Jimmy Nederlander Sr.(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Comments Broadway and West End theaters will dim their lights in memory of legendary theater owner and producer James M. Nederlander Sr., who passed away on July 25 at age 94. Known as “Jimmy,” Nederlander was a visionary theatrical impresario; on August 3, the marquees of Broadway theaters in New York will be dimmed at exactly 7:45 PM for one minute, and dimmed in the West End in London at 7:00 PM before the evening’s performances commence.“Jimmy Nederlander’s name has been synonymous with quality theatrical productions in New York City and throughout the United States throughout his career, and in recent years his name has also come to symbolize excellence and achievement when “The Jimmy Award” is presented annually at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. A tribute to his passion for arts education, his legacy will help to inspire the next generation of performers and enthusiasts,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, in a statement. “Beloved by the industry, Jimmy was a loyal and trusted collaborator and a guiding mentor to so many. He was “one of a kind” and his indomitable spirit lives on throughout this country in the people he nurtured who are helping to make Broadway what it has become today. He will be sorely missed, and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”Julian Bird, Chief Executive of Society of London Theatre, added: “James Nederlander was a true titan of the theater industry. His beautiful theaters here in the West End, which are filled with thousands of people every night, are a testament to his vision and the organization he grew on both sides of the Atlantic. He was a friend and mentor to so many in the industry and he will be missed greatly. We are proud to acknowledge his extraordinary contribution to our industry with the dimming of London’s theater lights.”During a career that spans 70 years, Nederlander amassed a network of premier legitimate theaters including nine on Broadway: the Brooks Atkinson, Gershwin, Lunt-Fontanne, Marquis, Minskoff, Nederlander, Neil Simon, Richard Rodgers, and the world-renowned Palace; Chicago: Auditorium and Bank of America Theatres, Broadway Playhouse, Cadillac Palace and Oriental Theatres; in Los Angeles, the Pantages Theatre; and in London, an interest in the Adelphi, Aldwych, and Dominion Theatres.A recipient of many distinguished honors including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement, Nederlander is survived by his wife Charlene S. Nederlander, his son James L. Nederlander and daughter-in-law Margo M. Nederlander, his grandchildren James M. Nederlander II and Kathleen M. Nederlander, his stepdaughter Kristina Gustafson and her children Gunnar Gustafson and Krisanna Gustafson.
As another winter turns to spring, bears aren’t the only things coming out of hibernation. Azalea lace bugs are waking up, too, and will soon damage prized azaleas if homeowners don’t take action. Azalea lace bugs are the main pests of landscape azaleas, say University of Georgia entomologists. The insect with the beautiful, lacy wings can cause ugly damage to azalea foliage. Lace bugs feed on the underside of leaves and extract the contents of the upper layer of cells. This causes the azalea leaves to appear bleached or mottled. Braman said a properly scheduled insecticide application will get rid of these nymphs before they mature and have time to lay eggs.”If you don’t kill them before May, they will have laid eggs, and you’ll have to spray several times,” she said. If not controlled, azalea lace bugs can produce four generations from spring to fall. “If you kill this first generation,” she said, “you may not have to spray again.” UGA entomologists urge homeowners to use less toxic insecticides to save the good bugs in the landscape. “Using less toxic insecticides allows you to conserve beneficial insects like the parasitic wasps and spiders that feed on lace bugs,” Braman said. “Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps have been around a long time,” she said. “People are using them more now. But you need to remember that these are strictly contact insecticides.” Contact insecticides must be sprayed on the insects. They work best on soft-bodied bugs like aphids and lace bugs. “They have no residual activity on the leaves,” Braman said, “So beneficial insects can walk on that leaf surface, after the fact, and not be killed. Good contact with lace bugs on the underside of the leaves is important for good control.” Download the grayscale .TIF — 1.63 M If homeowners don’t spray for azalea lace bugs, Braman said, young plants will suffer the most damage.”In our research,” she said, “we have observed that older plants, those that have been in the landscape for several years, can withstand more lace bug damage. They can tolerate some damage because they have well-established root systems and are not already under stress like a newly transplanted azalea.” Braman said this is one reason homeowners keep replacing young plants year after year. Kris Braman, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, said early spring is the perfect time to check plants for azalea lace bugs. Controlling them now, while they’re young, is the key, she said.”The azalea lace bug spends the winter as an egg inside your azaleas’ leaves,” Braman said. “Now that the temperatures are warming, the eggs are beginning to hatch. And newly emerged nymphs are beginning to feed.” Download the color .TIF — 6.54 M. “If you wait too long to spray, the nymphs will become egg-laying adults. And you will have to fight all stages of lace bugs,” she said. “Unfortunately, the egg stage is not affected by insecticides.” Download the color .TIF — 5.58 M. Download the grayscale .TIF — 1.40 M.
