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Archives for May 26, 2014

Good first impression: Wilkes Central gets new look with Project GreenLIFE

Two life-size concrete eagles on spiral brick columns about 10 feet tall now guard the main driveway entrance to Wilkes Central High School in Moravian Falls.

A welded sculpture of an eagle’s nest, brick planter boxes and new landscaping are now immediately in front of the school.

It’s all part of Project GreenLIFE, a broad-based initiative at Wilkes Central funded with a $4,577 Lowe’s Companies Inc. Toolbox for Education grant and over $1,200 raised by school clubs and teams and individuals in the community.

“Students, parents, teachers, the central office, Wilkes Community College, businesses, citizens in our community and Lowe’s have all contributed time, treasure and talent to redefine the school as The Nest, the home of the Eagles,” said Wilkes Central Principal Michelle Shepherd.

“Everyone is valued at our school, and we are excited that the outside of the school with eagles guarding the entrance and an eagle guarding the nest sculpture will set a positive tone for the inside and will serve as a symbol of The Nest to students and alumni in the years to come.”

Wilkes Central student Brett Boone said the improvements will show off Wilkes Central’s school pride when other teams come there to play.

Donna Rollins, a counselor at school, added, “It’s the first impression of the school. It makes our school look beautiful and inviting.”

The first event bringing attention to the new features is the 2014 Run to the Nest 5K on Saturday, a fundraiser sponsored by the Wilkes Central Athletic Booster Club and coordinated by faculty member Heather Freeman.

The run starts at 8:30 a.m., with check-in from 7:15 to 8:15 a.m. Awards will be presented to the top three male and top three female finishers in multiple age categories and overall.

To register for the race online, go to http://www.racingtoes.com/run-to-the-nest-5k-online-registration. Call Coach Jamie Susi at 704-999-9169 for more details.

At the end of the 2012-13 school year, Mrs. Shepherd approached veteran teacher John Elledge about writing an application for a Lowe’s Tool Box grant of up to $5,000.

As Elledge and Mrs. Shepherd brainstormed about ideas for a grant, Elledge considered the appearance of the school in the 1980s when he first began to teach there.

“The school looked a lot different two decades ago. It was landscaped, and students and teachers would take a day off from school to work on the school grounds. I decided to write a grant to enhance the beauty of the campus,” he said.

“The school has had major interior renovations in the last decade, but the school grounds needed a major overhaul after years of neglect,” he said.

Elledge said red-rock gravel dominated areas once landscaped with plants and contributed to the exterior’s stark and uninspiring appearance, making the school “look more like a cold institution rather than a welcoming modern home.”

Mrs. Shepherd strongly endorsed Elledge’s concept and ideas from Tim Wyatt and Gary Treadway, Wilkes Central masonry and welding teachers respectively, were sought.

This led to masonry students building planters and spiral columns adorned with concrete eagles and welding students creating a sculpture of a nest.

Wyatt said the spiral columns are reinforced with a core of concrete and rebar and the eagles are also secured with concrete and rebar.

“Experienced masons have told me that they could not build a spiral column, that it was beyond their ability and training. This project provides our students an impressive “portfolio” item to reference in job applications,” he said.    

An entire page of The World of Welding magazine featured Treadway and his welding students for their work on the nest sculpture.

“The project just proves our students are career ready and has allowed us to showcase their work. Local businesses in town have asked about hiring our students.”

Wilkes Steel provided metal for the sculpture at a reduced price.

Wilkes school maintenance staff helped prepare the sculpture site by removing the red landscaping rocks and marking water and power lines. Rex Brown and Jody Miller of Moravian Falls also helped prepare the area.

Elledge spent six months planning and writing the grant and submitted it to Lowe’s in February 2013. He learned that the grant was approved the day before standardized testing began in May 2013.

Students then began to work on Project Green LIFE, with “green” referring to one of the school’s main two colors and establishing plants on the campus.

“LIFE is an acronym for “Landscape Inspiration For Eagles.”

Donna Riddle’s horticulture students at Wilkes Community College presented landscaping plans and Mrs. Riddle gave Elledge and Mrs. Shepherd advice about transforming the high school’s landscape.

“Donna Riddle had a major influence on this project. We just can’t thank her, her students and WCC enough,” said Elledge.

He said Mrs. Riddle has mentored Jason Caudill, Wilkes Central’s new agriculture and horticulture teacher. Caudill, a graduate of North Carolina State and Clemson universities, took a class from Mrs. Riddle last summer and she helped him with the landscaping portion of Project Green LIFE when he started at WCHS in January.

Using the ideas of Mrs. Riddle’s students, Caudill created a landscaping plan that includes using the school’s greenhouse to provide annuals for the brick planter boxes. Spring weather conditions delayed Caudill’s students, but they worked on Saturdays to install new landscaping features.  Some of the new landscaping will be in place for graduation, but work will continue into the summer and next year.

“The project wouldn’t have been possible without the financial help, technical expertise and materials from the school’s life-long friend, Lowe’s Companies, and the employees and management of the local Lowe’s store,” said Elledge.  

