Spring Garden Prep

Reader Contribution by Caitlin Ethridge
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We here in western North Carolina have a serious cold snap headed our way. I’m excited to see a little snow, but I can’t wait to dig in the dirt, plant seeds, weed my garden (that will get old quickly), and get out of my house!

Of course, a bountiful garden doesn’t happen overnight, it takes lots of planning. And with cold days to come I plan to take full advantage of being stuck indoors. So, where do you even begin when you are planning a garden?

Two words:

Cooperative Extension

The Cooperative Extension System is a nationwide, non-credit educational network. Each U.S. state has an office as well as many regions and counties. This is an invaluable resource to the beginning or seasoned farmer. 

They offer workshops on farm related topics such as: gardening, meat processing, beekeeping, animal husbandry and everything in between. Their services aren’t only for farmers though, they are available for consumers, small business owners, and others in rural areas.

One of my favorite features is that all of their work is research based. So you don’t have to spend hours and hours trying to figure out which plant varieties will work best in your region and stressing over which you should buy. All the work is already done for you! 

They also have extremely knowledgeable staff who are ready and willing to answer all of your questions. It’s a wonderful way to start your gardening journey or to add to your existing skills.

This program is not only in place to help adults. They have wonderful resources for youth such as the county 4-H program. This helps to plant the farming seed early!

I can’t sing the praises of this program enough! Don’t just take my word for it, go online and find a Cooperative Extension near you!

Need Help? Call 1-866-803-7096