Dear Community Gardeners,

June is typically a month of transition, from spring greens to summer fruiting crops, from the school year to summer vacation. June this year is especially full of transitions and unknowns.

  • How has COVID-19 impacted your community garden? Are you gardening during this time? Are there other ways that you are supporting your community with fresh fruits and vegetables, outside play spaces, or growing plants? 
  • Does your community garden have any available plots for new gardeners? Interested gardeners continue to reach out to me, and I’d love to connect them to your garden!

Please share any updates and pictures with me (jjwebers@ncsu.edu), and let me know if I can share your updates with other school gardeners in the next newsletter.

The NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County office is now open by appointment only, and will likely remain closed to walk-in traffic until North Carolina enters phase 3 of reopening. Staff are working out of the office on a rotating schedule, and continue to be available via phone, email, and through online programming. Soil sample boxes and Share the Harvest donation drop offs will be allowed in the atrium of our building between 9 am and 4 pm, and will remain contactless.

I hope that the information and resources you’ll find below reflect our commitment to creating equitable, accessible, and interconnected local food systems across Guilford County - during the COVID-19 and racial disparity pandemics and always.

Wishing you all health and wellness,

Quina Weber-Shirk
Community & School Garden Agent
NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County
Share the Harvest is an all-volunteer organization that exists to collect and distribute locally grown surplus garden produce to those who are experiencing hunger in our community through a network of local service agencies that either have a food pantry or provide a meal for the hungry. We work closely with community gardeners, church gardens, farmers, and individual gardeners. Our success is due to the kindness, generosity, and dedication of our agencies and growers.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for fresh produce in our community is growing. Share the Harvest will begin collecting and distributing produce on Monday, June 15.

So how can you help?

1) Donate produce from your garden or plant an extra row just for Share the Harvest
      You can bring the produce to any of the following collection sites: 

              First Christian Church, 1900 W. Market St., Greensboro M-TH
              Interactive Resource Center, 407 E. Washington St. Greensboro M-F
              North Carolina Cooperative Extension, 3309 Burlington Rd, Greensboro M-F
              Triad Food Pantry, 279 Eastchester Dr., HP M-F
2) Volunteer to pick up donations from collection sites in the Greater Greensboro area;
3) Volunteer to help distribute the produce to our partner agencies. 

For more information and/or to volunteer, please visit our website at: http://sharetheharvestguilfordcounty.org or email Linda Anderson at landersonsth20@gmail.com .
Free Virtual Professional Development with NYC Edible Schoolyard:

Classes include Edible Education 101, Norms & Expectations in the School Garden, and Supporting Language Learners in the Kitchen CLassroom.

Free Online Garden Ed Course for Educators through the Wisconsin School Garden Network:

Join the waiting list for Teaching in Nature’s Classroom, a free online course for educators presented by Rooted, Life Lab, and the Wisconsin School Garden Network.

An Introduction to Permaculture
Thursday, June 18, 11 am

Class led by Alyssa McKim, Community Garden Coordinator with A&T Extension.

Meeting ID: 987 2335 9846
Insect populations are thriving as the day and night time temperatures rise. In my community garden plot last week, I found cabbage worms on cauliflower plants, striped cucumber beetles on cucumber plants, and Mexican bean beetles on green beans. Left untreated, populations of pest insects can decimate a garden. Luckily, beneficial insects like the lady beetle (ladybug) and praying mantis are also in our gardens, constantly scouting for and eating the pests they encounter.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) combines background information about a pest problem with a strategy that fits the situation. It helps a gardener decide:

  • Which pests are present and if they are in high enough concentrations to cause problems.
  • Which control measures should be taken to manage a problem.
  • How to evaluate the success of the control measures.

IPM proposes five basic strategies to improve insect management:

Step 1 Monitor and scout insects to determine insect types and population levels.
Step 2 Identify both pest and host plant accurately.
  • Pictures of common pest and beneficial insects in vegetable gardens, from NC Cooperative Extension Growing Small Farms. 
  • Contact Quina Weber-Shirk or NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County for help identifying insects in community gardens. 
Step 3 Assess and consider economic or aesthetic injury thresholds. A threshold is the point at which action should be taken.
Step 4 Implement a treatment strategy using mechanical , cultural , biological , or chemical controls, or a combination of these strategies.
Step 5 Evaluate success of treatments.
  • Veggie Gardening 101 Presentation by Dr. Lucy Bradley, NC State Extension (1 hour Zoom recording). This presentation was specifically for Early Childhood Education centers, and has great information for all beginning vegetable gardeners!

  • Natural Learning Initiative Garden Activity Guide: The Gardening Activity Guide is designed to expose young children to seasonal fruit and vegetable gardening. It includes 12 gardening activities with early reader book connections, as well as harvesting guides and a gardening activity calendar.

  • FoodCorps COVID resources for educators and families: Including cooking, gardening, and nutrition video lessons filmed by FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members across the country.

  • BackpocketLearning.org: BackPocket Learning is collection of activities that every garden educator or parent should have in their “Back Pocket,” curated by Life Lab.

Does your learning garden need seeds?

  • Contact Quina Weber-Shirk, Community & School Garden Agent, jjwebers@ncsu.edu. Available seeds include cucumber, peppers, tomato, watermelon, cantaloupe, winter squash, summer squash, zucchini, cowpeas, and green beans.

Soil Samples?