Melanie Hamby served as financial manager of accounts for the project.

Article source: http://www.journalpatriot.com/news/article_80fb49fa-e4fc-11e3-b4f4-001a4bcf6878.html

Mediterranean magic awaits you

1178D Cove Rd, Waipu Cove.
1178D Cove Rd, Waipu Cove.

A very small brown dog guards the entrance to Malcolm Norton and Shelley Hamilton’s house at the top of the hill above Waipu Cove.

If he weren’t so tiny and so outrageously cute, the big, Mediterranean-style house might feel rather imposing, and that would be the last thing Shelley would want.

When she and Malcolm planned the house she was determined it would be warm, rustic, homely and “not precious”. Whatever formula they applied to the design was successful, because this is immediately recognisable as a “shoes-on” house that works as a family home and a focal point for the farmland and native bush that surrounds it.

The recycled jarrah, fresco-style paint-washed walls, lichen-covered roof tiles and classic furnishings give it a timeless look inside and out. It could be 100 years old but, in fact, it was built in 2000/2001.

Malcolm bought the whole farm sight unseen in 1992. He actually wanted a lifestyle block as opposed to 240 unseen acres of derelict dairy farm, but a friend who had seen the property encouraged him to go ahead, and he did.

In order to realise their dreams here, Malcolm and Shelley introduced three sets of friends to the mix, creating separate titles for each family and arranging for the remainder to be held in partnership. “We call it a marriage,” Shelley laughs, adding that the four families are all still talking, all still friends, and gearing up to celebrate their 25th “wedding anniversary” in three years.

By that time Shelley and Malcolm may have moved on, but not very far – the plan is to build again on another part of the land, downsizing a little to suit their “age and stag”.

“I can’t wait to do it all again,” Shelley says, explaining how much she enjoyed the process of designing, building and landscaping this property.

It was a slow process. It took a year to get the plans drawn up and then a year to build. But considering the size and complexity of the house, it all came together with few hitches. materials like the recycled jarrah used throughout had been collected over time, and Shelley had put together clippings, samples and fabrics, and had sorted out all her ideas about colours.

The brief was for a Mediterranean-style farmhouse that would look old and weathered, with a kitchen and family area at its heart, a private, almost cave-like lounge, and all the other rooms wide open to the view.

Shelley’s favourite place is the kitchen. “I like to cook when I have time and I love cooking with other people. There’s plenty of space to do that.”

There’s also plenty of space in the bedroom. It has its own sitting area, which is an inviting retreat, and an en suite of which the centrepiece is a very large, listello-tiled bath. Shelley, a horsewoman, likes to soak in the tub after riding the 7km of track on the property, or working in the garden.

There’s about a hectare of garden around the house, a lush mix of subtropicals and natives, including a superb collection of hibiscus, and a pool as the centrepiece.

A little further away are the orchard, vegetable garden and berry garden, all organic and all very productive.

About half of the remaining farm acreage is in regenerating native bush, which provides an outlook that almost competes with Bream Bay.

When Shelley and Malcolm build again, their house may be smaller; however, the views will still be huge.

NZ Herald

Article source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/herald-homes/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502988&objectid=11262065

Mountain BizWorks gets a fresh start – Asheville Citizen

Randy Siegel isn’t exactly a fan of wake-up calls — the call part, anyway.

But he does champion the wake-up.

“You hate wake-up calls, especially as you are going through them,” said Siegel, a professional development specialist. “But when you wake up, it sure does make a difference.”

Mountain BizWorks, a nonprofit that helps local small businesses start, grow and create jobs through loans, classes and coaching, had a big wake-up call in November, said Siegel, who is on the agency’s board of directors.

The 25-year-old nonprofit suffered a severe liquidity crunch after a drop-off in revenues. Around that time, CEO Shaw Canale resigned, and the nonprofit had to restructure and refocus, which included laying off eight staff members.

“We got to the point where we were never in crisis mode, but we were not sure that we had enough cash in hand to sustain” all the programming and other offerings in the immediate future, he said.

But in the six months since, the once cash-strapped organization has had the “best six months,” Siegel said.

The organization provided 36 loans to the tune of more than $714,000. It provided more than 650 training hours benefiting more than 185 entrepreneurs and produced more than 150 jobs in the region, not including the number of jobs that have been maintained by resources and programming.

And it’s about to create one more job in the region: The group recently announced it is seeking a new executive director.

“I think it’s a good situation to put a new executive director in,” said Eileen McMinn, board chair. “We are not looking for an executive director to pull us out of a crisis; we want someone who will marshal the assets that we have and will move us forward in a positive way.”

So how did the nonprofit benefiting startups restart itself? With the help of an outside consultant.

With consulting from Marc Hunt, the organization learned how to be more streamlined, strategic and sustainable, Siegel said.

“We really drilled down,” he said. “We needed to do what we did best, and avoid duplications of services (with other organizations).

“We needed to realize that resources are limited,” Siegel said. “We needed to focus on what was the greatest need.”

