3 Fun-Filled Summer Camps for Murphy, NC Kids and Teens

Now that spring is finally here, Murphy, NC students will soon be counting down the weeks until their summer vacation. Although kids and teens might plan to become experts at their favorite video games, or spend weeks hanging out with their friends, their parents would likely choose more constructive activities. In other words, the parents want their children to get off the couch and exercise their bodies and minds during the summer. So, why not send them to summer camp? If that sounds like a good plan, check out three popular camp choices in and near Cherokee County.

NORTH SUNGATE FARMS (Horse Camp)
Murphy, NC. 828-494-2859.

Kids who enjoy horseback riding (or would love to learn) gravitate to this weeklong summer horse camp adventure. North Sungate Farms is nestled among beautiful woodlands and meadows near Murphy, North Carolina – a perfect setting for a fun-filled midsummer session.

Catering to campers ages 10-18, the facility incorporates good horsemanship and safety while offering exposure to several riding disciplines. Campers can learn English or Western pleasure riding, and get a taste of dressage, jumping, and hunt seat work. Arts, crafts, and lively games also contribute to this memorable weeklong experience.

SNOWBIRD WILDERNESS OUTFITTERS
Nantahala National Forest, 75 May Johnson Way, Andrews, NC. 828-321-2210.

Campers looking for a Christian-centered environment, along with a sumptuous feast of outdoor recreation choices, will enjoy this rustic camp in the beautiful Snowbird Mountains just outside Andrews, North Carolina.

First and foremost, Snowbird maintains a strong focus on the Gospel. Students participate in twice-daily worship services that include song, drama, video, and expositional messages. Campers also share their views in daily breakout sessions focusing on diverse topics. Participants wrap up each day with small group discussions led by Snowbird staff, who help to guide students’ growth through building of personal relationships.

Turning to the recreational side, campers enjoy a host of on-campus and easily accessible activities. On the Snowbird premises, participants enjoy archery, basketball, climbing tower and rappel wall, a gun range, paintball, zipline, and waterslide. Nearby off-campus sports include river and lake tubing, whitewater rafting, wakeboarding, canoeing, hiking the Appalachian Trail, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Taken together, Snowbird campers will have plenty of chances to exercise their bodies while also experiencing spiritual growth.

NANTAHALA OUTDOOR CENTER (Kayaking Camp)
13077 W Highway 19, Bryson City, NC. 828-785-4850.

This nationally renowned kayaking and rafting trip outfitter operates highly popular summer kayaking camps. Scheduled for five-day blocks during June and July, each Youth Week session offers day camp and live-in lodging options. Participants don’t need whitewater paddling skills, as paddlers are grouped according to their experience level. NOC’s Paddling School Instructors provide campers with 24-hour supervision, both on and off the water.

Each kayaking camp session combines paddling skills building with a healthy dose of fun. Participants paddle several of the region’s navigable rivers each week, matching the river’s challenges to the group’s skill level. On Youth Week’s final day, families are invited to join their young paddlers for a “Family Paddle” on the scenic Nantahala River. Discounted kayak and gear rentals are available for parents who don’t have their own equipment.

With three enticing summer camps within easy driving distance, Murphy, NC students have unlimited opportunities for fun this summer. When they return to school next fall, they’ll have plenty of colorful pictures and stories to swap with their friends.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: February and March

With this season’s delightfully mild winter (so far, anyway), Murphy, NC gardeners are increasingly focused on the upcoming growing season. In fact, they might even be tempted to till the soil and get a jump on their vegetable planting work. Although waiting until the last frost date (May 10 in Cherokee County) might be a safer course of action, gardeners can take some important steps with these Tips for Prepping Your Vegetable Garden during February and March. Continue reading “Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: February and March”

Tips for Entertaining Kids During Christmas Break

f5ba2a0c719c8f2aab0a2b14c3a182e1Kids and Christmas break go together like peanut butter and jelly. Whether the youngsters are part of the elementary school set, or have recently joined the ranks of middle schoolers, they probably view their Christmas/New Year’s vacation in much the same way. In other words, they plan to sleep late and lounge around playing with their tech devices all day.

