Tag Archive: Things

A Few of My Favorite Fall Things

A Few of My Favorite Fall Things

Favorite Fall Things
Photo Credit: Angela Hinkle

Fall is my favorite time of year. Let me share with you a few of my favorite Fall things to help explain why.

  1. Walking my dog in the heat of a summer morning is like trudging through a bowl of warm chowder. But with the cooler autumn mornings arriving, we become invigorated and feel like taking longer walks to add steps to the pedometer on my hip. Let’s hear it for more physical activity! For walking tips, check out cdc walking counts.
  2. Just think about all of those yummy, nutrient-dense foods available this time of year – peanuts, sweet potatoes, and squashes and gourds in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. See Florida Panhandle Produce in Season for seasonal produce in the Florida Panhandle.
  3. Okay, so leaves don’t really change color a whole lot when fall weather hits the panhandle of Florida. But I have this great tree outside my office window. My horticulture agent says it’s a Bald Cypress. This time of year, I get to see it change leaf colors from green, to golden yellow, to burnt orange. Simply beautiful. Look around your neighborhood to see what bounty of colors you can find.
  4. Though you will not find me wearing any shade of orange or deep yellow (those are definitely not in my color palette), I do cherish all the oranges, deep reds, purples, and yellows found in the flowers, pumpkins, scarecrows, and decorative corn stalks. Perk up your area with some fall color. Dollar stores have lots to pick and choose from.
  5. I’ve had my DNA tested. I am, in fact, 41% Sicilian. My holidays can therefore start with Columbus Day, work their way through the fun of Halloween, the respectful honors of Veteran’s Day, and through Thanksgiving with a myriad of Fall Harvest Celebrations sprinkled in between.

To get you in the Fall mood, try this simmering potpourri recipe. Let me know if you like it and be sure to share with family and friends some of your favorite fall things.

Favorite Fall Stovetop Potpourri

Add any or all of the following ingredients to a small pot:  ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, orange peelings, ground ginger, whole cloves, ground cloves, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Add enough water to fill pot to rim. Then put the pot on the stove top at lowest setting. Add more water as necessary.   Enjoy!

 

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Author: Angela Hinkle – ahinkle@ufl.edu

Angela Hinkle is the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Agent in Escambia County.

Angela Hinkle

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/10/27/a-few-of-my-favorite-fall-things/

Spice Things Up with Alternative Seasonings

With today’s continued focus on healthy eating and the dangers of high blood pressure, seasoning and cooking with salt has decreased.  Alternative seasonings such as herbs and spices are excellent additions to any dish without the dreaded sodium.  Herbs and spices are easy to use and can add a variety of delicious flavor combinations to any family favorite.

The difference between an herb and a spice is the part of the plant used.  Herbs come from the leaves and soft stems of the plant.  Spices are taken from the roots, seeds, bark, fruit, or flowers of the plant.  Spices tend to have a stronger flavor than herbs, and are usually used in smaller quantities.

Besides being a healthy substitute for salt, herbs and spices can also replace added fat and sugar without contributing extra calories.  Instead of adding extra sugar to oatmeal, for example, try using cinnamon or allspice.

Add cumin or ground black pepper to more savory dishes instead of reaching for the salt shaker or butter.  Try seasoning meats with herbs and spices instead of coating them in breading or gravy.

Not all herbs and spices pair well with all types of foods.  Herbs and spices should be used to enhance and complement the flavor of food without taking it over completely.

A strong herb such as rosemary would completely overwhelm a mild-tasting food like peas or other vegetable.  Conversely, a mild herb such as parsley would be completely overwhelmed by a strong-tasting food such as lamb or beef.

Dried herbs can be used instead of fresh herbs in recipes, and vice versa.  Keep in mind the flavor of dried herbs is much more concentrated than that of fresh, so reduce the amount accordingly.

Use only a quarter to half as much dried as fresh.  Start with a smaller amount, and then add as needed to achieve the desired taste.

Look for herbs with a bright green color and little or no wilting when choosing fresh ones.  Avoid bunches showing signs of mold, slime, or pests.

Wash fresh herbs in clean, cool water to get rid of any sand.  Fresh herbs need to be stored in the refrigerator, in an unsealed plastic bag, to maintain optimal freshness.  They can last up to three weeks, though should be used within a week for the best flavor.

Dried herbs and spices, if stored correctly, do not spoil.  However, they will lose their flavor and aroma over time.

