April 2024: Family and Consumer Sciences Newsletter

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April 2024

Family and Consumer Sciences Newsletter

N.C. Cooperative Extension  – Wilkes County Center

An image of yellow flowers with words that say "Hello Spring."

Introducing Elisa Phillips

Elisa joined the N.C. Cooperative Extension – Wilkes County Center as the Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent at the start of March. Prior to this, Elisa worked as the Family and Consumer Science Agent in Alamance County for nearly two years. Elisa earned her Master of Science in Public Health with a concentration in rural public health from Campbell University and her B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Biblical Studies from Columbia International University. Though Elisa is new to the Wilkes County Extension office, she is a native of Wilkes County and is happy to return home to serve the citizens of Wilkes County.

Photo of Elisa Phillips, new Family and Consumer Science Agent in Wilkes County.

Elisa will be happy to answer questions from the general public pertaining to food safety for consumers, general nutrition, food preservation, local food systems/food access.

If you are a community member or agency working in one of these areas and would like to partner with the N.C. Cooperative Extension-Wilkes County Center to provide education or support in one of these areas, you can reach Elisa at 336-651-7331 or elisa_phillips@ncsu.edu.

Elisa is also the new administrator for the Visit NC Farms app in Wilkes County. If you would like to add your farm or business to the Visit NC Farms app, please reach out for more information.

Stop by the office and say hi to Elisa if you get the chance!

Food Preservation 

With the advent of Spring, we are also met with warmer temperatures, the opportunity for more outdoor activities, and (hopefully) an abundance of Spring vegetables!

If you plan to preserve produce by pressure canning this year, it is recommended that you test your dial gauge pressure canner at the start of each canning season (such as the yellow canner pictured below). If you have a weighted gauge canner (like the silver canner pictured below), you don’t need to have it checked unless you are uncertain about whether or not the canner is in safe condition for canning. For all kinds of pressure canners, you want to replace the rubber parts (gasket, safety valve) when they appear cracked or are no longer pliable. How often you replace these parts will depend on your frequency of use. Check with your canner’s manufacturer to replace parts or head to your local hardware store – some carry canning equipment and might be able to order the part you need!

If you would like to have your dial gauge canner tested, contact Elisa Phillips at elisa_phillips@ncsu.edu or 336-651-7331 to schedule a time to stop by the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Wilkes County Center. For testing purposes, it is only necessary to bring the canner lid with the gauge attached or the detached gauge.

Note that our testing unit can only test the following brands: Presto, Maid of Honor, National, Magic Seal, and Kook-Kwick. We cannot test All American pressure canner gauges.

Also, we encourage you to choose evidence-based, safe canning recipes this season. A few evidence-based recipe sources include:

If you are uncertain about whether or not a recipe is safe, or need assistance finding an evidence-based recipe, feel free to reach out to Elisa.

Keep your eyes peeled for some upcoming canning classes at the N.C. Cooperative Extension – Wilkes County Center.

2 canners, one dial gauge canner and one weighted gauge canner.

Seasonal Produce Availability

NC Seasonal Availability Chart, page 1. NC Seasonal Availability Chart, page 2. An image depicting many colors of fruit that says "Eat More Color" with examples of fruits and vegetables of each color.

Upcoming Programs

Extension at Home: Become a Scam Detective

Check out the upcoming Lunch & Learn webinar, “Become a Scam Detective” on April 9th at 12 p.m. ET. This is the next workshop in the 2024 Extension at Home Series, which occurs on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at noon. This is a FREE series collaboratively hosted by Family and Consumer Agents in our region. Pre-registration is required for the Zoom link. If you cannot attend at the scheduled time, webinar recordings will be sent out to registrants after the class.

Register at go.ncsu.edu/scam-detective or by using the QR code below.

Scam Detective Webinar Flyer Extension at Home Webinar Series Flyer

NC Food Safety Connections Webinar Series

NC Food Safety Connections Webinar Flyer