“More specific guidelines are provided for those with elevated lipids, heart disease, diabetes, insulin resistance, congestive heart failure and kidney disease,” Freeman said.Vitamin supplements still aren’t recommended. “The guidelines also suggest caution following fad diets like high-protein,” Freeman said.The “Revised 2000 American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines” and the consumer booklet, “An Eating Plan for Healthy Americans,” are available at www.americanheart.org/dietaryguidelines. An overall healthy eating pattern. “The guidelines recommend we eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables,” Freeman said, “and six or more servings of grain products per day.” Meals should include fat-free and low-fat dairy products, legumes, poultry, lean meats and at least two servings of fish (especially fatty fish like salmon and tuna) per week.A healthy body weight. Use commonsense suggestions, such as don’t eat too much or drink too much alcohol. Also, limit fat intake to less than 30 percent of your total calories, and limit high-sugar, nutrient-poor, calorie-dense foods. Exercise, too, on most days of the week.A desirable cholesterol level. Limit foods containing saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. Limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day unless you’re at high risk. Then keep it to 200 milligrams per day.A normal blood pressure. Limit salt intake to less than 6 grams per day (2,400 milligrams of sodium). That’s slightly more than 1 teaspoon a day. The consumer booklet is also at the local AHA office. The American Heart Association’s new guidelines are designed to help reduce heart-disease risk with healthier foods and less heart-threatening lifestyles, experts say. Among the recommendations: eat more fish to fight high cholesterol.”The new guidelines are easier to use,” said Janine Freeman, an Extension Service nutritionist with the University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “They stress an overall eating pattern rather than watching specific percentages of dietary fat or other nutrients.”The revised guidelines include achieving and maintaining:
By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaThe University of Georgia Department of Food Science and Technology will mark the completion of a $4.2 million building addition and the $2.4 million renovation of its previous facilities with an open house and ribbon cutting in Athens Sept. 5.”The improvements to the food science building will make UGA even stronger in the field of food safety,” said UGA president Michael F. Adams. “The safety of our food supply is critically important. I’m proud that the University of Georgia is poised to make a real difference.””The addition and renovations will enhance food science research and extension outreach capabilities,” said Gale Buchanan, dean and director of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.State-of-the-art labsThe addition houses four state-of-the-art microbiology labs. In three biocontainment level 2 labs, researchers can work with foodborne pathogens like Listeria, E coli 0157:H7, Salmonella and Campylobacter. In the biocontainment level 3 lab, scientists can work with more restricted foodborne hazards like botulism.”This is a new capability for the Athens campus and will certainly further our ability to do cutting-edge food safety and food-processing research,” said Rakesh Singh, food science and technology department head.”The additional facilities, along with our recently renovated food-processing pilot plants, greatly improve our ability to conduct programs designed for economic development,” he said.Outreach classrooomA new extension outreach classroom, which can seat 70 people, serves a variety of needs: short courses, workshops and certification programs. It has been in use since June and the first two programs were filled to capacity.”Many of these programs are designed to help small businesses get on their feet, while others focus on bringing industry personnel up-to-date,” Singh said. “But they’re also for anyone who is interested. We work with a lot of nontraditional students, small-business folks and industry folks.”The addition was funded through the Georgia Food Processing Advisory Council. FoodPAC is a group of Georgia state agencies, colleges and universities and private food businesses. It supports Georgia’s food processing and allied industries.ProgramThe open house and ribbon-cutting celebration features a 10:30 a.m. program with Adams, Buchanan, Singh, Georgia Poultry Federation President Abit Massey, Georgia Agribusiness Council President Gary Black and food sciences graduate student Beth Bland.Tours will follow at 11 a.m. Refreshments will be provided. For more on the event, call (706) 542-2574 or e-mail email@example.com.(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
