2020-06-JUN

Page 1

June 2020

Building a

Brighter Future page 8

Published by

Get a bird’s-eye view of a neighborhood microgrid page 9

Great reads from local authors page 26

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Volume 52, No. 6

14

12

Favorites 4 Viewpoints 6 More Power 21 On the House 24 I Remember 26 Carolina Bookshelf 28 Adventures 29 Carolina Gardens 32 Carolina Kitchen 34 Where is This? 34 Featured Photo

On the Cover Chloe Flythe, a rising sophomore at the Cape Hatteras Secondary School, visits the Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative Solar Garden in Hatteras Village, with an all-electric Tesla is in the foreground. The community solar array gives members a chance to purchase energy rights from panels and provides an educational component to local schools. Read more about new co-op tech on pages 8 & 9. Photo by Daniel Pullen Photography.

32

9 12 14 24

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Microgrid Advanced grid tech is cropping up on co-op lines across the state.

Carnivores on the Forest Floor

North Carolina is a haven for rare Venus flytraps.

Fishing, Paddling and Pot-bellied Pigs

Kelly McCoy is sharing her love of the river with the masses.

An Auctioneer’s Song And other things you remember.

Where is Carolina Compass? This month, we once again did not include our events listings due to ongoing cancellations resulting from COVID-19. We look forward to resuming events listings when appropriate.

June 2020  | 3

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5/11/20 12:26 PM


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A Bright Future for Co-op Members By Joe Brannan

E

lectric cooperatives are defining our own future. North Carolina’s electric co-ops, along with other utilities, consumers and policymakers from several states, are moving forward with plans for a low-carbon future as federal energy policy and regulations remain unclear. At the time of publication, at least eight states have passed legislation targeting 100 percent renewable or carbon-free electricity. And more states, including North Carolina, have set similar goals through executive orders or plans. We are well-positioned for this transition, in part due to planning and good fortune. By leveraging existing low-carbon generation, investing in new resources and coordinating new energy tech across the grid — all while staying focused on our commitment to our members — we will build a brighter future for all. Low-carbon power We’ve spent the past decade reducing our dependence on carbon-intensive generation. As a result, our current fuel mix is more than 60 percent carbon free. Coal-fired generation makes up 5 percent of our portfolio (compared with the national average of 13 percent), and that power is purchased from other generators. More than half of our power comes from carbon-free nuclear generation, an extremely reliable, safe and affordable source of electricity. And that last part — affordability  — is critical. Electric cooperatives are committed to delivering reliable power at the lowest possible cost to our members. We are owned by our members, and their interests form the bedrock of all future planning. So starting with our already strong and diverse fuel mix, we must move

forward toward a brighter future strategically, with cost, reliability and resiliency at the forefront. But our plans are no less bold: We have set a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By 2050, we plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions (see page 8 for more details on these plans). Emissions-free nuclear power will continue to play a critical role, as well as existing natural gas-fired plants and new advanced natural gas generation that can be dispatched quickly, day or night, when other renewable sources of generation may not be available. The ‘virtual’ power plant North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are also testing and evaluating new technology that will help make our sustainability goals a reality. You may be familiar with community solar, which allows members to subscribe to the energy output from solar panels without being responsible for the upkeep. NC co-ops currently maintain 18 community solar farms around the state. Solar is also being used in microgrid applications at both residential and agricultural sites (see page 9 to learn more about neighborhood microgrids). We’re also finding new ways to coordinate consumer-based resources to create a “virtual power plant.” Electric co-ops are able to leverage thousands of resources across the state — including community solar, microgrids, energy storage, and even certain smart thermostats and water heaters — to dispatch generation when it’s needed and trim electricity use during times of peak demand. This coordination ensures everything is working together

to deliver the most possible value to all cooperative members. Future tech In addition to the resources I’ve discussed, more advanced technology is under consideration industry wide. This includes expanded energy storage applications, as well as advanced generation such as power plants incorporating carbon capture and storage, and even small, modular nuclear reactors, which could be a safe and cost-effective way to build out new, emissions-free generation close to where power is needed. These are exciting times. But perhaps most exciting about these plans is that our commitment to members and communities will continue to be woven into everything we do. Yes, we are developing innovative ways to generate and deliver power to our members. But we are also finding new ways to help our members thrive, facilitating economic development loans and grants, drawing new businesses to communities, and supporting education from kindergarten through college. Our future is bright. We will continue to develop new ways to deliver reliable, affordable power to our members’ homes. We will support and integrate consumer technology to bring more convenience and energy efficiency into our members’ lives. And we will never lose sight of the fact that the brightest parts of our future are the people and communities we serve. Joe Brannan is CEO of North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives, the Raleigh-based wholesale power and materials supplier and trade association for the state’s electric distribution cooperatives.

4  |  carolinacountry.com

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5/11/20 2:35 PM


THIS MONTH:

Our Energy Future As discussed in our May issue, your electric cooperative is hard at work despite the many disruptions to our daily lives caused by the ongoing pandemic. In this issue, we’re proud to share some big plans North Carolina electric co-ops have been developing to better serve their members. Some projects may be familiar to you, and some are yet to come. But all are aimed at creating a bright future for co-op members and the communities we call home. —Scott Gates, editor

A Graduation and a Glimmer of Hope I completed my Doctor of Education degree in Education Leadership with the University of Phoenix (UOP), and my graduation was set for April. But due to social distancing, it was canceled. I was very hurt and disappointed because I worked hard, and to learn I wouldn’t be able to have graduation was upsetting for me, family and friends. I received an invitation email stating that I could participate in the 1st Virtual Graduation with UOP in May, and it put a smile on my face along with tears of joy in my eyes. I realized that this may not have been a priority to others considering the pandemic, but I was grateful to be granted the opportunity to have graduation after all — where I could have unlimited family and friends in attendance. Vanessa Edmundson, Aberdeen, a member of Lumbee River EMC

Visiting Dove I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the February issue. “I Remember” is my favorite. The submission “ A Guest with Wings” (page 30) touched several emotions for me. That picture speaks volumes. Thanks and keep up the good work. Venie Patterson, Shelby

A Healthy Breakfast I was so glad to see two healthy recipes in the February issue. I have not tried the chicken breakfast sausage yet but it looks good. I’ve made the whole grain nutty lemon ricotta pancakes twice — I just subbed liquid stevia for the honey and used sugar-free syrup plus ½ the pure maple and no butter in the syrup to make it diabetic friendly. Thank you for these recipes. Kendra McIntosh, a member of Rutherford EMC Correction to our May issue: In “Where the Livin’ is Easy” (page 10), New Bern is located where the Neuse and Trent Rivers meet (not the Trinity River, which is way out in Texas). Thank you to those of you who alerted us to this error.