Ideally, flaked or ground herbs and spices should be replaced every six months for maximum flavor, but can remain viable for up to three years.  Whole spices such as cinnamon sticks and peppercorns can remain effective for up to five years.

Not all herbs and spices are created equal.  When using them in cooking, it is important to remember the more delicate herbs such as basil and chives should be added right before serving to preserve their flavor.

Less delicate herbs such as thyme and oregano can be added earlier in the cooking process since they retain their flavor better.  When creating herb blends, mix, match, and be creative.  Add them to a cheese shaker for easy access during meals.

To learn more, sign up for the Extension Cooking Class series which starts September 7, 2017 at the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Office at 84 Cedar Avenue in Crawfordville. Start time is 6:00 p.m. and the cost is $ 10.

For additional tips about cooking with herbs and spices, call Samantha at the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension office at (850) 926-3931.

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Author: Samantha Kennedy, M.S. – skennedy@ufl.edu

Samantha is the Family & Consumer Sciences agent in Wakulla County. She has worked for UF/IFAS Extension since 2004. She has a B.S. in both Microbiology & Cell Science and Nutritional Sciences and an M.S. in Agricultural Education, both from UF. Her areas of expertise are nutrition, health & wellness, chronic disease prevention, food safety, disaster preparedness, and financial literacy. You can reach her via email at skennedy@ufl.edu or by calling (850) 926-3931.

Samantha Kennedy, M.S.

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/24/spice-things-up-with-alternative-seasonings/

Things You Should Know About Farm Food Safety

Things You Should Know About Farm Food Safety

It seems like years ago that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law, but it was actually 2011.  With a new congress convening this week, and the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump on January 20th, the outlook for FSMA is unpredictable.  Whatever the future may hold, there are a number of important food safety compliance facts you should know.

Exempt/Excluded Status

Depending on the size of your farm, what you grow, or your clientele, you may be exempt or excluded from FSMA.  Whatever your status may be, it is important that you understand food safety protocol and that you proactively and reactively reduce food safety risks on your farm.

  • Farms that have an annual value of produce sold of $ 25,000 (based on a three year average, adjusted for inflation) or less are not covered by the regulation.
  • The farm must have food sales less than $ 500,000 per year (based on a three year average, adjusted for inflation) AND the farm’s direct sales to qualified end-users must exceed sales to all buyers combined during the previous three years. (A qualified end-user is either the consumer of the food or a restaurant or retail food establishment that is located in the same state or the same Indian reservation as the farm or not more than 275 miles away.)
  • Produce Not Covered by the Regulation
    • Produce commodities that FDA has identified as rarely consumed raw: asparagus; black beans, great Northern beans, kidney beans, lima beans, navy beans, and pinto beans; garden beets (roots and tops) and sugar beets; cashews; sour cherries; chickpeas; cocoa beans; coffee beans; collards; sweet corn; cranberries; dates; dill (seeds and weed); eggplants; figs; ginger; hazelnuts; horseradish; lentils; okra; peanuts; pecans; peppermint; potatoes; pumpkins; winter squash; sweet potatoes; and water chestnuts.
    • Produce that is used for personal or on-farm consumption.
    • Produce that is not a raw agricultural commodity.  (A raw agricultural commodity is any food in its raw or natural state.)
  • A farm with the qualified exemption must still meet certain modified requirements, including prominently and conspicuously displaying the name and the complete business address of the farm where the produce was grown either on the label of the produce or at the point of purchase.

Compliance Deadlines

Required compliance dates are set based on farm size – the larger the farm, the sooner it will need to be in compliance.

  • Very small businesses, defined as greater than $ 25,000 but less than $ 250,000 in average annual (previous three year period) produce sales, will need to comply with the regulation within four years.
  • Small businesses, defined as greater than $ 250,000 but less than $ 500,000 in average annual (previous three year period) produce sales, will need to comply with the regulation within three years.
  • All other businesses, defined as greater than $ 500,000 in average annual (previous three year period) produce sales, will need to comply with the regulation within two years of the effective date.
  • Compliance dates for farms eligible for qualified exemptions are:
    • Labeling requirements (if applicable): January 1, 2020
    • Retention of records supporting eligibility for a qualified exemption: Effective date of final rule (January 26, 2016)
    • For all other modified requirements for farms growing covered produce other than sprouts: Very small businesses—4 years, Small businesses—3 years

Note:  The compliance dates for certain aspects of the agricultural water requirements allow an additional two years beyond each of these compliance dates.

