By Gerard KrewerUniversity of GeorgiaMuscadine season is back. And it’s time to enjoy a fruit that is one of the most flavorful in the world.Most fruits are now available nearly year-round, because they’re grown somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere during our winter season. But not muscadines.These great grapes are grown commercially only in the southern United States. Muscadines usually begin ripening in August in extreme south Georgia. The harvest then moves northward and ends in early October. Muscadines grow everywhere in the state except in the high mountains. About 80 Georgia growers are producing muscadines on about 1,200 acres of vineyards. There is also tremendous backyard production of muscadines in Georgia. Several distant shippers, as well as some pick-your-own farms, are located around the state. Most of Georgia’s muscadines are grown for fresh markets. But backyard gardeners can enjoy this easy-to-grow fruit, too. The vines are best planted when they are dormant in late fall to early winter. Southerners have enjoyed eating wild muscadines since we first settled this land. In the early 1800s, a number of superior wild varieties were selected for cultivation. One of these was “Scuppernong.” Found on the Scuppernong River in North Carolina in 1810, it has become the common name for all bronze muscadines.University of Georgia scientists have been breeding muscadines since the 1920s. Today’s table grape cultivars are over an inch in diameter with fantastic flavor.They come in a range of colors from bronze to red to purple to black. Many varieties have tender, edible skin that makes them prized as table grapes.Among the bronzes, Fry, Summit, Supreme and Tara are fresh-fruit favorites. Noble and Carlos are noted for their good wine quality. Many others are wonderful in cider, wines, jellies, preserves and syrups.Studies show that muscadines are rich in dietary fiber and important minerals, low in fat and protein and high in carbohydrates. They’re a better source of calcium, iron, zinc and manganese than many other fruits. Muscadines also contain significant quantities of ellagic acid, which can lower the risk of colon, lung and liver cancer. To learn more about how to grow muscadines, contact your local UGA Cooperative Extension office. Your local Extension office can also give you a list of local growers for fresh fruit. For a list of Georgia’s wineries, go to www.georgiawinecountry.com.
On this podcast, we’re digging into the CFE Fund’s Bank On platform. Bank On supports local coalition and financial institution efforts to connect consumers with safe, affordable bank accounts. The CFE Fund has developed Bank On National Account Standards, which provide a benchmark for safe, low cost transactional products. Financial institutions, such as credit unions, with accounts that meet these Standards can apply free for national certification with Bank On.To learn more, we talk with David Rothstein, Principal at CFE Fund. You’ll hear about Bank On, why it’s so important, how credit unions can get involved as well as interesting information about the underbanked and unbanked populations in the United States.“Financial wellness incorporates a lot of different elements, but probably the biggest piece or building block of that is to have a basic transaction account. That allows you, on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, to be able to manage your finances and both take in and out dollars in simple terms. We know that that is the first piece of the puzzle and a first real building block toward financial empowerment.” – David Rothstein continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
The credit union will have a message board for members to communicate. There are members that need help with an errand or task and members who are willing and available to help. We are a community and we can help each other through this troubling time. While social distancing is the appropriate personal response to the crisis, pulling together is the correct credit union response. Stories will be told about credit unions after this crisis. Let’s be sure the stories are ones of help and compassion. Assure members that the credit union will keep the ATMs full and functioning so members have access to their cash during the National Emergency Period. Advise members that their loan payments will be deferred during the National Emergency Period if their income has been reduced by 50% or more due to the effects of COVID-19. Interest will still accrue but the payment obligation will be suspended. If you have the ability to pre-qualify members for home equity loans, reach out to them to make offers to let them know they have a safety net. Let the members know that the credit union is open and available to help them through this crisis. The credit union intends to set aside a sum that will be available for emergency loans for members in financial distress. The credit union has limited resources and will not be able to meet all the financial needs of members, but it will do its best to help as many members as possible. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Guy Messick Guy A. Messick is General Counsel to the National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) and principal in Messick & Lauer P.C. in Media, PA. www.CUSOLaw.com Web: www.cusolaw.com Details There will not be any debt collection actions taken during the National Emergency Period. This new normal is very stressful. People are concerned about their health and their finances. The government is advising and, in some areas, requiring people stay home. Businesses are being closed. Workers are being laid-off. There will be well-underwritten credit union loans to members that will default. How should credit unions respond? If there was ever a time to demonstrate value to members, it is now. If a credit union has the capital to take some risk, it is time to deploy the capital. Your credit union will be defined by how it responds and serves its members. Here are some thoughts. Provide each adult member with a $1,000 line of credit for one year. The first 90 days is without interest. This is an advance on the government’s promise to distribute $1,000 to each American. If the member does not pay back the loan in 90 days, interest can be charged at normal rates.