Published monthly by

3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616 919-875-3091 carolinacountry.com Warren Kessler Publications Director Scott Gates, CCC Editor Renee C. Gannon, CCC Senior Associate Editor Karen Olson House Contributing Editor Tara Verna Creative Director Erin Binkley Digital Media Tom Siebrasse Advertising tom@carolinacountry.com Joseph P. Brannan Executive Vice President & CEO Nelle Hotchkiss Senior Vice President & COO North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide reliable, safe and affordable electric service to 1 million homes and businesses. The 26 electric cooperatives are each member-owned, not-for-profit and overseen by a board of directors elected by the membership. Why Do We Send You Carolina Country Magazine? Your cooperative sends you Carolina Country as a convenient, economical way to share with its members information about services, director elections, meetings and management decisions. The magazine also carries legal notices that otherwise would be published in other media at greater cost. Your co-op’s board of directors authorizes a subscription to Carolina Country on behalf of the membership at a cost of less than $5 per year. Has your address changed? Carolina Country magazine is available monthly to members of North Carolina’s electric cooperatives. If you are a member of one of these cooperatives but do not receive Carolina Country, you may request a subscription by calling Member Services at the office of your cooperative. If your address has changed, please inform your cooperative. Subscriptions: Individual subscriptions, $12 per year. $20 outside U.S.A. Schools, libraries, $6. Carolina Country is available on digital cartridge as a courtesy of volunteer services at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Raleigh, N.C. 888-388-2460. Advertising published in Carolina Country is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are accurately described and willingly sold to customers at the advertised price. The magazine, North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, Inc., and the member cooperatives do not necessarily endorse the products or services advertised. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is never knowingly accepted. Should you encounter advertising that does not comply with these standards, please inform Carolina Country at P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC 27611. 919-875-3091. Carolina Country magazine is a member of American MainStreet Publications that collectively reach more than 27 million readers every month.

Contact us Phone: 919-875-3091 Fax: 919-878-3970 Mail: 3400 Sumner Blvd. Raleigh, NC 27616

(ISSN 0008-6746) (USPS 832800)

Read monthly in more than 700,000 homes

Web: carolinacountry.com Email: editor@carolinacountry.com

Change of Address: carolinacountry.com/address Experiencing a power outage? Please contact your electric co-op directly to ensure prompt service. Visit carolinacountry.com/co-ops to find yours online.

Periodicals postage paid at Raleigh, N.C., and additional mailing offices. Editorial offices: 3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, N.C. 27616. Carolina Country® is a registered trademark of the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, Inc. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5); NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Carolina Country, P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC 27611. All content © Carolina Country unless otherwise indicated.

June 2020  | 5

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5/8/20 12:26 PM


More Power

License Plate Honoring Lineworkers Now Available A new specialty license plate honoring the efforts of North Carolina’s utility lineworkers to “Keep the Lights On” is now available to the state’s drivers. The cost of the new plate is $30, with $20 from each plate benefiting the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Heath Care. A personalized version of the plate can be obtained for $60. The plate was developed by North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives in partnership with Duke Energy and ElectriCities to pay tribute to the state’s lineworkers and other utility employees. Lineworkers from Wake Electric, Duke Energy and ElectriCities joined Gov. Roy Last year, the N.C. General Assembly Cooper, state legislators and representatives from the UNC Burn Center last passed legislation that was signed into September to celebrate the new license plate. law by Gov. Roy Cooper authorizing the new plate. It was designed by Erin Carolina Jaycee Burn Center since submit it to the address listed on the Binkley, digital media strategist for 1972 when the cooperatives’ board top of the application, along with Carolina Country magazine. of directors pledged $40,000 to help payment. If you are within 90 days of “This new plate is a great way to create the center. Over the years, the updating your vehicle registration, honor our lineworkers while also electric cooperatives, in partnership the plate will be sent once your new supporting the life-saving work of with more than 80 organizations registration is processed. The new the Burn Center, which is a longand individuals, have donated nearly license plate is available to all motor time partner of our state’s electric $2 million to the center, helping it vehicles registered in North Carolina, co-ops,” said Paul Mott, grassroots become one of the leading compreexcept for vehicles for-hire, commerspecialist for North Carolina’s Electric hensive burn centers in the world. cial plates over 26,000 lbs., farm tags, Cooperatives, who coordinated efforts To apply for the new plate, complete taxis, state-owned vehicles or vehicles to establish the new plate. the license plate application (PDF with orange and black plates. North Carolina’s electric coopavailable at bit.ly/plate2020) and eratives have supported the North

Students Receive Youth Leadership Scholarships Each year, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives awards three scholarships to participants from the previous summer’s NC Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., sponsored by the state’s electric cooperatives. This year’s scholarship recipients are:

Lizzie Phipps (South River EMC) received the Katie Bunch Memorial Scholarship

Julia McClain (EnergyUnited) received the Gwyn B. Price Memorial Scholarship

Karis Dean (Piedmont Electric) received the Youth Leadership Council Scholarship

6  |  carolinacountry.com

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More Power

Long-term Plans Focus on Value for Co-op Members

Sustainability and efficiency goals underscore cooperative difference North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives recently announced long-term plans to leverage existing resources while deploying new technology to serve members more efficiently and sustainably in the future. These plans are guided by each electric co-op’s local roots and focus on delivering value to cooperative members and their communities.

Sustainability Goals North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are working toward two significant goals in order to deliver low-carbon electricity over a grid that is more efficient, resilient and secure:

2030 TARGET

2050 TARGET

50

NET ZERO

%

Reduction in carbon emissions from 2005

Carbon emissions

To meet these goals and ensure reliability and affordability, the state’s electric co-ops will prioritize emissions-free nuclear energy as a key part of the fuel mix. With advances in technology, access to natural gas-fired generation will remain critical, especially as renewable energy is further integrated.

Grid Operations North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are developing a “virtual power plant,” coordinating thousands of distributed energy resources across the cooperative network. Coordination of these resources ensures they work together to deliver the most possible value to all cooperative members.

1

Statewide electric vehicle charging network

5

18

Microgrids

Community solar sites

50

Megawatts of conservation voltage reduction*

28

THOUSAND demand response devices** by 2021

* A way to deliver power more efficiently ** Consumer-based devices, like smart thermostats, that can be coordinated to save energy system-wide

Cooperative Difference Because electric cooperatives are led by members and belong to the communities they serve, co-ops understand local needs and drive innovation to meet those needs — never to make a profit.

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North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are committed to enriching the lives of their members through community and economic development. 8  |  carolinacountry.com

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5/11/20 12:41 PM


Between the Lines

CO-OP TECH:

Your Friendly, Neighborhood Microgrid A “microgrid” is exactly what the name implies: several electric grid components, interconnected at a specific site. They work great at locations that can benefit from increased reliability and resilience. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives are deploying microgrids across the state for a variety of applications — even neighborhoods.

Solar Generation Battery Storage Energy storage inside homes provides a reliable, clean, quiet and cost-effective source of backup power. Larger batteries, especially tied to community solar, can serve a neighborhood.

Photovoltaic solar panels, both on rooftops and in a shared community installation, can supplement power from the grid and help keep things running in the event of an outage.

Backup Generation Generators, powered by natural gas, propane or diesel fuel (or methane, in some agricultural applications) can serve as additional backup should power from the grid become unavailable.

Smart Thermostats Wi-Fi enabled thermostats help heating and air conditioning units run more efficiently while providing the electric co-op an opportunity to reduce overall costs by trimming energy use.*

Advanced Meters Advanced electric meters allow for two-way communication between electric co-ops and members to help measure energy use, identify outages and enable means of 80235 reducing peak demand.

EV Chargers Charging electric vehicles at home can often allow co-op members to take advantage of special overnight electric rates, while helping to reduce energy use during hours of peak demand.

Water Heaters Even the humble water heater provides an opportunity for electric co-ops to reduce costs for the membership by switching off heating elements during times of high system-wide energy use, leaving plenty of hot water in the meantime.* carolinacountry.com/innovation

Learn about microgrids across North Carolina and other innovative electric co-op projects.

Controller Coordination is key with a microgrid, and special hardware and software provide centralized control, allowing electric co-ops to dispatch various microgrid elements when needed.