By Robert R. WesterfieldUniversity ofGeorgiaOrnamental vines can make an interesting addition to your yardand serve more than one purpose. Following a few tips can helpyou grow thriving vines in your yard.Most flowering vines need at least a half-day of sun to grow welland bloom abundantly. Other vines, like variegated English ivy,will develop more vivid leaf patterns with a few hours of morningsun.Most vines grow best in fertile, well-drained soils. Bare-rootvines are best transplanted during the fall and winter.Container-grown vines can be planted anytime if you water them.If you need organic matter to improve the soil, rotary-till about4 inches of it into the top 12 inches of soil before you dig theplanting hole. Compost is an excellent amendment.A proper holeDig the hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Make thetop of the root ball level with the soil surface. Then backfillwith soil removed from the hole, tamping it lightly to eliminateair pockets. Water right after planting, and use a mulch to keepmoisture in the soil.A low-cost way to plant a lot of vines as a ground cover is tobuy and plant rooted cuttings or “liner” plants. Ask yournurseryman about liners.If you plant during fall and winter, wait until spring tofertilize. If you plant in the spring and summer, wait four tosix weeks for the plants to get established before fertilizing.Then lightly sprinkle about a tablespoon of a complete, balancedfertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 around the perimeter of theplanting hole and water it in.Then…Once the vines are established, fertilize in early spring andmidsummer with a complete fertilizer such as 6-12-12 or 5-10-10at 1.5 pounds per 100 square feet. Take a soil sample to yourcounty Extension Service office to find your soil’s precisenutritional needs.Vines have different pruning requirements. Generally, prune toremove dead, diseased and damaged wood, reduce size and promotebranching. Vigorous vines such as honeysuckle, trumpet vine andwisteria may require regular pruning to keep them confined to thesupport.As a rule, prune flowering vines after they bloom. This isparticularly true for vines like wisteria and spring-floweringclematis that bloom on last season’s growth. Pruning these vinesbefore they bloom will reduce flowering.The amount of pruning depends on the vigor of the vine and theamount of foliage you want. Some vines will form layer on layerof growth unless they’re thinned out regularly.Wisteria, for instance, requires annual pruning to reduce theamount of growth. Removing about one-third of the canopy eachyear will lead it to grow short spurs on the remaining branchesthat will bear next season’s flowers.(Bob Westerfield is an Extension Service consumerhorticulturist with the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaJapanese climbing fern climbs plants and chokes them. Cogongrass forms a toxic mat. And they’re just two of many foreign plant invaders that threaten Georgia’s forests and natural areas.Cogongrass grows thick foliage about 4 feet high, said Chris Evans, an invasive species and natural resource specialist with the University of Georgia Bugwood Network.The Bugwood Network is a Web-based system used to collect, promote and distribute educational materials in entomology, forestry and natural resources. Forming thick clumps and releasing toxins that smother all other plants, cogongrass can hurt natural wildlife and forestry production. “It’s considered one of the worst weeds in the world,” Evans said.It’s already infested several southwest Georgia counties, including a 20-acre site in Mitchell County. It has caused major problems for some pastures and forests in Mississippi and Florida. “We want to find and suppress it before it becomes a problem in Georgia,” he said.The light fluffy seeds of cogongrass are easily carried by wind. They also catch rides on vehicles. As a result, the plant fills many roadside ditches in Mississippi, he said.A native of southeast Asia, it was introduced into the Gulf states early last century as packing for cargo shipments. Others later tried it for livestock forage and erosion control.Japanese climbing fern grows quickly over small trees and shrubs, shades them out and kills them, Evans said. It grows up taller trees, too, where it becomes an easy path for fire to reach treetops.”Just in the past year,” he said, “we’re seeing more of it in pine stands in Georgia and natural areas.”The Asian and Australian native has made it hard for some south Georgia pine straw farmers to rake their straw, which they bundle and sell as landscape mulch, he said. Alabama and Florida officials regulate pine straw that enters their states for this fern.The plant was introduced into the United States in the 1930s as an ornamental. It grows as fast as kudzu. If left unchecked, kudzu can quickly take over a local area. But the Japanese climbing fern can spread faster over greater distances, he said.It takes time for some invasive species to become problems, he said. A population may be slow to establish. But once it does, it can explode.Invasive plant species like the Japanese climbing fern and cogongrass may have been introduced decades ago, Evans said, but they could now have the foothold they need to cause ecological and economic damage.Exotic invasive plants are found in almost every state. Georgia has about 20 major ones, he said.Many people think some common plants in Georgia are native species, he said, but they’re exotic and potentially invasive plants.Privet, for instance, is a small bush usually found growing under trees. It has white flowers and purple berries and can outcompete native shrubs.Wisteria is a popular landscape plant that sometimes escapes to become wild and unchecked in wooded areas. Its showy purple blooms can be seen growing on trees along some Georgia roadways in spring.The Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council and the Bugwood Network are sponsoring the Invasive Plant Control Workshop April 13 at the UGA Rural Development Center in Tifton, Ga.Participants will learn how to identify exotic, invasive plant species, find out what measures are being taken to control them and how they can help. For more information, call (229) 386-3416. Or go to the Web site (www.ugatiftonconference.org).