That great need for entrepreneurs? Funding, he said.

In a way, it’s a return to the nonprofit’s roots. It started in 1989 as the Mountain Microenterprise Fund, which initially focused on small loans for startups and providing basics for would-be entrepreneurs.

This spring, the loaning refocus received a big boost: The federal Small Business Administration recently approved $1 million in loan capital, which in turn will be used for microloans for small businesses.

Asheville’s Jonathan Scales has received two loans from Mountain BizWorks in the last year.

He considers his jazz band, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, to be a small business, he says, noting that the employees are the band members.

He attempted to go to a bank for a loan, but was denied.

“It’s like a human relationship, you get to sit face-to-face (and explain your situation),” Scales said of his experience of Mountain BizWorks. “It’s not just a computer algorithm.”

Scales’ loan also benefited people outside the band, he noted.

In the creation of the album and supporting concert tour, he hired visual artists, photographers, other musicians, T-shirt makers and mixing engineers.

“While we were recording the album, I was meeting with Mountain BizWorks,” he said. “If they had said no, I don’t know where we would be today.”

The latest album, “Mixtape Symphony,” was released last week, and it reached No. 6 on the iTunes jazz charts.

“There are a lot of people with great ideas with hopes and dreams that need funding,” Scales said. “And you won’t be able to get it from a normal bank for one reason or another.”

Mountain BizWorks staff and board hasn’t just added money to the nonprofit’s loan reserves in the past six months; the group also had to cut expenses. Some expenses were easier to eliminate, such as subletting half of the office space and cutting back on equipment use.

The Mountain BizWorks restructuring did come with some tough choices, Siegel noted.

“Trimming the staff was very painful,” he said. “ … We streamlined programs; this was difficult.”

That streamlining included cutting the popular Foundations courses, which taught entrepreneurs basic business skills. These cuts totaled savings of around $50,000 a month.

“Every nonprofit, and certainly when you feel like you have a mission-driven organization, you want to do everything for everybody,” said McMinn. “You want to do everything for everybody. It’s hard to admit you can’t do everything for everybody.”

Ajani Eagledove, who owns and operates Eagledove Greenhouse and Garden Center with his wife, Mayo, was one of the last graduates of Mountain BizWorks’ Foundations courses.

“Every day we come down and we are amazed that we got this much done so fast,” he said. “Every day, we are blessed. … At first, we were really overwhelmed and nervous about doing it … I don’t think I would have tried this without taking this course.”

The Eagledoves have run an organic farm feed business on Swannanoa River Road for three years, but wanted to expand and make their business a larger part of their life. Mainly, they say, because the couple wanted to be able to spend more time with each other.

After clearing the bamboo forest on the property about a year ago, the duo have been steadily adding new services and products.

They offer landscaping services and sell farm feed. They have chickens and ducks, and sell eggs in the barn, along with lawn art. They offer you-pick flowers, and will soon offer hydroponic pond-raised tilapia.

Building a business on diverse products and services is one of the lessons from Mountain BizWorks, the Eagledoves said.

“There is no one big money maker with farming, there just isn’t,” Mayo Eagledove said. “We had to learn the business part of making it work. It’s not one thing.”

Mountain BizWorks experts continue to be a resource for the duo. Ajani Eagledove says he continues to ask for help with issues, and the nonprofit staff helps connect him with experts and solutions.

Another important resource: Encouragement.

“They have encouraged us; they say you can do this,” he added. “With a game plan, they say you can do this.”

Mountain BizWorks preliminary financial figures for 2013

• $5.3 million in total assets.

• $4.2 million in total liabilities.

• $1.2 million in revenues and contributed support.

This information is preliminary, said Jamie Beasley, who handles development, marketing and operations for the nonprofit. “Our 2013 audited financial statements will be ready in a couple of weeks and available on our website,” he said.

In November, the nonprofit laid off eight employees. In March, the group hired one back. The nonprofit is also seeking a new executive director. Eight staff are now listed on the website.

Since 1989, Mountain BizWorks has provided $9 million in loans to 715 small business owners who otherwise would not be able to get the financing to start or expand, creating 3,500 jobs in Western North Carolina.

Mountain BizWorks raises both loan (investments) and operating capital from a variety of sources including banks, foundations, businesses, religious institutions, government entities and individuals.

Investors can invest as little as $1,000 and choose terms as short as one year or as long as 10 years. Investors receive a fixed-rate annual simple interest return of 0 percent to 3 percent. More than 40 individuals have provided more than $400,000 in investment in the loan fund, Siegel said.

Mission and more

“Mountain BizWorks’ mission is to generate jobs and stimulate economic opportunity in Western North Carolina by helping small businesses start, thrive, and grow. We do this by providing loans and peer-to-peer business coaching to those businesses that are unable to secure funding from banks and other traditional sources,” according to the website.

Mountain BizWorks is a U.S. Treasury-certified nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI). For 25 years, Mountain BizWorks has been making business loans ranging from $1,000 to $150,000 to small businesses in WNC who are unable to secure funding from banks and other traditional sources.