Washing lettuce. Photo Credit: Cornell University Extension

Employee Training

Regardless of whether your farm has implemented a food safety plan or not, the FDA requires approved training under the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.

  • At least one supervisor or responsible party from a farm subject to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule must have successfully completed food safety training, at least equivalent to the standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the FDA.
  • All workers that handle or contact covered produce or supervise workers must be trained based on FSMA standards.  Everyone working on the farm should receive annual instruction on how to accomplish his/her job.  Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be developed to provide clear step-by-step instructions for how workers should complete their daily tasks.
  • Visitors to the farm must be made aware of food safety policies set by the farm, and visitors must have access to toilet and handwashing facilities.

To read more on FSMA, please visit The Food Safety Modernization Act and the FDA Facility Registration Program.

An approved Food Safety Training is scheduled for February 13 in Marianna at the Jackson County Extension Office.  For more information, and to register for the training, please visit:

Farm Food Safety Certification Training – February 13

 

 

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Author: Matt Lollar – mlollar@ufl.edu

Matt Lollar is the Jackson County Horticulture Agent. He has 5 years of experience with University of Florida/IFAS Extension and he began his career in Sanford, FL as the Seminole County Horticulture Agent. Matt is originally from Belle Fontaine, AL. He earned his MS and BS degrees in Horticulture Production from Auburn University.

Matt Lollar

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/01/06/things-you-should-know-about-farm-food-safety/

Scary Things are Happening in Our Landscapes this Halloween

Scary Things are Happening in Our Landscapes this Halloween

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Saddleback Caterpillar – Image Credit Matthew Orwat

The reality of what happens deep down in the darkness of a fire ant mound hidden to human eyes or in the tunnels of a mole cricket where only creepy crawly things dare to enter may be too scary to believe. 

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences along with USDA introduced a tiny South American fly to the U.S. to help control the pesky imported fire ant. Literally, these introduced phorid flies cause the imported fire ants’ heads to fall off. They then use the decapitated heads to reproduce. The flies hover above the ants, dive in, latch on to the ant’s body and inject their eggs. The egg hatches, and a maggot wiggles its way into the ant’s head, where it grows for two to three weeks before secreting a chemical that dissolves the membranes holding the ant’s body together. In a few hours the ant’s head falls off. The maggot eats everything in it and then uses it as a pupae case. Gruesome, isn’t it?  

Assassin bugs are frequently seen slowly crawling on shrubs in our landscapes. Most are brown to black but many are brightly colored. A common species is reddish-orange in the nymph stage. Assassin bugs feed on many harmful insects. Caterpillars are their favorite food.  

They digest their prey before eating it. They do this by piercing their victim with their sharp beak, injecting digestive enzymes. This causes chaos on the unfortunate insect’s nervous system and liquefies the internal organs. The liquefied contents are then consumed, leaving only the shell of its kill. How tragic.  

The larra wasp, an introduced predatory insect by University of Florida entomologists, enters a mole cricket tunnel. The female wasp will pounce on the mole cricket, wrestle with it and sting it on its soft underside. This immobilizes the mole cricket long enough to allow the wasp to deposit a single egg on its underside. The mole cricket recovers and burrows back into the ground. The wasp larva eventually hatches and slowly eats the mole cricket alive. Poor mole cricket.  

We mere mortals should be aware of these horrifying happenings occurring in our own backyards. And we should be frightened by those people who attempt to kill every six-legged critter in sight because they have wrongly identified them as bad. In reality, less than one percent of all insects that exist are damaging to our plants. Most are of no consequence to our lawns, landscapes or gardens. And many are beneficial.  

These beneficial insects are helping us gardeners battle the bad bugs during Halloween and year round.

 

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Author: Larry Williams – llw5479@ufl.edu

Larry Williams is the County Extension Director and Residential Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County.

Larry Williams

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/26/scary-things-are-happening-in-our-landscapes-this-halloween/

Sea Turtles See Things Differently

Sea Turtles See Things Differently

Awareness is Growing! Photo by: Aprile Clark

Awareness is Growing!
Photo by: Aprile Clark

That is, when it comes to lights on our homes and businesses near their nesting beaches. Humans have long-known that artificial light can have negative consequences for many nocturnal animals, including nesting and hatching sea turtles. However, it has only been through fairly recent research that we are beginning to understand the reasons behind some of these effects and developing better lighting (or non-lighting) strategies and alternatives to protect our treasured marine turtle species.