However, you have considerably different plans for the kids’ time away from school. You’ve compiled a list of enticing home-based activities, along with suggestions for three Murphy, NC community field trips. If the weather cooperates, you might even take the youngsters to the great outdoors. Simply speaking, you intend to get them off the couch and give them a Christmas break they won’t forget.

DREAM UP SOME INDOOR ACTIVITIES
Start a Scrapbooking Tradition. Remembering Christmas Day – and all your family’s holiday gatherings – will be more fun when you view the event’s photographs. So, invite the kids to create a scrapbook of this year’s festivities. After you print out the best pictures, set up a table with paper, markers, and lots of decorative supplies. Include child-friendly materials such as glitter and stickers. Then, let the kids’ imaginations run wild, and encourage them to unveil the result during a special family dinner.

Design an Indoor Painting Studio. Painting seems to unleash the creativity in everybody – regardless of their age. Kids seem to especially enjoy this art form. Turn a spare room into a painting studio, covering the space with plastic and removing any objects you’d like to keep spatter-free. Then, equip your young artists with washable paint and large paper sheets. Provide a space where they can proudly display their finished artwork.

Set Up a Kids’ Talent Show. Everybody enjoys a family talent show, especially if there are prizes involved. So, announce that you’ll host a family talent night where each child can showcase their performance skills. Singing, dancing, feats of strength – it’s all on the table. Encourage the kids to practice beforehand, and award a special prize to the winner(s). Take video of the occasion, and watch it again over a family pizza party.

Host a Living Room Campout. Although camping in the woods is off limits during the winter, kids will enjoy a living room camp-out just as much. Announce the trip in advance, and set up your tent (or make one with blankets and chairs) in a corner of the living room. If space doesn’t permit, move the event to the family room. Plan some kid-friendly campfire games, tell stories, and make s’mores on the stove while you stay toasty warm.

GET OUT IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Explore Your Local Library. Although you might not realize it, your nearby library is full of hidden treasures. Besides books, you’ll find music and movies suitable for all ages. Even better, the library has many comfortable chairs (and very likely a kids’ reading section), so you and the youngsters can enjoy some quality reading time while you’re there.

For a change of pace, send the kids on a library-based scavenger hunt. In other words, they must find several books written on a given topic or destination. Each child receives points for every book they score. The child with the most points wins a highly desirable prize.

Embark on a Museum Visit. In downtown Murphy, NC, the Cherokee County Historical Museum can help kids connect to the area’s history while offering up a bounty of fascinating artifacts. In fact, the Museum features a 5,000-piece Native American artifact collection, with each item found in Cherokee County.

The Cherokee County Historical Museum is conveniently located at 89 Peachtree Street, near the courthouse and police station. When you arrive, take note of the bear and eagle figures near the entrance. Ask a museum docent about the animals’ role in Cherokee County history.

Put On Your Volunteer Hats. When kids (and adults) become consumed with holiday activities, needs of elderly or less-fortunate neighbors can fade into the background. To focus on what really matters, introduce children and teens to age-appropriate volunteer work. You’ll enjoy sharing the experience, and your kids might receive satisfaction from helping others.

In Cherokee County, numerous non-profit groups would appreciate your (and perhaps the kids’) help. As another option, offer to make meals (or run errands) for an elderly or under-the-weather neighbor. If you find a good fit, arrange a regular volunteer stint for you and the youngsters.

HIT THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Enjoy a Winter Nature Walk. If the weather cooperates, bundle up the kids and head out for a forest nature walk. Keep your young companions’ interest by giving them a purpose for their trek. For example, ask them to find different types of trees or bird calls. When you get home, research their finds via the Internet. Enjoy viewing the tree photos or listening to bird calls over hot chocolate.

