Hometown Tea

first_imgSweet tea may be the “house wine” of the American South, but very, very few of the tea leaves used in the thousands of gallons of tea Southerners drink every year is grown nearby.Despite experiments in tea farming in the Southern U.S. dating back to Colonial times, this temperamental cousin of the camellia has never caught on as a cash crop. However, with growing interest in craft teas and innovations in breeding and harvesting technologies at hand, it may be time for the American South to start supplying their families’ pitchers with locally grown tea.“Tea, or Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze, has been grown here, but for some reason – the cost of processing, the cost of cultivation, the cost of labor – it’s never become a large-scale crop,” said Donglin Zhang, a professor of horticulture in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences who is working to bring large-scale tea production to the U.S.  Today, tea harvesting has been mechanized, and the demand for tea has grown. U.S. sales grew from $1.8 billion in 1990 to $10.8 billion in 2014, according to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. That market trend, combined with consumers’ growing preference for locally sourced products, may mean that it’s finally tea time in the U.S. South.Currently there’s only one large working tea farm in the U.S. – the Charleston Tea Plantation outside of Charleston, South Carolina. A new farm is under development in Mississippi, and Zhang feels that there will be more coming online in the near future.“Consumption has gone up, prices have gone up and the mechanical harvesting techniques have improved,” Zhang said. “This is why I think it could work here.”Zhang has a long history as an ornamental plant breeder. He was drawn to tea and Camellia species as ornamental plants. His breeding program focuses on producing plants that serve two purposes: food and beauty.“People today have smaller yards, and I think there is interest in plants that have multiple purposes,” he said.He’s traveled to China to collect varieties of persimmon, jujube and waxberry to use as parent plants for Georgia-adapted ornamentals.With delicate foliage, variegated leaves, bright blooms in the form of camellia flowers and the prospect of a homegrown cup of tea, tea plants are also part of his ornamental breeding program.Then he thought, “If tea plants could be successfully grown in a yard, why couldn’t they grow on farms?”Many of the tea plants grown for beverage production are notoriously cold-sensitive and don’t tolerate the rapid temperature changes that we see in Georgia. Zhang is working to breed more cold-tolerant plants that also produce a distinctly delicious Southern tea.Today, Zhang has a selection of nine tea cultivars growing at the Durham Horticulture Farm outside UGA’s Athens Campus, and he plans to add more varieties to his breeding programs soon.In late 2016, Zhang toured China’s tea-producing regions with plant breeders from other Southeastern land-grant universities as part of a program organized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture in China. The trip was paid for, in part, by a faculty travel grant provided by the CAES Office of Global Programs.With a 3,000-year history and about 2.8 million acres of land devoted to tea production, Zhang and his colleagues hoped that tea experts in China could help them determine what they needed to make tea work in the Southeast.The team was able to identify several dozen varieties out of the 4,000 currently being grown commercially in China that they believe will grow well in Georgia and throughout the South. Zhang hopes to add those varieties to his breeding program in the future.For more information about how UGA plant breeders are helping to diversify Georgia’s agriculture, visit caes.uga.edu. For more photos from Zhang’s trip visit tinyurl.com/SouthernTea2016.last_img read more

Is it time to revamp your employee mental health strategy?

first_imgOrganizations instinctively understand that personal health plays a major role in morale, productivity, and cost.  As a result, many employers provide wellness programs that enhance both the physical and mental well-being of their employees.  Unfortunately, studies show that many are still uncomfortable seeking help for mental health.      Stigma of mental health in the workplace The APA (American Psychiatric Association) recently released some key findings concerning workplace mental health:  Only about 38% of US adults know how to access mental care benefits through workOnly 28% of US adults say they feel comfortable using mental health services through workOnly about 1 in 5 US adults feel they can discuss mental health openly and honestly with co-workers or supervisorsMore than one-third of US adults are worried about job consequences if they seek mental health careWhy mental health matters  Mental health concerns are increasing with each passing year, and the statistics are daunting:Nearly 1 in 5 US adults aged 18 or older reported having a mental illnessMental health and substance abuse costs US businesses between $80 and $100 billion annually, and serious mental illness costs up to $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year. Depression accounts for up to 400 million lost work days annually in the US alone, and costs the global economy an estimated $1 trillion each year in lost productivity.  Less than half of employees who struggle with a mental illness receive treatment. Mood disorders are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the US for individuals aged 18-44Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 10-34.  More than 90% of people who die by suicide show symptoms of a mental health conditionGlobal rates of depression and anxiety have risen at a rate of 15-20% over the last decade What employers can doRaise Awareness:  promote the understanding of mental health and stress management by adopting educational programsReduce stigma surrounding mental health:  make information about mental health more visible in the workplaceServe as dedicated wellness champions and promote open discussionsShare personal experiences when appropriateBe open-minded and respond with empathy and understandingProvide and promote support services and staff members trained in mental healthBenefits of investing in a robust mental health strategyMentally healthy employees take fewer sick days and require fewer medical costsIncreased productivity, employee engagement, and moraleCommitment to employee mental health enables ability to attract and retain strong talentSurveys indicate that for every US dollar invested in depression and anxiety treatment, a $4 return is realized in both health and better ability to workHappier and healthier employeesWith mental health concerns on the rise, and approximately 63% of Americans in the US labor force, employers are in a unique and wonderful position to make a difference and change lives.  Take an assessment of what your organization is doing to promote mental well-being, and implement change as needed. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joshua W. Poole Joshua W. Poole began his credit union career as a part-time teller, shortly after graduating from high school in 1999.  He has a passion for leadership and change management, and … Web: https://www.brecofcu.com Detailslast_img read more

