Monday, January 26, 2009

Food Safety - Botulism-related Recall

Please check preserved sauces may have been given as gifts this past holiday season, as well as products in your cupboards as listed in the recall notice described below.

There have been no reported illnesses, but some Stonewall Kitchen sweet sauces, with chocolate, peanut butter or caramel, are being recalled. These products do not meet the necessary standards to prevent botulism as a canned food to be stored in a sealed jar at room temperature (which they are). The pH and water activity levels are not appropriate for the way they are prepared and processed.

Should the jar contain Clostridium botulinum, the conditions would allow outgrowth of the organism and toxin formation.Botulism is a potentially fatal form of food poisoning. It can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek IMMEDIATE medical attention.

This recall notice has a list of the specific products being recalled. They may have been purchased as individual jars or as part of gift baskets. Stonewall Kitchen preserves are very commonly available and sold in many gift shops as well as grocery stores. It also has the company's 1-800 number if you have any additional questions about this recall.

Elizabeth Andress
Elizabeth L. Andress, Ph.D.
Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist
Director, National Center for Home Food Preservation
Department of Foods and Nutrition
The University of Georgia
208 Hoke Smith Annex
Athens, GA 30602-4356
Phone: (706) 542-3773
FAX: (706) 542-1979

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to start a spring vegetable garden

Local Market Gardeners' Forum on starting a spring vegetable garden

So you want to grow your own food?
Learn from the local market gardeners… how to start a spring vegetable garden

The forum will feature a panel of local market gardeners presenting an evening of practitioner tips from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, and then answering questions until 8:30 pm.

The purpose of this forum -- and related classes, forums and tours to come -- is to provide timely and useful information for the preparation, tending and and successful harvest of single-family, multi-family, neighborhood and community vegetable gardens. These programs will be designed to assist those who want to grow their own healthy food to eat.

We are fortunate to have some experienced CSA growers and market gardeners in the greater Tallahassee area willing to share their knowledge with other folks who want to grow what they eat, and eat what they grow.

Thursday, February 12th 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Leon County Extension Center
615 Paul Russell Road Tallahassee, Florida
Cost: $2.00 person, $3.00 couple
Call Genice Harris at 850‐606‐5202 to reserve a seat!

NOTE: Please note that this is at the Leon County Extension office in Tallahassee, FL and not the Thomasville - Thomas County Extension Office.
- R.J.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Commercial Producers: South Georgia / North Florida Peach Update

The South Georgia / North Florida Peach Update will be held on January 28th at the Brooks County Extension office.

This meeting will be very similar to the Middle Georgia Peach Update that will be held on the 27th. This is and educational opportunity for any peach grower or anyone interested in commercial peach production.

A sponsored meal is planned so please call 229-263-4103 by noon on January 27th, if you or your growers plan to attend. Anyone with any dietary restrictions needs to let me know. See you there!!!

Please contact:
Johnny P. Whiddon
Brooks County Extension Coordinator
Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent
400 East Courtland Avenue
Quitman, Georgia 31643
229-263-4103 office

for more information.

- R.J.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cost Estimating and Job Bidding Workshops for Landscape Professionals, March 12-13, 2009 at UGA, Athens

In today’s tough economic climate, accurate cost estimating and bidding on landscape projects are more important than ever. Bid too low and you lose money. Bid too high and you lose jobs to competitors.

On March 12 and 13, 2009 faculty in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Science will once again offer hands-on bidding workshops for landscape professionals. The workshops will be held in a computer lab on the UGA campus.

Participants will learn how to use Excel-based cost-estimating and bidding spreadsheets developed by UGA faculty. Day 1 will focus on installation cost estimating, while day 2 will concentrate on landscape maintenance cost estimating and job bidding. Participants may choose to attend one day or both days.

Registration includes hand-outs, refreshments, lunch each day, and take-home copies of the computer programs. Registration is limited to 40 participants each day, so early registration is encouraged.

For additional information and to register, go to or phone 706/542-2861.

2009 Conservation Tillage Conference

What: 2009 Conservation Tillage Conference
When: February 3-4
Where: Thomasville

For more info please contact our office or Karen McBrayer.