“Erico is a very energetic, hard-working and innovative person,” Das said. “He has been quite successful both in his research and taking his ideas to the next level.” University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental doctoral student Erico Rolim de Mattos foresees a world where exploding human populations, global climate change and land overdevelopment has rendered mankind incapable of producing enough food to sustain humanity. This scenario is a very real possibility, and it has captured the minds of specialists from organizations like NASA and the United Nations. This process takes place in real time, and it ensures that the plants receive optimum lighting conditions without wasting power on traditional bulbs that burn constantly for set periods of time. UGA is one of only two U.S. universities to hold competitions for the SU program. Mattos is the third UGA graduate student to attend the program; Kausar Samli, graduate student at the UGA Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, and Brinkley Warren, a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and recent Fulbright Scholar, were SU scholarship winners the previous two years. “The biggest problem with vertical farming is energy consumption,” said Mattos, a doctoral candidate in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences department of crop and soil sciences. “Using this intelligent light system that we are developing here, we can make vertical farms feasible from the point of view of lights.” A large indoor farm using traditional grow lights would require massive amounts of electricity to operate. But Mattos’ system works much more efficiently. An energy-efficient LED array above crops provides the light. As the light shines, a device called a chlorophyll fluorometer measures the plant’s energy use efficiency and sends that information to a computer. The computer runs a mathematical algorithm, which determines if the plants need more light, less light or even light of different wavelengths, and then it turns the appropriate LEDs on or off. Because it is currently not economically practical to implement vertical farms on a large scale, Mattos and his collaborators are working to reduce the cost and boost production of a system that may prove useful in the event of a global food crisis. He proposes the use of LED lights and advanced computer monitoring systems to provide artificial light in structures known as vertical farms. These immense greenhouse-like buildings are dedicated to the production of indoor food crops. “When all these people from different areas try to solve problems and combine all their knowledge, it is a huge experience for everybody,” Mattos said. “I can come back to UGA with a lot of new ideas, new point of views and new approaches, and hopefully I can share these with faculty members and students to improve the community.” “You have to replace the sun, which is free,” Mattos said. “It is a very hard competition.” Mattos discovered the usefulness of this system while working on the production of algae at the UGA Bioconversion Research and Education Center, where researchers study and test biomass fuel sources. He is presently testing the efficacy of the LED system as a method of increasing algae biomass. His adviser, K.C. Das, a UGA professor of biological and agricultural engineering and member of UGA’s bioenergy Systems Research Institute, praised his drive and determination. Mattos has an idea that may help solve the problem, however, and it recently won him a $30,000 scholarship to an intensive 10-week graduate studies program at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley ideas incubator that seeks to solve the planet’s most pressing challenges using advanced technologies. “It is like the plants and the lights are talking,” he said. “If the plant is not using the light, the chlorophyll fluorometer can feel this and send a message to the computer.” As one of 80 students selected worldwide to attend Singularity University’s program, Mattos will have the opportunity to meet with other researchers, entrepreneurs and inventors who will help him further develop his plan.
