Garden Journal

Hay hay, my my: Spring rains and adequate soil-moisture levels have permitted the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to wrap up its Emergency Hay Program.

The department sold 729 large hay bales and 4,251 small bales to farmers in the region via the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville. With approval from the Council of State, the department was able to secure a $3.5 million revolving credit line to buy and transport hay from other states and Canada to North Carolina, where it could be resold to farmers. All in all, the program made 2,700 tons of hay available statewide before it ended in early May.

“Through all these efforts and teamwork, we were able to prevent a major animal-welfare crisis,” says Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler.

A world of pure imagination: Brevard-based botanical-medicines manufacturer Gaia Herbs invites the public to its first annual Summer Solstice Open House, planned for Saturday, June 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The field day will offer visitors a rare glimpse into the workings of Gaia’s organic-herb operation, from growing to extraction and formulation to packaging the products for sale.

The event will feature light refreshments and entertainment, including face painting, local music and a performance by naturalist and storyteller Doug Elliot.

For directions and a schedule of events visit


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