Begin a Birdfeeding Hobby. With plants and seeds in winter hibernation, birds have a tough time finding food. So, provide them with some tasty snacks by making a batch of bird seed cookies. Find your recipes on the Internet, and ask the kids to help you hang the treats in your backyard. After watching your avian visitors flock to their winter feast, identify each species with a bird book or via Internet research.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Deck Your Home with Natural Holiday Decorations

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‘Tis the season to decorate your home – inside and out – with brightly colored Christmas decorations. If dusting off last year’s leftover trimmings doesn’t sound exciting, and you’d rather not fork over money for new ones, why not let our beautiful mountains decorate your home this year?

Take a walk outside your Murphy, NC home, and you’re likely to find evergreens, pinecones, dried flowers, and more. Add some strategically placed fruit and craft items, and you’ve got the makings of stunning decorations your family and friends will enjoy. So put on your boots and grab a basket, and gather a bounty of natural materials just a few steps from your door. Then, create your decorations using the tips below – or put your imagination to work and design your own holiday trimmings.

HOLIDAY HOME DECOR
Door or Mantel Decoration: Create your own holiday swag by collecting a bundle of nicely textured brown twigs. Secure the twig ends with a wide rubber band that’s covered with a colorful ribbon. Add some holiday greenery by tucking one lush evergreen branch inside the rubber band.

Festive Wall Accents: To liven up your home’s bare walls, gather several beautiful evergreen boughs. Tack up a branch in each room, accenting your dining table, buffet, or other focal point. Add some color by hanging Christmas cards, glittery ornaments, and fancy gift tags on each fragrant green branch.

Indoor Woodland Display: Comb your garden and nearby woods for several unusual-looking bare branches. Fill a narrow glass vase with artificial snow, and create a branch arrangement that birds might find inviting. Add some tufts of snowy-looking cotton on the branches, and wire on colorful berries cut from faux flower sprays.

Next, wire a few realistic-looking cardinals onto your carefully placed branches. Create another desirable destination by placing a bird’s nest on the window sill. Rearrange your display several times during the winter.

FESTIVE TABLE TRIMMINGS
Colorful Tabletop Centerpiece: Place a striking beveled-edge mirror on your dining table. Arrange white or colored pillar candles on the mirror, adding pinecones and evergreens to provide contrasting color. Add clementines, red apples, or green pears as you wish.

Natural Forest Centerpiece: Choose a good-sized clear glass container. Gather pinecones, moss, seed pods, and other natural materials from the nearby forest. Find other dried floral items at a craft store or online. Beginning with the pinecones, layer your materials to create a pleasing multilayer centerpiece that adds an organic touch to your table.

Cranberry Candle Decor: Place a cranberry-colored candle inside a clear glass jar or cylinder. Carefully pack fresh cranberries around the candle, leaving room for the candle to burn safely. Spice up your table decoration by adding several sparkly Christmas ornaments around the container’s base.

Simply Beautiful Greenery: Bring out several differently sized glass vases. Fill each one with evergreen sprigs, varying the greens’ shapes and heights to create a pleasing collection of table accents.

CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENTS
Miniature Cranberry Wreaths: Give your tree some welcome red color with these easy-to-make cranberry wreaths. For each wreath, string 20-25 plump cranberries onto a section of floral wire. Shape the wire into a circle, tie it, and you’re ready to hang your mini-wreath on the tree.

See-through Ball Ornaments: Purchase affordable clear plastic ball ornaments at a craft shop or online. Gather miniature pinecones, small evergreen sprigs, and even colorful berries or seed pods from the nearby forest.

Carefully arrange the natural materials inside the bottom half of each ornament, and tack in place with hot glue if needed. Add the top half of the ornament, and make a colorful ribbon hanger for the tree.

Earthy Pinecone Ornaments: Gather a bowlful of impressive pinecones from the nearby woods. Tie each cone with a burlap ribbon. Use twine to string the pinecones together, and create a one-of-a-kind garland for your tree.

KID-FRIENDLY ORNAMENTS
Dried Fruit Tree Accents: If you have a dehydrator, get busy drying fruits that will retain their shape and color when thoroughly dry. Show kids how to string holiday ribbon or rustic-looking twine through each dried fruit. Ask your young helpers to trim the Christmas tree with their special holiday bangles.

