Catawba County Center
Catawba County Center  Aug 2016  
Visit our Website
  Share this update with your friends (just click on the           social media icons above) or better yet . . . share this  sign up link to receive our monthly updates
4H Summer Fun Classes Still Available!

Science 101: Experiment with microbes and watch them grow! Meet at the Catawba County office and travel to Gaston County extension for a multi-county camp experience. Microbiology in the morning and other science topics in the afternoons! This is for campers age 9-13 and will run August 9-11 from 8:30am to 4pm with a cost of $55. ONLY 1 SPACE LEFT!

Budding Zoologists: This class had a date change and lost some of those signed up to attend. Their loss can be your gain! We will learn about furry friends - all kinds from household pets to farm animals! We will also have some very special animal visitors! This is being held on August 15th 8:30am - 11:30am. The cost is $8 and it is for children ages 5 - 9. 

Girls Rock!: Join us for 3 days of learning about various health topics aimed at girls! We will also be taking a white water rafting trip to Asheville on Wednesday to return after 5pm! Other girly experiences will be involved so join us for fun! The camp will run August 16-18 from 9am to 3pm for girls 11-15 years old. Cost will be $65 plus lunch money! ONLY 5 SPACES LEFT!

** All classes meet at the Agricultural Resource Center unless otherwise noted. **

Please call 828-465-8240 with questions or to sign up! We look forward to hearing from you soon!! Contact to request the Summer Fun schedule and registration form. 

Upcoming Training for Catawba County Early Childhood Educators

Presented by Ann Simmons, FCS Agent

Playground safety on Friday, August 12th 9 am-1 pm.

Patience with Picky Eaters on Monday, August 22nd 6:30 pm-8:00 pm.

Food Safety in the Child Care Setting on Thursday, October 13 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm. 

Trainings will be held at the Children's Resource Center in Hickory. 

For more information or to register contact Ashley Benfield at 828-695-6565.


Food Preservation for the Garden: Eat Your Harvest All Year

Thursday, August 11, 2016

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
375 3rd St NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Newton Public Library
115 West C Street, Newton, NC 28658

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Maiden Branch Library
11 South A Ave., Maiden NC 28650

Enjoy your harvest all year long as you learn how to preserve the food you have worked so hard to grow. 


4H End of Summer Splash!

It is time to wrap up our season of Summer Fun and that can only mean one thing: End of Summer Splash time!

We will be holding our End of Summer Splash party on Monday August 22nd from 5:30 - 7:30 at the Conover City Park Splash Pad! It will be Taco Night so we will be having dinner from 5:30 - 6:30pm and a few informal club presentations at 6pm as well.

This party is for Summer Fun participants and those that are enrolled in 4H as well as their associated leaders, volunteers, and families.

If you are interested in learning more about 4H you can call us, email us, or keep an eye on our Facebook page to see when we are offering club open houses during this 2016-2017 school year! email: or phone: 828-465-8240

If you are a Summer Fun family or a 4H participant you can use the following link to sign up for the End of Summer Splash! We hope you see you there!

2nd Specialty Crops Series

We have some awesome workshops lined up for the 2nd specialty crop series. Remember to save these dates so that you can be first in line to learn about these crop systems. 

Fungi for You: Growing Mushroom for Yourself
Tuesday September 6th, 2016
Riverbend Park
10:00am-3:00pm (Lunch is included)
Cost: $20 
Deadline to register: August 26th, 2016

Growing and eating mushroom is a wonderful thing for yourself. Join us as we learn about wild mushrooms in Catawba county with a mushroom walk through at River Bend park by Park Ranger Lori Owenby followed by a picnic in the park. Craig Mauney, area horticulture agent, will then talk about cultivating your own mushroom logs (shiitake mushroom) and share some personal experience. Participants will be able to inoculate their own logs and bring them home to start their own mushrooms. Space is limited so remember to register early.  