Distribution Automation With all individual components working together, electric co-ops can collect, automate, analyze and optimize data to improve the operational efficiency of the microgrid.

* Requires consumer participation in thermostat or water heater demand response programs. June 2020  | 9

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Adobestock.com

Carnivores on the Forest Floor North Carolina is a haven for rare Venus flytraps

By Pamela A. Keene | Photos by Dale Suiter unless otherwise indicated

If you asked a dozen people the origin of Venus flytraps, it’s a pretty safe bet that 11 of them would say the Amazon, the tropics or somewhere in Asia. They would be incorrect. “Actually, today 15 counties in North Carolina and one county in South Carolina have the only naturally occurring populations of Venus flytraps on the planet,” explains Dale Suiter, biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Raleigh Field Office. “Flytrap populations have been introduced in other parts of the country and the world, including the pine barrens of New Jersey, the pine savannas in the Florida Panhandle and other locations in California, Jamaica and New Zealand. However, it’s important to understand the difference between naturally occurring populations and those that have been introduced outside their range at the hands of humans.” The Carolina populations of Venus flytraps (Dionaea muscipula) existed long before Europeans settled the Americas. “Colonial botanist John Bartram probably collected the first plants in the 1760s,” Dale says. “Other early botanical explorers also shipped plants back to Europe, and they became a topic correspondence among naturalists.”

In the mid- to late-1800s, Charles Darwin conducted research on the plant, calling it “one of the most wonderful plants in the world.” It’s one of the few plants that moves to snag its prey, typically small spiders or ants. “Venus flytraps rarely consume flies, even though you’d think so from their name,” Dale says. “They grow in poor soil that’s low in nutrients, so by capturing and digesting insects, they do receive additional nutrients.” At rest, their pairs of snap-trap hinged leaves are open. When an insect crawls across the leaves, tiny trigger hairs inside detect the disturbance and snap shut, capturing the intruder. It may take from three to 20 days for the plant to digest. Then the leaves open again to await the next creature. Low-growing in clumps usually less than 6 to 10 inches in circumference, Venus flytraps have white blooms in the late spring on stalks about 10 inches tall. Those blooms, when pollinated, can yield viable seeds that germinate to produce more plants.

Dale Suiter, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, with pitcher plants.

Local carnivores

North Carolina has more than 30 species of carnivorous plants, including multiple types of Butterworts, Pitcher Plants, Sundews and Bladderworts. They occur across the state from wet longleaf pine savannas of the coastal plain to mountain bogs. Carolina Beach State Park is one of the most accessible places in the coastal plains to see them. The park offers ranger-led hikes to view carnivorous plants, including flytraps, on most weekends. However, because of the declining population, the park has reintroduced Venus flytraps along a trail, raising them from seeds and working with biologists at the University of North

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Adobestock.com

Carolina at Wilmington to increase the area’s population. Dale says that the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden at Piney Ridge Nature Preserve in Wilmington, the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill and the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens also have collections of Venus flytraps and other native carnivorous plants. “Because their sensitive habitat is wet and uninviting, and the plants can be easily trampled, we discourage people from visiting natural habitats,” Dale says. “And if people take photos of rare species, we ask that they remove geotagging and not post specific locations.”

Protecting the plants

The greatest threats to Venus flytraps are changes in habitat, fire suppression and poaching. Venus flytraps are currently under review for federal listing of protection. The North Carolina Plant Conservation Program lists them as “Special Concern, Vulnerable,” and a state law protects them from being taken from the wild. “Many of the state’s carnivorous plants are protected by the state, and the importance of conserving these species cannot be understated,” Dale says. “Poaching Venus flytraps is a felony.” Federal and state officials have committed to further raising awareness about the declining populations of Venus flytrap habitats in the coastal plains. In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly adopted the Venus flytrap as the state’s Official Carnivorous Plant. Biologists with The Nature Conservancy, the Coastal Land Trust, the NC Plant Conservation Program, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, SC Heritage Trust Preserves, the U.S. Forest Service, and even the Army and Marines conduct prescribed fires to manage habitat for Venus flytraps and other rare species. “Without the dedication and commitment of many public and private land managers in the Carolinas, Venus flytrap would be much more rare than it currently is,” Dale says.

Today 15 counties in North Carolina and one county in South Carolina have the only naturally occurring populations of Venus flytraps on the planet … one of the few plants that moves to snag its prey, typically small spiders or ants. Showing support

Aside from treading lightly in the carnivorous plant’s native habitat, there are a few ways Venus flytrap enthusiasts can support the plant. For one, the Friends of Plant Conservation and the North Carolina Botanical Garden are petitioning the North Carolina General Assembly to approve a special license plate to help raise awareness and funds for the protection of Venus flytraps. Also, there are legitimate sources for purchasing Venus flytraps for those who want to collect or grow them as houseplants. “The plants you see at nurseries and retailers are usually grown by reputable horticulturalists,” Dale says. “They have been propagated either by seeds or tissue culture, without harming wild populations.” Carnivorous plant enthusiasts should look for nursery plants that are uniform in color and size and that do not contain other weedy species growing in the pot, tale-tell signs that plants may have been poached from the wild. “For years, people have been fascinated by carnivorous plants,” Dale says. “If people want to collect them, we encourage them to turn to reputable sources. However, they are best enjoyed in their native habitat, and we must continue to do our part to ensure that they are protected.” Pamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who writes for magazines and newspapers across the Southeast and nationally.

Sundew

Venus flytrap

Butterwort

carolinacountry.com/extras It’s riveting to see these plants devour their prey. Watch Venus flytraps snap shut on a host of unfortunate flies.

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Diane Stalford

Carolina People

Fishing, Paddling and Pot-bellied Pigs Kelly McCoy is sharing her love of the river with the masses By Tina Firesheets

K

elly McCoy fell in love with the New River 20 years ago. She and her partner at the time lived in Florida and began vacationing around the Boone area. Friends took them kayaking on the New River. Each time they returned, Kelly knew it was where she wanted to be. So they moved to the small town of Todd, about 11 miles from Boone. There was a general store, bakery, post office, two churches and a train depot. Kelly decided to add a little fishing store to the mix. And that’s how RiverGirl Fishing Company came to draw more visitors to a little rural town at the south fork of the New River. River Rat becomes RiverGirl Kelly spent much of her childhood in lakes and rivers. She’s from a small town about 45 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama. Her father competed in bass fishing tournaments. “Fishing, for a kid if you’re not catching fish, can be quite boring,” Kelly recalls. “He would tell us if we were quiet, he would take us waterskiing when he was finished fishing. So that probably instilled my love of the water.” Her grandmother imparted a sense of love and concern for nature. She, her brother and their cousins spent a lot of time with their grandmother. “She would take us into the creeks and teach us about how to take care of them. She would teach us about wildflowers. We just grew up in nature.” After high school, Kelly discovered an aquaculture program at the local community college. “I’ve always loved fish and taking care of them,” she says. After earning a fishery degree at Mississippi State University, she worked as a marine biologist in Florida. When she began thinking about what she could do after moving to Todd, it made sense to turn to the river. In college, her nickname was “River Rat” or “River Squirrel.” RiverGirl sounded better. Fishing, tubing and Petunia the pig Kelly eventually added canoes, kayaks and inner tubes to her fishing business. And a 300-pound pot-bellied pig named Petunia. “Little did I know 16 years ago that purchasing a pig for $50 would be the best marketing tool,” Kelly says with a laugh. “A lot of folks will pull up to the front door and ask if this is the place with the pig.”