All loan decisions and relationships are managed locally, and the nonprofit offers highly customized, peer-to-peer business coaching.

Mountain BizWorks provides business loans and coaching to emerging and established small businesses in WNC.

“We have a particular focus on working with businesses unable to access financing from banks and other traditional sources, as well as low-income, minority, women, and immigrant entrepreneurs, and businesses that operate within the local food system,” according to the website.

For more, visit www.mountainbizworks.org.

Article source: http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2014/05/24/mountain-bizworks-gets-fresh-start/9553557/

Sweet taste of Bali lingers

6 Kerema Way, Schnapper Rock. Photo / Ted Baghurst
6 Kerema Way, Schnapper Rock. Photo / Ted Baghurst

“One of our friends has described it as looking like a 1950s Scout den from the street. I guess it does.”

It’s a sign of a great home when, instead of going away for a holiday, you choose to have a “stay-cation” in your own house because it’s just as idyllic as anything you could find overseas.

That’s what Tony and Deborah Wilson once did. Usually frequent travellers, they hired a cook and a housekeeper for a week and chilled out in their resort-style waterfront home in Albany.

“This is the ideal place to do that,” says Tony, sitting on his deck in the autumn sunshine and looking out over his lush garden to the calm waters of Lucas Creek. “I highly recommend it.”

Their house was inspired by Balinese style, so it’s no surprise that it feels like a luxury hotel in an exotic location. The Wilsons, who are regular visitors to the island, were there on holiday eight years ago when they looked around at the decor and had a brainwave: Why not use Bali style as the inspiration for the house they were about to build? Their architect, Simon Stephenson, was in the middle of designing a Scandinavian-style home for them so they phoned and told him to hold fire.

Plans for lots of blond wood and a low-pitched roof were ditched, and instead ideas for a house with black cedar weatherboards surrounded by tropical vegetation began to take shape.

Tony and Deborah then went shopping. That trip, and several subsequent visits to Bali, saw them filling three shipping containers with products including andesite tiles, bluestone parquet flooring, crystal quartz, enormous urns and sandstone water features. The result? A home that is a joy to come home to after a busy day in the hairdressing salon they own. The couple, who have a passion for architecture and design, have built or renovated about half a dozen homes and when they found the water’s edge section in a cul-de-sac in Albany’s Schnapper Rock eight years ago, they knew it would be perfect for their next project.

They wanted a house that did justice to the location, but were keen for it to appear unpretentious from the road. “One of our friends has described it as looking like a 1950s Scout den from the street, and I guess it does,” chuckles Tony.

But as soon as you walk past the double garage and down an impressive set of sandstone steps towards the house it becomes clear that this is a special home. A boardwalk leads past striking landscaping and a sitting area with unusual freestanding water features to the front door.

Walls of glass frame the outlook out across the garden and heated swimming pool to the water and fill the home with light. “The house was very much designed with the view in mind, and bringing the outside in,” says Tony.

The house comprises three pavilions, one of which contains the bedrooms, while the other two are devoted to living. The lounge in the central pavilion has sliding doors out to the front and back gardens, and features a wall of quartz crystal. A cleverly concealed cavity slider ensures the room can be shut off if needed.

The main living area has a soaring ceiling and a unique black textured stone fireplace with an andesite hearth. The kitchen includes a granite benchtop, plentiful storage and a walk-in pantry. Behind the kitchen is a cloakroom and a laundry that leads out to an edible garden and utility area.

At the other end of the house, the bedroom wing has three large bedrooms with doors out to a deck, an office and a family bathroom. But it is the master bedroom that is the piece de resistance. With its integrated en suite – complete with a terrazzo egg bath – and expanse of glass maximising the outlook, it could have come straight out of a guide to the world’s most exclusive boutique hotels.

Deborah loves this room, but Tony’s favourite part of the house is the large, partially covered rear deck. “It’s another room really, and we spend a lot of time here.”

After seven years, the Wilsons are now moving on to their next project, and Tony is keen to replicate the covered deck. “Wherever we live, we will definitely have one of these,” he says.

NZ Herald

Article source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/herald-homes/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502988&objectid=11262062

Town Square | Custom-designed four-level home in Bethesda lists for $3.95 million

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby's International Realty)

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)

A 9,000-square-foot contemporary house in Bethesda with classic architectural details such as arched doorways as well as lush landscaping and a four-car garage is listed for $3.95 million.

The property at 7101 Orkney Parkway was designed and built in 2007 by local architect Glenn Fong and Augustine Homes.

Landscaped gardens and flagstone terraces extend the living space outdoors and can be accessed through four sets of French doors off the kitchen and great room.

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby's International Realty)

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)

The main level has a formal dining room, a library with access to a screened porch, a formal living room and a home office in addition to the kitchen and great room.

The home in the Bannockburn neighborhood has six bedrooms, eight full baths and three half baths, plus a fourth-level loft and a finished lower level with a home theater, fitness room and game room.

For more information, go to www.BeasleyRE.com or contact realty agents Jim Bell or Kira Epstein with Beasley Real Estate at 202-607-4000.

