AUGUST HIGHLIGHT
Dear Community Gardeners,

Vegetable gardening is just one way to encourage children and their families to spend time outside this fall. At Your Door Step: A Family Factsheet on Outdoor Play and Learning provides additional strategies, research, and recommended activities from NC State Extension for families about ideas for how and why families can spend more time outside. While the activities are geared towards children, they focus on play and wonder in nature -- something all of us can enjoy!

Whether at home or at school, we know that nature and spending time outside can 
(The Child & Nature Network has a section of Tools & Resources with additional infographics). 

Wishing you all health and wellness,
Quina Weber-Shirk
Community & School Garden Agent
NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County
UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES
Basic Gardening Skills Live Stream

Greensboro Parks & Recreation is hosting a Virtual Garden Club: “Join us every Tuesday for a free 8-week program that will teach the basic skills of gardening, specifically fall vegetable gardening. The club meetings will live stream here on our Facebook Page every Tuesday from August 11 - September 22, 2020.”

Week 1: Getting Started: The Basics
Week 2: Maintenance: Care and feeding
Weeks 3 – 8+: Each week, check progress of previous plantings; talk about / demonstrate garden chores, new and recurring.

Food Talks series

Hosted by The Piedmont Triad Regional Food Council (PTRFC) in collaboration with Carolina Creative Works. The conversations will be virtual live meetings held every Wednesday at 12:30 PM, beginning July 8th and running through August 26th.

The PTRFC is seeking input from community members, farmers, food producers, supply chain businesses, and anyone involved in the regional food economy to join in the conversation about how to connect, rebuild, and move forward together to build a more robust food system that serves everyone in the Piedmont Triad. The list of meeting dates and topics are below.

  • August 12th: Agritourism in the Triad
  • August 19th: Meat and Poultry Processing in the Triad
  • August 26th: Food System Planning 101



THIS MONTH IN THE GARDEN

Excerpt from “August: Heat and Harvest” in Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast by Ira Wallace (2013)
“It may feel hot, but we have as much light as we did back in April, and we’re losing it fast. Plants need lots of light to grow quickly, and quick early growth is essential to getting seedlings off to a strong start. Start fall and winter crops now, even if winter feels a long way off, to take advantage of the sunshine before we lose it. 

Throughout our region, we are busy with harvesting, removing spent or declining plants, and preparing beds for the fall garden. Intercropping is one of my favorite ways to make this seasonal puzzle work. All of this juggling lets your plants take advantage of the favorable conditions for rapid growth in late summer and you’ll keep harvesting your summer crops as long as possible. We plant a lot of broccoli, cabbage, and other brassicas that will be in the ground well into cold weather but not last through spring. We used to keep the ground covered with mulch, but in recent years we have taken to undersowing all of our fall brassicas with a clover cover crop. About a month after transplanting, we weed the area well with a scuffle hoe and broadcast the clover seed over the bed, either timing this just before a rain or running your sprinkler to settle in the seeds. On a small planting, you can use the bottom of your regular hoe or rake to tamp down the soil.

Planting lettuce and other greens at the edges of tomato and pepper beds is another combination we like because the taller plants provide shade and will be gone with the first frost. After the frost you can cut off and remove the tomato plants at ground level, then spread out extra lettuce and greens seedlings to use more of the bed space. Sprinkle on a layer of compost covered by mulch and your bed of fall salad is complete. 

In small gardens, you can start small stations of greens anywhere an individual plant has been removed, or where there is space after an earlier planting is harvested.”

More information from NC Cooperative Extension:


RESOURCES

  • Join this year's SeedMoney Challenge here to raise funds for a school or community garden in your area. They're offering over 300 challenge grants which you can use to motivate people from your community to support your campaign. 



  • Does your learning garden need seeds? Contact Quina Weber-Shirk, Community & School Garden Agent, jjwebers@ncsu.edu.