Looking Forward to 2017

As 2016 winds to a close and we start planning for our 2017 gardens, I want to thank you for being part of this gardening adventure.  Your comments and feedback are very much appreciated and I love seeing photos of your gardens.   I am very excited about what is in store for 2017!

Happy New Year,

Becky Griffin

UGA Extension’s Community and School Garden Coordinator

and the rest of the Center for Urban Ag Team


Christmas Wish Lists

Women who work in the local food movement do not put together the typical Christmas wish list.

Abbie King is passionate about children having access to fresh fruits and vegetables!
Abbie King is passionate about children having access to fresh fruits and vegetables!

Abbie King is known all over Georgia for her work in the Farm to School movement for Georgia Organics.  With a background in nutrition and health, Abbie’s job at Georgia Organics is more like her mission.  When asked what she would like to have as a special Christmas gift Abbie had an interesting answer.  She would like to have a drip irrigation system that is tied to the rain barrel in her home garden.   Considering the drought we are in that is a very nice request but it might be hard to fit under her Christmas tree.

Has the recent drought made you rethink how your garden is watered?  Did rain barrels provide enough water or just a nice supplement?

Drew Outright is passionate about sustainability and how that relates to community building.
Drew Outright is passionate about sustainability and how that relates to community building.

Drew Outright is a program manager at Georgia Tech (go Dawgs!).  She is heavily involved in Tech’s Living Building project which will include a vegetable garden.  This is an incredible project that will be a huge asset for Atlanta.   Drew’s holiday request is a gift card for vegetarian cooking classes.  She might be brushing up her culinary skills to get ready for the Living Building’s first vegetable harvest!

Did you get the most out of your harvest in 2016?  Have you thought about learning new cooking techniques for your vegetables?

Mary Carol Sheffield creates workshops to assist gardeners of all skill levels.

Mary Carol Sheffield is a UGA Extension agent for Paulding County Extension.   Mary Carol provides resources and training for the food growers in her county.  She is active in the Journeyman Farmer Program, assists local beekeepers, and conducts food growing workshops throughout the year.  Mary Carol would like Santa to bring her a seed starting heat mat and a grow lamp rack.

Do you all start your own vegetable plants from seeds?  It is a wonderful way to try new varieties!

Keren Giovengo is proponent of adding native plants to your landscape, including your community and school gardens. They can attract beneficial insects!

Keren Giovengo is the manager of the EcoScapes project from UGA Marine Extension.   She is a champion of using native plants in the landscape.   Her Christmas wish is straight forward:  My Christmas wish is that everyone – young and old – has an opportunity this holiday season to observe and experience the natural beauty that surrounds us. It is my hope that these natural gifts – clean water and natural communities with native plants and wildlife – will inspire us to bring our gardens into a sounder relationship with nature. By letting nature be our teacher, our landscapes can become a source of ecological renewal – a protector of biodiversity, a sanctuary for indigenous plants and wildlife, and a sustainable landscape of rich experiences and unique beauty.

Will you have a chance to get outside over the Christmas holiday and enjoy the beauty of a winter landscape?

Whatever your Christmas wish list includes I wish you all a holiday filled with good food, friends, and family!

Merry Christmas!

Using Integrated Pest Management in Your Garden

The winter months are a great time to review your gardening approach.   Any particular pest plagued your garden this year?  How effective was your disease management?  This video describing an integrated pest management garden approach may give you some inspiration for planning your next crop:

Happy Gardening!