Garden Gift.

first_imgPhoto: Darbie Granberry These greenhouse bell pepper transplants show dramatically the benefit of compost. The transplants on the right were grown with a medium with 20 percent compost. The ones on the left were grown without compost. Why not use the noncomposted organic matter?Weed-free, Pathogen-freeCompost and noncomposted organic materials both contain high levels of organic matter. But only compost is free of weed seed and pathogens.Besides organic matter, manure and products containing manure, such as animal litter, may also contain harmful weed seeds and disease germs that can harm humans, plants and animals.The heat generated during composting kills these weed seeds and germs.Holding NutrientsCompost and noncomposted organic matter both contain essential plant nutrients such as nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus. But compost holds the most nutrients in a leaching-resistant, slow-release form.Many of the water-soluble nutrients in animal manures may quickly move into the soil and supply injurious levels of nutrients to plants, or they may leach down below the root zone and no longer be available to plants.However, most of the nutrients in compost are in a complex organic form and must be mineralized in the soil before they can be leached or become available to plants.For example, only about 10 percent to 15 percent of the total nitrogen in compost is typically available during the first cropping season.Healthy SoilCompost and noncomposted organic matter both contain many microbial species. But the highest numbers and most diverse beneficial microbes are found in compost.Most gardeners are well aware of the old axiom, “Healthy soil is alive.” That can be taken a step farther: “The more alive, the healthier the soil.”An incredible diversity of organisms lives in healthy soil. They range in size from the tiniest one-celled bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa to the more complex nematodes and earthworms.Soil organisms support plant growth as they decompose organic matter, cycle nutrients, enhance soil structure and compete with or in other ways inhibit the growth of harmful microbes. High-quality compost is literally swarming with beneficial microbes.When? How Much?Eight to 10 weeks before planting, broadcast the compost and incorporate it into the soil. Small amounts are helpful, but for the best results, the first application should be 20 to 30 pounds of compost per 100 square feet of garden soil.After that, annually applying 8 to 10 pounds per 100 square feet should be enough.Best TransplantsMany gardeners grow their own vegetable transplants. Growing their own enables them to have transplants of special varieties they couldn’t get otherwise. And it lets them have the transplants when they need them.Of special interest to those who grow their transplants, recent research compared conventional transplant growing media without compost to media amended with compost (20 percent of the volume).Bell pepper transplants grown in compost-amended media were better transplants. They had larger stems and more roots. And after being transplanted to the field, the transplants grown in the compost-amended media produced 20 percent more peppers (by weight) than the transplants grown in nonamended media. Many gardening activities are still a few months away. But some things need to be done before spring’s sunny days arrive. Compost, an excellent amendment for garden soils, needs to be applied several weeks before seeding or transplanting.Compost is decayed manures, animal litter, leaves and other organic matter. More precisely, it’s the product that results from composting, the process in which microorganisms convert these organic raw materials into organic residues such as humus.Composting transforms the original manure, leaves, etc., into a much more desirable and more valuable soil amendment.Why Apply Compost?Organic matter improves most garden soils because it: Supplies important plant nutrients.Helps soils better retain nutrient.Improves soil aeration.Helps prevent soil compaction.Makes water more able to move into soil and stay longer.Makes soil easier to work.last_img read more

Compost Lessons

first_imgLearn the basics of composting on April 19 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center’s Saturday at the Rock event.Clarke County University of Georgia Extension agent Amanda Tedrow will explain the ingredients that make up successful composting while demonstrating different methods ranging from vermicomposting (composting with worms) to simple backyard compost piles. Participants learn the steps from beginning to end, trash to treasure, through hands-on demonstrations and information on building up, watering and turning piles. The session will also cover how to turn kitchen and yard scraps into nutrient-rich soil for home gardens and landscape beds. The class is appropriate for all ages and costs $5 per person. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 11:30 a.m. and includes an optional visit to Rock Eagle’s Diane Davies Natural History Museum following the composting lesson. Advanced registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Laura Kent at (706) 484-2881 or Saturday at the Rock programs are held each month, excluding December. A complete list of sessions may be found online at read more