Study correlates level of education to homeownership

A recent study by Trulia that examined where middle class Americans can afford to buy homes found that homeownership becomes more affordable with increased levels of education because of the correlation between income and education.

In the Washington metro area, Trulia found that just 23 percent of homes available for sale are affordable for households in which the head of the family has a high school diploma or less education, compared with 75 percent for a household with a bachelor’s degree and 83 percent for a household with a graduate degree.

The affordability percentage is based on the number of for-sale homes whose monthly payment (including principal, interest, taxes and insurance) is less than 31 percent of the area median household income.

To see the full study, go to www.trulia.com.

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby's International Realty)

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)

Designer and architect create unique house on Capitol Hill

Interior designer Darryl Carter and landscape architect Lisa Fendrick have collaborated with Ditto Residential to create a unique house at 541 Seventh St. SE in the District — what they call a modern interpretation of the historic Capitol Hill style.

The five-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot house has an open floor plan with five full baths, two half baths and a terraced rear yard with gardens and blue stone pavers along with an electric security gate.

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby's International Realty)

(Courtesy of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty)

On the main level, the kitchen includes custom cabinets and black soapstone counters and opens into a family room with three sets of French doors to the garden. The dining room and living room each include an antique French chandelier, while the living room has a wood burning fireplace with a restored wood mantel. The master suite has a luxury bath and two sets of French doors to a balcony and the third level includes an entertainment area and wet bar with city views.

The house is listed for $2.495 million.

For more information, go to www.541seventh.com or contact Realtors Pamela Wye and Claudia Donovan of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty at 202-320-4169 or 202-251-7011.

Tip of the week

While the company isn’t claiming to have a crystal ball, Zillow recently introduced a consumer-friendly tool to predict future home values.

You may have already looked up your home or your friend’s home with Zillow’s “Zestimate” tool that estimates a property’s current home value, but the new “Zestimate Forecast” element provides a prediction of the home’s change in value over the next year.

The forecast will be given in both dollar amounts and percentages to give consumers an idea of what the impact of local housing trends will be on individual properties.

As an example, if a home has a Zestimate of $200,000, the forecast could be $210,000 in one year or an increase of 5 percent, or it could be $190,000 or a predicted decrease of 5 percent.

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer. To pass on a tip or news item, contact us at realestate@washpost.com and put “Town Square” in the subject line.

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/where-we-live/wp/2014/05/26/town-square-custom-designed-four-level-home-in-bethesda-lists-for-3-95-million/?tid=hpModule_34d54128-919e-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239

Treasuring the dead through their resting places

They are places for remembering, for tears, for quiet conversations.

They can be beautifully manicured parks and the location of Memorial Day ceremonies.

They can also be crumbling concrete jungles and the subject of spooky stories or the location of midnight dares.

These are Louisiana’s cemeteries and there are 31 in Lafayette Parish.

We look at some today, Memorial Day, a day of remembrance, through the eyes of people with special insight.

Death and burial aren’t regularly at the forethought of most people’s minds.

Some will regularly visit and tend to the grave of a loved one, but what happens to a person’s resting place after the family has moved or died?

“Years back, people used to come with paint and tools and cut the grass and have picnics for All Souls’ Day,” said Deacon Wade Broussard, who serves on The Diocese of Lafayette Cemetery Board. “The whole family would come together. The younger generations say, ‘It ain’t my problem.’ That’s why you’re seeing the older cemeteries with tombs falling apart.”

Broussard manages two Catholic church cemeteries in the area and has done so for decades.

In some parts of the state, the presiding diocese manages all area Catholic cemeteries. In the Diocese of Lafayette, however, each of the cemeteries is managed by an individual church parish.

“I try to work with some of these other church parishes to give them advice and help them along,” Broussard said. “The theme we use is ‘Leave it better than you took it.’ And a lot of priests are coming along and are taking an interest, and once people see the church is taking an interest, then they come forward.”

With the exception of family burial grounds, state law requires that all cemeteries be incorporated.

The Louisiana Cemetery Board governs cemeteries, but it is up to each individual cemetery to care for the grounds and burial sites, whether the cemetery is affiliated with a church or not.

“The cemetery is responsible if they are selling cemetery spaces to the public with a representation of perpetual or endowed care,” said Lucy McCann, director of the Louisiana Cemetery Board.

State law requires that all modern cemeteries are perpetual care or endowed care, meaning that a percentage of the money received from every burial goes into a trust fund to ensure that grounds maintenance can continue after a cemetery has reached capacity.

Ideally, every person’s resting place will be kept presentable, even when there are no longer family members around to care for the grave site.

“The family’s responsibilities are largely nonexistent in most cases,” McCann said. “However, in non-perpetual care cemeteries and abandoned cemeteries, the responsibilities of maintaining a family grave space may fall to the families in the absence of others.”

Those who manage and maintain cemetery grounds know that perpetual funds do not always cover the long-term cost of upkeep, however.

