Magazine.

Anniversary sign.

Town and Country Garden Club Officers pictured (L-R): 
Mary Denson (Treasurer);  Barbara Yowell (Past President);
Robin Marin (President); Holly Davis (Vice-President);
Lesli Garrison (Vice-President); Patsy Whitehurst (Secretary). 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Durham County Master Gardener Program Seeks Volunteers

Durham Co. Extension Master Gardener Sara Smith
recently presented a "Seed Harvesting and Saving"
workshop at the Durham South Regional Library.
Durham, N.C. – The Durham County Extension Master Gardener Program is now recruiting for the 2015 volunteer training class. To be considered for the program, applicants must attend a scheduled information session held in coming months:
  • September 18th, 10:00 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m.
  • September 23rd, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • October 2nd, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • October 7th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Applications, given at the information sessions, must be completed and received by 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, 2014. Classes will begin on January 15, 2015, and run through May 14th next year.
Extension Master Gardener Volunteer trainees will receive a comprehensive training on topics related to gardening to prepare them for public interaction. Volunteers are trained to help connect North Carolinians with the vast reservoir of horticultural knowledge and research developed at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and North Carolina State University. Durham County Cooperative Extension has nearly 90 volunteers in the Extension Master Gardener program.  They help Durham residents learn more about gardening topics, answer questions, conduct demonstrations and workshops, and help maintain the Briggs Ave Community Garden.
For more information, contact Michelle Wallace, consumer horticulture agent for the Durham County Cooperative Extension Office, at 919-560-0525 or email

CASA Seeking More Landscaping Donations for Denson Apartments Project

Phase 1 of the Denson Apartment Project for Veterans in early September. The builder CASA is within $4,000 of having met its target for landscaping. To speak with CASA about supporting landscaping for The Denson Apartments for Veterans, please contact Missy Hatley at 919.754-9960, x42. 
Read more about this noble housing project from the May 2014 blog archives: 
Photo by Laurie Renard (HHGC).

Monday, September 8, 2014

Cankerworm Workshops Offered this Fall by Trees Across Durham

Banding trees with Tanglefoot in late fall will capture cankerworms
as they travel up tree trunks to lay their eggs on the leaves
 in the spring. Photo by Trees Across Durham.
Protect Durham's shade trees from defoliating cankerworms!

Trees Across Durham is offering three preventative workshops in September followed by banding and gluing sessions in October and November. Register today and save your trees this spring.
Cankerworms are pests that threaten the health of trees in Durham, and throughout the United States. You have probably seen these little green inchworms in the fall (Alsophilia pometaria) and spring (Paleacrita vernata). They fall from trees covering sidewalks, cars, and people. Aside from being inconvenient, both types of cankerworms feed on leaves of trees and shrubs, weakening plants and increasing their susceptibility to pests and environmental stressors such as drought and heat.
Cankerworms have reached outbreak levels over the last few years in Durham. This abundance is partially due to the cankerworm’s affinity for over mature willow oaks, like those that line the streets of Durham’s neighborhoods. The cankerworm’s extensive feeding leaves Durham trees even more vulnerable to dying.
Thankfully, outbreaks of cankerworms can be controlled. Find out more​ about these pests and what you can do to protect Durham's trees.
Trees Across Durham is holding several workshops for the public to learn more about cankerworms and to help band trees. Regis​ter for a workshop​​.
Basic cankerworm information/how to band:
  • September 9, 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Duke Gardens
  • September 17, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at 721 Foster St.
  • September 22, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Duke Gardens 
Banding sessions:
  • October 15 (time and location TBD) 
  • October 25 (time and location TBD)
Gluing sessions:
  • November 12 (time and location TBD)
  • November 15 (time and location TBD)

Recent article about cankerworms:

Friday, September 5, 2014

A Yorkshire Flower Arrangement Inspired by a Hockney

A wild array of weedlike field pennycress, punctuated by
orange asclepias 'Beatrix' and mauve astrantia major 'Rubra' evoke
the lush Yorkshire scene captured by David Hockney's painting.
Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson for WSJ.
Styling by Lindsey Taylor (arrangement);
vintage green-glazed pitcher, author's own.
WSJ, Aug. 29, 2014

I ADORE NEARLY everything about Yorkshire, England. Years ago, I spent whole days walking the green-covered Dales, a stretch of hills and valleys where you can roam freely. But before I'd even been to Yorkshire, I was a fan of artist David Hockney, born there in the city of Bradford, in 1937. In my room growing up, I had a poster of his 1981 crayon drawing of his friend and muse, textile artist Celia Birtwell; it's still a favorite.

In the late 1990s, Mr. Hockney began making regular trips back to Yorkshire, temporarily leaving behind his adopted Los Angeles home where he had spent the better part of his career basking in California light. Seeing his native land with fresh eyes, he began painting it, in watercolor and oil, and drawing it in charcoal and via an iPad app. In 2005, he was working largely en plein-air, in all weather and seasons. Over the last decade, he's produced a collection of impressive works, some of which will appear in an exhibition opening at New York's Pace Gallery on Sept. 5.
Earlier this month, as summer's heat became oppressive, I started looking to Mr. Hockney's large-scale Yorkshire landscapes to dream a little about somewhere cooler and greener. As the inspiration for my August arrangement, I settled on his monumental oil painting "Woldgate Woods, 26, 27 & 30 July 2006." Six canvases combined to create a 72-by-144-inch work, it's one in a series of paintings he executed in the exact same spot in different seasons. Just letting my eyes linger on the intense greens of the vegetation in this work seemed to cleanse New York's muggy air, however briefly.
For the arrangement, I started with an old, green-glazed pitcher that was collecting dust on my shelf, somewhat nondescript but perfect in its mottledness. Besides, pitchers are great for arranging flowers: A good choice for the novice, their form easily shapes floral designs into satisfyingly open displays. To convey the lushness of the trees in this painting, I massed field pennycress in the pitcher. Though I got mine from a flower market, it can be found along roadsides or in fields in northern parts of the U.S. this time of year. I could have easily left the arrangement like that but, in keeping with Mr. Hockney's painting, I added a hit of the large orange flowers of asclepias 'Beatrix' to represent the glowing patch at its horizon line. Finally, I poked in some mauve astrantia major 'Rubra' from my garden to depict the old country road that had become Mr. Hockney's makeshift open-air studio. 

