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Integrated Programming with Community Gardens


Mark Blevins encourages the practice of integrated programming and gives a local example of community gardening in Gaston County North Carolina

Mark Blevins encourages the practice of integrated programming and gives a local example of community gardening in Gaston County North Carolina

Published in Self Improvement , Technology
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  • I’d like to influence you to give integrated programming a chance and give one example of how it worked for us in Gaston County NC
  • Yesterday’s speaker talked about some of the challenges to Land Grants in the Future, one is getting everyone on the same page and working in the same direction. He specifically mentioned integrated programming, though from his standpoint of getting researchers working with Extension more.The integrated programming I’m talking about are…You may have heard the terms “tear down the silos” or “stop using different buckets”The whole synergy thing (that may be copyrighted)
  • Julie, pictured here with a teacher to her right and a master gardener to her left does a great job of integrating other life skills into the programSpacing Transplants teaches mathScience and Biology are everywhereJohnny, let’s not swing that tomato stake at others, thank you.Delayed gratification, patience, reaping what you sow, etc.
  • Stages…This is a seed, This is a plant, This is a flower, This is a vegetable,
  • Some of the produce students tried for the first time included eggplant, squash, and even watermelon!
  • Lots of fun activitiesPaper potsHealthy fruit parfaits (pictured)Peanut PlantsVegetable PizzasPropagation ActivitiesSo much more
  • February’s not so great in the garden, so we plant sugar peas and stay inside for a few weeks learning about nutrition, wellness and do some inside plant experimentsKnowledge, Aspirations, Skills and Abilities
  • A community garden in Greensboro grew about 15 tons of food and gave away at least 10% of that throughout the city.Community development programs help revitalize neighborhoods and the youth, families and resources within
  • My challenge to you is to work with your co-workers when you return. We are all doing the same thing with different clients and information. Let’s identify some big issues and address them together. Community Gardens are just one way to do this. Make great stuff happen in your own area and share it at meetings like this one.Here are some resources if you’re here just to know how to start a community gardenNC State’s new Community Garden site with lots of resourcesThis includes pre-made curriculum packages including an entire plan that follows 3rd grade standardsBoston Natural Areas NetworkLos Angeles County Cooperative Extension has a great program to teach people how to grow and prepare their foodGreen Guerrillas is a New York program to get gardens growing and people involved in their communityLet’s look at the first one…
  • The first few times, we had the schools provide whatever water nozzle they had available, but we specified on future sites because the students would either do a quick and completely ineffective mist or forcefully erode an entire row of seed.They’ll spray their classmates in a heartbeat so water breakers help with character building, too.
  • Welcome to your vegetable garden today.But this is a flower garden Ms Flowers.Alright, well fruits and vegetables start off as flowers…botany lesson botany lesson blah blahblah
  • Right, we are harvesting peppers today, but we need ones that we can use a fork with, not just a toothpick


  • 1. Integrated Programming
    Community Gardens
    In Gaston County NC
  • 2. Integrated Programming
    Issues-based programs that break the barriers between different program areas and agents
    We’ve always worked together, but Integrated Programming is intentional and recorded
    Intended to magnify impacts
  • 3. Benefits
    This makes what you’ve always done look even better
    Working with other agents isn’t a new concept, but the name makes it sound impressive, intentional and impactful
    Measurable impacts mean better reports and potential funding
  • 4. Facts
    Combines the strengths of different colleagues in different program areas
    Natural Resources
    Family and Consumer Sciences
    4-H and Youth Development
    Community Resource Development
  • 5. Examples
    Local Food Movements
    Military Base Programs
    4-H Summer Camps
    Senior Programming
    Community Gardens
  • 6. My Point of View
    Community Gardens are a great way to integrate diverse program areas and agents within Cooperative Extension to impact our community
  • 7. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Promoting healthy lifestyles through vegetable gardening and nutrition education
  • 8. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Agricultural basics
    Preventing youth obesity
    Promoting healthy lifestyles
    Character building
    Experiential learning
  • 9. Support local, sustainable agriculture.
    Youth are learning about:
    sustainable agriculture practices
    environmental responsibility
    taste and quality of locally grown produce
    Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
  • 10. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Create an outdoor classroom.
    Many teachable moments occur in the garden:
    Character building
  • 11. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    • Garden Skills
    • 12. Harvest how to
    • 13. Stages of growth and development
  • Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    4-H and EFNEP
    Food safety
    Nutrition education
    New foods
    4-H Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
  • 14. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    • Master Gardeners
    • 15. Site coordinators
    • 16. Master Beekeepers
    • 17. Food systems
  • Gaston Community Gardens
    Impacts of spring 2009
    150 students in 9 classes in schools throughout the county
    15 weekly class and garden lessons
    KASA changes in horticulture skills, food and food system knowledge, nutrition aspirations
  • 18. Integrated Programming
    Brought together almost every agent in our local staff
    Is a developing concept in our office and across the state
    Looking for more opportunities locally
    Statewide, there are several great examples
  • 19. Resources to Get Started
    Your staff members
  • 20.
  • 21. Just Remember…
    Plants have all the anthers!
  • 22. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Things We Learned
    Site visit
    Interagency agreement
    In-kind donations
  • 23. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Things We Learned
    Watering delicate plants is an essential part of gardening activities.
  • 24. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Things We Learned
    This is a vegetable garden, but it is also a flower garden and a home for bugs and other creatures
  • 25. Gaston Community Gardens –
    Harvesting Healthy Youth
    Things We Learned
    Proper harvesting techniques are important to teach!
  • 26. Go out and garden
    Mark Blevins