Homemade Bark Christmas Stars: Take the kids on a bark-gathering trip through the woods. Select sections of bark from varied trees, and use glue to transform the bark pieces into star-shaped ornaments. Add a sturdy twine hanger to each one, and invite the kids to hang them in favorite spots on the tree.

Cinnamon Stalks Ornaments: Bind several cinnamon stalks together, and tuck in dried fruit for varied colors and textures. Add a natural-toned twine hanger. Ask kids to place their fragrant spiced ornaments in special spots on the tree.

With so many natural Christmas decorations, your biggest challenge is choosing the best ones for your Murphy, NC home. Once you select your favorites, begin gathering those materials, and watch your creations take shape. Chances are, you’ll enjoy the finished results so much you’ll plan an encore for next Christmas!

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Come Enjoy These Murphy, NC Christmas Celebrations

The Poltrock Team Gets their 2016 Float ready for the Murphy NC Christmas Parade
The Poltrock Team Gets their 2016 Float ready for the Murphy NC Christmas Parade

Good old-fashioned Christmas celebrations just never go out of style. You circle the date on the calendar, pile the family into the car, and head to your town center to view the annual Christmas parade. Or, maybe you gather at a local church for a special musical program or Live Nativity experience. Here in Murphy, NC, we’re lucky to have several community holiday events during the month of December. So round up your family and friends, and make this a Christmas season you’ll remember for years.

Friday December 2 at 6 p.m.
Town of Murphy: Lighting of the Tree

Murphy’s town square will again host its much-anticipated “Lighting of the Tree” event. This family-friendly program includes children’s music and dance groups, and the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a kids’ Jingle Bell Walk. To cap off this memorable evening, Santa Claus will arrive on a festive-looking fire truck. Busy Valley River Avenue will be closed for the evening, giving everyone plenty of room to enjoy the fun.

Saturday Dec. 3 at 11:00 a.m., Sunday Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m., and Monday Dec. 5 at 7:00 p.m.
Murphy First Baptist Church
: 40th Annual Singing Christmas Tree

517 Hiwassee Street
, Murphy, NC
Share in a community Christmas tradition by viewing the Murphy First Baptist Church’s Annual Singing Christmas Tree. Now in its 40th year, the Tree features a “Find Us Faithful” theme presented by about 45 talented singers positioned on a 40-foot-high tree. While you listen to favorite songs from the Tree’s history, you can watch the Christmas story unfold before your eyes.

To create the Singing Christmas Tree, volunteers spent considerable time building and assembling the tree inside the church. Singers devoted many hours to rehearsals, blending their voices into soaring melodies and harmonies. Everyone’s hard work culminates in a memorable Christmas musical event you’ll want to experience every year.

Saturday December 3 at 2 p.m.
Murphy Hometown Christmas Parade

Bundle up the family, and get ready to enjoy a wonderful small-town Christmas parade. Beginning at the Valley Village Shopping Center, the parade route winds through downtown Murphy, ending at First Baptist Church across from McDonald’s. Choose your favorite vantage point, bring some chairs and hot chocolate, and prepare to experience some old-fashioned family fun.

Although parade participants vary every year, you’re likely to see marching units and floats sponsored by children’s groups, non-profit organizations, and local businesses. This year, The Poltrock Team will join in the fun, waving to parade-goers from the team’s “Santa’s Workshop” float. Come on out and greet them!

Friday December 16 & Saturday December 17 from 6 -8 p.m. (Drive Through)
Shepherd of the Mountains Church: Live Nativity

Providence Lane, Murphy, NC
With a calendar full of holiday parties, gift buying, and cookie baking, it’s easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas. Fortunately, Murphy’s Shepherd of the Mountains Church reminds us of the enduring value of the Christmas story, presenting a Live Nativity on its Murphy, NC campus every year since 2013.