Deer Tips from Witherspoon Rose Culture

Durham County is a happy home to hundreds of deer, scientific family Cervidae. Before your landscaping and home garden becomes a gourmet salad bar, here are a few repellent tips from Witherspoon Rose Culture's September 2014 newsletter. 
Helpful Hints
1)  Deer typically eat plants that are 12" or taller.
2)  Deer love to eat the tender new growth and blooms of rose plants.
3)  Be sure to use 2-4 different deer repellents and rotate products each spray round.
4)  Use deer resistant plants as a border around your garden to discourage deer damage.
5)  Install a deer fence.  Must be at least 6' or taller as deer are very good jumpers.
** The best, fool-proof repellent is the fence!
(Or call a hunter friend if you live outside city limits.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lyme Disease from the Garden: 'Wicked Bugs' Explains Transmission

Wicked Bugs features many fascinating facts and "yarns"
about some of the pests in our gardens.
Book Spotlight
Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects
Author: Amy Stewart
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 4.3.2011 edition (April 3, 2011)
272 pages
From Amazon...
In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the “bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six-and eight-legged creatures.

With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillating stories of bugs gone wild. It’s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections that explore bugs with kinky sex lives (“She’s Just Not That Into You”), creatures lurking in the cupboard (“Fear No Weevil”), insects eating your tomatoes (“Gardener’s Dirty Dozen”), and phobias that feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (“Have No Fear”). Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capture diabolical bugs  of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard.

From Wicked Bugs...
Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis)

Polly Murray knew that something was seriously wrong with her family. Starting with her first pregnancy in the late 1950s, she suffered from strange unexplained symptoms: painful body aches and fatigue, bizarre rashes, headaches, joint pain, fevers—a catalog of symptoms so long and perplexing that she took to bring a list of them to every doctor appointment. Over the years her husband and three children experienced similar problems. At times it seemed like everyone in the house was either on antibiotics, propped up in bed with joint pain or awaiting another round of test results.
The doctors of her hometown of Lyme, Connecticut, never had any answers; her family tested negative from everything from lupus to seasonal allergies. From a clinical standpoint, there was nothing wrong with them. A few doctors recommended psychiatric treatment, and some offered penicillin or aspirin. There was nothing else they could do.
In 1975, everything changed. Armed with the knowledge that a few of her neighbors has similar problems and that several local children had been diagnosed with an extremely rare juvenile form of rheumatoid arthritis, Murray called an epidemiologist at the state health department. He took down the information but offered no solutions.

A month later, she met a young doctor named Allen Steere. He’d worked briefly at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and was looking for a research project for his postdoctoral fellowship. Connecticut’s state epidemiologist had called to tell him about a cluster of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis cases in Lyme. Steere listened to Murray’s entire story and began an investigation that led to the discovery of a previously unknown tick-transmitted disease. Although the civic leaders in Murray’s hometown were not thrilled by the idea of having a dreadful malady named after their town, the scientist called it Lyme disease, and the name stuck.
Ticks commonly found in North Carolina.

The deer tick, also called the blacklegged tick, lives in a heavily populated areas along the East Coast and it responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in this country. Its ability to transmit the disease depends in part upon its curious life cycle, which can involve three different hosts as it matures. When the larvae first emerge from eggs in the fall, they feed upon rats, mice or birds. They overwinter in the forest floor, and in the spring they molt into nymphs and feed again—this time on small rodents or humans. By late summer the nymphs have become adults that feed on large animals, primarily deer, for the last year or so of their lives.
These tick larvae sometimes take the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi, into their bodies during their first meals.  When that happens, they are capable of transmitting the bacteria the next time they feed. In spite of the name “deer tick,” the deer themselves don’t become infected with Lyme disease. But they do help move ticks around and bring tick populations into close contact with humans. People who live in tick-infested areas know to watch for the telltale bulls-eye rash, called “erythema migrans,” that often occurs at the site of an infected tick bite within the first month of infection.

Lyme disease is nothing new. Medical writings dating back as far as 1550 BC referred to “tick fever,” and European doctors had been investigating symptoms similar to those caused by Lyme disease thought the ninetheenth century. (In Europe the disease is transmitted by the tick Ixodes ricinus, called the castor bean tick for its resemblance to the poisonous seed.) In fact, physicians in Lyme who had been practicing medicine for several decades recalled treating patients in the 1920s and 1930s who had similar symptoms. Today it is the most frequently reported vector-borne illness in the United States, with 25,000-30,000 new infections reported each year.

Did you know:  There are roughly 900 species of ticks found worldwide.

9th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, Sept. 20-21

Take the 9th Annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, Sept. 20-21, 2014. Visit 27 Triangle farms Including nine new host farms. Farms will be open 1–5 p.m. both days, rain or shine.
Whether it is cute animals for the kids, meat, egg and fiber production, veggie and fruit growing, cut flowers and rare trees, mushrooms, bees and honey or urban gardens and farms, the tour will have something for everyone — across the eastern, northern and southern sections of the Triangle.
Plan your tour, read about the fun things you can see and do at each farm, and get driving directions!
How to Take the Tour