RiverGirl Fishing Company 4041 Todd Railroad Grade Rd., Todd rivergirlfishing.com | 336-877-3099

Petunia has since passed away, but there’s a new pig. Pepper is about half the size of her predecessor. Some people don’t realize she’s a different pig. And some customers, Kelly says, actually cried when they learned Petunia had died. While Petunia used to like to hang out in the shop, Pepper prefers to lounge in her own little purple tiny home that she shares with five chickens and a rabbit. Lured by the river Kelly’s respect for fish and their habitat comes through in her practice. She uses lures that are gentler on the fish when hooked, and they release what they catch. Some people have begged her, and even offered more money, if she would allow them to keep their fish so that they could eat them later. But Kelly remains firm. If they want to do that, they’ll have to go back without her. Kelly, the mother of an 11-year-old son, especially enjoys teaching children how to fly fish. “I feel like if you get the kids out here, and you instill the love of looking under rocks — there’s another world underneath those rocks,” she says. “If you teach them that at an early age, they’ll have that their whole life. They’ll go back and show their friends and show their aunts and uncles. It becomes viral, and you get everybody learning how to take care of the waterways.” Tina Firesheets is a freelance writer based in Jamestown, North Carolina.

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Diane Stalford

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Carolina Living

Environmental Pawprints 5 ways to reduce your pet’s impact on the planet

There’s plenty of advice on ways to reduce your environmental footprint, but you might be wondering about the environmental pawprint made by your furry friend. The following easy lifestyle changes may help reduce your pet’s environmental impact.

1

Check those waste bags. Use compostable baggies to pick up after your pet when you take walks. Plastic bags take years to break down, if at all. There are options made from plants and other materials that biodegrade quicker. When it comes to disposal, check with your local waste management services as regulations can vary by community. While many places suggest the compost pile, others may not.

2

Consider your kitty’s litter. For the vast majority of cat families, kitty litter is an absolute must. Look for a litter that’s made from natural ingredients you can put in the compost bin. Not only is this better for the environment, but natural ingredients keep your cat from accidentally ingesting toxic chemicals.

3

Look at food packaging. Pets go through a lot of food, and that means a lot of packaging. You can reduce waste by selecting options like buying food in recyclable cartons and bags. Also consider ways to upcycle empty food bags to get more use out of the material, such as using them to collect garden and yard waste. You can also flatten bags into waterproof mats for your vehicle’s floorboards.

4

Prepare for water on the go. While humans can easily drink water from a reusable bottle, most pets cannot. Instead of making a mess by attempting to give water with your hands, keep a stainless-steel water dish in your car. It’s a durable solution that keeps your pet from being exposed to chemicals in plastic or silicone.

5

Choose durable accessories. Pets go through countless leashes, toys and dishes across their lifespans. Thinking about these items as investments and purchasing items that are more durable means they last longer, and you’ll waste less. For gently used items you’re ready to discard, like outgrown leashes, consider whether they still have useful life and can be reused by a rescue group or shelter. Also, for toys in particular, it’s important to know what materials they contain. For example, some pet toys are made with plastic containing BPAs, which can be harmful and negatively impact the environment. Look for toys made from eco-friendly materials. —FamilyFeatures.com

For more ideas to reduce your family’s environmental pawprint and care for your pet, visit petcurean.com/blog

June 2020  | 17

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OSED

Carolina Living

Subscription Boxes Services deliver custom-picked products

Subscription boxes are gifts that arrive at designated periods, such as monthly or bimonthly. Here are a few options for ongoing gifts. The book worm With so many books to choose from, it can be nice to let someone else pick the reading list. MyBookBox is among services that offers many genres for all ages. mybookbox.com

The clean-shaven Sometimes the best gift is the most practical. For example, there are many subscription services on the market to choose from for shaving supplies for men. And Billie, tailored for women, has a direct-to-consumer model that cuts down the cost of items like razor handles and cartridges.

For the caffeinated Most people know someone who can't live without their morning coffee. Options include Driftaway Coffee. The first box comes with a tasting kit, and once subscribers note their preferences, they'll receive future deliveries catered to their specific taste. driftaway.coffee

The wine lover Connect him or her to unique wines delivered to their door. Winc is among companies that offers personalized bottles. winc.com

mybillie.com

—Brandpoint

Shop Local Google “subscription boxes NC” for a wide range of choices from North Carolina companies.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving!

Love Carolina Country? Share a subscription with a friend or loved one as a gift! For $1 an issue, you can ensure they receive it in their mailbox every month.

Yes! Please send a subscription to: MAIL TO

MAILING ADDRESS

CITY

STATE

ZIP

INCLUDE A GIFT MESSAGE (OPTIONAL)

NAME

1 Year (12 issues) $12

2 Years (24 issues) $24

PHONE NUMBER (If we have questions)

Check Enclosed

Make checks payable to: “Carolina Country.” Mail to: Carolina Country Subscriptions, P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC 27611-7306 Or subscribe online at carolinacountry.com/subscribe

18  |  carolinacountry.com

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Carolina Living

Energy-Savings Word Search When you save energy at home, you’re helping your family save money and protecting our environment. Read the tips below, then find and circle the bolded words in the puzzle.

I S G G J T M T R K J M C Y P

D F H M A D J X F E C C R C H

E B G M A L C J K S T E G R O

S L S C T X O Y E X H A K I N

N J E E G J E H H S G C W T E

I Z B C Z L P G A H F Z O E C

A S O K T H Y W L Q M I A B H

T M R Z M R H X T B X G T O A

R H V G Q S O A A S Z V N H R

U R S I I I V N L L R Q O E G

C R Z D B L E F I V A E Z M E

G B N M H T I A L C O R F D R

W S O C M E U A U Z S E I Y S

W K S L O W C O O K E R S F C

E S D T W I N J D W T F T Q H

■ Close

blinds and curtains on hot, sunny days to block additional heat from entering your home.

■ Turn

off lights and electronics, like TVs and stereos, when you leave a room. off the water while you brush your teeth.

■ Turn

■ Only

clean full loads of dishes when you run the dishwasher.

■ Cooking

with smaller appliances like slow cookers and toaster ovens use less energy than larger appliances. phone chargers when they’re not in use —they consume energy even when they aren’t charging devices.

■ Unplug

June 2020  | 19

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Carolina Living

Purposeful Playtime

Almond Toast 4 slices whole-grain bread 6 tablespoons unsalted almond butter 2 teaspoons honey (optional) 1 banana, peeled 2 strawberries, trimmed and halved 4 chunks (1½ inches) pineapple 2 blackberries 2 teaspoons toasted flaxseed (optional)

Now’s a great time to teach kids about nutrition

W

ith many parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right. Consider these suggestions from Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, health and nutrition communications manager for Dole Food Company, and find additional kid-friendly recipes at dole.com. Taste tests Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious. The Almond Toast recipe here can be an easy and fun way to introduce fruits or berries that may be new to children.

Food groups focus Get kids involved in making dinner by setting a rule that each food group must be represented. Give them a warmup activity by asking which food groups are found in family favorites like chicken soup, lasagna or meatloaf. Asking kids to guess which ingredients are used and identifying which food group each ingredient belongs to can help them understand dietary balance. Explain hygiene routines Make sure to explain that by washing hands before meals kids will wash away germs and stay healthy. Proper handwashing is especially critical now, and you can find plenty of resources available for parents at cdc.gov/handwashing. Also explain why brushing teeth is important by reminding children that food can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities.

