Ask Extension

Recent Articles


Thursday, December 29, 2011


Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012

10:00 am to noon

Seminole Community Library Program Room
9200 113th St. N.
Seminole, Florida  33722

TOPIC: Lake Seminole Projects

SPEAKER: Robert Burnes, Watershed Management Dept. of Environment & Infrastructure Pinellas County

Information: Contact Mary,

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Simple Resolutions for a Healthier 2012!

Nan Jensen, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Pinellas County Extension

The new year is almost here and you may be starting to think about what resolutions to make in 2012. Here are some easy ideas to help you have a healthier year. 

Resolution #1: Make half your plate fruits and vegetables 
Let vegetables and fruits take up half the space on your dinner plate. Fruits and vegetables deliver healthy phytochemicals and essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, they fill you up on fewer calories than other foods. Check out the winners of the fruit and vegetable challenge for some creative ideas on how to include more fruits and vegetables on your plate. 

Resolution #2: Make water your beverage of choice 
Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, lemonade or iced tea, are one of the top five foods that can add the pounds. Choosing water instead of calorie-laden beverages is a smart and easy way to reduce your overall calorie intake. Eliminating a 12-oz. can of soda a day can lead to a 12 to 18 lb. loss over the course of a year. 

Resolution #3: Try some new whole grains 
Making a switch from refined grains to whole grains can give your health a big boost. Whole grains are great sources of healthy carbohydrates, fiber, along with vitamins and minerals. People who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. Try some new grains like wild rice, quinoa and barley. Here is more information on whole grains and lots of delicious recipes.

Resolution #4: Add flavor to your food with herbs, spices and other flavorings 
Many people add salt to flavor their food. Too much salt is linked to high blood pressure. The daily recommended limit is 2,300 milligrams—the amount in just 1 teaspoon of salt. Most of us consume more than twice that amount. To help you get the sodium out, start with fresh ingredients and experiment with new flavorings. Lemon, lime juice, vinegar or other acidic flavors can help bring out the savoriness of food. Sprinkling fresh grated lemon zest, chopped fresh or dried herbs, garlic or shallots can add an abundance of flavor. For ideas on using fresh herbs and spices, take a look at these publications. 
Cooking with Fresh Herbs
Add a Little Spice (& Herbs) to Your Life!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don’t Trash the Holidays!

Guest Post from Pinellas Partners in Recycling

Don’t trash the holidays! Gift wrap, packaging and party goods add up to truckloads of extra garbage. Let the holidays fill your heart and not your trash can with these tips to cut holiday waste.

Toss the tinsel, but not the tree. Make the season green by recycling your Christmas tree. Prepare your tree by removing all decorations including lights, ornaments and tinsel. Find out where to recycle your Christmas tree.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Kill a Watt, Save Some Money!

Pinellas County Extension's Pinellas Energy Efficiency Project has teamed up with Pinellas Public Library Cooperative to bring an exciting new program to our citizens. 

The Kill-a-Watt (TM) Campaign teaches residents how to monitor their home's energy use when they borrow an energy monitor from the library. 

Kill-a-Watt(TM) energy monitors are plugged into your home's power supply at an outlet, then various electronic devices can be plugged into the monitor. In real time the monitor indicates the amount of energy a device is using at the moment, and can be left on for longer amounts of time (more than 1 hour at least) to determine the kilowatts that device has consumed. 

Extension specialists will be holding classes throughout the coming months to explain how the monitors work and provide easy tips to make your home more energy efficient. 

Here is a schedule of upcoming classes: 
Tuesday December 13, 1pm – 2 pm Johnson Branch Public Library 
Wednesday January 11, 3pm-4pm Tarpon Springs Public Library 
Saturday January 28, 10am-11am Gulfport Public Library 
Saturday February 18, 11am-noon Palm Harbor Public Library 
Tuesday March 13, 7pm-8pm Dunedin Public Library 
Saturday March 31, 1:30pm-2:30pm Clearwater East Branch Library 
Thursday April 12, 6:30pm-7:30pm Safety Harbor Public Library 
Thursday April 26, 1:30pm-2:30pm Oldsmar Public Library 
Monday May 7, 1:00pm – 2:00pm St. Pete Beach Public Library 
Register by visiting and selecting the date you wish to attend on the calendar on the home page. Classes are free and will be held throughout the county.  

These libraries have energy monitors available for check-out any time: Clearwater Public Library System, Dunedin Public Library, East Lake Community Library, Gulf Beaches Public Library, Gulfport Public Library, Largo Public Library, Oldsmar Public Library, Palm Harbor Public Library,  Pinellas Park Public Library, Safety Harbor Public Library, St. Pete Beach Public Library, St. Petersburg Public Library System, Seminole Community Library, Tarpon Springs Public Library

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information, and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions, or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.