Master Gardeners Involved in Nourishing North Carolina through Community Garden Partnerships

Nourishing North Carolina sign, Charlotte, NC
Nourishing North Carolina kick-off event 6/2011, Charlotte, NC (source:Nourishing North Carolina)

You’ve heard the old proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That’s part of the concept behind teaching people to grow vegetables through community gardens.

In my state of North Carolina, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the North Carolina Recreation & Park Association recently formed a partnership called Nourishing North Carolina (NNC). With the goal of establishing community gardens in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties by the end of 2013, the partnership’s intent is to establish new gardens where counties already have existing community gardens. either by enhancing or supporting them.

North Carolina Plans to Increase Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The Nourishing NC project plans to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and encourage families to get outside and garden! Funds have been awarded to approx 33 counties this year, so where there isn’t an existing community garden now, there may be one soon! The North Carolina Community Garden Partners, a volunteer organization, has also joined this venture to provide support, mentorship, information, education and more to new gardens and new gardeners. To learn more about community garden opportunities in North Carolina, check out the North Carolina Community Garden Partners on Facebook.

Master Gardeners are needed throughout the United States to partner with community gardens everywhere; to help plan and plant these gardens and to mentor new gardeners. They need the technical expertise and encouragement that Master Gardeners have to offer! To learn more about community gardening visit the American Community Gardening Association or to help the hungry, visit America’s Grow a Row.

The old proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” is about gaining new skills that lead to a greater sense of self-reliance – the ability to feed your family even in hard times. Master Gardeners can be an important part of that lifeline to greater independence and security for many families – and perhaps a lifetime of enjoyment as well.

by Connie Schultz, Extension Master Gardener (’95), Johnson County, North Carolina

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