9th Conservation Tillage Training Conference set for Feb. 3 – 4, 2009
Farmers and interested persons can learn about the benefits of conservation tillage at the “9th Conservation Production Systems Training Conference” set for Tuesday and Wednesday, February 3 – 4, 2009 at the Southwest Georgia Technical College in Thomasville, Georgia.

The conference is designed for farmers to discuss and learn about conservation tillage from other farmers, USDA and UGA personnel, and researchers in an interactive setting.
This conference promotes a “Systems Approach” to sustainable agriculture and conservation tillage.

Topics to be covered in concurrent breakouts sessions include Crop Rotation and Cover Crops, Challenges of Peanuts in Conservation Tillage, Weed Management, Water and Energy Conservation, as well as an opportunity to experience the John Deere Training Center.

Additionally, educational displays related to conservation tillage will be on display.

The Conference is cosponsored by the DNR–Pollution Prevention Assistance Division, Fort Valley State University, USDA-Risk Management Agency, Georgia Conservation Tillage Alliance, Georgia Organics, Georgia Soil & Water Conservation Commission, Seven Rivers RC&D Council, Upper Suwannee River Partnership, South Georgia Regional Development Center, The University of Georgia College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences, Georgia Coastal Management Program, USDA–Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA –Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education and many more.

The conference registration fee per person is $150 excluding lodging and $225 per person including lodging. Farmers may be eligible for scholarships to cover registration fees if registered by the deadline of January 14, 2009 and as long as funds are available. Vendors, Equipment Dealers, and other Agriculture Supply Dealers are welcome to set up product displays for a small fee.

For more information or to register for the 2009 Conservation Productions Systems Training Conference, please contact Karen McBrayer at 229.386.3416 or by email at Registration can also be completed online at under Upcoming Events.
Feb. 3-4, 2009 “9th Conservation Production Systems Training Conference” – Southwest Georgia Technical College in Thomasville, GA. Topics will cover Crop Rotation and Cover Crops, Challenges of Peanuts in Conservation Tillage, Weed Management, Water and Energy Conservation, as well as an opportunity to experience the John Deere Training Center. For information please contact Karen McBrayer at 229.386.3416 or by email at

Think green when you clean

Everywhere you look someone is coughing, sneezing, hacking or wheezing. When everyone around you is sick, you want to kill all the germs that could infect you next. But think twice before grabbing that store-bought bottle of disinfectant.
Story Number: 3611

To review this article and/or download a version of it, click on the link below:

2009 Green Up - Landscaper Update Workshop

2009 Green Up landscape update and trade show planned for Feb. 24 in Perry, GA.

Who could benefit from attending Green Up?

Landscapers and turf managers.
Golf course superintendants.
Grounds maintenance workers and managers.
Others that maintain landscapes and turf.

Why should I attend?

Up-to-date training from university & industry speakers.
Four educational tracks – turf, color & design, landscapes and water issues.
Pesticide applicator re-certification credits in Georgia category 24 & private.
Trade show and interaction with others in the industry.

How can I attend?

The early registration fee is only $35 increasing to $45 after Feb. 10.
See a schedule and registration information at
For more information contact the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) at (706) 632-0100 or Green Up organizer Willie Chance, Houston County Extension Agent - (478) 987-2028 or

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Household Water Quality Information

If you are having issues with your well water or municipal water supply, check out these publications. They may help you identify your problems.

You can also bring samples of water to us for testing. We have guidlines for bringing in water for testing, and there are fees associated with water testing. Please call the office for more info or keep posted to our website for information on the fees.

1 Protecting your Well and Well Head (HACE 858-1)

2 Testing for Water Quality (HACE 858-2)

3 Home Water Quality and Treatment (HACE 858-3)

4 Shock Chlorination (HACE 858-4)

5 Nitrate in Water (HACE 858-5)

6 Pesticides (HACE 858-6)

7 Coliform Bacteria in Your Water (HACE 858-7)

8 Hydrogen Sulfide and Sulfate (HACE 858-8)

9 Corrosion or Scaling Water (HACE 858-9)

10Lead and Copper (HACE 858-10)

11Iron and Manganese (HACE 858-11)

12Arsenic in Your Water (HACE 858-12)

13Mercury in Your Water (HACE 858-13)