Mobile app aims to eliminate fraud in disbursement of subsidized housing loans

first_img“With the SiKasep application, it will be easier for the government to oversee the [loan] distribution or housing needs with data directly sourced from the public, which can also be used as guidelines for policy-making,” the agency wrote, adding that it also prevented an oversupply of houses in unwanted locations.The new application is part of efforts to bolster President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s promise of building around 1 million houses a year. The target, in place since 2015, aims to reduce the country’s housing backlog, especially for lower-income families.Read also: State mortgage provider to disburse Rp 1.7t for low-cost housesSome 4.8 million houses have been constructed since then; 699,770 built in 2015, 805,169 houses in 2016, 904,758 houses in 2017, 1.13 million houses in 2018 and more than 1.25 million houses in 2019. The government aims to build 1.25 million houses this year. The FLPP itself was initially established to provide loans to civil servants, military personnel, police officers and private employees with a monthly income no higher than Rp 8 million.It is also in line with the government’s move to disburse Rp 1.5 trillion in subsidies for purchases of houses for low-income Indonesians in February as a part of a Rp 10.3 trillion stimulus package to cushion the impacts of COVID-19. Particularly, Rp 800 billion will be used for interest subsidies for loan installments and Rp 700 billion for down payment subsidies (SBUM).However, property developers expressed concerns in late January over “thinning” funds allocated to the FLPP, as they bank on public housing programs amid a broad-based slowdown in the property sector.The 2020 budget for loans under the FLPP amounts to Rp 11 trillion, which is enough to build only 97,700 houses — much lower than the Rp 29 trillion needed to fund the construction of at least 260,000 houses this year, the group said.But PPDPP president director Arief Sabaruddin refuted the group’s claims in January about a “thinning budget” as he said the allocated budget for the scheme had steadily increased.Read also: Property developers express concern over ‘thinning’ housing loan subsidyThe agency’s data shows that the budget this year had increased to Rp 11 trillion from Rp 7.1 trillion in 2019 and Rp 6.01 trillion in 2018. However, actual spending has declined because of issues to do with “administrative preparedness” and “incomplete documents”, Arief said.“We all have this mindset of increasing [the housing quota], including businesspeople. What we have to consider now is how to solve not only surface-level problems but also their roots, which are limited financing sources,” Arief said.“That’s why we have to think about ways to find other financing sources for a long-term solution.” The government is using an application called SiKasep to prevent fraud in its subsidized housing loans programs by connecting property developers and prospective homebuyers.According to a Housing Financing Management Agency (PPDPP) statement released on Thursday, scammers have been selling substandard houses on behalf of the government’s Housing Financing Liquidity Facility (FLPP) and other subsidized housing programs and misusing applicants’ personal information, among other crimes.The application, launched in Dec. 19, 2019, has so far helped the government disburse loans worth Rp 861.43 billion (US$51.86 million) for the construction of 8,550 houses for low-income families under the FLPP. It now has 42,923 users and another 35,116 users are currently being verified.center_img Topics :last_img read more

