Over 5000 People Enjoying Online Learning at PCCE
Since closing our offices to the public in March, Pima County Cooperative Extension (PCCE) faculty and staff have become experts in the art of home office stagecraft; converting our dining rooms into classrooms for cooking classes, gardening talks, and more. It has been both challenging and rewarding.

Two flagship activities of our Master Gardener program, the Gardening Talks and the Plant Clinic were early adopters, pivoting to online service in May and January of this year. Since going virtual, Master Gardener volunteers have hosted over 50 Gardening Talks to over 5,000 people on Zoom. The Plant Clinic’s new online inquiry form has responded to over 1,800 tickets - helping the public with a wide array of home gardening and landscape questions.

Developing online programming and curriculum has been a central focus at PCCE this year. 4-H Tucson Village Farm has re-imagined their much-loved Growing Forward farm field trips to become their Healthy Habits virtual field trips. “With schools unable to visit the farm, we wanted to provide a safe and engaging alternative,” says 4-H Agent Liz Sparks. "Suddenly we’re all screenwriters, set designers, actors, and composers, making new lessons and even a new theme song,” added TVF co-founder Leza Carter. Another example can be found in Pima County Extension Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP), which converted all their youth and adult curriculums to be effective in a virtual setting. Program Lead Joanie Contreras reflected. “It’s been an adventure; all of our experiences have been an educational, but also a successful journey.”
Welcome to our first Pima County Cooperative Extension Newsletter; The Round-Up. This bi-monthly publication will highlight the breadth of our services and share some of our exciting success stories. As a unit within the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, we provide lifelong education on topics such as agriculture and natural resources, child behavior management, youth skill-building, and health and nutrition. We are also grateful to the cadre of expert volunteers who join our team through 4-H and Master Gardeners to greatly expand our reach into the community. I joined PCCE as Director in July of this year and am delighted to work with the faculty and staff who run these fine programs. In this issue, you will learn about our pivot to online learning, the new Culinary Education Center, and tips for your garden and for planning a healthy holiday meal. Despite the pandemic, we continue to grow our capacity, both in our physical space and our program reach. We invite you to be a part of this growth and spread the word to others.

Wishing you a healthy and happy holiday season,
Claire L. Zucker, PCCE Director
Culinary Education Center is Complete!
Having a safe and nurturing place to build youth culinary skills and teach the principles of seed to table self-reliance has been a long-term goal of 4-H Tucson Village Farms (TVF. For the last several years, the 4-H TVF team has put in countless hours to create a certified teaching kitchen where youth and families can learn how to prepare healthy meals together. We are excited to announce that the finishing touches were put on The Angel Charity for Children Culinary Education Center this summer. This new kitchen is outfitted with a state-of-the-art walk-in and freezer, a pantry for storing dry goods, two dishwashing areas, a large prep station, and a teaching classroom. It is certified by the Pima County Health Department and will be a resource for Pima County for years to come. We are very grateful to the Angel Charity for Children, UArizona Cooperative Extension, and our many donors for making this a reality. Although in-person programming is currently suspended due to COVID 19, we are hosting virtual culinary programs that can be accessed right in your home. Check out what’s cooking via zoom at Tucson Village Farms.
4-H Enrollment is Now Open!
Being part of 4-H can be a life-changing experience for youth and for families. Throughout Pima County, our 4-H clubs are actively re-enrolling and recruiting for the new 4-H year, which runs from October 1, 2020, to September 31, 2021. Despite having to move most 4-H activities to virtual programming during the past year, we are hopeful that health advisories will allow us to have more in-person interactions soon! Now is the time to explore the many projects Pima County 4-H has to offer and find a club near you. Our 30 Pima County 4-H Clubs support projects varying from the traditional livestock and home economic projects, to skateboarding and clogging!

If you have any questions about joining 4-H or are interested in starting a new club or project email Kalee Hunter.
Club enrollment - open until December 15th 2020.
Children with Autism Find Help at PCCE
The Family Engagement Program (FEP) at PCCE is one of the only entities in Arizona to provide a full-scale evidence-based child behavior management class for families with children with special needs. The Triple P Stepping Stones Child Behavior Management class for families with children with Autism is funded by the Autism Society of Southern Arizona to meet this need. Focusing on topics such as communication, problem-solving, self-care, and self-regulation, the program breaks new ground and offers much-needed assistance. We are happy to find that parent assessments showed decreases in depression, anxiety, and stress after completing the Stepping Stones classes and that child behavior improved over the course of the class.