“The scenario is that when there’s nobody left hundreds of years after everything is sold, there’s still going to be money to pay for the upkeep,” said Cecile Walters Hebert, office manager for Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.

What the perpetual care fund means for Greenlawn is the full-time employment of three people who handle the mowing, grave digging, general landscaping and grounds upkeep.

“The families are responsible for taking care of specific graves,” Hebert said. “They might want to have their marker cleaned up and looking like new again because bronze markers will start to oxidize, things like that.”

About 3,700 people have been buried in that cemetery. There is more space for development.

Lafayette Memorial Park owner and president Danny Delhomme employs four people on his maintenance staff.

About 5,000 people are buried in his cemetery, which has space for the development of about 10,000 more grave sites.

“It’s just very expensive to develop a cemetery and abide by the laws,” Delhomme said. “To get one started, a person has to have a lot of money to start that perpetual-care fund.”

Delhomme says he is working constantly to increase the amount of money in the perpetual-care fund.

Because many cemeteries are land-locked and cannot further develop land for burials, that perpetual fund is critical.

But it wasn’t always critical or even necessary, Broussard said.

“Years back, you didn’t have to ask for volunteers,” Broussard said. “It was just something that people did — take care of the dead. Times change.”

Established in 1821, Lafayette Parish’s oldest permanent burial site is the historic St. John Cemetery.

Cemetery manager Brady LeBlanc is unsure of how many people are buried there or of how much space is left for development.

“Honestly, we’re almost 200 years old, so we really don’t have any idea,” LeBlanc said. “Prior to 1970 when computers became efficient, everything was written by hand, and some of the documentation has been lost through the years.”

LeBlanc says he is responsible for just about everything in the cemetery.

A recent responsibility for LeBlanc and the cemetery is the annual burial of the unclaimed human remains that are housed at the Lafayette Parish Coroner’s Office.

The burial happens on All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2 and began two years ago with the burial of 93 unclaimed remains collected at the coroner’s office over a 20-year period.

“Last year, we buried 35,” LeBlanc said. “This year, I already have 15 to bury, and it’s only May. By November, we should have 30 or 40 again.”

Today, many people will visit the graves of loved ones for Memorial Day.

Some cemeteries, such as Greenlawn and Lafayette Memorial Park, also offer special Memorial Day services for the community as a way to honor fallen veterans.

“After 50 years of doing the Memorial Day tribute,” Hebert said, “keeping the program fresh poses a different kind of challenge.”

Lafayette Parish cemeteries

■ Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery, Duson

■ Calvary Cemetery – Mausoleum of Resurrection, Lafayette

■ Christ Sanctified and Holy Church Cemetery, Duson

■ Congregation of the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church Cemetery, Broussard

■ De La Salle Christian Brothers Cemetery, Lafayette

■ Evangeline Memorial Gardens, Carencro

■ Fountain Memorial Garden and Mausoleum, Lafayette

■ Gethsemane Gardens Cemetery, Lafayette

■ Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, Lafayette

■ Holy Mary Mother of God Cemetery and Mausoleum, Lafayette

■ Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Cemetery, Lafayette

■ Kimble Chapel Episcopal Methodist Cemetery, Ridge

■Lafayette Memorial Park, Lafayette

■ Mallalieu United Methodist Church Cemetery, Lafayette

■ Our Lady of the Assumption Church Cemetery, Carencro

■ Progressive Baptist Church Cemetery, Lafayette

■ Silverado Cemetery, Lafayette

■ St. Anne Cemetery, Youngsville

■ St. Basil Church Cemetery, Duson

■ St. Benedict Cemetery, Duson

■ St. James C. M. E. Cemetery, Youngsville

■ St. John Cemetery, Lafayette

■ St. Joseph Cemetery, Broussard

■ St. Joseph Cemetery, Lafayette

■ St. Martin de Porres Cemetery, Scott

■ St. Peter Cemetery, Carencro

■ St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Cemetery, Duson

■ Sts. Peter and Paul Cemeter, Scott

■ The Episcopal Church of the Ascension, Lafayette

■ Trinity C. M. E. Church Cemetery, Lafayette

■ Whittington Cemetery, Lafayette

Source: Louisiana Cemetery Board

Celebrate Memorial Day

• Annual Memorial Day Program

9 a.m. Monday at Fountain Memorial Funeral Home Cemetery, 1010 Pandora Street, Lafayette. 337-981-7098.

Outdoor Memorial Day Service in the Veteran’s Section of Fountain Memorial Cemetery, featuring Knights of Columbus color guard assemblies in full regalia, gun salute and TAPS performance by VFW Post 9822 as well as patriotic musical selections.

50th annual Memorial Day Celebration

Noon, Monday, at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens, 2300 N. University Ave., Lafayette. 337-706-8941.

The ceremony will honor John “Jack” Henton, Jr. (d.) as the 2014 Distinguished Veteran of the Year. Entertainment will be provided by members of the renowned Destination Choir of Destiny of Faith Church who will sing their renditions of military selections. The public is invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

• Memorial Day Service

3 p.m. Monday at Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery, 2111 W. Pinhook Road, Lafayette. 337-235-3065.

