Thursday, May 21, 2009

Upcoming Food Preservation Workshops

Mark your calendars for the upcoming Food Preservation Workshops to be held in Clay County on
June 25 and in Cherokee County on July 9. Both of these workshops will be held from 1:00-4:00 and then again from 6:00-9:00. The workshop is only $10.00 and all participants will receive a “Ball Blue Book”. This is a great opportunity to come and learn different food preservation techniques from Extension professionals. Please call (828) 837-2210 for more information about or to sign up. For an online registration form, please click here.

Herbal Gardening

An herb gardening class will be held at the community garden site on May 21st, at 5:30pm. Participants will learn to grow and use herbs. Please click here for a copy of one of the handouts the participants will receive.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

4-H Day Camps to Include Sewing

Home sewing seems to be on the fast track to extinction. In years past this was a skill taught at home and fine tuned in the Home Economics classroom. When I taught Economics, I found that only a few students had even seen a sewing machine. It was much like my own experience as a freshman in college. I was taking computer science and had never seen a computer. My students, generally speaking, really enjoyed the sewing unit. They were always amazed that a pair of boxer shorts or pajama pants evolved from a flat piece of fabric. My primary objective with the sewing unit was that these students:
1. Learn to look for quality checkpoints when buying clothing
2. Identify their individual fitting requirements
3. Learn to make simple clothing repairs that would save money on clothing expenditures
4. Learn the proper way to launder clothing thus extending wearing time
As they learned to use a commercial pattern and operate a sewing machine, these objectives were easily incorporated. They were so proud of their project once it was completed. I found that the young men enjoyed the class and used their skills outside of the classroom. I remember one day during football season when the coach and several former students, now football players, were busy at the sewing machines sewing names on the back of the football jerseys. I was so proud! Occasionally I would encounter a student that would just catch the sewing bug. One student in the advanced class designed and made her own prom dress. One of my favorite memories was a young lady who took a 1950’s Christian Dior “New Look” pattern and made a dress to enter in the state FCCLA contest. Her black and white polka dot dress, complete with huge crinoline petticoat, won 1st place at the state conference. If you ever watched “I Love Lucy,” the dress was very similar to the dresses worn by Lucy on the show. The pattern itself was a challenge since the body measurements for a 50’s woman was very different from today’s body measurements for women. To add to the difficulty, the pattern did not have any pattern markings. It was a challenge for student and teacher alike. I am excited that the 4-H summer camps this year will have a sewing component. Shannon Coleman, the local 4-H agent will soon have the registration materials ready for sign ups. I will be helping with the camps and teaching a sewing unit. If you know of a young person who would be interested in 4-H summer camp, call the Extension Office at 837-2210 for more details.