Toast bread slices. Spread with almond butter and drizzle with honey, if desired. To make “stick kids”: Cut eight slices and 32 matchsticks from the banana. Arrange one strawberry half and one pineapple chunk on two slices toast; arrange remaining strawberry halves and blackberries on remaining slices. Place one banana slice “head” at top of each piece of fruit and arrange four banana matchsticks around each “kid” for arms and legs. Sprinkle flaxseed along bottom edges of toast under kids’ feet, if desired. Yield: 4 servings

Getty Images

Hold a pretend dinner Many households have some kind of play food, such as plastic fruit. Use it to act out how to create a healthy kitchen with activities like making salad, setting the table, peeling bananas and washing dishes. This can help young children become more independent and grow into little helpers at family mealtime.

A feely-fruit box One idea that can work for school or at home is making a sensory box. Simply place a fruit or two inside a tissue box and have children put their hands inside, then try to guess which fruit it is by feeling it.

—FamilyFeatures.com

20  |  carolinacountry.com

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5/7/20 11:07 AM


On the House

Hunting for Energy Efficiency What to look for during a home search By Tommy Blair

Q:

I am in the process of house hunting, and I want to make sure I end up with a home that is energy efficient. What should I look for?

A:

So you’re ready to take the plunge into homeownership. You’ve saved for a down payment and found a great interest rate. You’ve taken virtual tours and now know exactly what you want in your perfect home. Spacious kitchen? Absolutely. Nice yard? Yes, please! Updated appli‑ ances? Of course. But there are other considerations that could benefit your comfort, health and monthly budget. Perhaps another factor in your home search should be energy efficiency. What does an energy efficient home look like? Often, it looks nearly identical to a less efficient home, but there are some strong indicators that a home may have been built or renovated with energy efficiency in mind. High-efficiency heating and cooling equipment At your request, a home inspector can provide the age and efficiency rating of any commonly available heating or cooling system. As the largest energy consumer in a home, this equipment is a big contributor to your monthly electric or gas bill. A system that is 12 years or older should be considered a candidate for replacement in the next few years. Extra insulation Think of this as the down jacket of your home in the winter and Styrofoam cooler in the summer. A well‑installed, consistent layer of insulation greatly contributes to the comfort and energy efficiency of your home year-round. Older homes could typically use an insulation upgrade, especially in the attic, unless retrofit work has been done. Ask your home inspector about current insulation levels, measured in R-values, to see if your prospective home is properly insulated. Low-flow water fixtures Water is an increasingly valuable commodity. Low-flow water fixtures help minimize consumption, often without any noticeable difference in pressure. They inject air into the stream, creating tiny bubbles at the equivalent pressure of a fixture that uses more water. Keep an eye out for WaterSense products, which can reduce consumption by 30 percent. More information can be found at lookforwatersense.epa.gov.

Energy Star® appliances The Energy Star label is now relatively common when shopping for dishwashers, washers, dryers and the like. It indicates that an appliance meets benchmarks for energy efficiency and quality. Most major hardware stores stock a variety of Energy Star appliances, which are a great option if your dream home needs an upgrade. All Energy Star-registered products can be found at energystar.gov/productfinder. Above-code certifications There are many possibilities here: Energy Star, LEED, Zero Energy Ready and others. Ask the current homeowner, agent or builder if the home has any above-code certifications. Each provides different benefits, but they’re generally all more energy efficient than a home built to code-minimum standards. These certifications offer many advantages and may even get you a lower interest rate on your mortgage. HERS rating A Home Energy Rating System (HERS) inspection is performed by a certified energy rater on behalf of the builder. The energy rater is a third party that verifies that the home is being built efficiently and to NC Code and many above-code programs. North Carolina is one of the leading states in completed HERS ratings each year. If you are curious about whether your prospective home has received a HERS rating, you can search a free database at hersindex.com. Tommy Blair is a building science specialist for Advanced Energy in Raleigh.

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I Remember

Memories and photos from our readers Send Us Your Memories We love sharing photos and memories dear to our readers. Submit your photo, plus roughly 200 words that describe it, online or by mail with a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you want it returned (only one entry per household, per month). Include your name, mailing address, phone number or email address, and the name of your electric co-op. We retain reprint rights, and we’ll pay $50 for those we publish. Online: carolinacountry.com/contact U.S. Mail: I Remember, Carolina Country, 3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616

Pine Log Swimming Hole

An Auctioneer’s Song I grew up in a North Carolina coastal town. My daddy was a rural mail carrier that everyone loved. Most folks would say my daddy never met a stranger. He rose early each day to deliver the mail. In the afternoons, he would travel to auction tobacco for a Whiteville warehouse. One of my favorite memories of my handsome dad is tagging along with him to the tobacco market. Daddy would lift me onto a bale of tobacco where I was instructed to stay put until he finished his second job. Daddy attended two schools to learn the tricks of his trade. This lovely linguistic lost art of auctioneers would begin with a sing-song melody that made no sense to me. The bid began $75 ... five, five … chatter, chatter … sold to “R.J. Reynolds.” The secret dialogue between my dad and the buyers of raised hands, winks or nods was music to my ears. As I sat high upon my bale of tobacco, my view held the most glorious smells of sweet tobacco leaves, boiled peanuts and a father to be proud of. Watching my dad go into this beautiful dance-like state of waving hands and singing numbers amazed me. Although each auctioneer’s psychology and deliverance is different, I felt my daddy’s version was unique. I will forever hold this memory close to my heart.

Memories that are priceless and so wonderful are the ones that you can relive with the people that they were made with. Some of my favorite ones took place in Maysville at “pine log,” which was an approximately 100-by-30-foot section of White Oak River behind the former Byrd’s Sawmill. The huge sawdust pile joined the river, and unfortunately, was a source of many acquired red bugs on us boys! The old pine log that crossed the swimming hole eventually was replaced by a big Cypress tree that had been cut perfectly to span the river and made an ideal place to sit or stand on. Its forked limbs offered a perfect vantage point for those not in the water. Some of us teenagers did not have access to running water in bathrooms at home back then, so a hot July or August day at this old swimming hole was pure heaven. I can’t help but chuckle to myself when I remember the fact that most of us skinny dipped, or as we called it, “went naked!”. I’ve been back to the pine log swimming hole and needless to say, it’s not there. But my memories are … Benny Banks, Maysville, a member of Carteret-Craven Electric Cooperative

Cathy Milligan, Ocean Isle Beach, a member of Brunswick Electric 24  |  carolinacountry.com

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5/8/20 1:14 PM


Shelter from the Storm There was just something about her, Grandma Emma, and how she shared. “Now you kids ‘git’ on up here on this porch and ‘git’ outta that rain. The storms a’coming ’cross that ridge.” And as sure and clear as we heard her voice, we all clambered up on that porch in time to see the thick, gray wall of rain head in our direction. The rough, green Astroturf carpeting covering her stoop scratched at our bare, rain-slicked legs as we ferociously hurried to assemble ourselves around her before her favorite part of summer began. She plopped down in her aluminum-framed outdoor rocker with a force from her ample build that left each of us wondering if today was the day the green and white plastic weave would be sent unraveling! But alas, she comfortably nestled her buxom bum into position, clenching multicolored tubes of frozen concession in her hand. And with her old metal, black-handled scissors she clipped the tops off our prized treats, one by one. She laid the discarded strips of plastic top in her dress tail stretched taut across her unproportioned and boney legs as assurance the clean-up would be a cinch. And we sat there, with our muddy, grass-stained hands clutching our popsicles, as we listened to the rain hit the tree leaves and the deep, echoing rolls of thunder bellow through the neighboring mountains! The aroma of June heat and steam rose from the adjoining rain drenched asphalt. I simply found solace in watching her little black-haired head lean back against the white cladding of the house, safe under that porch roof, as her eyes closed and her thin lips spread with a smile! Jeffery Richardson, Warrensville, a member of Blue Ridge Energy