Mother sea turtles that nest on Florida Panhandle beaches are “hard-wired” for nighttime activity when it comes to digging their nest cavities and depositing eggs. Likewise, their babies typically leave their sandy nests under cover of darkness, scampering to the Gulf of Mexico. This nocturnal behavior is important for avoiding predators that would have an easy meal of a baby turtle crossing the open beach in the light of day. However, even hatchlings emerging at night face a number of other obstacles. Once in the water there are a many aquatic predators that will not hesitate to gobble up a baby turtle. On average, it is estimated that only about 1 in 1000 babies survive to reach adulthood. With those odds, it would be wise for us to do anything we can to minimize additional threats or hazards during the short but crucial time these marine reptiles spend on the narrow thread of beachfront that we share with them.

One thing we can do involves reducing the disorienting effects of artificial light near our sea turtle nesting beaches. The term “phototactic” is used to describe organisms that are stimulated to move towards or away from light.  Nesting females have been shown to avoid bright areas on the beach but hatchlings tend to be attracted to the brightest source of light when they emerge from the sand. On a nesting beach with no artificial lighting, any natural light from the moon or stars is reflected off the water, creating a much brighter horizon in that direction. This naturally attracts the hatchlings in the right direction. Lights from human sources can appear very bright in comparison and quite often draw babies over the dunes and into harm’s way on roadways, from predators, or simply by exposure once the sun comes up.

Many beachfront property owners have learned about this threat and have taken this issue to heart by reducing the amount of light on their property and eliminating or replacing lights visible from the nesting beach with sea turtle-friendly lighting. There are three rules to follow when retrofitting or installing new lighting near the beach.

  1. Keep it Long: Long-wave-length lighting that is still in the portion of the spectrum visible to humans includes amber, orange and red light. Manufacturers are now making highly efficient LED bulbs that are certified by the FWC as turtle-friendly.
  2. Keep it Low: Many times lighting needed for safety of access can be placed low enough to be unseen from the nesting beach.
  3. Keep it Shielded: Fixtures that are in line-of-site to the nesting beach need to be recessed to shield the bulb from being directly visible. The correct long-wave-length bulb should also be used in these shielded fixtures.

Remember, exterior lighting is not the only danger turtles face from our lights. Unobstructed interior lights seen through windows and doors can be just as detrimental. The best solution here is to tint beach-facing glass with a 15% transmittance tinting product. This will save money on cooling bills as well as protect interior furnishings and avoid the possibility that someone in your house might leave the blinds or curtains open accidentally during turtle season. If you have questions regarding turtle-safe lighting practices in Florida there are many resources available through the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Sea Turtle Conservancy, and your local UF/IFAS County Extension offices. If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of turtle lighting and ways to protect turtles check out this FWC publication on assessing and resolving light pollution problems and this model lighting ordinance from UF’s Levin College of Law. Most Florida coastal counties have already adopted sea turtle lighting ordinances so you should also check your local county codes for this issue. Let’s help keep sea turtles in the dark, where they need to be.

PG

Author: Erik Lovestrand – elovestrand@ufl.edu

Erik Lovestrand

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/05/22/sea-turtles-see-things-differently/

Things to Consider Before Selling Your Timber

Be cautious with timber sales. Make sure you have s signed, wrtitten agreement with a bonded company before the first tree is harvested. Photo credit: Alter-Bevis Farm in Jackson County-Doug Mayo.

Be cautious with timber sales. Make sure you multiple quotes and have s signed, written agreement with a reputable company before the first tree is harvested. Photo credit: Alter-Bevis Farm in Jackson County-Doug Mayo.

A growing number of Panhandle landowners have limited experience when it comes to managing and marketing timber.  In many cases it is an heir, or a next generation land owner who actually manages the timber sales for the family farm.  Be aware that there are unscrupulous timber harvesters out there who promise landowners a fair deal, harvest the trees, and disappear without making payment to the landowner.  Unfortunately this has happened to several families in Jackson County the past two years.  The Florida Department of Agriculture does have a Law Enforcement Investigator working these cases, but you don’t want to end up in that situation.

