Bringing demonstration gardens to life

Published 12:09 pm Thursday, March 23, 2017

Starting in 2013, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Caitlin Miller, along with Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Katy Overby, brought the Virginia Cooperative Extension Prince Edward Office Demonstration Garden to life. 

“With their collective interests, community food systems and horticulture, they make a great pair in executing garden demonstrations as well as food preparation and preservation demonstrations with products from the garden,” Extension officials said in a news release. “They do these demonstrations during a two-hour class once a month from March to November. In conjunction with the demonstrations, they lecture on different topics related to happenings in the garden each month. For example, in April, the presentation topic is ‘IPM, Attracting Beneficials, and Scouting,’ and the demonstration is ‘Direct Seeding and Planting.’” 

As part of the presentation each month, the two review details about care of certain vegetables that are being grown that month, cool season crops in the spring and fall and warm season crops in the summer. “Every extension office in the state has a ‘unit plan of work’ which is a common goal of those agents in the unit to create programming around,” officials said.

According to the release, Prince Edward is “addressing food insecurities through an interdisciplinary approach,” as their unit plan of work.

“This year, in reference to these goals, they plan to keep track of the amount of produce coming out of their demonstration garden and donating it to local food pantries. There are many more programs available through the extension office that focus on addressing these needs in the community.  Please give them a call at (434) 392-4246 if you are interested in the ‘Grow Your Own Sustainable Vegetable Gardening Series’ that puts the demonstration garden to work. The time of the classes is 5-7 p.m. and the dates are as follows: April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11, Oct. 9 and Nov. 20.”