Secrets of High Tunnel Systems: 
Growing Ginger and Turmeric
Tuesday September 27th, 2016
Newton Library
9:00am-2:00pm (Lunch is included)
Cost: $15
Deadline to register: September 16th, 2016

Are you curious about how to grow unique crops such as ginger and turmeric? Named as one of the world's healthiest foods, ginger and turmeric can be cultivated here in Catawba County with knowledge and practice. Join us as Christina Newhouse talks about growing ginger and turmeric in a high tunnel system followed by lunch. We will be visiting some high tunnel producers in Catawba county to see what other unique crops are being grown.

Get Growing with Microgreens
Tuesday October 18th, 2016
Agricultural Resource Center
Cost: $15
Deadline to register: October 4th, 2016

Microgreens, although tiny, pack a nutritious punch. Whether you plan to grow these for your own personal consumption or for marketing, growing this superfood is simple and easy with practice. Christina Newhouse joins us again to talk about how to grow microgreens both small and large scale. Participants will be able to start their own microgreens to take home with them. 

Hydroponic 101
Date & Time TBD
Curious about hydroponics? Want to know what the hype around Hydroponic is all about. Join us as we learn about the basics to hydroponics. More information soon to follow. 

For more information on any of these specialty crops series or to register, please contact Der Xiong at or 828-465-8240.

Nursery Weed Management Field Day
Hawksridge Farms 
4243 S. NC 127 
Hickory, NC
September 7
8 AM - 1 PM

This event features on-site demonstrations and will focus on recent research from Dr. Joe Neal's lab exploring the economics and efficacy of weed control strategies in container nurseries. Topics include herbicide efficacy and sensitivity, using mulches for weed control, and new products. Instructors for this event will include Dr. Joe Neal,Weed Science Extension Specialist; Amanda Taylor and Stacey Jones, Area Specialized Agents for Nursery and Greenhouse Crops; and Amy Barker, Research and Extension Technician, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University.
3 NC pesticide credits (categories L, N, D, and X) are available. Lunch is provided. Cost is $10 per person.
To register, click here . For more information, please contact Amanda Taylor at 828-475-2915. This event is sponsored by Hawksridge Farms.

NCDA&CS offers organic certification cost-share assistance

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA & CS) is offering organic growers the opportunity to recoup up to $750 of their certification cost. Growers must have been certified between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 and complete an application available at

Visit the NCDA website to see more information about this cost share opportunity.

31st Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Nov 4-6, 2016
Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center 
Durham, NC

The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is an unparalleled opportunity for beginning farmers to learn how to be successful in their sustainable farming enterprises.  Special programming for beginning farmers includes: land access, farm business finances, tool maintenance, carpentry skills, general farming practices for new growers, and an in depth panel conversation with CFSA's Lomax Incubator Farmers in Training. Other conference workshops cover a range of topics essential for new farms to thrive, including organic weed control, four season farming, soil fertility, pasture-based livestock, pollinator preservation, food safety and processing, agritourism, and direct marketing.

For more information contact:

Leah Joyner - Education Coordinator
PO Box 448 Pittsboro, NC 27312


Farmers Markets
Open For Business

Visit the Farmer Market Websites for activities, vendors, products, and more information.
Come out for some good fun and great food.  Meet your local farmers and connect with the community that is building a local food network in Catawba County. 

Check out this map of all the great farmers markets in Catawba County (schedule included) - courtesy of our AWESOME Catawba County GIS team


With the summer wrapping up and entering into the 2016-2017 school year it is the time we all start thinking about 4H clubs! If you are thinking about enrolling your child in a club, volunteering to help 4H, starting a club, or anything 4H now is the time!

4H clubs can be on any topic of your choice and children join based on their interests. 4H builds leadership skills, provides social experiences, and provides valuable learning opportunities not presented in school. Why would you not want to be a part of that?