Offered via Zoom, FEP’s Stepping Stones class includes 12 one-hour sessions plus three follow-up phone consultations to address specific issues. Classes are offered in both English and Spanish and interested families can email Diane Manzini to get on the waiting list for upcoming classes.
Holidays and Health Go Together!
The holidays are about celebrations and gatherings, which usually includes entertaining with food. How do we stay healthy while also enjoying these special events? Here are some ideas!

  • Add color to your Holiday meals! See what produce is in season and add the rainbow of colors to your celebration! Plus, it will add “Healthy” to your festivities.
  • Portion control can be as easy as using a smaller plate and waiting 20 minutes before second helpings. Portion control isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle!
  • Leftovers stretch your food dollars, but food safety is critical. After cooling leftovers on the counter, refrigerate them within 2-hours and use them within 3 to 4 days. Your refrigerator should be set between 32-40 degrees. You can keep leftovers in your 0-degree freezer for 3 to 4 months, but when you defrost them, do it in the refrigerator overnight or under cold running water, never on your countertop.
  • Kids love to dip their food, so have some yogurt, peanut butter, or fat-free ranch placed around the cleaned and cut fruits and veggies! Enjoy!
Winter Gardening is Here
If you are up with the sun, you’ve probably noticed a fall chill in the air. Of course, that crisp sensation may bake away by late morning, but it still serves as a refreshing reminder that cooler weather and winter gardening is on the way. Prepare your yard and garden for the lower temps by taking the following precautions and actions this month.

  • Check your irrigation. Reprogram your timer or scale back hand watering, as the weather cools. A great guide for watering can be found in UArizona Extension bulletin (AZ1298). Additionally, the Arizona Municipal Water Users’ Association (AMWUA), a founding partner of our PCCE Smartscape program, has monthly watering guidelines on their webpage. You can subscribe from your smartphone by texting “whentowater” to 33222.
  • Prepare your garden. Seed beets, carrots, peas, onions, chard, spinach, kale, endive, and turnips for some winter edibles. Now would be a good time to plant starters of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. For your ornamental and pollinator interests and our collective ecosystem benefit, spread spring wildflowers seeds now.
  • Watch overnight low temperatures. Put some old bed-sheets on standby or purchase frost cloth from a local nursery to cover cold-sensitive plants. Refer to UArizona Extension bulletin AZ1002 for more detailed advice on frost protection.

Stay vigilant and remember that the most important skills to cultivate as a gardener are patience and attention to detail. Make good observations and enjoy your winter gardening!
We are very pleased to announce that Kalee Hunter has been promoted to Assistant Agent in 4-H here at Pima County Cooperative Extension. Her academic interests focus on non-profit volunteer management and youth outdoor education. Her 4-H responsibilities are centered on Family and Consumer Health Science projects, shooting sports education, and the dog and horse projects. Kalee has been working for the University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension for three years. Originally from Phoenix, Kalee has lived in Tucson for eight years, and during this time, she attended the University of Arizona for both her undergraduate and graduate studies. She has three dogs and enjoys spending time outdoors with her friends in her free time.
UArizona Cooperative Extension Serving Pima County at PCCE
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Residents and growers have ready-access to research-based horticultural information at PCCE. Get gardening answers from our Master Gardener experts and learn about water conservation, xeriscape, irrigation, and more through our Smartscape courses.
Family and Consumer Health Sciences
PCCE health education helps people improve their nutrition, family dynamics, and lives. Parents and caregivers gain tools to enrich children’s lives through the Family Engagement Program. Find nutritional and life-skills education through the SNAP-Ed/Garden Kitchen and EFNEP programs.

Youth build lifelong skills and have great fun through Cooperative Extension 4-H. Become involved in one of our many clubs or projects, capped by participation at the County Fair. Enjoy seed to table programming at Tucson Villagae Farm, a working urban farm built by and for the youth of our community.

In-person programming is currently on hold due to COVID19. Visit our PCCE Website for information on Pima County-based education anc activities at PCCE.
Visit Pima County Cooperative Extension
(Offices currently closed)
4210 N Campbell Ave,
Tucson, AZ 85719-1109