Congressman Charles Boustany will serve as guest speaker.

Article source: http://www.theadvertiser.com/story/news/local/acadiana/2014/05/25/treasuring-dead-resting-places/9584623/

Get gardening tips from the expert

Get gardening tips from the expert

PEOPLE can get an insight into the dos and don’ts of seasonal gardening from an expert in a talk in the Vale.

Bishampton District Gardening Club is hosting a talk by Ken Whittaker, a horticulturalist and florist experienced in the field of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture, on Wednesday, June 4 in the village hall.

Mr Whittaker is a show judge and speaker and has been involved with many gold award winning exhibits at Chelsea, Tatton and Harrogate.

The talk is at 7.30pm and is free for club members and £2 for visitors.

For details, email info@bishamptongardeningclub.org or call 07854 362318.

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Article source: http://www.tewkesburyadmag.co.uk/news/evesham/11236032.Get_gardening_tips_from_the_expert/

Natural tips to keep gardeners healthy

More than 41,200 people across the nation were injured in 2012 while working in their gardens, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Conversely, many common flowers and plants have healing properties that can help gardeners treat their injuries.


Made from plants, as well as animals and minerals, homeopathic medicines offer some of the safest options for self-treatable conditions — and can be great for ailments and injuries that befall home gardeners. Because the risk of interaction with other drugs, supplements and herbs is minimal, experts say these natural medicines are a good first choice for early symptoms.  

Easily found in health food stores and pharmacies, these non-prescription medicines work naturally with the body instead of masking a problem, which is important if a more serious condition should arise.

With that in mind, here are some homeopathic treatments for common gardener ailments:

Allergies: Relieving allergy symptoms provides a good example of the principle behind homeopathic medicines. Chopping a red onion has a “toxic” effect, causing eyes to water and burn until exposed to fresh air. When similar symptoms appear from allergies or a cold, a micro-dose of the red onion helps relieve those same symptoms. The red onion in this homeopathic form takes the Latin name of its source, Allium cepa.

Try Ambrosia (Ragweed) for watery nasal discharge with eyes that tear and itch and Sabadilla (Cevadilla) for hypersensitivity to the smell of flowers or itching in the back of the mouth. A good general allergy medicine is Histaminum, which is derived from histamine.

Sore, Stiff Muscles: For gardeners suffering back and knee injuries, Arnica montana can be an essential gardening tool.

Commonly known as the Mountain daisy, Arnica’s healing properties were first recognized in the 16th century. Legend has it mountain climbers chewed the plant to relieve sore, aching muscles and bruises from falls. Today, this homeopathic medicine is used by professional athletes and surgeons for muscle pain and stiffness, swelling from injuries and bruising. For more information visit www.Arnicare.com.

Sunburn, Blisters and Other Skin Conditions: In its homeopathic form, Calendula (Garden marigold) is one of the most versatile aids for skin irritations. Try a Calendula cream or ointment for blisters and calluses, cuts and scrapes, rashes, and chapped skin caused by wind, dry or cold air, or sun.

Used for centuries as a natural healing and soothing substance, Calendula’s wound-healing properties are due to essential oils, saponins, flavonoids and alkaloids. These compounds have skin healing properties.

Bug Bites: To help relieve bee and wasp stings, as well as gnat, black fly or mosquito bites, take five pellets of Apis mellifica (Honey bee) every 30 minutes for up to six doses. And apply Calendula topically.

Take Breaks and Relax: While many plants help us nurture our health, remember to practice common sense. Prepare properly by stretching and wearing sun block. Don’t overdo it. Take breaks. End your day with a soaking bath.

Relieve conditions at the first sign of symptoms before they grow out of control, so you can continue your gardening activities.

Photo Credit: (c) LittleStocker – Shutterstock.com

Article source: http://www.ellwoodcityledger.com/homeandgarden/natural-tips-to-keep-gardeners-healthy/article_141d0284-6c19-5eee-927a-357b545f4a44.html

Get greater garden yields with less water

Plant smart, and pay attention to the soil.

“Your garden is only as good as your soil,” says David Salman, chief horticulturist at High Country Gardens, a Santa Fe, N.M., catalog that specializes in native and low-water plants.

Find out what nutrients your soil has — and what it’s missing — with a soil test, available through local cooperative extension offices at a nominal fee (home soil-test kits are less reliable, according to the Colorado State University Extension).

Encourage plant health by fertilizing with natural, organic fertilizers, which include fish emulsion and liquid seaweed, Salman says. Limit the use of chemical fertilizers; they don’t help build the soil.

“You will have more nutritionally complete vegetables if you have healthy soil,” he promises.

One trick Salmon recommends, especially for gardeners living in new housing developments, is adding a soil inoculant called mycorrhiza, a beneficial fungi. It’s found naturally in healthy soil but often needs to be added to a new garden.

“New gardens in new subdivisions, their soil is scraped off as part of construction,” Salman says. “You need to put beneficial fungi back in.”

