DEAR GARDENERS

Dear Community Gardeners, 
 
I was recently introduced to two different maps that share very different stories about our area. As you go through this month of transition, with school letting out and summer officially kicking off, I hope that these maps can help you and your communities learn new stories and discover places that you can connect to this summer.

The Haw River Assembly is building a community mapping tool that will display specific environmental justice issues within the watershed. The map can be seen through the link above; it contains data about potential and existing sources of pollution overlaid with demographic data to show the primary communities that are being affected by pollutants in certain areas, so that the Haw River Assembly will be able to better provide support to these communities in tackling these issues. Additionally, it includes spotlights of community leaders and groups within the watershed in order to better understand the work that these groups are doing and how community members can help. The map is still under construction: additional data is still being added throughout the summer. 

The Visit NC Farms App connects the dots in communities across North Carolina. Using cell phone technology, residents and visitors can find farms closest to them with products and activities that interest them. Visitors can use the app to explore farms, farmers markets and local restaurants that are off the beaten path and unique to each community. Developed by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

62 community gardens, school gardens, and urban farms are listed on the map, which is also available on our NC Cooperative Extension website. Is your garden on the map? Share information about your garden through our Google Form to be added to the directory. You can choose whether this information stays private for NC Cooperative Extension, or if you want to share any information publicly so that volunteers can connect with you.
 
 
Happy growing,
 
Quina Weber-Shirk | she/her (Why pronouns?)
Extension Agent, Community and School Gardens
Guilford County Center
N.C. Cooperative Extension
Work cell: 336.525.6112
jjwebers@ncsu.edu

THIS MONTH IN THE GARDEN

As the temperatures begin to climb this summer, watering the garden regularly becomes essential! 

A lack of water can have major impacts on plants, even if it is just for a few days.
Plants draw nutrients in through their roots and move the nutrients through the plant in a water solution. A lack of water also means a lack of nutrients.

Under drought stress, garden plants may produce small fruit, such as undersized tomatoes or melons, or they may produce no fruit at all. They may become tough, fibrous or bitter, as with cabbage and turnips. They may bolt, sending up a flower stalk and stopping growth, as with lettuce and spinach. Or they may wilt and die.

  • If the soil is dry two inches below the surface, it is time to water.
  • Although watering early in the day is a better practice, do not wait to water when plants are wilting and under drought stress.
  • The vegetable garden needs one inch of rain per week. (One inch of rain is a lot of water. For a 100 square-foot area, one inch of rain is 62 gallons.)
  • Plant roots need the water, not the leaves. Wet leaves, especially in the evening, can cause leaf diseases. Low and slow watering will allow the water to soak into the soil and be available to plant roots.

However you irrigate, be sure that you are applying the water slowly enough that it does not puddle and run off the soil.

From Watering the Vegetable Garden, University of Minnesota Extension

COMMUNITY GARDEN HIGHLIGHT: ST. MATTHEW’S UMC SUMMER GARDEN
At the top from left to right: E Albertina McGirt, Karlah Burton, Adrian Fleming (seated)

Happy Summer! On behalf of the Creation Care Ministry (CCM) and Community Garden at Saint Matthews United Methodist Church (SMUMC) we are delighted to begin our 2021 growing season! Growing healthy produce and caring for God’s world is our message to congregants and others as we enter our second year of operation.  

Saint Matthews United Methodist Church is located at 600 E. Florida Street, Greensboro, NC 27406. We are a part of the Western North Carolina Conference (WNCC) and Northern Piedmont District of the United Methodist Church (NPD). Saint Matthews UMC was organized in 1866 and has the distinction of being the oldest and largest African American church in the Western North Carolina Conference. Located in Historic East Greensboro, Saint Matthews has been an integral part of the community for over 150 years!    

Read more about St. Matthews UMC Community Garden: https://umcreationjustice.org/saint-matthews-summer-garden-2021/

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

High Point Community Garden Tours,
June 11 &12, 10am-12pm

Join us on tours of community gardens and urban farms in High Point! Community gardeners will be on site at each garden for 2 hours to share their story, favorite growing tips, and how you can get involved. Interested in seeing more gardens in person? Different community gardens are participating on Friday June 11th and Saturday June 12th. Register separately for each day.


Free Gardening Classes led by Extension Master Gardener℠ volunteers


  • June 17: Planning and Planting for Pollinators
  • July 22: Extending the Harvest - Fall Vegetable Gardening



Growing More Than Veggies

Alongside fresh produce, community and school gardens grow deep relationships and community engagement, provide space for physical and mental wellness, and support life-long learning and academic success. This series will focus on aspects of community development highlighted through gardening. All programs will be held the 3rd Tuesday of the month, from 6–7 p.m. We plan to offer 4 sessions in the spring and 4 more in the fall.

Facilitators for this series are Quina Weber-Shirk, Cameron Waters, and Leslie Rose. (FREE, visit the Extension website to register)
  • June 15: Share the Bounty: Donating Fresh Produce


Canning & Food Preservation led by FCS Agent Vincent Webb ($15 in-person class, visit the Extension website to learn more and register).

Learn to can and preserve seasonal food with Guilford County FCS Agent.

Each class is in person and hands on:
  • June 24: Green Beans
  • July 22: Peach Jam
  • August 19: Blueberries
  • Sept 2: Pickling
  • Oct 21: Apples
  • Nov 18: Jerky
RESOURCES

Resources:





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