Agriculture is the biggest industry in Georgia, and it’s only continuing to grow. Although situations vary for different commodities, University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) economists were optimistic about the coming year. “Overall, when you look at agriculture for the state of Georgia, this is a good place to be and a good time to be here,” said CAES Dean J. Scott Angle, at the college’s 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast, an annual economic outlook series for farmers and agricultural business leaders. “For the most recent years, agriculture has an impact of $13.3 billion on the economy. By the time the food gets to your plate or the clothes get on your back—and forestry is included in that—agriculture has an impact of $72.5 billion, which makes it, by far, the largest industry in Georgia. It generates about 400,000 jobs across the state.” Agriculture’s impact on the state economy and Georgia’s influence on agriculture nationwide is only projected to increase as production of some crops moves from water-strapped areas out West to states like Georgia, where the climate, knowledge base and resources can support expanded agricultural endeavors, according to Angle. “We are becoming the bread basket of the world,” Angle said. “California agriculture is starting to go out of business because of lack of water, but the world’s population is growing… A lot of what happens here in the Southeast—but particularly in Georgia because we are the largest state—is going to be critically important… This is the most important place to be in agriculture right now.” One of the factors positioning Georgia to lead the nation agriculturally is the state’s groundbreaking research into agri-technology at both UGA and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Doug Britton, program manager for the Agricultural Technology Research Program at Georgia Tech, told the crowd gathered at this year’s Ag Forecast that engineers at Georgia Tech are working together with agricultural specialists to generate new technologies that will transform agriculture. “Real innovation starts at the intersection of [our] disciplines,” he said, addressing the 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast. “Bringing together the specialists in the agricultural sector and the specialists in the engineering sector, that’s when that overlap is really powerful… Leveraging technologies from across the country and developing new technologies specifically for agriculture is what is going to position Georgia as a thought leader in this space.” From micro-drones that will allow farmers to build 3-D models of each bush in their berry farm to ground-roving robots that will scout for signs of disease before symptoms arise, agriculture is on the cusp of a technological revolution. However, the outlook for this year’s agricultural landscape has a lot more to do with global grain stocks and domestic economic conditions than robotics. While projections for all sectors are favorable for producers, meat producers will have an especially good year with feed prices expected to stay relatively low and consumers’ discretionary income on the rise, economists said. Pork and beef prices are expected to stay relatively high through 2015, but may start to slip as we approach 2016 and farmers continue to build their herds. Poultry prices will remain relatively stable, despite a ban on U.S. poultry imports in China and a possibly forthcoming ban from India. Growing domestic consumption and low feed prices should allow U.S. poultry growers to stay profitable despite the loss of China as a market. As for row crops, UGA economist Don Shurley projects that farmers will be shifting land from corn and cotton to peanuts and soybeans this year. China has built up stocks of cotton over the last several years, and the result is very depressed prices for cotton, Shurley said. The price of cotton fell more than 25 percent over the last year. “We all knew this was coming; we just didn’t know it would happen this quickly,” he said. “We’ve gone from 80-cent cotton to 60-cent cotton in just the last few months.“Shurley believes that farmers will cut the amount of cotton they plant this year by as much as 15 percent and that increasing demand—brought on by lower prices—will start to drive prices a little higher in 2015, perhaps to between 65 and 75 cents. “If we can get production and demand back into a much closer balance, then we will start to see prices firm up and things will get a little bit better,” Shurley said. Similarly, large global stocks of corn and a leveling off in demand for corn as an ingredient in ethanol have combined to drive down the price of corn. On the other hand, lower corn prices are increasing the amount of corn that’s being used as animal feed. With reduced acreage and increased demand for animal feed, Shurley feels that prices will settle around $4.50 a bushel. Prices of peanuts and soybeans, however, will remain relatively stable, he said. “We’ve gone through some very good years for grains in terms of prices,” he said. “We’ve had $12 or $13 a bushel for beans and $5 or $6 for corn. We’ve still got very good prices, but, as you can see, we’ve come down a notch. We’ve still got $4 for corn and almost $10 for beans, but that’s not quite where we’ve been over the last few years.“ The Georgia Ag Forecast seminar series is organized by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. This series is made possible through the Georgia Farm Bureau Land Grant University Lecture Series Endowment and is supported by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Agribusiness Council. For more information about the 2015 Ag Forecast, visit www.caes.uga.edu/events/agforecast/.