Given as a community ministry, Shepherd Church’s Live Nativity re-creates the Christmas story using characters such as wise men, shepherds, angels, and even live barnyard animals. The much-loved manger scene is the highlight of the experience. This year, view the Live Nativity while you stay warm and comfortable in your vehicle. Note: The Live Nativity is free of charge, but donations are accepted.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Choosing Your Special Family Christmas Tree

treesPicking out that special Christmas tree can turn into a fun family excursion. You put on jeans and boots, pile in the car or truck, and head to the Christmas tree lot of your choice. While you’re there, you’ll probably walk past dozens of likely candidates, looking for one that’s just the right size and shape. You’ll know the perfect tree when you find it, and you know the lights and decorations will make it look even better. Here in our mountain community, you have two outstanding Christmas tree sources – one just a stone’s throw from downtown Murphy, NC. So clear a spot in the house, retrieve your tree stand from storage, and get ready to add some Christmas spirit to your home!

ROTARY CLUB OF MURPHY, NC
If you like to continue annual traditions – and want to help out a worthwhile cause – consider purchasing your fresh-cut Christmas tree from the Rotary Club of Murphy. This well-known service organization focuses on projects that benefit our local community, and the Rotary’s Christmas tree sales help to provide funds for those programs.

Finding the Rotary’s Christmas tree sales operation is easy, as the group sets up shop in the same location every year. As you turn off Highway 64 (also called the four-lane) into the Murphy Ingles shopping center, you can’t miss the cluster of Christmas trees opposite the Taco Bell restaurant. Every day from 1:00-5:30, you’ll find a friendly Rotary volunteer ready to help you select a tree to give your home that special holiday glow.

SOUTHERN TREE PLANTATION, INC.
There’s nothing like getting your Christmas tree from an old-fashioned tree farm. If that sounds appealing, take a short drive to Southern Tree Plantation, located at 2226 Owltown Road in nearby Blairsville, Georgia. (706) 745-0601. From November 30th through December 23rd, visit the farm Monday through Friday from 1:00-5:30. Saturday hours are 10:00-5:30, and Sunday hours are 1:00-5:30.

At Southern Tree Plantation, you can choose and cut your own Christmas tree, or ask a tree farm employee to handle the tree cutting work. The farm offers several popular tree varieties, such as Canaan Fir (West Virginia balsam fir), Fraser Fir, Blue Spruce, or Norway Spruce. After you nail down your tree purchase, check out Southern Tree Plantation’s slate of family activities, available on both weekend days.

First, hop aboard the farm’s haywagon, and take a fun family hayride. You’ll meander through 60 acres of beautiful mountain country, and enjoy peaceful river and creek views. Or, try to outsmart the brand-new, super-tough wooden barnyard maze.

For younger children, Southern Tree Plantation offers weekend pony rides aboard the farm’s friendly little steeds. Or, maybe the kids would enjoy a trip on the Southern Tree Express, the new miniature train that runs on a road track. After you wrap up all the activities, gather the family for a visit to the marshmallow roasting station, where you can savor some tasty morsels while swapping tall tales.

Whether you snag your Christmas tree in Murphy, NC, or head over to Blairsville, GA to make your purchase, throw a family tree decorating party when you get home. Break out the hot cider and hot chocolate, and munch on mouthwatering cookies while you string the garland and hang the ornaments. Then, stand back and let the ooh’s and aah’s begin!

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy’s Chophouse Offers Steak and Seafood with a Fine-Dining Feel

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-8-12-10-pmIf you’re in the mood for a nice, juicy steak, but you don’t want to drive two hours to a big-city steakhouse, head over to Murphy’s Chophouse for a tasty meal that satisfies your palate. Conveniently located in the town of Murphy, NC, the Chophouse is just downhill from the First United Methodist Church, after you round the curve heading away from downtown. Murphy’s Chophouse offers lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday, and serves up a Sunday brunch that combines classic breakfast dishes with tempting lunch bites. In other words, you can enjoy a Chophouse meal during any time of day.

When you arrive at Murphy’s Chophouse, you’ll see a white stucco-style building with crisp brown trim. During the warmer months, you can enjoy your drinks and meals on the inviting patio, located just outside the restaurant’s front door. If you’d prefer to dine indoors, the Chophouse’s warm gold walls and brown furniture complement the casual atmosphere.