My First Library Card Recently, when I used my newfangled plastic library card, I flashed back to my childhood and my first visit to the library. I was so excited to get my very own library card. I was an avid reader and loved to go to our smalltown library to use my card to get books that would take me away to new mysterious places. Imagine! Such a simple thing that brought so much joy. Summers were especially exciting. I would sign up for the summer reading program and eagerly use my library card for the chosen books. What better way to spend the day than disappearing into a book? Plus, an added bonus when you read the books on the list — you were rewarded with a certificate! The library card has been through many transformations since my childhood, from paper with its own sleeve, to a present-day plastic card with its own keychain card. One thing is for sure books still take me to magical places! Stephanie Ray, Sparta A member of Blue Ridge Energy

Summers at Grandma’s House My favorite childhood memories revolve around time spent with my grandma, Elgie. She was crippled from arthritis, but she loved having us grandkids around. I loved watching her cook. She taught me more about cooking than my own mother. Her best dishes were homemade buttermilk biscuits and chicken and dumplings. Another was her fried green apples. Hers beat Cracker Barrel’s. Grandma was a staunch Presbyterian. She had a quote for everything. If I asked her if I was pretty, she would reply “pretty is as pretty does” and “favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Grandma wanted girls to be proper. I loved to whistle, but she would say “whistling girls and crowing hens never come to any good end.” Another memory was her was her phobia of thunderstorms. She would get me to sit with her when a

thunderstorm came up. Boy, she could whoop and holler at those thunder claps. Grandma didn’t like snakes either. One day when a black snake crawled into her living room, I was called to dispose of it. I took a garden hoe and chopped it into pieces. Who knew they were harmless. Another thing about Grandma was her love of soap operas. You didn’t bother her when Guiding Light and General Hospital were on. When I was around 12, I started piano lessons. Since my family had no piano, I learned on Grandma’s. The only catch was I could only practice during commercials. I did that for six years. Amazed I ever learned a thing. But, oh, the things I learned from Grandma. Every time I see a black snake or witness a thunderstorm or hear a whistling girl, I think of her. Rebecca Lewis, Troy, a member of Randolph EMC June 2020  | 25

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5/8/20 1:14 PM


Carolina Bookshelf

Saltbox Seafood Joint

Born and reared in coastal New Bern, celebrated chef Ricky Moore tells the story of how he started his popular Saltbox Seafood Joint restaurants in Durham. Moore, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a former military cook, was galvanized by Singapore’s wet markets to start a restaurant focused purely on food inspired by the Carolina coast and its traditional fish shacks and camps. His cookbook, co-written with editor and scholar K.C. Hysmith, offers 60 recipes, and explains how to pan-fry and deep-fry, grill and smoke, and cook up soups, chowders, stews, and seafood. Its easy charts and illustrations explain the featured types, availability, and cuts of fish and shellfish used in the recipes. Recipes include Shellfish Stock, Cold Mustard Herb Sauce, Scallop Fritters, Hickory Charcoal Mullet with BBQ Butter, Sweet Potato Grits, Skillet Succotash, Lemon Rice, and Ritz CrackerCrusted Bluefish Cakes. Hardcover, 160 pages, $25; e-book $19.99. 800-848-6224 uncpress.org

Lost Attractions of the Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is among the most-visited national parks in the country and has seen countless attractions through the years around its borders. From ersatz western towns and cartoonish concrete dinosaurs to misplaced Florida-type sea creature attractions and celebrity theaters, you will find them all preserved in this nostalgic book. Popular culture historian Tim Hollis showcases businesses that no longer exist through text and images (mostly color), from the motels of Cherokee and Ghost Town in the Sky on the North Carolina side, to the Hill-Billy Village in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg’s theme parks on the Tennessee side. Other attractions featured include Porpoise Island, which showcased winsome hula dancers and handsome drummers; Magic World, which included a ghost grotto, “invisible people” and a dragon train; Jolly Golf with its imposing tyrannosaurus; and Maggie Zoo and Reptile Farm, where rattlesnakes were “milked for their venom.” Paperback, 173 pages, $23.99. thehistorypress.net

carolinacountry.com/bookshelf to find more books about and from NC Prefer to support independent bookstores? You can cross-reference books and local shops where they are sold by visiting indiebound.org.

Feels Like Falling

Meet Gray Howard. It may be sweet summertime on the North Carolina coast, but Gray has just lost her mother to cancer, her sister to her extremist husband, and her husband to his executive assistant. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma, she inadvertently gets a stranger, Diana Harrington, fired from her job at the local pharmacy. Diana Harrington’s summer isn’t off to the greatest start either. Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a worn-out Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience. But what begins as an act of atonement between two very different women turns out to be a catalyst for positive change, as each learns from one another. The author, Kristy Woodson Harvey, lives in Beaufort. Paperback, 400 pages, $16.99. kristywoodsonharvey.com

Great Day Hikes

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail is an 1,175-mile destination trail that crosses North Carolina, and stretches from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks. It traverses 37 counties, seven national parks and forests, and nearly a dozen state parks and historic sites. This official guide (from the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail) takes you to its beautiful day hikes. It showcases everything from scenic mountain vistas to surprising escapes in the Piedmont region and the wonders of coastal plain pocosins. Its helpful features include 40 hikes carefully chosen for hikers of all experience levels, a hike finder to identify hikes for birding, waterfalls, history and universal accessibility and turn-by-turn guidance and points of interest for each hike. There are also fullcolor maps and photographs and information about a trail’s history and ongoing development. Edited by Jim Grode, the book is a Southern Gateways Guide, from the UNC Press series. Paperback, 248 pages, $24; e-book $18.99. 800-848-6224 uncpress.org

Carolina Bookshelf features select books that relate to North Carolina by setting or topic or that are by NC authors. To submit a book for a possible mention, please mail a copy of the book, along with a description of its topic, purchase information and your contact information, to Carolina Bookshelf, Carolina Country, 3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, NC, 27616.