An acreage project is nearing completion with its last release of blocks priced from $275,000

first_imgFinal release at Stone Creek, Upper Coomera.AN ACREAGE estate in Upper Coomera is due to release its final stage of homesites.The 67 new lots at Stone Creek will range from 600sq m to more than 5000sq m.Buyer expressions of interest are now being taken on the blocks with prices starting at about $275,000.Developer Trent Jackson of TJ International said the release would have some of the most elevated, prime lots in the estate.“I am so proud of the community that has been established over the past seven years,” he said.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North9 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“It has evolved into one of the most sought after addresses on the northern end of the Gold Coast, surrounded by abundance of nature reserves, creeks and walking trails.”Colliers International marketing agent Andrew Roubicek said that by offering larger home sites, Stone Creek had become a community of mainly owner-occupiers.“From my experience owner-occupiers take more pride in the design of their home and garden maintenance – which ultimately flows on to greater capital gains for buyers,” he said.“The developer’s goal was to create a true sense of space by living in harmony with the surrounded environment, which really suits those families wanting a rural lifestyle with city conveniences close at hand.”The estate is divided into four exclusive precincts, each separated visually by nature reserves and natural creeks. More than half the homesites back onto or are across from a natural bushland or park.Stone Creek is close to the planned Upper Coomera Town Centre and Coomera train station, while in each reach of the M1.last_img read more

Battle of the Sexes: Queensland women wear the pants

first_imgA new realestate.com.au survey has found women go with their heart when it comes to important couple decisions like which home to buy.THE battle of the sexes is alive and well in Queensland homes and, frankly, it’s women that wear the pants.Latest research has found that women were the powerhouse decision makers in loved-up couples, having the final say on important choices like which home to buy.A Realestate.com.au Sense of Place survey of 1,100 people found more than half of Aussie women would follow their heart in such important decisions, compared to two-thirds of men who wanted to go with their head.But Andrew Rechtman, realestate.com.au’s residential executive GM, found it was women that had the deciding vote.“We know that in Australia, women are often the ones to make the final decision when it comes to buying a property,” he said. More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this homeless than 1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investorless than 1 hour agoWomen have the deciding vote when it comes to choosing a home.“When women have their heart set on a property, they’re more likely to go for it, particularly when it comes to finding the perfect place for a family home.“Women in particular think about a home being more than bricks and mortar – it’s a place to grow, a place for a child’s first steps, a place for Christmas lunch.”What both women and men don’t seem to care about is how close their family and friends are to that new home, something only 14 per cent thought important. Money also seemed to be no object – or at least not the main object – when it came to choosing where to lay their heads, with just one in five naming price as the main reason they chose their property.“Aussies are mostly driven by what neighbourhood they want to live in and finding somewhere that suits their lifestyle,” Mr Rechtman said.Letting women take the reins seems to be working out too, with 72 per cent of Aussies saying their home was their happy place. Maybe ‘happy wife, happy life’, is not such a wives tale after all.last_img read more

Enjoy peace and quiet on acreage in Caboolture

first_imgThe outdoor area at 9-11 Price Lane, Caboolture.“We wanted a spacious four-bedroom home with an office that was nice and quiet.“We like the openness of the house and that when we look outside we can’t see the houses across from us.”The brick and tile home has 306sq m under roof and is on a flat, elevated 3000sq m block.The home has an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area opening to the covered back patio.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 2019The kitchen has a breakfast bar, walk-in pantry, stainless steel appliances and plumbing for a fridge. The home at 9-11 Price Lane, Caboolture.THIS spacious home with in-ground swimming pool was built in 2010 to make the most of its peaceful location.David and Georgina Bailey had the home at 9-11 Price Lane, Caboolture, built in February 2010 not long after arriving in Australia from England.“We picked the area because our daughter lived just around the corner,” Mr Bailey said. The entry at 9-11 Price Lane, Caboolture.There is also a living area at the front of the home.The master bedroom has a huge walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite with walk-in shower and separate toilet.Two of the other bedrooms have walk-in wardrobes, the fourth has a built-in wardrobe and the family bathroom has a separate bath and shower.There is plenty of storage in the laundry and the study could be used as a fifth bedroom.center_img The lounge room at 9-11 Price Lane, Caboolture.A porch runs along the front of the home and the back patio overlooks the in-ground saltwater swimming pool with glass fencing.The home has quality window furnishings, tiled floors and built-in speakers throughout.There is also a security system, window locks and security screens.Outside there is a 6m x 6m shed, garden shed, rainwater tank and solar power system.last_img read more