Now, let’s get to the most important topic: the food. First, open up the enticing lunchtime menu, where you’ll find tasty appetizers, soups, and salads. Choose from three Chophouse burgers (including a bison bacon cheeseburger), or browse the extensive sandwich menu. For a change of pace, try a specialty plate, such as a smoked ham and cheddar quiche, fish and chips, or even a flame-grilled rib eye steak. Several gluten-free items are also available.

Next, let’s say you’ve arrived for an early bird dinner, served Monday through Thursday from 4 -5 p.m. Or, maybe you prefer to dine a bit later in the evening. Either way, the Chophouse’s fine-dining dinner menu offers plenty of tempting choices. Begin with an appetizer, hearty soup, or main-dish salad.

Next, satisfy your palate with a USDA beef selection, such as a filet mignon or slow-roasted prime rib. Or, select a fresh seafood entree, such as a shellfish platter, bacon-wrapped jumbo scallops, or Carolina mountain trout. Don’t forget the specialty selections, including the grilled quail and venison sausage and chicken scallopini. Two vegetarian pasta dishes are also available.

Best of all, you can top off your satisfying dinner with a delectable dessert. If you’re a chocolate fan, try the five-layer “Extreme Dream” dark chocolate cake. Or, consider the hot chocolate-caramel turtle cake and rich, creamy cheesecake. For a lighter touch, choose a tasty ice cream or sherbet. Enjoy your dessert with a cup of steaming hot coffee.

If you’ve always been a Sunday brunch fan, come enjoy the Chophouse’s signature brunch experience. Served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the restaurant’s sumptuous brunch includes traditional favorites such as Eggs Benedict and stuffed French toast, along with omelets and Sunday chopped steak.

Finally, if you’re searching for a private dining venue in Murphy, NC, Murphy’s Chophouse makes a very attractive choice. Whether you’re hosting a business meeting, greeting friends at a social get-together, or planning a wedding reception, the restaurant’s event planning staff can seamlessly coordinate the occasion. Customized menus, along with an award-winning wine list, make Murphy’s Chophouse an appealing option for a full range of events.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Easy Tips for Winterizing Your Mountain Garden

fall-gardening-photoButtoning up your Murphy, NC garden during the fall is like cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner. On Turkey Day, you just feasted on a tasty 20-pounder with all the fixin’s – and now you must clear the table before scraping and washing the dishes. And when fall catches up with your garden,  stop growing your vegetables or flowers, and begin that less-enjoyable cleanup operation.

Pick Your Passion: Vegetables or Flowers
When your garden’s harvest came in, you enjoyed a huge bounty of vegetables from early summer until fall. When you exhausted your recipes, you canned or froze every ripe vegetable that crossed your path.

Or, maybe flower gardening is your passion. You carefully prepared your beds, planted seeds and transplants, and watered them daily throughout our bone-dry drought. You weeded often, and you managed to drive off the deer so your plants would have a fighting chance. Finally, your garden exploded with a riot of colors that made all that hard work worthwhile.

Now that the growing season’s over, though, it’s time to round up those wilting plants and restore some order to your vegetable plot or flower beds. After all, you want to get a head start on next season’s garden.

Wrap Up Your Summer Garden
First, encourage your current garden to keep on giving. If you grew some tasty heirloom vegetables, for example, save and store a good assortment of seeds for the next planting season. Try the same strategy with your colorful annual flowers. Either way, store the seeds in paper envelopes, and stash them in a glass jar in a dry spot indoors.

Next, tidy up the garden by picking up fallen vegetables that could rot on the ground. Dispose of dead annuals, and cut back perennials that have finished blooming for the season. By reducing the amount of debris on the ground, pests will be less likely to choose your garden for their winter hibernation spot.

Put Those Millions of Leaves to Work
Of course, living in the woods means you have an endless supply of leaves, a highly beneficial ingredient of your household compost pile. Rake (or blow) a respectable quantity of leaves, and add them to the pile’s green kitchen scraps. Believe it or not, mixing both types of materials helps to generate compost more quickly. Don’t throw in plants with disease or bug problems, and avoid composting dairy or meat products, as they’re a magnet for rodents.