New Lens

first_imgFirst, clean your lenses. Start by rinsing off debris and grit in the sink. Then use a toothbrush and toothpaste to gently scrub away facial oils, fingerprints, and grime. Pat dry and buff with a soft towel. Store masks in individual plastic containers or bags to keep them clean and prevent scratches.  Riverside, spray a few pumps of Quick-Spit onto your mask’s interior lenses. Tilt it from side to side, coating the glass totally. Then dip it into the water, washing away the solution completely. Repeat for the external lenses. TIP: If your face or fingers touch the glass, the point of contact will fog. So, bring along a cleaning kit just in case.  GET EQUIPPED Then it hit me: Could we make it work in nearby rivers? I quickly added quality masks and snorkels to our tubing rigs and we hit the water. The response was an enthusiasm that—to my astonishment—dethroned skiing and snowboarding as my kids’ favorite outdoor to-do.  Antifog SprayWithout it, lenses fog within seconds. Jaws brand Quick-Spit spray costs about $6 a bottle and should be applied on-site, each time you go out. Here’s how to do it right.   Proper equipment is the foundation of great river snorkeling experiences. Luckily, quality gear is remarkably affordable. Here’s a list of essentials, with tips for choosing. Neoprene diving gloves protect water-softened fingers and hands from sharp rocks and debris. They’re great for grabbing boulders, pushing off rocks while swimming downstream, and more. Webbed gloves are like fins for your hands. Both options run around $30.  FINDING SPOTS Use a similar approach for downstream trips. Begin with short journeys (.5 miles or so) in gentle currents with manageable depths and build from there.       SnorkelsBuying a quality snorkel brings confidence that helps kids and adults adjust to the peculiarities of breathing while swimming underwater. Matching with mask brands ensures compatible connection systems and minimal obtrusiveness.  Fins increase mobility and swimming efficiency, helping you dive deeper, slice through currents, and better follow fish. They also protect your feet. Look for a pair with short fins, closed pockets, and rugged grippy soles. Head Volo Ones do the trick for about $30. Pair them with neoprene water socks to avoid blisters (under $20). When my two kids were small, family canoe trips were easy. Then they got older and things like who sits in front, where to stop and swim, accidental paddle-splashes, or simply passing a bag of chips, led to near-constant bickering. Next came gripes about sitting still. My spouse soon refused to participate.  • Be careful when rivers are high. Luckily, post-storm turbidity makes for bad snorkeling. Still, there are occasions when receding waters turn clear, but leave dangerously powerful currents. Check river gauges ahead of visits for depths and never swim in conditions that exceed any member of your party’s abilities.   Another important factor: Light. Dense, bank-hugging forests bring excess shade and occluded viewing opportunities. Other considerations include skirts and buckles. The former should be high-grade silicone. For the latter, a frame-anchored quick-release system is best. Though slightly more expensive, they simplify adjustments considerably.   But we learned quickly. And my kids have since become zealous advocates—urging friends and pretty much anyone we meet on the river to give the activity a try. I too wanna spread the message. Below is a guide to help you and your family get started.   Innertube and Cooler RigLonger downstream swims bring considerations like portable hydration, snacks, and possible kiddie fatigue. Waterproof coolers and hydration packs can be lashed to sturdy innertubes with bottom-liners. The latter offer relief if someone needs a momentary break.  Another option is to call outfitters. They know the local rivers well and are typically happy to make suggestions. They also offer cheap shuttles for point-to-point trips. Some, like North Carolina’s Oxbow River Snorkeling & Backcountry Adventures, do guided experiences.  What to do? Tubing trips brought their own problems. Kayaks required buying a tow vehicle and trailer. I started longing for the simple, infectious Zen of family snorkeling trips in Hawaii and the Caribbean. The activity bundled exercise, summer swimming, quiet, and immersive nature experiences like no other.   • Pollution. Sections of waterways near former or current industrial sites, power plants, cities, and so on, can sometimes be unsafe to swim in. When visiting new areas, first check for closures with your state’s department of game and inland fisheries (or equivalent agency).   • Floating Downstream. Navigating riffles and small rapids while snorkeling takes some getting used to. Start by assessing areas and picking lines ahead of time. Deeper spots are easy enough to swim. Tackle shallower areas by crawling along head first (in a superman position), picking your way from rock to rock. Drag your feet and grab boulders to control speed. Wearing gloves will boost confidence and protect your hands and fingers.  