Miami Nurse and her infant son test positive for coronavirus

first_imgA mother and nurse at Jackson North Medical Center in North Miami Beach says she and her 7-month old son have both tested positive for the coronavirus after she was exposed to it while working on the job.Herine Baron believes she contracted the virus at the facility. She has been documenting her experience on YouTube. In one video she says, “I know this happened at my job because I only worked one day. The day that I worked, two days later, I got sick.”Baron says she has experienced shortness of breath, and is currently isolating herself.In a separate video clip, Baron shared that her baby had also contracted the virus.Baron says she is getting better,“I have great news,” “Today, I’m going to be discharged, and I’m going to be able to self-quarantine at home. My doctor said I’ve had a lot of improvement, and he feels like I am ready to go home.”Baron has since written that not only does she have to test negative twice for the virus, but her son has to as well.last_img read more

SU softball upsets Louisville for 1st Big East championship in program history

first_imgIt was 7:51 p.m. on Saturday at Ulmer Stadium in Louisville, Ky. The final out of the Big East championship was recorded an hour prior. The stands were forsaken.Almost all of the 842 people who attended the game had departed.  Nearly all of them left wearing red in support of Louisville.On the field, the story was different. It told of jubilation, excitement and triumph.Fifth-seeded Syracuse had just upset No. 3 seed Louisville on the Cardinals’ home field to win the program’s first Big East tournament, and the team intended to revel in the moment.‘We were out there for about a good hour,’ sophomore Lisaira Daniels said in a phone interview after the game. ‘Everyone was gone, and we were still on the field dancing, carrying on and taking pictures.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse (32-24) completed a remarkable run through the Big East tournament by knocking off the Cardinals, 2-1, to capture the first conference championship in program history. After defeating No. 4 Villanova and No. 1 DePaul to reach the final, this was the team’s third upset in as many days. With the win, SU clinched the Big East’s automatic bid for the NCAA tournament.The Orange will take on Oklahoma Friday in its opening game of the tournament. SU was placed in the College Park (Md.) Regional with the Sooners, Fordham and host Maryland.Sophomore pitcher Jenna Caira turned in a gutsy performance for the Orange, overcoming 12 illegal pitches and six walks to earn her second victory of the tournament.Illegal pitches had already been a source of controversy in the opening games of the tournament. After not being called for a one illegal pitch in her complete-game win over Villanova on Thursday, Caira was called for illegal pitches four times in the first inning of Friday’s semifinal win over DePaul. This forced head coach Leigh Ross to take her out of the game.‘It was so confusing,’ Caira said. ‘When we played that first game against Villanova, they didn’t call it on me so I didn’t think it was going to be a problem. Then once I got to DePaul in the biggest game of the year I was incredibly shocked.’But unlike the game against DePaul, Caira remained in the circle. Despite three illegal pitches in the first two innings, she escaped without allowing a run. Meanwhile, the SU offense got going early to give Caira a cushion to work with.The Orange got its first run after just five batters had stepped to the plate. Singles by Daniels and catcher Lacey Kohl drove in second baseman Stephanie Watts. SU extended its lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second when back-to-back infield hits put first baseman Kelly Saco in scoring position. She later reached home on a Louisville throwing error. The early offensive output gave SU confidence as the underdog.‘People just thought we got to the championship game off of pure luck,’ Daniels said. ‘I think it was huge for us to score in the first two innings, because Louisville thought they probably had it in the bag. We wanted to show in the beginning that our offense is key.’However, two runs were all the Orange could muster. Facing the squad with the second highest team batting average in the Big East, the final stretch became a question of whether or not SU could hang on.‘As long as the illegal pitches weren’t going to hurt us, we were going to see how long we could get away with it,’ Ross said.They nearly didn’t.Louisville got one run back in the top of the third and applied pressure throughout the remainder of the game. The Cardinals had the tying run in scoring position in each of the final three innings, stranding eight base runners in total.Defense saved the day for the Orange, as Caira continued to battle from within the circle. Twice, first baseman Kelly Saco made phenomenal stretch-plays to scoop low throws.But Saco saved the best for last. With Louisville down to its final two outs, Chelsea Bemis, the Big East Player of the Year, stepped to the plate and ripped a line drive towards right field. Saco made a sprawling grab to her right, stood and fired to second base — doubling up the Cardinals’ Jennifer Esteban.Double play. Game over. SU wins.In an empty ballpark, Syracuse players and coaches wore T-shirts that boasted the words ‘Big East Champions.’ With an 11-hour bus ride ahead of them, they were in no hurry to cut their celebration short. Daniels and freshman Veronica Grant crept up behind their coach and doused her with ice-cold Gatorade. It was a feeling she would never forget.‘The Gatorade bath was probably one of the best feelings in the world,’ Ross said. ‘I was completely soaked, freezing cold and smelling like lemon-lime, but it was so worth it.‘It was awesome.’ Published on May 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Mjcohe02@syr.edulast_img read more