If you would like to become a 4H volunteer club leader the first step is completing a volunteer application which can be obtained from Donna Mull, 4H agent at We will walk you through the rest of the steps and even help you with your first few club meetings! Please contact us today!

For an updated club list that your child can look at to decide if they want to join a 4H club you can email or

For any other 4H questions you can email or call at 828-465-8240. We look forward to hearing from you soon!!
Local Food List Serv

The Local Foods Action Plan Listserv is a statewide listserv to facilitate a local food economy moderated by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS).  The listserv is open to the public and members are encouraged to post on any topic dealing with the cultivation of local food, farms and communities by emailing Posters are responsible for the content they submit.   To receive the digest version or for questions about the listserv, please e-mail  Please visit our website
NC State Gardening, Agriculture, and Pest Updates

You can sign up for the latest news on gardening, pest advisories, livestock, energy, and many others.  Check out the complete list of NC State News that you can subscribe to and get the latest research based info.  Be the first to know! 
Plant Management Network Newsletter

Check out the latest issue of this incredible agriculture resource.  Take a look at the massive list of information links for all things related to agriculture.
Got To Be NC Newsletter

Visit the NC Growing Together website to see the latest newsletter, recent resources, and schedule of upcoming workshops, webinars, and meetings.

July's Newsletter is available with info related to:


*   state fair
*   horticulture export event
*   state wine competition
*   three e-commerce best practice tips for your agribusiness 


Highlights of Extension
More articles from the Catawba County Center

Excerpt from "Weeds in Your Lawn and Garden--You can Win the War"

 by George Place
"Warmer weather and some much needed rains have arrived and with that comes a surge of weeds.  Weeds growing in your home and garden are not just unsightly; they steal nutrients, water, and sunlight from desired plants while hosting several diseases and insect pests that also cause landscape headaches.  The following are some questions regarding weed management that the Catawba County Extension Service recently received."

You can continue to read this article  "Weeds in Your Lawn and Garden--You can Win the War" via the hyperlink. 

One of Catawba County Cooperative Extension Center's goals is to provide readers with up-to-date research information about problems or situations that individuals may be facing through our weekly articles. You can find these in the Observer News Enterprise and Hickory Daily Record.
If you missed out on our articles in the local papers, you can still read these articles on our website at
Small Farm Grant and Loan Assistance

We will post various grant and loan opportunities that arise in this space of our monthly updates.  Simply click on the opportunity of interest for more information.


Cover Crops: Grow Your Own Fertilizer

Thursday, September 8, 2016

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
375 3rd St NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Newton Public Library
115 West C Street, Newton, NC 28658

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Maiden Branch Library
11 South A Ave., Maiden NC 28650

Use the space you have to fertilize your garden in the off-season by learning about appropriate cover crops for our area.  


Seed Saving: Techniques to Maximize Seed Quality and Germination

Thursday, October 13, 2016

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
375 3rd St NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Newton Public Library
115 West C Street, Newton, NC 28658

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Maiden Branch Library
11 South A Ave., Maiden NC 28650

Get a jump on next year's garden by learning techniques for saving seeds and better germination practices.  


Garden Berries: Grow and Pick Your Own

Thursday, November 10, 2016

6:00 - 7:00 PM

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
375 3rd St NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Tuesday, November 15, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Newton Public Library
115 West C Street, Newton, NC 28658

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Maiden Branch Library
11 South A Ave., Maiden NC 28650

Expand your gardening horizons into berry growing in this last lecture of the 2016 curriculum. 

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination statement

2.1.  North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equaopportunity regardless of racecolor, religion, creed, national origin, sexage, disability, or veteran'status. In additionthe two Universities welcome all person without regard to sexual orientation.  North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
2.2.  Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations   to participate by contacting Catawba County Extension Director, George Place, at (828)465-8240 or or in person at the County Extension Office at least 14 days prior to the event.

Dr. George Place
Catawba County Cooperative Extension Director
Agricultural Resources Center, Newton, NC 28658