New Primer Marks Gardening Week
Just in time for National Community Gardening Week (Aug. 23-29), North Carolinians have access to a new community gardening primer from the N.C. Community Garden Partners and Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina.
Community Gardening Week was recently proclaimed by Tom Vilsack, secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and leads into National Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters month in September.
"The theme for the September 2009 celebration is 'How to Stretch your Fruit and Vegetable Budget,'" said Diane Beth, manager of the N.C. Division of Public Health's Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch. "A garden provides both access to fresh produce and a way to stretch your food dollars. Not only are community gardens a good way to get more fruits and vegetables into our diets, but they also allow us to explore nutrition 'from garden to fork,' be active outdoors and build strong, healthy communities."
The new gardening primer, "Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina: Growing Communities Through Gardens" is a planning and resource guide for anyone who is thinking about starting a community garden. The guide describes what a community garden is; the benefits; how to find or start a garden; and tips for growing, storing, preparing and enjoying fruits and vegetables. It also highlights state and national gardening resources.
"Whether your work site, faith community, school, neighborhood is considering starting a community garden or you are thinking about joining a garden near you, the primer walks you through the options, steps and resources to ensure success," Beth said.
North Carolina Community Garden Partners (NCCGP) is a coalition of community-based and faith-based organizations, universities, public health agencies, and others interested in gardening.
NCCGP has created a strategic plan and statewide organization for community gardens to increase the number of successful and sustainable community gardens in North Carolina.
Leadership for the initiative is provided by the N.C. Division of Public Health and N.C. Cooperative Extension, through N.C. A & T University and N.C. State University.
The community garden primer is on the Web on the NCCGP Web site at http://nccommunity-garden.ncsu.edu and on the N.C. EatSmartMoveMore Web site, www.EatSmartMoveMoreNC.com.
The N.C. Fruits and Veggies Nutrition Coalition is one of the NCCGP partner organizations and a sponsor for the community garden primer.
The coalition has more than 423 members representing 80 of the state's 100 counties and the Cherokee Indian Reservation.
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