Peas, beans and soybeans could benefit from legume inoculants, which are species-specific (a soybean inoculant cannot be used to improve peas’ growth). Read product labels carefully or ask your gardening center for assistance.

“Your beans will do OK (without it), but if you really want to crank out the beans, you can do that with the inoculant,” Salman says. “It’s kind of a ‘grandma’s secret’ to growing great beans.”

Plants that can offer high yields with low watering include leafy vegetables such as kale, lettuce and spinach; beans, snow peas and sugar snap peas; and some varieties of cucumbers and squash, he says. Plant vining beans and peas if you have space or can grow them up a fence or trellis; plant bush beans and peas in large pots if space is limited.

Sarah J. Browning, an extension educator for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, suggests planting radishes, carrots, peppers, zucchini and summer squash for summertime bounty. Peppers grow well in dry conditions, Browning says, and root crops don’t need frequent watering.

“If you watered them well and then mulched them, I think you could get a crop with fairly small amounts of water input,” she says.

Plant radishes early in the season or in part shade, and mulch them and other plants to retain moisture and combat weeds.

Browning recommends the cherry tomato cultivar Sun Gold and the slicers Big Beef and Celebrity as great-tasting high producers. Also look for disease-resistant tomato varieties, which are easier to grow.

He refers tomato lovers to Pennsylvania State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences Extension’s “Tomato Report 2011,” which lists the best varieties in its tomato trials.

Melissa Ozawa, a features editor for gardening at Martha Stewart Living magazine, suggests okra and Swiss chard; both are heat- and drought-tolerant. Melons also can handle less water once established because of their deep root systems, she says.

Not all vegetables grow well in all regions, so read seed packets, matching days to maturation to your region’s growing season, Salman advises.

“One of the big problems with horticulture in this country is, everyone tries to be one-size-fits-all, and this is just too big of a continent to do that,” he says. “You don’t want to grow a 120-day watermelon in Denver.”

Prolific, water-wise herbs include basil, oregano, parsley, thyme and rosemary.

Salman offers space-saving tips for herbs: Plant lavender and oregano along the drier edges of your garden, since they’re the most heat-tolerant, and plant Greek oregano and dill, plus annual herbs such as basil and cilantro, among the root vegetables.

Try growing perennials such as rosemary, English thyme, tarragon and lavender in your ornamental beds. They don’t require your vegetable garden’s mineral-rich soil, Salman says.

Drought-tolerant flowers include coneflowers, hummingbird mint, salvia and blanket flowers. Other cutting-garden winners are cosmos, zinnias, sunflowers and larkspur, Salman says. His favorite late-season bloomer is the Mexican sunflower.

“If there’s a bee or butterfly in a 10-mile radius, they’ll find that Mexican sunflower,” he says.

Resources

•  http://www.extension.unl.edu/

•  http://www.highcountrygardens.com/

•  http://www.marthastewart.com/

•  extension.psu.edu/plants/vegetable-fruit/research-reports/tomato-report-2011

Article source: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/05/24/5035244/tips-for-high-yields-in-a-small.html

Retired Northampton General Hospital oncologist training to garden design for …

A retired Northampton General Hospital oncologist is training to be an expert in gardens designed for cancer patients.

Dr Jill Stewart is now studying horticulture and garden design at Moulton College after spending 30 years as a consultant oncologist at NGH.

Always holding a passion for plants and botanical art, she took Royal Horticultural Society exams in 2011 and then started on a foundation degree in Horticulture and Garden Design at Moulton College.

She is now competing against fellow students in a garden design competition run by the Linford Wood Medical Centre in Milton Keynes.

Simon Lewis, business development manager, said: “Our ethos is to provide integrated holistic care for our patients and we wanted to extend this beyond the centre itself.

“We approached Moulton College to see if their students wanted to get involved in designing a holistic garden in an area of land that lays next to our chemotherapy unit.

“We provided a brief, explaining the impact cancer and its treatment can have on patients, such as sensitivity to sunlight, nausea and tiredness.

“We didn’t think for one moment that one of the students would already know all this and more.”

Dr Stewart said the fact that current chemotherapy drugs were derived from plant molecules, as well as the idea of plant defence has always been a source of fascination, because of its usefulness in terms of cancer treatment development.

But she always enjoyed gardening and found it relaxing after a busy day at NGH.

She said: “Clearly no patient wants to be in the situation of having to have cancer treatment.

“Their life is suddenly disrupted, it becomes difficult to make plans, confidence is rocky and they may have to cope with treatment side effects that vary greatly from person to person.

“I think kindness and care, a calm and efficient environment and minimising the time that a patient has to spend being treated helps.

“Concentration is usually short and people may feel ‘foggy’ on chemotherapy, so a pretty and interesting garden will give a nice diversion even, if only for a few minutes.

“For those who may be short on stamina because of their treatment side effects, having an escape route into nature can really lift spirits.”

Article source: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/health/health-news/retired-northampton-general-hospital-oncologist-training-to-garden-design-for-cancer-patients-1-6078929