Making A Difference Newsletter, Issue 1, Volume 19 (Spring, Mar 2019) Issue 1, Volume 19 (March) - Page 18

The Texas A&M Horticulture and AgriLife Extension Service Program held its Urban Gardening Certificate event from September 28, 2018, through November 16, 2018, at the Alice Young Library.

The event was lead by CEP AgNR Prairie View A&M Agent, Kimberly Perry, along with collaborations from Sr. Library Service Specialist, Candece H. Beverly, and the Palm Center Community Garden and Farmers Market Coordinator, Roland Cotton. Also on hand was the City of Houston Public Health Educator, Joe Icet who was responsible for ensuring the doors were open to the Park Place Community Garden for the final meeting.

The Urban Gardening Certificate is a program that is free to the public and works with the residents of Harris County to help them prepare their vegetable garden on a micro and mezzo level. Participants are welcome to an open, interactive, enlightened educational question and answer conversation with an expert about their vegetable garden. In addition to discussing the six key core elements of gardening, the following topics were also covered:

•Vegetable Gardening 101

•The Economic Benefits of Gardening

•The Importance of Composting

•The Benefits of Insects

•Fall Vegetable Gardening and Creating Healthy Soil

During the six-week-long series, participants received free plants, prizes, and learned about innovative ways to garden within an urban setting. The event also allowed the participants to learn the basics of how to create a vegetable garden along with several of the economic benefits of gardening.

Community members also had the opportunity to visit and learn about local community gardens. They learned how to identify beneficial insects, as well as common problems within the garden.

Although the program was free, as a requirement, participants had to attend all of the gardening classes in order to receive a garden certificate. As a result, each participant received a Harris County Planting Guide and out of the forty-two participants who attended, seventeen completed the program and received an “Urban Garden Certificate.” Overall, this was an outstanding hands-on event.

Agent(s) Involved: Kimberly Perry and Jeremy Peaches CEP Ag NR, Skip Richter and Paul Winski Texas A&M Horticulture, AgriLife Extension, and Stedman Douglas CEP Ag NR – Waller County