What Makes a Good Location?Freshwater snorkeling comes in three main forms: Exploring swimming holes and still-water areas, skulking upstream, and floating for longer distances downstream. So, deciding where to go depends on what you want to do. Good news aside, there was a substantial learning curve. We wasted outings on botched antifog treatments. Our first long trip nearly got us stranded by nightfall. Outings centered around isolated, densely forested sections brought near-zero visibility. The list goes on.  Start SlowBegin with a trial run in an area with clear water and easy conditions. A swimming hole with negligible current, rocky bottoms, and walkable shallow areas that give way to depths of about eight feet is ideal.  Fins & Gloves Gloves and fins are nice, but nonessential. (Ditto for wetsuits in summer conditions.) That said, they do enhance experiences. So, a word.  Like mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding, river snorkeling brings inherent dangers. Taking a few easy precautions minimizes risks.  Masks While bargain packages may work passably in swimming pools, they will leak and fail in rivers. Instead, invest in upper-midrange or high-end offerings from professional brands like Cressi or TUSA. A premium mask will slash learning curves and maximize good times. Initially, it’s best to start with shorter distances—say, a mile or less. Pick spots where, should you finish too quickly, it’s easy to shuttle up for a repeat. Because, if the spot is good, second runs are desirable. River snorkeling is a great way for families to get outside, stay active, and explore nature.   Small kids can wear life vests and catch interesting sights from the surface while learning to stay partially submerged and breathe through their snorkel. Older children can get familiarized with diving by belly-crawling in chest-deep water. That way, if they panic or get scared, they can simply stand up. Once they’re confident, they can move on to progressively deeper waters.  Planning Calculating timing and mileages for downstream river snorkeling trips can be tricky. Some areas inspire lingering. Others, window-gazing as the current does its thing.  There are a few requisites for choosing. First is a reliable dry guard that bars water from entering the tube when you dive. Second is flexible construction—allowing for mobility that won’t compromise your mask’s seal. Next is a comfortable, properly sized, high-grade silicone mouthpiece. Lastly, a purge valve for blowing out saliva and water. The Cressi Alpha Ultra Dry is great and costs about $40.  The key to great family river snorkeling trips lies in finding good spots. That said, criteria for assessment will vary from group to group—depending on geography, kiddo swimming abilities, and so on. These tips and tricks will help attune your thinking and point you in the right direction.    Next comes lenses. Tempered glass is a necessity. For younger kids, consider a dual-lens setup: Frames make them sturdier, less likely to fog, and easier to adjust. Adults and conscientious teens will enjoy frameless, single lens models—which offer a wider field of sight and better peripheral vision. The award-winning Cressi F1 sells for around $35.  They delighted in exploring segments of rivers they’d complained relentlessly about having to paddle. Looking for fish and wildlife in underwater boulder fields, rocky crags, and gentle rapids brought endless amusement. They begged to stay despite fading sunlight and the need for dinner. At home, they consulted online freshwater guidebooks to discover what they’d seen. • Swim with buddies and stay close. Pay particular attention in areas with stronger currents and deeper waters. SAFETY & GETTING STARTED • Protective footwear. Unfortunately, irresponsible fishermen, litterers, and floods create dangerous hazards in rivers. Stepping on a fishing hook, shard of broken glass, or jagged rocks can ruin a trip and spell a visit to the emergency room.   Best Practices  But picking takes consideration. First and foremost is fit—a hair too big and you’ll get constant leakage. Visiting dive shops makes fittings easy. When buying online, take facial measurements and use sizing charts.  Locate New AreasUnfamiliar with regional waterways? Try checking the website of your state’s department of game and inland fisheries (or equivalent agency). Virginia, for instance, lists rivers by region and offers canoeing and kayaking info for many sections—including fishing hotspots, which are often great for snorkeling. But there are common ingredients. Above all, fun snorkeling experiences hinge on underwater eye-candy, so clear water, rocky bottoms, and interesting ecosystems are the ticket. Mountain rivers that feed major tributaries are typically a good place to start. Features like long, relatively slow-moving sections filled with big boulders are havens for fish. Riffles also offer interesting pockets of rocks and wildlife. In Virginia, for instance, the headwaters of the Maury River at Goshen Pass are exemplary.  Cover photo courtesy of Oxbow River Snorkeling & Backcountry Adventures, an outfitter offering guided trips in North Carolina.last_img read more