If your property includes an expanse of lawn, give the grass one final mowing for the season. Gather the grass clippings and shredded leaves, and spread them over your flower beds to provide protection during the upcoming cold weather.

Plant Vegetable Seeds or Cover Crops
If you’re an avid vegetable gardener, fall is a great time to plant spinach, lettuce, and other cool-season vegetable seeds. If temperatures will dip below freezing, cover your plants with protective straw. Root crops such as rutabagas and carrots will also benefit from a nice straw blanket. Fall is also perfect for planting garlic and shallot bulbs.

If your garden didn’t materialize this year, get a jump on next season by planting a fast-growing cover crop. Evenly sow clover, rye, or similar seeds into bare soil. When spring arrives, turn the cover crop plants into the soil, adding essential nutrients your vegetables will love.

Spice Up Your Flower Beds
Plant colorful cool-season flowers such as mums and pansies, and add some ornamental kale for extra greenery. Chances are, these hardy plants will even survive most frosts.

Choose an enticing assortment of spring-blooming bulbs, designed to bring your Murphy, NC garden alive after months of cold weather. Hyacinth, crocus, daffodil, and tulip bulbs are popular choices. Plant your bulbs per the grower’s directions, button them up for winter, and get ready to enjoy a rainbow of color when you need it most.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Cherokee County Fair Offers Old-Fashioned Family Fun

IMG_7257Visiting a local county fair gives you a chance to slow down and smell the popcorn…and the barbeque, corn dogs, and funnel cakes. At hundreds of county fairs around the United States, you can browse the exhibits, sniff the farm animal aromas, and listen to great regional entertainment with your family. And best of all, you can enjoy these simple pleasures at our Cherokee County Fair in Ranger – just a few miles from Murphy, NC. So put the third weekend in October on your calendar, head to the Mountain Folk Center, and enjoy some Cherokee County Fair fun.

Launching the 2015 Cherokee County Fair
Back in 2015, some Cherokee County residents got together, and sparked the idea of resurrecting the county fair. With the county’s history and pride in its agricultural roots, enthusiasm and ideas were flowing thick and fast.

After just a few months’ planning time, and with the support of local officials and the Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority, the Cherokee County Fair made its debut in late October 2015. Held at the Mountain Folk Center on US Highway 64 in Ranger, the first-year fair met with considerable success. After planners had time to catch their breath, they quickly began organizing a bigger 2016 event.

The 2016 Cherokee County Fair: Coming Soon
During the weekend of October 21-23, the Mountain Folk Center will again host the Cherokee County Fair festivities. Just 12 miles west of Murphy, this popular spot also houses the summer Farmer’s Market and Nora Starks Memorial Horse Arena. The Fair offers free parking, and a free shuttle van will transport visitors from offsite parking areas.

Enjoy a Full Slate of Family-Friendly Activities
After you arrive at the Cherokee County Fair, refer to your Fair Program for locations of specific attractions. For starters, head to the covered pavilion, where you’ll find a diverse collection of exhibitors. Learn about community groups, view food and craft displays, and browse a growing selection of craft vendors. In other words, there’s something for everybody.

Next, head over to the farm animal exhibits, always a hit with the younger set. Kids will also enjoy the bounce house, pony rides, and other kid-focused activities. Don’t miss the pie-eating contest, where competitors of all ages and sizes will chow down on gooey confections at lightning speed. And word has gotten out that this year’s Tractor Parade will include even more vintage and modern machines. You might also see some antique farm equipment.

Don’t Miss These Special Fair Attractions
Of course, a county fair wouldn’t be complete without live music and dance performances. Throughout the weekend, a variety of talented regional performers will take the stage. And back by popular demand, the Monroe County Vaulting Team will amaze visitors with their acrobatics on horseback.

New for 2016, Alan Kay will teach and demonstrate valuable survival skills. As fans of the History Channel’s “Alone” series already know, Alan won the Season 1 competition for his ability to survive in Vancouver Island’s challenging conditions. You might say Alan’s a pro at making the most of tough situations.

