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Week celebrates farm, city union

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The National Farm City Council is a non-profit organization enhancing the linkages between farm families and urban residents, providing local organizations with educational programs and materials about the people who grow their food.

Most Americans, both on the farm and in the city, are blessed with an abundance of wholesome food and healthy living spaces, but not everyone. We can do better. We should. It’s in everyone’s best interest for our farms and cities to remain strong and viable. Neither farm nor city can exist in isolation. We need each other.

Since 1955, the National Farm-City Council, together with state and local councils and committees, has encouraged building understanding of our interdependence between rural and urban residents. Farm-City Week spotlights how American agriculture reaches far beyond the farm or ranch.

Agriculture, in fact, is an industry that includes a significant number of urban and suburban residents who help process, transport, sell, and distribute the bounty.

More than 24 million American workers, a full 17 percent of the total U.S. workforce, are involved in this process. As a result of this farm-city partnership, Americans enjoy the safest, most abundant and most affordable food supply in the world, according to the National Farm City Council.

We hope that Farm City Week helps remind everyone of the importance of agriculture in Person County. So, as you prepare for your Thanksgiving Day and Christmas celebration, it is a special time to reflect on the bounty most of us enjoy every day.

It is a time to remember that our food, and products used to produce our clothing, housing, medicines, fuel and other products used on a daily basis didn’t just appear in a store. They got there thanks to a tremendous partnership of farmers, ranchers, processors, brokers, truckers, shippers, advertisers, wholesalers and retailers. On Thursday of this week, the Extension Office is celebrating with a Farm City Week breakfast celebrating agriculture, a poster contest for fourth-graders, and an Agricultural Field Day for fifth-graders.

The next Lunch N’ Learn program is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 7, from 12 – 1 p.m. at the N.C. Cooperative Extension office. Everyone is aging, but whether we do so gracefully is up to us. The workshop will be on the “Keys to Embracing Aging,” where the group will discuss the 12 keys and steps to take now to age well into the future. The cost for the Lunch N’ Learn workshop is $5 and includes a healthy, delicious lunch. You must preregister and pre-pay for this event by this Friday.

For more information on Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check us out online at http://facebook.com/ personcountyfcs or email jennifer_ grable@ncsu.edu

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

yields 2 cups

1 quart water

2 Tablespoons salt

2 cups pumpkin seeds

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil or melted, unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pick through seeds and remove any cut seeds. Remove as much of the stringy fibers as possible. Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the seeds and boil for 10 minutes. Drain, spread on paper towel, and pat dry. Place the seeds in a bowl and toss with oil or melted butter. Spread evenly on a large cookie sheet or roasting pan. Place pan in a preheated oven and roast the seeds for 30-40 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes, until crisp and golden brown. Cool the seeds, then shell and eat or pack in air-tight containers or zip closure bags and refrigerate until ready to eat.

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