US Hospital Ship Arrives In Panama On Humanitarian Mission For Latin America

first_imgBy Dialogo May 26, 2009 it is good to visit areas where people do not get any medical services. thanks to all doctors team who regularly visit them and respect their profession in true manner with true services to all. The US Navy Hospital Ship “Comfort” will dock next Monday, for the purpose of conducting a humanitarian assistance mission throughout the Caribbean, Central America and Colombia. Representatives from the Panamanian Ministry of Health (Minsa) and from the U.S. Embassy in this country indicated today during the press conference that the ship will be anchored in the Port of Cristóbal in the city of Colón, in the Panamanian Caribbean. The primary objective of this visit, which was conducted for the first time in 2007, is to provide free medical assistance and to improve some of the health infrastructure of this Central American country. The “Comfort” will have a crew comprised of 925 members from France, Canada, Holland, Spain and the United States; 121 of the crew members are physicians, each one of them being able to examine up to 60 patients each, as explained by the Southern Command’s Surgeon General and Ship’s Captain, Miguel Cubano. The ship, which will be in Panama for 7 days, is 275 meters long, has 12 hospital wards and the space capacity for up to 1000 hospital beds. According to Cubano, all types of general surgery, pediatric and orthopedic operations will be performed on the ship, except for neurosurgical interventions and vascular surgery. Last April 1st, the ship “Comfort” set sail from Norfolk, Virginia (Unites States), and it visited Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Antigua and Barbuda, and afterwards it went from Panama towards Colombia, El Salvador and Nicaragua. The Clinical Supplies Director for the Panamanian Ministry of Health, Mario Rodríguez, stated that the ship did not come to Panama due to the increase in the number of cases of Influenza Type A. “The arrival of the ship is a coincidence, an activity that we had been coordinating for several months before the epidemic occurred. It did not happen because Panama had requested the US help with the influenza epidemic. It just arrived in a moment of humanitarian emergency,” Rodriguez said. In 2007, the American vessel conducted a mission throughout 12 Latin American countries, where more than 169,000 patients were assisted and 1500 operations were performed. A total of 20 million dollars was earmarked in order to cover the expenses of this two year mission, according to information provided by the US Embassy.last_img read more

Architect of productive partnerships

first_img‘It’s much easier to ask for business when you’ve established relationships based on shared interests and goals.’ONE COLLEAGUE DESCRIBES Rebecca Cardwell as analytical and very creative, noting “the two qualities don’t often come in one person.”But that’s what it takes to accomplish Cardwell’s many initiatives at University of Virginia (UVA) Community Credit Union in Charlottesville, V.A.As vice president of community relations, Cardwell pursues relationships with other nonprofits and local businesses that improve quality of life and strengthen the credit union’s branding in the marketplace.“It enhances the community nature of our credit union,” she says. “It’s much easier to ask for business from individuals and organizations where you’ve established relationships based on shared interests and goals.”For instance, Cardwell developed a partnership between UVA Community and Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP) to help people improve their homes through energy efficiency and renewable updates. Through her efforts, the Fair Housing Authority selected UVA Community as one of 18 lenders to offer lowcost PowerSaver Loans to fund home improvements.“Along with lowering consumers’ energy bills, the program puts area contractors to work,” she says. “There’s a ripple effect. Picking the right partner benefits the credit union and the community.”Cardwell’s passion for sustainability prompted her to work with city and county governments and another nonprofit to create Solarize Charlottesville, which provides volume discounts and UVA Community financing on solar energy system installations. continue reading » 4SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

