JULY HIGHLIGHT
Dear Community Gardeners,

This summer several colleagues and I are gardening together in Mixed Greens Community Garden, at the NC Cooperative Extension office. The last few weeks, I’ve been revelling in the harvest of snap beans, cucumbers, and first tomatoes that have come out of our garden plot. I hope you, too, are enjoying your summer bounty! 

If you have garden produce that you would like to donate, Share the Harvest of Guilford County helps to connect small food pantries and community meals with fresh produce donated from gardeners. Collection locations and times are listed on the Share the Harvest website

It can feel surprising amid the heat of the past week, but mid-July is the perfect time to start planning how to extend your garden into the fall -- through late plantings of quick-growing warm season vegetables, or starting transplants from seed for cool-season vegetables. I’ve included more information below about fall vegetable gardening. 

Wishing you all health and wellness,

Quina Weber-Shirk
Community & School Garden Agent
NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County
UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

Virtual Summer Series on Racial
Equity in Farm to School


This 5 module workshop will be led by Ronda Bullock with We Are and be spread out over 8 weeks.

“We, the Farm to School Coalition of NC, invite practitioners and partners in farm to school--as folks dedicated to children, their opportunities and outcomes--to join a series of Racial Equity training workshops. During these we will begin to examine the shared language, analysis, and strategies to help us collectively address the root causes of Racial inequities impacting all our children and the communities that nurture them through our work in farm to school.”

Register separately for each. Come to any or all, join with others from your school or community ideally, but you must have attended at least one module to register for the last module. These are FREE trainings for any whose work involves farm to school and who have an interest in applying a racial equity lens to their work. Internet and zoom accessibility needed. VIDEO CAPABILITY STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. These are FREE trainings for any whose work involves farm to school and who have an interest in applying a racial equity lens to their work. Internet and zoom accessibility needed. VIDEO CAPABILITY STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.


  • July 21st - Implicit Bias: REGISTER here In this hands-on interactive session, participants will reflect on their “blind spots” through an identity activity. They will also engage in a critical analysis of a study connecting educators’ racial biases to systemic harm. 

  • July 28th - History: REGISTER here How have policies shaped inequity in our food systems? How is racism structural? These questions plus more will be answered as we delve into the history of systemic racism in America.

  • Aug 11th - Speak Out: REGISTER here In this hands-on interactive session, participants will role play how to speak up in situations where they witness someone using racial biases, stereotypes, and/or microaggressions. They will also engage in a critical discussion regarding the experience of becoming a disruptor. This session uses tools Teaching Tolerance created for educators.

  • Aug 18th - Curriculum: REGISTER here How do we translate an anti-racism framework into learning opportunities for the classroom? This session will help attendees understand and apply culturally responsive teaching in their classroom curriculum, while centering food justice.

  • Sept 1st - Into Action: REGISTER here How do we utilize our power in our local context to bring about change? How do we utilize collaboration to bring out change? This session will help attendees develop a plan of action for addressing a systemic racial inequity issue in food systems.


Vegetable Gardening Series for Beginners

Have you always wanted to experiment with growing your own food at home? If so, now is a good time to start. This series will cover the basics of starting your own garden at home from seed to harvest and everything in-between.

This workshop has 4 sessions and each session introduces a different topic, led by Davidson County Agriculture Agent Amy Ballard. Participants are encouraged to attend all four sessions without previous experience.

Registration is required for each session (individually). Topics include site selection, planting basics, garden maintenance, and harvesting and storage. Classes are held weekly -- July 9, 16, 23, and 30 from 6-7 pm.



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.

  • July 22nd: Land Access for Beginning Farmers
  • July 29th: The In-between: What’s next after farmers’ markets?
  • August 5th: Community Gardening as Community Development
  • August 12th: Agritourism in the Triad
  • August 19th: Meat and Poultry Processing in the Triad
  • August 26th: Food System Planning 101




Permaculture: Designing for Residential
Properties Virtual Program
July 23, 11 am. Learn how to incorporate permaculture into residential landscapes during this virtual program from NC A&T State University’s Extension Extended July series. Presenter is Alyssa McKim, Extension Associate in Community Gardens. To attend, join Zoom Meeting ID 934 7517 7125. To keep up with the Extension Extended series, follow NC A&T Extension on Twitte r and check out the July schedule of events.




Digging for Victory
The American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) will host “Digging for Victory,” a virtual conference on Saturday August 8th. Registration is $45, and includes membership to ACGA for the year . The American Community Gardening Association was founded in 1979 with a mission to “build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada.”

THIS MONTH IN THE GARDEN

Plant Now to Extend Your Garden into the Fall
Article written by Charlotte Glen, August 2016

You can extend your summer vegetable garden into fall by making a second planting of quick maturing warm season crops in early August. Warm season crops do not tolerate frost so stick with varieties that will have time to mature before cold weather sets in. On average, the first frost for much of the central NC piedmont occurs between Oct. 21 and Oct. 31, which means frost sensitive crops planted in early August have three months or less to mature.

Best bets for fall production include members of the squash family such as cucumbers, summer squash, and zucchini. These quick maturing vegetables typically begin to produce 50-60 days after seeding in the garden. Cover young squash and zucchini plants with an insect barrier cloth or floating row cover to protect them from squash vine borer, a common and destructive pest in our area. Remove covers when plants begin to bloom so pollinators may visit the flowers. 

You may also want to plant a fall crop of snap beans (also known as green beans or string beans). Expect to begin harvesting 60 days after sowing. Bush varieties typically mature 7-10 days earlier than pole varieties. While it is too late to start slower growing summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant from seed, you can set out young plants if you can find them. Seed broccoli now or wait a few more weeks and purchase transplants. 

This is also the time to think about planting frost tolerant cool season vegetables such lettuce, spinach, carrots, beets, mustard, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, collards, onions and garlic. Some of these crops can be seeded now but for others it’s best to wait a few more weeks.  

For recommended planting times, see these NC Extension resources: 

RESOURCES

  • Beyond Veggies: Edible Landscaping for Preschoolers, by Dr. Lucy Bradley, NC State University. Enjoy this 1 hour recording on Edible Landscaping for Early Child Care Centers. Learn about resilient trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and ground covers that produce food with relatively low maintenance.

  • Growing Gardens in Early Childcare Education Centers, by Dr. Lucy Bradley, NC State University. Enjoy this recording of a 1-hour webinar on growing vegetables at early childcare centers. Everything from site selection, to what to plant when, spacing, watering, common insect and disease problems, and more.


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