Barry Stafford, Florida Forest Service’s Jackson County Forester has compiled a list of things to be aware of and consider before selling your timber:

Before Selling Timber

  • Seek advice from a professional forester

  • What are your management goals?

  • What are the tax advantages/disadvantages of selling timber?

  • Receive quotes from several timber buyers to get the best price

  • Know your property boundaries.

  • Before you sell, know your product(s): pulpwood, chip-n-saw, saw-timber, poles, etc.

  • Have a signed, written contract

If you have limited experience in the timber business, your County Forester can be an extremely valuable resource.  Don’t throw away years of investment based on a verbal deal with a stranger. They may have all of the equipment and expertise, but seek out professional help to make sure you have been given a fair quote, and have a legally binding agreement with a bonded company before the trees are cut.

In addition to assistance with marketing, County Foresters provide consultations on a variety of topics:

County Forester Assistance

  1. Current Timber Market

  2. Insect and Disease Identification

  3. Information on Federal Cost-share Programs

  4. Area Burning Regulations

  5. Prescribed Fire Management Plan

  6. Forest Management Plan

  7. Forest Consultant List

  8. Tree Planting Contractor List

  9. Timber Buyer List

  10. Master Logger List

  11. Tree Removal Business List

  12. Forestry Best Management Practices

For more information on private forest management, contact your County Forester, or visit their website at www.FloridaForestService.com.

 

PG

Author: Doug Mayo – demayo@ufl.edu

Jackson County Extension Director, Livestock & Forages Agent. My true expertise is with beef cattle and pasture management, but I can assist with information on other livestock species, as well as recreational fish ponds.
http://jackson.ifas.ufl.edu

Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/10/31/things-to-consider-before-selling-your-timber/

Things are Getting Hot on the Island… Discovering the Florida Panhandle – Barrier Islands – July

Things are Getting Hot on the Island… Discovering the Florida Panhandle – Barrier Islands – July

The air temperatures are in the high ‘90’s and the heat indices are reaching over 100°F; heck the inland water temperatures are in the high ‘80’s – it’s just hot out there! But our barrier island wildlife friends are doing okay, they have had to deal with this many times before. Deep burrows and nocturnal movement lead the list of behavior adaptations to cope but some still scurry around during daylight hours.

People visiting the Gulf coast during the summer.

People visiting the Gulf coast during the summer.

I typically begin my monthly hikes along the Gulf shore to see what is out and about; this month there were humans… and lots of them. This is the time of year that vacationers visit our islands. Traffic is bad, nowhere to park, long lines, etc. But it is part of living on the Gulf coast. We are glad to have visitors to our part of the state. We do ask that each evening they take their chairs, tents, and trash with them. Have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This plant, Redroot, grows in the wetter areas of the secondary dune.

This plant, Redroot, grows in the wetter areas of the secondary dune.

Seaside Rosemary

Seaside Rosemary

During these hot days of summer this flower was blooming all throughout the freshwater bogs of the secondary dunes. The plant is called REDROOT and it is really pretty. I did not see any insects near it but it was in the warm part of the day that I made my hike this month. The round shaped SEASIDE ROSEMARY is one of my favorite plants on the island. The odor it gives off reminds me of camping out there when I was a kid and of the natural beach in general. I have been told that Native Americans did use it when cooking, but can’t verify that. This is a neat plant either way. I believe there are male and female plants in this species and they have a low tolerance of fire and vehicle traffic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new, young seeds of the common sea oat.

The new, young seeds of the common sea oat.

Though it appears small, this is the same species of pine that grows tall inland.

Though it appears small, this is the same species of pine that grows tall inland.

The most famous plant on our barrier islands is the SEA OAT. However most think of them in the primary dune fields only. They actually grow all across the island as long as their seeds fall in a place where the wind is good, usually at the tops of dunes. As many know the roots and rhizomes of this plant are important in stabilizing the dunes, hence the reason why in most states it is illegal to remove any part of the plant. This PINE is the same type found growing 40 feet up in your yard but here on the beach salt spray and wind stunt their growth. Also the moving sand covers much of the trunk, making the tree appear much smaller than it really is. Pines are quite common on the island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tall trees are covered by quartz sand forming the tertiary dune system.

The tall trees are covered by quartz sand forming the tertiary dune system.

The expanse of marshes that make up Big Sabine on Santa Rosa Island.

The expanse of marshes that make up Big Sabine on Santa Rosa Island.