26  |  carolinacountry.com

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CAROLINA COUNTRY

adventures

Extraordinary Teapots

Creedmoor’s Cedar Creek Gallery plays host to a unique event By Bridgette A. Lacy | Photos courtesy of Cedar Creek Gallery

Asheville potter Lucy V. Dierks thinks of a teapot as a bird perch. “I like to make pieces that I think a bird would like to sit on,” she says of her alluring functional vessels, Night Owl Teapot (pictured top right) and Green Spring Teapot with Flycatcher Bird. Her small, mid-range porcelain pots are designed for one to two cups of tea. “You can look at the bird, and it can look at you,” she says. These are just some of the teapots on display at Cedar Creek Gallery’s XI National Teapot Show, which runs through September 7. The virtual show features about 200 teapots ranging from traditional to contemporary and made out of pottery, glass, wood, fiber and silk. “What they have common is a spout, body, handle and a lid,” says Jennifer Dolan, the gallery manager and the show’s curator. “The artists pushed the boundaries of what you think of as a teapot.” While 60 percent of the vessels hold tea, others are strictly objects of beauty. This year about 160 artists, including 61 from North Carolina, are represented in the invitation-only show, Jennifer says. Chapel Hill potter Eric Serritella submitted Escape, the perfect piece to represent our current days of social distancing. His sculptural teapot (pictured top left) was made out of clay and hand-carved to look like wood. He describes it this way, “The inside is pushing itself out. The outside is peeling away; it’s trying to liberate itself.” Hurdle Mills ceramist Evelyn Ward contributed Red Square Teapot (pictured center), a contemporary functional piece. “I wanted to create something graphic and eye-catching,” Evelyn says, whose work has been featured four times. “Teapots are special because they take so much work. It’s hard to make them look good and work well. It has to pour without dripping or spilling. It has to feel good in your hand … the lid has to sit properly.”

“It’s really an honor to be in the show,” Evelyn continues. “They choose artists all over the country.” “When we put together the show, we are always looking for new voices,” Jennifer says. This year, there are 30 newcomers from states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania, Montana, Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri and Oregon. Cedar Creek Gallery’s bestselling ceramist Brad Tucker, along with Seagrove pottery family Vernon Owens, his wife, Pam, their daughter Bayle and their son, Travis, are also a part of the exhibition. “I like the idea that I can make something people can use every day,” Lucy Dierks says. “You can fill them with water and put them in the microwave. You can use them all the time.” The teapots are for sale, and the prices range from $100 to $4,200, with lots of pots in the $150 to $250 range. The Cedar Creek Gallery National Teapot Show started in 1989. The initial show was the idea of the late Cedar Creek founder and potter Sid Oakley, who saw the event as an opportunity to showcase creativity, imagination and craftsmanship within a theme. At times, the show has run every two years, but now it’s held every three years because of the work involved in organizing the huge exhibition. “We’re helping artists make a living,” Jennifer says. “The teapot show brings an accessible form to people, something they are proud to take home. These artists show how everyday objects can be extraordinary.” Bridgette A. Lacy (bridgettelacy.com) is a freelance writer and the author of “Sunday Dinner, a Savor the South cookbook” by UNC Press.

National Teapot Show XI Show open through Sept. 7 at Cedar Creek Gallery, Creedmoor. If the gallery is closed, a virtual exhibit is available at cedarcreekgallery.com.

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Carolina Gardens

Fancy, Colorful Foliage

Try this ‘C List’ of top-notch plants Story and photos by L.A. Jackson

Summer landscapes have a habit of slumbering the hot months away in underwhelming waves of green, but there are many fancy plants adorned with foliage in other colors that can break up this monochrome monotony. I could pull suggestions from my “A List” of such sassy plants, and maybe even a few second-stringers on my B List, but since this is Carolina Country, instead I’ll just have fun conjuring up a C List — colorful plants that begin with the letter …  well, you know where this is going. Coleus. While dainty, pastelshaded coleuses have been around for some time, a new breed of so-called “sun coleuses” have started crashing the garden party with a dazzling array of all hues except blue splattered, sprayed and splotched on the foliage of 1- to 3-foot annual plants, making them perfect additions to perk up an ornamental border or container setting. Canna. Grown from rhizomes, this popular perennial has long been favored for its flowers, but newer introductions, such as “Tropicana,” with striped leaves screaming in

streaks of yellows, oranges and greens, and “Australia,” which smolders in a dusky, burgundy-black cloud, now steal the show with their strong foliage statements from spring until fall. Caladium. This colorful plant is a steady performer in lightly shaded areas, sporting arrow-shaped leaves that light up landscapes with splashes of white, pink, green, red and cream. Although caladiums are often treated as annuals in our state, their tubers can be dug up in the early fall and stored for the winter. Copper Plant. A popular houseplant, copper plant is often seen for sale at big box garden centers and, for visual pleasure, on sunny decks and patios outdoors during the summer. The typical copper plant is a merry mottle of deep reds, striking coppers (of course) and strong pinks. There are newer cultivars that offer refined blends of green heavily dusted with white or light yellow, but since I prefer rowdy looks, the good ol’ easy‑to-find original works best for me. Colocasia. Also known as “elephant ears,” this dramatic, large‑leaf perennial is usually seen

Sun Coleus

in shades of green, but some newer introductions have leaves deeply dipped in the dark side. In particular, the spell-binding “Black Magic” and shimmering “Black Coral” are cultivars worth searching for either locally or online. This tuberous plant often adorns water gardens and large container plantings. L.A. Jackson is the former editor of Carolina Gardener Magazine. Contact L.A. at lajackson1@gmail.com.

Garden To-Do’s for June Thinking about adding a fig tree to your edible garden? Plant it in full sun and keep in mind a young fig tree naturally takes a few years to swing into full fruit production, so don’t overfertilize trying to rush it to maturity. Since fig trees are sensitive to drought, mulch and water during extended dry spells. “Brown Turkey” and “Celeste” are winterhardy figs typically grown in North Carolina. They can reach 15 feet-plus tall and wide, so, to prevent established figs from becoming beasts in the garden, prune about a quarter of their growth every few years in late winter, cutting back limbs to leaf or branch joints. F

Just couldn’t part with your poinsettia last Christmas? Give it a vacation outdoors in a semi-shady spot, and, for a fuller more compact plant, prune each branch back now, leaving three to five leaves on each stem.

F

Flea beetles love hot weather just about as much as they adore eggplants, so start watching for damage from these pinhead-size pests, which looks like a shotgun blast of tiny holes in the leaves.

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Connect with Carolina Country Don’t miss out on your favorite content including the latest from Carolina Kitchen —s  ign up for email updates on our website!

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Marketplace

Vacation Rental

Real Estate

For Sale

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SELL YOUR LAND FAST! No agents. No Fees. No Commissions. www.sellyourvacantlantfast.com 843-564-8438. HURRICANE SURVIVOR! Beautiful contemporary 2 bedroom house for sale by owners on Ocracoke Island, NC. Very secluded. See: bit.ly/170-Brughs-Rdg-Ocracoke-NC WE BUY NORTH CAROLINA LAND — Cash paid quickly. Farmland, timberland, hunting land. Any size. No lots in developments. Local buyer, have cash, looking for long term investment, recreation and conservation. For quickest offer and closing: www.nclandbuyers.com or 910-239-8929

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Miscellaneous CASH PAID FOR OLD FISHING LURES–Call Rick Hutton 704-695-4917 PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR—$12.95. “Learn Gospel Music.” Chording, runs, fills—$12.95. Both $24. Davidsons, 6727C Metcalf, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204. 913-262-4982. The N.C. Association of Electric Cooperatives and its member cooperatives do not endorse the services and products advertised. Readers are advised to understand fully any agreement or purchase they make. To place a classified ad: carolinacountry.com/classifieds

2020

Categories include: Nothing could be finer ... Carolina Country is proud to offer up our second annual Carolina’s Finest Awards, showcasing the finest North Carolina has to offer. We need your help! We’re leaving it up to you, our readers, to pick the best of the best. Visit carolinacountry.com/finest by June 30 and cast your votes in the categories below. Each voter will be entered into a drawing for one of three $100 gift cards.