Over the last few years, I have waxed poetic about birds, bees and butterflies, but I have hardly given a mention to the lowly moth. I say “lowly” only in the numerical position of where most place the moth in a list of wonderful, natural things.Oddly enough, moths brought great joy to my family in various locales of Georgia this summer. Can you believe a moth post has now moved into first place in terms of the number of hits on the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm’s Facebook page?The moth, a scarlet-bodied wasp moth (Cosmosoma myrodora), has now beat images of beautiful hummingbirds; zebra heliconian butterflies; incredible, rarely blooming flowers; children looking at pumpkins; and the majesty of a million Christmas lights dazzling in our December Nights and Holiday Lights festival.I would like to think that the scarlet-bodied wasp moth climbing to No. 1 position on our Facebook page means something. Perhaps the great outdoors is still the place to be, or maybe it means the fight against “nature deficit disorder,” as Richard Louv so aptly called it in “Last Child in the Woods,” is being won. Probably it means that this is just one doggone beautiful bug.The scarlet-bodied wasp moth looks like it should be Spider-Man’s partner. Its abdomen and thorax are the richest red you have ever seen. It has an iridescent blue middorsal line that shimmers in the sunlight and transparent wings with black venation. It looks like it would bite, sting or be poisonous in some manner, but its appearance is its defense mechanism.Scarlet-bodied wasp moths are native to a tight band along the East Coast from South Carolina to Florida and a tight band in deep south Texas. They are native to Florida. Since initially spotting one on ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ salvia, we have seen them on sweet almond verbena and sweet autumn clematis. These two plants, which caterpillar larvae love to eat, are native climbing hemp plants in Florida.If you live elsewhere, you will not see this moth, but a visit to your local botanical gardens or a watchful eye in your backyard will most likely give you the opportunity to take in other moths and butterflies that will thrill the soul and draw your children away from the television. One moth that always elicits a “Wow!” is the luna moth (Actias luna). This huge moth is native from Nova Scotia west to Saskatchewan south to east Texas and every state east. The caterpillar’s hosts are white birches, sweetgums, hickories and persimmons. Oddly, the adults do not eat. They live about a week and their sole purpose is to mate.There will be one group in the North and two to three groups in the South. If you have seen one, it may have been close to a porch light as they are attracted to light. If you have never seen one, put this on your bucket list. They are best seen at night or in the early morning. Then there is the creature that many visitors claim is a bee. Another guest will say, “No, it’s a little hummingbird.” They love trying to photograph it until I step up to say it is a clearwing hummingbird moth (Hemaris thysbe). The visitors’ faces often look crestfallen because they loved it until it was identified as a moth.These moths are native in a large, diagonal sweep from Alaska and Canada to Oregon, then east to Maine and south to Texas through Florida. In other words, you have a pretty good chance of seeing these little, darting acrobats that do indeed look like small hummingbirds. They have a golden olive thorax and burgundy abdomen with wings that are mostly clear.Their larval hosts are honeysuckles, snowberries, hawthorns and various Prunus species. Like the luna moth, there is one group in the North and two groups in the South. Here at the Coastal Botanical Garden, the adults seem to feed on just about everything. Pentas, Cannas, Brazilian buttonbushes and sweet almond verbenas seem to be a few of their favorites. This is one fun pollinator to watch. When you tell the kids it’s a moth, say it with enthusiasm and a smile.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the Coastal Botanical Garden at coastalgeorgiabg.org.
The beginning of the school year usually means the return of a more regular mealtime schedule for families. This makes it a great time to introduce or reinforce healthy eating habits. For many parents, convincing kids to try new vegetables is the most difficult aspect of getting them to adopt a healthier diet. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists have developed an arsenal of tips and tricks to help introduce new vegetables to young people. Keep trying.Remember that children sometimes need to try a new vegetable about 15 times before they decide that they like it, so persistence is key. Make a plan to explore new flavors.Print a list of fruits and veggies, then ask each family member what foods they like, what they want to try and what they’ve never heard of. Use your list to pick a few produce items to buy each week. Consider adding a new fruit or vegetable that they want to try to the meal plan every other week.Involve kids in the kitchen.Involve your children in choosing and preparing vegetables. Take your children to the farmers market or grocery store and let them pick a new fruit or vegetable for the family to try that week.Kids are more willing to taste something new if they helped to pick it out, wash it and prepare it. Be creative.Try cutting fruits and vegetables in different shapes. Shred carrots to make carrot confetti or buy a spiralizer to make vegetable “spaghetti” out of squash. Wavy cutters can make crinkle fries or waffle chips. The new shapes may make the same old veggies a little more exciting. Don’t forget to accessorize.Embrace dipping sauces. Just like ketchup gives potatoes familiarity, having little cups of hummus, ranch, pesto or even spaghetti sauce can make veggies more appealing.Play a little game of hide-and-seek. Incorporate veggie pasta into spaghetti dishes. Some grocery stores sell ready-made veggie “pastas,” but families can also make their own from squash or zucchini using a spiralizer. Try cauliflower pizza dough and let the children help make the pizza. By helping with the preparation, they will take ownership of the dish and be more likely to try something new. If all else fails, hide veggies on pizza, in smoothies or favorite foods until kids decide they’d like to try them solo. For more information on healthy eating, visit www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/food.