Enjoy Midway Rides and Tasty Food
Kids of all ages will enjoy the Cherokee County Fair’s exciting midway rides. And of course you’ll be tempted by lots of mouth-watering food. Just follow the enticing smells, and you might be rewarded with barbeque, corn dogs, wraps, and burgers. Of course, we can’t forget sweet treats such as funnel cakes, ice cream, candied apples, and more. In other words, you might want to come hungry.

Get the Lowdown on Fair Logistics
Whether you’re available during the day or evening, you can visit the Cherokee County Fair sometime during the three-day weekend. The fairgrounds are open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Check the Fair’s website below for full admission cost details.

Important notes: Plan to pay for your admission, food, purchases, and midway tickets with cash. Leave your pets at home, as they could rile up the livestock or make some Fair-goers nervous.

Now that you’ve put the Cherokee County Fair on your calendar, spend some time in Murphy, NC before heading out to Ranger for the festivities. Because new Fair events and performers are added frequently, check the Fair’s Facebook Page or website for full details:
http://www.cherokeecountyfair.com/?utm_source=www.visitnc.com&utm_medium=website&utm_campaign=downstream-referral .

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

Murphy’s River Walk Offers Riverfront Views and Relaxation

fd3c9b017b902d574fbfb61a3a9c9b99There’s nothing quite like traveling the Murphy River Walk. Whether you’re embarking on a morning wakeup jaunt, shaking off the stress from your workday, or helping your canine companion to burn off some steam, you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy the trip.

This three-mile walking trail is located smack in the middle of Murphy, NC, and meanders from Konehete Park all the way to the historic L&N Depot. Along the route, you’ll see lots of native plants, and maybe a few birds and fish. You might even encounter your friends, neighbors, or coworkers. In other words, you never know who (or what) you’ll find along the River Walk.

Explore the River Walk by Land and Water
The Murphy River Walk came on the scene in 2003, with organizers launching the first of several trail sections. In 2016, the now-completed trail follows the Valley and Hiwassee Rivers as they converge into part of Lake Hiwassee. With three convenient trailheads, you can pick up the walkway at one of several in-town locations. Choose Konehete Park’s ball fields or the nearby Pool/Wellness Center, the Cherokee County Health Department on Hilton Street, or the L&N Depot at the river bridge.

If you’d rather travel the trail by water, you’ll find canoe and kayak put-ins on nearby Payne Street, along with Hiwassee Street just past the River Walk trail. In fact, paddling the river route completely changes your perspective, so we recommend trying it at least once.

Enjoy the River Walk’s Many Surprises
As you might expect, the River Walk’s scenery includes native trees, shrubs, and plants that you’d see throughout Cherokee County. As seasons change, so do the trail’s colors, eventually giving way to winter’s browns and grays. The river and lake water levels also vary with the seasons, as the Tennessee Valley Authority (or TVA) manages its power generation and recreation priorities.

Besides the naturally occurring greenery, the Murphy River Walk offers visitors a few more pleasant surprises. For example, you’ll see native landscaping courtesy of a local nursery, plus directional signs crafted of reclaimed cedar from a tree lost in Murphy’s 2012 tornado.

In 2015, River Walk fans cheered the addition of an outdoor performance pavilion behind the L&N Depot and Old Hackney Warehouse. Also during 2015, the TVA completed a sturdy covered bridge connecting the main trail with the Fisherman’s Loop. After the bridge was finished, the River Walk’s many volunteers stepped in to maintain it.

The Secret of the River Walk’s Success
Believe it or not, the Murphy River Walk is the result of a wildly successful public/private partnership. Managed by the non-profit Heritage Partners, the River Walk gets ongoing support from the Town of Murphy, Cherokee County Tourism Development Authority, the TVA, several non-profit and educational groups, and many private contributors.

Of course, the River Walk’s volunteer project managers and onsite volunteers keep the effort running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, don’t be surprised to encounter a trail maintenance crew somewhere along the route, during any time of year. Thanks to these energetic folks, and the River Walk’s many supporters, getting “back to nature” in Murphy, NC just got a whole lot easier.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team