The large trees of the barrier island system are typically found in the TERTIARY DUNE field. Here we see pine, oak, and magnolia all growing forming dunes that can reach 50 feet high in some places. Behind large tertiary dunes are the marshes of BIG SABINE. These marsh systems are some of the most biologically productive systems on the planet. 95% of our commercially valuable seafood species spend most, if not all, of their lives here. We will focus on this ecosystem in another edition of this series Discovering the Panhandle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The red cones of the Sweet bay identify this as a relative of the magnolia.

The red cones of the Sweet bay identify this as a relative of the magnolia.

The "mystery tracks" we have been seeing since January now show the small tracks of a mammal; probably armadillo.

The “mystery tracks” we have been seeing since January now show the small tracks of a mammal; probably armadillo.

This SWEET BAY is a member of the magnolia family and the small red cones show why. I had not seen the cones until now, so guess they like the heat and rain. WE HAVE SOLVED THE MYSTERY TRACK… knew we would. If you have read the other additions in this series you may recall we have found a track that appeared to be a “slide” coming out of the marsh and into a man-made pond from the old hatchery. Never could determine what was causing this but saw it each month of the year. However this month you could see the individual tracks of a mammal; I am guessing armadillo but could be opossum or raccoon as well. Cool… got that one behind us. On to other discoveries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acres and acres of Black Needlerush indicate this is a salt marsh.

Acres and acres of Black Needlerush indicate this is a salt marsh.

Bulrush and other plants indicate that this is not salt water, but a freshwater marsh.

Bulrush and other plants indicate that this is not salt water, but a freshwater marsh.

Marshes differ from swamps in that they are predominantly grasses, not trees. Salt marshes, as you would expect, have salt water. Fresh water the opposite… yep. The photo on the left is the salt marsh. The grass species are different and help determine if the water is fresh or brackish. Next year we will do a whole series in this ecosystem – it is pretty cool.

 

 

 

 

 

Until next month… enjoy our barrier islands.

 

PG

Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/07/17/things-are-getting-hot-on-the-island-discovering-the-florida-panhandle-barrier-islands-july/

Things to Consider When Moving Honey Bee Hives

beekeepers need to move their bees for various reasons there are important steps beekeepers can take to make the move more efficient and less disruptive to the bees.  Photo by Judy Ludlow

Beekeepers need to move their bees for a number of reasons. There are important steps beekeepers can take to make the move more efficient and less disruptive to the bees. Photo by Judy Ludlow

If life were simple, one of its advantages would be that an apiary could be established and the beehives would never have to be moved. But life isn’t simple, and beekeepers need to move their bees for various reasons. They may need to be moved to make a special honey crop such as: sourwood, tupelo, gallberry, cotton, or orange blossom.  Bees are moved to pollinate a crops like watermelons, blueberries, almonds, or apples. Even establishing a new apiary may require some type of transportation . Whatever the purpose, there are important steps beekeepers can take to make the move more efficient and less disruptive to the bees.

When you move bees, your goal is to have most, if not all, of the bees stay with you and their hives. Here are a few things to consider before, during, and after the move: Is the move over a short or long distance? How many hives are involved? What time of year do they need to be moved?

The approach to moving one or two hives within an apiary is different than moving a large number of hives several miles or more. The best way to move hives within the apiary is through trial and error. Move the hive a few feet and watch to see if a large number of the hive’s forager bees are returning to the former hive site and flying around the old location instead of entering the hive in the new location. The probable reason for the forager’s confusion is that bees tend to learn the location of their hive based on landmarks they see around the hive. Movement of hives to a new distant location, on the other hand, is actually simpler than moving hives a short distance in that there is less chance of forager loss, if certain precautions are taken.

Whatever distance the bees are moved, they should be prepared for the move unless it is to be in small increments where the beekeeper is manually carrying the hives. All cracks and crevices in the hives should be sealed or closed. The hive bodies and bottom boards should be fastened together using stapling ties. Many beekeepers enclose bees with screens to block the beehive entrance and then move them in the cool of the night. Large apiaries often bypass the screening step in the interest of time and to ensure maximum ventilation. When enclosing bees using entrance screens, be mindful of the weather and length of time the bees are “locked” in the hive as temperature extremes and suffocation can result in loss of bees.

An extra precaution many beekeepers take when moving a large number of hives is to cover the entire load of beehives with some type of netting. This keeps the bees on the truck and reduces the possibility that stinging episodes, and possible liability issues, will occur in route to the new location. Check with your local Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Apiary Inspector for information on netting and transportation requirements.