 BBQ

 Getaway

 Breakfast Spot

 Main Street/Downtown

 Ice Cream Shop

 Museum

 Musician/Band

 Pick-Your-Own Farm

 Festival

 Made in NC Product

Vote for your favorites at

carolinacountry.com/finest by June 30 for a chance to win $100! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete online entry form at carolinacountry.com/finest, or mail in your votes to Carolina Country’s Finest, 3400 Sumner Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27616, for a chance to win. All contact information will remain confidential. One entry per person, drawn by random; odds of receiving one (1) of the three $100 gift cards depend upon number of entries received. Entries must be subited by June 30, 2020. Random drawing will take place July 1, 2020.

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Carolina Kitchen

Fresh Vegetable Stir-Fry Be sure not to overcook the asparagus in this dish. It should retain a little crunch. Fresh green peas or cooked and shelled edamame would be good additions. Brown rice vinegar tastes slightly sweet and smoky — look for it in the international sections of supermarkets or at Asian markets. ½ cup lime juice ½ teaspoon brown rice vinegar 1 teaspoon coconut-sriracha sauce* ¼ teaspoon sugar 1 pound chicken breast, sliced into thin strips Vegetable oil 1 medium onion, sliced 1 cup thinly sliced carrots 2 cups asparagus in 1-inch pieces (about half of an average bunch) 2 cloves garlic, chopped 3 green onions, chopped 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts Cooked rice noodles, egg noodles or rice for serving (optional) In a small bowl, stir together the first four ingredients and a large pinch of salt until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate for 20–30 minutes. In a large frying pan or wok on medium-high, heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add the onions and carrots, and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry until the vegetables begin to soften. Remove the chicken from the marinade (discard the marinade; do not use). Add the chicken to the pan. Stir-fry until the chicken is nearly cooked through. Depending on the size of the strips, this may take only a few minutes. When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the asparagus, garlic and green onions. Stir-fry until the asparagus turns bright green; don’t let it get limp. Top with the peanuts and serve with noodles or rice, if desired. *I used Marion’s Kitchen Coconut Sriracha Sauce, but if you can’t find it, here’s a substitute: mix a few dashes of sriracha or Tabasco with 1 teaspoon plain, unsweetened coconut milk (not canned). Taste and add more hot sauce if desired.

Strawberries in Balsamic

Vinegar and berries? You bet! White balsamic vinegar is lighter in flavor and color than traditional balsamic, and it blends well with many fruits. In this simple dessert, it contrasts with strawberries’ natural sweetness. I like it as-is, but for those with a sweet tooth, indulge with a bit of creamy topping. 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries 2½ teaspoons white balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest 2–3 sprigs fresh mint

Topping (optional) 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream 1 teaspoon powdered sugar

Put the strawberries in a non-metal bowl. Stir together the vinegar and lemon zest and pour over the berries. Toss gently. Top with mint sprigs. For the optional topping, in a separate bowl, mix the crème fraîche or sour cream with the powdered sugar. Spoon the strawberries into individual serving bowls and pass the topping on the side. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Yield: 4 servings

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Carolina Kitchen

Broccoli-Pecan Salad

I like broccoli and salad, so why have I never cared for broccoli salads? Probably because I‘m not crazy about raw broccoli, and many traditional broccoli salads are drowned in mayonnaise and cheese. Briefly cooking broccoli — only a minute or so — brings out the flavor while keeping some crunch, and using a vinaigrette offers a lighter flavor. This salad is best served the day it’s made.

4 3 1 2 ¼ ¼ ½ ½ ½

From Your Kitchen

cups broccoli florets tablespoons olive oil tablespoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar teaspoons honey teaspoon salt or to taste teaspoon black pepper or to taste cup chopped red onion cup chopped red bell pepper cup chopped pecans

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Put the florets into the boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until the florets turn bright green. Do not overcook. Drain the florets and dump them into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Let sit for a few minutes, until cool, then drain well. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Put the drained broccoli florets into a large bowl. Add the red onion, red bell pepper and pecans, and toss to combine. Pour the dressing over the mixture and toss to coat. Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Blueberry Heaven

1 cup flour 1 stick melted butter 1 cup chopped pecans (plus extra to sprinkle on top if desired) 1 container (8-ounce) cream cheese

2 containers (8-ounce) Cool Whip 1 cup powdered sugar 1 can (20-ounce) blueberry pie filling* 1 can (20-ounce) pineapple pie filling*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. First layer: Sift flour into melted butter, then mix in pecans. Press mixture into the bottom of a 13-x-9-inch pan. Bake until lightly browned (about 20 minutes). Set aside to cool completely. Second layer: Combine cream cheese, one container of Cool Whip and the powdered sugar. Whip until smooth, then spread over the first layer. Third layer: Spread blueberry pie filling on second layer. Fourth layer: Spread pineapple pie filling on top of the blueberry filling, then top with another container of Cool Whip and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Chill — or even freeze — for a summertime treat. *Alternatively, you can make your own filling. For pineapple, combine 1 can (20-ounce) of pineapple (drained), 5 tablespoons flour, ½ cup of sugar, 1 egg and ½ cup of water over low heat, stirring until thickened. For blueberry filling, follow the same process, subbing out a pint of blueberries for the pineapple. Recipe courtesy of Alice Hairr of Four Oaks

Send Us Your Recipes

Contributors whose recipes are published will receive $25. We retain reprint rights for all submissions. Recipes submitted are not necessarily entirely original. Include your name, address, phone number (for questions), and the name of your electric cooperative. Mail to: Carolina Country Kitchen, P.O. Box 27306, Raleigh, NC, 27611. Or submit your recipe online at: carolinacountry.com/myrecipe.

Unless otherwise noted, recipes on this page are from Debbie Moose (debbiemoose.com), who has authored seven cookbooks and is a former food editor for The News & Observer in Raleigh.

carolinacountry.com/recipes We take food seriously. Search more than 800 recipes by name or ingredient, with a new recipe featured every week!

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where

in Carolina Country is this ?

Send your answer by June 6, with your name, address and the name of your electric cooperative. Online:

carolinacountry.com/where

By mail: Where in Carolina Country? P.O. Box 27306 Raleigh, NC 27611 Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. The winner, chosen at random and announced in our July issue, will receive $25.

May winner

The May “Where Is This” photo by Union Power member Richard Petrea features an old school bus shelter where students once gathered to wait for their ride to school. The “shed with legs” is located on Lentz Harness Shop Road near Mount Pleasant, in eastern Cabarrus County. Reader Tommie Blanchard was one of those students. He noted that the shelter was originally located at the intersection of NC Highway 73 and Lentz Harness Shop Road. His mother and other parents asked WBTV back in the 1950s to move it to where it is today. The winning entry chosen at random from all correct submissions came from Scott Wilson of Concord, a Union Power member. Have a roadside gem you’d like to share? Submit a photo, plus a brief description and general location information, at carolinacountry.com/where.

scenes

CAROLINA COUNTRY

featured photo

Girls of Summer

Two members of the 8U East Surry Lady Dirtbags softball team watch a close play at third base. The Lady Dirtbags went on to win the bronze bracket in a softball tournament in Concord. Rory Lewellyn, Pilot Mountain A member of Surry-Yadkin EMC

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Submit your photos at carolinacountry.com/photos

5/8/20 12:44 PM

CEC CR 3


BUILDING A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Together, North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives are leading the way to a brighter future for 2.5 million people and local communities with a commitment to:

Innovative, reliable energy at the lowest possible cost Community support and economic development Utilizing existing and new resources to achieve a goal of net-zero emissions

NCElectricCooperatives.com/Brighter

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