NCUA Board to decide on TCCUSF merger, NOL increase today

first_img 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU staff will be on hand at today’s NCUA Board meeting, during which the board is expected to decide on its proposal to close the Temporary Corporate Credit Union Stabilization Fund (TCCUSF) and increase the normal operating level (NOL) of the share insurance fund – which NAFCU opposes.NAFCU has consistently called for a full refund for credit unions for monies they paid for corporate assessments.The NCUA’s current plan would close the TCCUSF, merge the fund’s assets and liabilities into the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund (NCUSIF) and increase the NCUSIF’s NOL from 1.3 percent to 1.39 percent – the highest level in the fund’s history. continue reading »last_img read more

Top 5 (and 5 most missed) of 2017: Credit union big data and analytics – Part 1

first_imgAs another exciting year in the credit union industry comes to a close, it is a good time to reflect on everything we have learned throughout the year, and determine how to best prepare for success in 2018. It is an amazing time to be a part of the credit union movement as the entire financial services arena is changing before our eyes, and there is incredible potential for the movement with increasing collaborating and data analytics. As we look back on 2017, here are several of the industry’s favorite articles relating to credit union big data/analytics (and some other articles you may have missed) from OnApproach blog, The Decision Maker. Enjoy!The Top 5 Favorites:1. A Day in the Life of a Data Analytics SVP: Making Use of Your Credit Union’s DataThere is a reason for using the word “journey” to describe the investment in data analytics. A financial institution cannot simply purchase a shiny new computer or software system and immediately have every question answered and every problem solved. As Clay expresses in the podcast while discussing the analytics journey, “It’s a practice that you build, and a data warehouse is a vital piece in that practice.” continue reading » 50SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Facility Solutions: Designing for lobby security

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Interest in security planning often rises when a news event connects with us and then wanes again when that incident moves to the back of our minds over time.On the morning of Sept. 6, a man with a pistol walked from Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati into the lobby of Fifth Third Bank and shot five people, killing three. A few days later, hundreds of people showed up for a police presentation about how to protect yourself in a similar situation. While it is human nature to be more interested in security after an incident, the best way to secure our lobbies and branches are with a systematic, longer view of the risks.Great design incorporates the best- and worst-case scenarios. In the case of headquarters lobby design, how do we balance the need to deliver a unique and engaging brand experience with an acceptable level of protection for our staff and visitors? Before we try to answer this question, let’s look at what we can learn from videos of the Fifth Third incident.last_img read more

2nd photo released of person who defaced court house, Christopher Columbus statue

first_imgAnyone with information is asked to contact the Broome County Secuirty Case Integrity Unit at 607-778-2519. BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — The Broome County Security Division has released another photo of the person who defaced the county court house and a Christopher Columbus statue. Count officials say the person pictured is a white male between the ages of 18 and 24. He was last seen wearing a Answer Racing Moto Jersey, Adidas track pants and black Adidas Five Ten Mountain bike shorts.center_img Broome County Executive Jason Garnar called the vandalism “lawless.”last_img

Sidney girl faces battle with cancer again after rediagnosis

first_imgDan says there are tumors all over Trinity’s body and they’re just closely monitoring her until they seem some progress with the treatment. Until then, Dan says there’s not much of a plan when it comes to knowing what they should do next. Their four-year-old daughter, Trinity, developed stage four neuroblastoma. Back in the spring of 2019, it appeared Trinity was making steps in her recovery process. However, recently, she was re-diagnosed with the cancer that returned aggressively. If you’d like to help, you can send a message or note to Trinity on their Facebook page. You can also donate to Trinity’s GoFundMe page to help the family financially. “I can’t tell you what’s going through my mind right now,” said her father, Dan O’Connor, who just returned home from the hospital with Trinity. “I’m scared…a lot.” Dan says they’ve all been trying to keep their spirits up for the sake of keeping their strength.center_img Childhood cancer has been taking a toll on the O’Connor family from Sidney. SIDNEY (WBNG) — Trinity O’Connor is just four years old and has already faced countless of battles with cancer. “She’s older now. She understands a little bit more, so the smiles aren’t as much, but she still smiles at least once a day,” said Dan. “We can’t have our daughter see us scared because I don’t want to lose the fight in her.”last_img read more