Garden Programs in Catawba County for 2019

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The seed catalogs have already begun to bombard mailboxes. Of course, winter is just getting started with the solstice this week, but time slips away and within a dozen weeks folks will begin planting potatoes and peas. It is time to plan your garden and the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Catawba County is ready to help you every step of the way . . . ahem . . . with information and consultation of course – the digging is on you.

The Advanced Gardener program will continue in 2019 at the Patrick Beaver Memorial, Newton, and Maiden Libraries. These presentations are free and open to the public to help you better manage your lawn, landscape, and homestead food production and storage. For those that have been attending this program over the last 3 years, you will be happy to read that, as always, the series will consist of new material and many new subjects such as: fire ants, mushroom foraging and cultivation, and seed saving. We will continue to build skills in year-round food production and storage, tree pruning and maintenance, lawn care, four season flowers, grow and eat a salad 365 days a year, and insect, disease, and weed management. We will also have a few guest speakers. Persons can attend programs of interest or attend all presentations for program certification. This year’s curriculum will offer two different certification programs:
Master Gardener Certification:
Cost: $100
Requirements: Attend all 11 presentations, complete 10 hours of Extension workshop education, complete online quizzes and exams, complete one assigned project, complete 40 hours of community service in gardening activities.

Advanced Gardener Certification:
Cost: Free
Requirements: Attend 9 of the 11 presentations, complete 20 hours of service/learning activities.

We are also offering a hands-on Master Gardener℠ volunteer course. The full course will take place for 6 weeks in the spring (March 20 to April 24) and 6 weeks in the fall (Aug 28 to Oct 2) from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays. This Master Gardener volunteer certification involves field trips, farm visits, and lots of hands-on learning. This class is limited to 20 people and is almost full – call our office and pay the $100 fee to reserve your seat if you are interested.

The day-time Master Gardener volunteer class is completely different from the library program. If you really want to improve your gardening knowledge and skills you can attend both! You can even take your gardening credentials to a whole new level with a Certificate of Horticulture through the Catawba Valley Community College. N.C. Cooperative Extension of Catawba County Service is teaming up with CVCC to combine Master Gardener volunteer curriculum with advanced horticulture curriculum for college credit.

Finally, for the gardeners that want to develop their passion into a business we have the Market Gardener Course (Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in March and April) and the Farm School (January – June) offered this spring. Both of these courses have limited capacity so call our Small Farms and Local Food Agent, April Vigardt for more information – 828-465-8240.