The unloading of bees at the new site can be made less stressful on the bees and the beekeepers if a few precautions are taken. Do not turn off the truck engine upon arriving at the site. The engine vibrations will help keep the bees inside their hives as they are being unloaded. If possible, it is best to place the hives in the new location late in the day or at night. This will reduce the tendency of the foragers to fly away from the hive in search of food before they have learned the new location of the hive.

If you are one of the hundreds of new beekeepers in Florida, it is important you learn all you can about beekeeping best management practices, including transportation of the hives. Please see the following resources for more information.

University of Florida IFAS Beekeeping Publications

UF/IFAS Small Farm Enterprises: Beekeeping

Bees are loaded on a truck at D and J Apiary, Inc.,Umatilla. The colonies will travel to California to pollinate almond groves there. California growers are experiencing a critical shortage of bees this year. (Photo courtesy of Shelly Jakob)

Bees being loaded on a truck to travel to California to pollinate almond groves. Source FDPI Photo credit:  Shelly Jakob

Article Sources:

Honey Bees and Beekeeping: A Year in the Life of an Apiary, 3rd Edition – Keith Delaplane, Ph.D. (2007)

Hive Management: A Seasonal Guide for Hive Management – Richard E. Bonney, Blandford Press, (1992)

The Hive and the Honey Bee – Roy A Grout, (1992)

 

PG

Author: Roy Carter – rlcarter@ufl.edu

Roy Carter

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/05/29/things-to-consider-when-moving-honey-bee-hives/

5 Things You Can Do to Help Sea Turtles During Nesting Season

5 Things You Can Do to Help Sea Turtles During Nesting Season

It is May and this is the official beginning of the sea turtle nesting season. These ancient creatures have followed this nesting cycle for centuries traveling the open ocean, feeding and resting on reefs, then returning to shore in the spring and summer to breed and lay their eggs on beaches and barrier islands. What is neat is that Dr. Archie Carr discovered they return to the same beaches near where they were born. So those visiting our beaches are in a sense, “our” turtles. Another interesting fact about panhandle sea turtles is that a significant number of male turtles are produced here. Gender in most turtles is determined by the temperature of the egg during incubation in the sand; colder temperatures producing males. Since the panhandle has cooler temperatures than the lower peninsula of Florida, we produce the majority of the males for our populations. This is also why we have fewer nests than south Florida, since it is the females who return to shore.

 

Tracks left by a nesting Green Sea Turtle.  Courtesy of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Tracks left by a nesting Green Sea Turtle. Courtesy of Gulf Islands National Seashore.

However, in the last 50 years more and more people have moved to the beaches and barrier islands of the panhandle and the sea turtles have run into problems continuing their ancient cycle. Four of the five species of sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico are currently listed as endangered; the loggerhead is listed as a threatened species. Though they have issues with natural predators much of their trouble is due to human activities. HERE ARE FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP SEA TURTLE NESTING THIS SEASON.

 

  1. Offshore, more and more turtles are being struck by boats. These are air breathing reptiles and need to surface. Unfortunately nesting season is also during the height of fishing and diving season. Many boaters must follow no wake zones to reach open waters and want to open up the throttle when they do. As with manatees in our rivers we ask that you keep a lookout for the surfacing heads as you are heading to and from your destination.
  2. Both offshore and inshore sea turtles are encountering more plastics in the marine environment. Turtles become entangled in discarded fishing line and actually consume many forms of plastic debris drifting in the water column. One loggerhead found on Dauphin Island had 11 pounds of plastic lodged in its esophagus, which obviously kept it from feeding properly. When you go boating please develop some method of storing plastics and fishing line until you reach shore. Once you return to the boat ramp please use the fishing line recycle bins to discard your fishing line. Fishing line placed in these are recycled into new fishing line. If there is not a fishing line recycle bin at your boat ramp contact your County Sea Grant Agent to see if one can be placed there. If you are enjoying the beach from shore please discard of all solid waste in trash or recycle cans before leaving.
  3. On the beach many residents and visitors spend the day playing in the sand and building sand castles. This time long activity is great fun but leaving large holes in the sand when you leave has not only entrapped turtles but have been problems for turtle watch and safety vehicles using the beach. Please fill in your holes before you leave for the day.
  4. Another issue on the beach are chairs and tents left over night. Many residents and visitors staying on the beach for a week or longer like to keep their chairs and tents set up for the duration. However this has caused barrier, and sometimes entrapment, issues for the turtles. We ask all to remove these from the beach at the end of the day.
  5. And finally, the lights. 40-50% of our turtle nests in Escambia County are disoriented by artificial lighting. Most panhandle counties do have beach lighting ordinances. We ask both residents and visitors to become familiar with their ordinances and abide by them. Exterior lighting should be low to the ground, long in wavelength (yellow or red), and shielded to direct the light down. Interior lighting can be blocked by closing the shades, moving the light source away from the window, or simply turning them off. All counties’ ordinances have some version of these basic ideas.

