Gardening in the Mountains Series: A Success

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This spring, N.C. Cooperative Extension of Macon County offered a series of face to face classes entitled “Gardening in the Mountains.” This series included 7 seminars on strawberries, blueberries, caneberries, grapes, fruit trees, gardening basics, and organic gardening strategies. Each class covered essential horticulture information in the areas of site selection, fertility practices, plant selection, pest control, pruning and harvesting techniques and organic practices. A total of 184 participants attended the series. The majority of the class participants were from the western region of North Carolina with over 7 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee in attendance.

Evaluation data (survey) collected after each class reported 100% of the participants learned something new through attending the series. An average of 17% of attendees were already utilizing some of the recommended techniques, while 100% expressed their intent to start using the best practices they learned such as changing the way they manage their pests (71%), changing the way they manage their soil and fertility practices (77%), establishing a new planting (44%), along with plans to utilize organic strategies (37%). The most popular topics in the series were on how to grow blueberries, followed by growing blackberries and raspberries (caneberries), and in third place was how to start and foster a home orchard.

Swiss Chard by Kathleen Moore

Swiss Chard by Kathleen Moore

For more information go the following links
Small Fruits NC Extension Gardener Handbook
Fruit Trees & Nuts NC Extension Gardener Handbook
Vegetable Gardening NC Extension Gardener Handbook