DEAR GARDENERS

Dear Community Gardeners,


In celebration of Black History Month, I want to share a few resources that highlight and honor the impact of black individuals in the food system, both historic and contemporary.  
 
In celebration of Black History Month we are highlighting ten black individuals from across the country who are crafting powerful narratives around food and sustainability and fighting for community-based approaches to food policy that connect race and culture to our food system. Although communities of color have long played a critical role in shaping the American foodscape, their contributions have historically gone unrecognized in mainstream food culture and policy. These black chefs, farmers, educators, and community activists offer an array of books, documentaries, resources, and organizations to engage with and learn from during Black History Month and in the months to come (from NYC Food Policy Center).
 
This 11-part lecture series will cover a broad range of botanical disciplines, delve into the historical legacy of formally trained and self-taught Black Botanists who inspired others to pursue a career in plants, and highlight pathways toward diversity and inclusion in botanical sciences. With this series, the organizers and contributors seek to shine a light on the Black roots within botany, foster a community of Black Botanists, show that diversity is found within this community, and inspire others who may not have considered Botany as a career choice. (Monthly Lecture Series from Holden Forests & Gardens)
 
Researchers have identified an alarming lack of books about Black children in nature. Diversifying your bookshelf can help kids find themselves in literature—and the outdoors. Children’s literature scholar Rudine Sims Bishop famously wrote that books serve as “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors.” They let young readers understand others, see themselves, and escape into other worlds as they build an identity and locate themselves in our planet’s tangle of life (from Outside Online).
 
Looking for more diverse books?
Diverse Book Finder is a database of picture books for children K-3 that feature Black and Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) human characters in fiction and narrative nonfiction.

 
Wishing you all health and wellness,
Quina Weber-Shirk
Community & School Garden Agent
NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County

THIS MONTH IN THE GARDEN

February is a month for P’s: planning, preparation, and planting (peas and potatoes!). In January, the Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers led a Planning the 3-season Vegetable Garden class. Check out the list of free garden planning resources that they put together - including planting calendars, soil testing information, vegetable gardening basics, and information about common vegetable diseases. 

If you are looking for unique plants or inspiration, I recommend viewing editions of the Extension Gardener Newsletters from the past 20 years. Extension Gardener is a quarterly newsletter that provides timely, research-based horticultural information, and is published by NC State Extension. Information in past spring editions for the Piedmont, our region, include recommendations on growing shiitake mushrooms and blueberries (2016 & 2019), selecting drought tolerant plants (2018), tips for trellising tomatoes (2017), and organic vegetable gardening (2013). 


Enjoy exploring the archives! 
  1. Previous editions of the Extension Gardener Newsletter can be found on the Extension Gardener website
  2. Find the time of year you are interested in: Newsletters from 2009-present are quarterly (Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall). Newsletters from 1999-2008 are bimonthly. 
  3. Select previous editions for the Piedmont. 

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

  • Feb 13, or 15-19: If you requested seeds for your garden through Seeds to Share, remember to pick them up at either the N.C. Cooperative Extension Guilford County Office or the High Point Public Library. 

  • Feb 22 & 24, 8:30-12:30: Growing Communities Train-the-Trainer Workshop ($60 registration includes 8-hour online training and a printed copy of the curriculum) 
  • Growing Communities is an in-depth, 2-day hands-on workshop based on the American Community Gardening Association's curriculum for community development, Growing Communities: Community Building and Organizational Development through Community Gardening. Each registered participant will receive a printed copy of this curriculum ($105 value that can be used as a leadership development tool within your garden club.)

  • Free Gardening Classes led by Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers (FREE, visit the Extension website to register)
  • Feb 23 - Growing Great Tomatoes: Part 1
  • March 11 - Container Edibles: Growing Vegetables and Herbs in Pots
  • March 23 - Culinary Herbs


  • Community Garden Open Space: Planning for Spring
  • N.C. Cooperative Extension Guilford County’s Community Garden program invites you to join a virtual Open Space session. The open space is for community gardeners in Guilford County to collaborate, share, and learn in large and small groups. 

  • Join us on Monday, March 1 from 6:30-7:30 pm.

  • Register on EventBrite to attend! The program is free, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link. 

  • Please share with any community gardeners that might find this open space session of interest. If there is enough interest, this can become a regular meeting throughout the growing season. Each meeting we will focus on different issues related to growing and sustaining community gardens. . 

  • Do you have a topic you want to talk about during the Open Space call? Are you having trouble registering? Contact Quina Weber-Shirk, Community & School Garden Agent at jjwebers@ncsu.edu.

RESOURCES


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