With a little help from us, our sea turtles can continue their ancient cycle. These animals are fascinating to see and for many, the highlight of their trip to the beach. If you have questions about sea turtle biology or the local lighting ordinances contact your Sea Grant Agent at the county extension office.

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Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/05/10/5-things-you-can-do-to-help-sea-turtles-during-nesting-season/

Some Things are Too Important to Say Nothing: Talking with Your Children about Money

Child Talking to Parent

Bindaas Madhavi. (2011) Listen to Your Kids.

Most parents would not allow their child to play in the street or to touch a hot stove because parents understand that these actions have consequences and the consequences are serious. If you don’t talk with your child about money and allow them to observe you exhibiting positive financial behaviors, this can also have serious consequences. One indicator of an individual’s financial capabilities is their credit score. A poor credit score can impact an individual’s ability to get a job, secure housing, purchase reliable transportation and access other forms of credit.

According to FINRA Investor Education Foundation State Financial Education Mandates, three years after Georgia, Idaho and Texas implemented a financial education mandate, credit scores of participants improved. In 2014, Florida also voted to adopt financial education into its social studies standards for students in grades K-12 and financial education is now a graduation requirement. While incorporating financial education into schools is an important step, parents still play an important role in financial socialization (establishing what is normal in terms of financial behaviors). In fact, research shows that time preference patterns and delay of gratification patterns are set by age five or before a child reaches kindergarten. Time preference patterns and delay of gratification patterns are often exhibited by adults through savings and budgeting. In a recent study by Cho, Gutter, Kim and Mauldin, the researchers found the effects of financial socialization had significant effect on the financial behaviors of low- to moderate-income adults aged 24-66, indicating that the time preference patterns children develop in youth could last a lifetime.

UF/IFAS Extension Northwest District Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents know that, as parents, you want to protect your child or children from things that have negative consequences whether it be an inattentive driver, a hot stove, or a poor credit score. One of the things parents can do immediately, to impact what their child is learning about money and how their child is being financially socialized, is to talk with their child about money. Some ideas to get your family conversations about money started are to discuss:

– Wants versus needs

– The grocery budget

– Household expenses

– How your child can earn/save money

If you are still a little nervous about starting the conversation as a result of concerns about your own financial capabilities, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office and ask about our Master Money Mentor Program or upcoming financial classes. If you can’t wait for a class, check out these additional resources:

Talking to Children about Money:  http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/famsci/fs1441.pdf

Are Your Children in the Middle of your Conflict or Divorce? http://goo.gl/lpXwwc

9 Important Communication Skills for Every Relationship  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FY/FY127700.pdf

 

Remember a family conversation about money is one conversation that is too important to wait. Make a money date with your child or children today!

 

References:

Cho, Gutter, Kim and Mauldin. (2012). The Effect of Socialization and Information Source on Financial Management Behaviors among Low-and Moderate-Income Adults. Family & Consumer Science Research Journal. 40(4): 417-430

Council for Economic Education. (2015). Survey of the States. Retrieved 16 March 2015 from http://www.councilforeconed.org/news-information/survey-of-the-states/

National Financial Educators Council. (2013) Financial Education Impact. Retrieved 16 March 2015 from http://www.financialeducatorscouncil.org/financial-literacy-statistics/

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Author: Kristin Jackson – kris88@UFL.EDU

Kristin Jackson is the Family Consumer Science (FCS) agent for Jefferson County Florida. She has been employed with UF IFAS Extension Jefferson County for four years. Her two major program areas are individual/family finance and healthy lifestyles.
http://jefferson@ifas.ufl.edu

Kristin Jackson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/29/some-things-are-too-important-to-say-nothing-talking-with-your-children-about-money/