Football prepares to stop Arizona’s Khalil Tate

first_imgSenior linebacker Porter Gustin leads the Trojan defense with 4.5 sacks so far this season. (Sarah Kim | Daily Trojan)Throughout the opening four games of this season, the weakest link for the Trojan football program has been the defensive secondary. With sights set on Arizona — and the team’s explosive quarterback, Khalil Tate — head coach Clay Helton emphasized mental toughness as the Trojans hit the field for practice on Wednesday.Helton acknowledged that Tate has a versatility of strengths, including the ability to drop balls deep, forcing defenses to spread thinly across the field to adapt to the quarterback’s wily triple threat on the ground, in both the short passing game and deep in the field. “[We need to keep] contain on probably the most dangerous quarterback that we’ll face all season,” Helton said. “You see some of the dimes he’s dropping in on deep balls once the play is broken down … [and it] is unique. We’ve got to be able to keep him in the pocket and keep him contained.”The Wildcats are averaging over 270 passing yards per game, and Tate posted close to 350 passing yards against Houston and Southern Utah. Although he has been held to less than 20 yards rushing per game, Tate is known to rip off big gains on his feet when given a big enough hole to blast through.“You put [redshirt sophomore running back] J.J. Taylor with 260 yards of passing, and that’s a dangerous offense,” Helton said.Tate has yet to notch a victory over the Trojans, however, suffering a loss on his home field and in the Coliseum. As he prepares to host USC for his team’s first home field game against a Pac-12 opponent on Saturday, the junior quarterback will be anxious to even that record.“A dual-threat quarterback is always tough,” senior linebacker Porter Gustin said. “But we know what he can do and we know what he’s capable of. We’ve got to prepare for that. It’s like they’re playing with an extra man out there.”This will be a major test for the Trojans, whose main struggle so far this season has been to create a solid passing defense. The team allowed Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II to throw for 344 yards and three touchdowns last week, failing to pick up an interception and allowing the quarterback to throw 71 percent.“When you play man coverage, you don’t see a ton of picks. You see a lot more in zone coverage,” Helton said. “We do have a lot of past break ups, hopefully we’ll get our hands on the ball a little more. It also comes with tipped balls. … Hopefully we’ll get some more of those too.”The secondary in particular struggled with deep passes, allowing Cougars receiver Easop Winston Jr. to average almost 24 yards per carry and grab a 59-yard touchdown lob. Against Tate, the unit will be forced to tighten up or pay up.The Trojans also struggled to challenge the passer and collapse the pocket, with Gustin recording the lone sack in the game against Washington State. Without heavy pressure in the face of the quarterback, Tate will be free to pick off receivers left and right, leaving the secondary wide open.One key change could be the introduction of true freshman corner Olaijah Griffin to the starting lineup. Griffin has slowly made his way into a regular rotation for the Trojans, standing out in last week’s game against Washington State. During Wednesday’s practice, the freshman earned first-team reps. He finished practice with a pick-six, earning howls of approval from his teammates on both sides of the ball. Griffin could provide a much-needed spark to the Trojan secondary.Injury reportRedshirt freshman defensive lineman Jay Tufele, who blocked the game-winning field goal attempt in Saturday’s game against Washington State, returned to action. Gustin and sophomore offensive tackle Andrew Vorhees both participated in practice, but on a limited basis. Gustin is still nursing a knee injury, and Vorhees is recovering from a sternum contusion. Both are expected to make full returns by game time on Saturday.Freshman receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown remains limited with an AC shoulder sprain. Redshirt freshman outside tackle Jalen McKenzie also sat out practice with a strained back.last_img read more

Tipp all set to make the step up to Senior status

first_imgTipperary’s Ladies Football captain says the team are looking forward to making the step up to the senior ranks.The Premier County won the Intermediate All Ireland on Sunday – to round off an amazing season which saw them come through the entire campaign unbeaten.Along the way they won the Munster title and secured promotion by winning Division 3 of the League. Photo © Tipp Ladies Facebook A major homecoming celebration took place in Ardfinnan last night – the home of Tipp captain Samantha Lambert.She says the team has the talent to make the move to senior status.last_img read more