Growing Chatham NC Cooperative Extension - Chatham County - March 2021

A celebration of small-scale agriculture designed to help farmers thrive

Each year, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T celebrates the crucial role of small farmers in North Carolina’s $91.8 billion agriculture sector with Small Farms Week. First held in 1986, Small Farms Week includes workshops, tours, farming demonstrations, and recognition of a Small Farmer of the Year. Small Farms Week is held in March and has focused on techniques to lengthen the growing season, pest management, safer and more sustainable practices, growing food without pesticides, urban horticulture, and more.


North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s annual tribute to small-scale agriculture will be held March 21-27, 2021, and will offer a variety of virtual events and educational programs designed to inform the public and provide research-based information to support small farmers.

Farmers and interested members of the public are invited to sign up free of charge on the Small Farms Week registration webpage.

The 35th annual Small Farms Week is presented by Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T with the theme, “35 Years: Resilience. Strength. Diversity.” The week’s virtual events are designed for farmers with limited incomes and acreage and will provide them with information to become more resilient and more profitable. The general public is also encouraged to attend.

A virtual kickoff preceding Small Farms Week will take place Friday, March 19, and highlight agriculture in Avery County, the home of the 2020 Small Farmers of the Year, Amos and Kaci Nidiffer. The event will include a presentation about farming in Avery County, a panel of local farmers, and recognition of the Nidiffers for their award.

The virtual program will continue Monday, March 23, with sessions about the health benefits of community gardening and ways to boost your immune system during the pandemic. A virtual education forum on Tuesday, March 24, will cover plant production, farm management, high tunnel winter production and livestock production. A panel of N.C. A&T students will discuss the wide variety of career opportunities available in agriculture and related fields.

Wednesday, March 25, will feature a virtual educational forum on marketing and agribusiness and a small farms update by members of A&T’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. The day also includes one of the highlights of the week: the virtual Small Farmers’ Appreciation Program, with a keynote address by Jimmy Gentry, president of the North Carolina Grange, and the announcement of the 2021 Small Farmer of the Year.

The final event of Small Farms Week 2021 will be a panel discussion among A&T students on Thursday, March 26, about opportunities for young people in agriculture.

2021 4-H Volunteer Conference

4-H Volunteers: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges

Mary Dickerson, 4-H Club Leader - Chatham County Horsekateers
Liz Mauney, Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development

Seven Chatham County volunteers attended the virtual conference held February 5-6, 2021, with workshops ranging from cooking an easy breakfast brunch to workshops on mental health, poultry science, 4-H and STEM, Electric Project Kit Overview, and beginner sewing. The NC State 4-H Volunteer Association held their yearly meeting along with District Meetings. The conference culminated with the 4-H Volunteer Awards in which our own Mary Dickerson was awarded the State Recognition of Individual 4-H Volunteers for the North Central District. Liz Mauney of Chatham County was also recognized for Extension Staff Volunteer Support for the North Central District. Congratulations to both on these outstanding achievements.

Orange/Chatham 4-H Volunteer Training

Orange/Chatham 4-H will host their third 4-H Volunteer Training on March 4, 2021, via Zoom. If you have ever thought about being a mentor or volunteer leader, join us to see how 4-H can support you in your endeavor to MAKE THE BEST BETTER. Email Liz Mauney for more information and the training Zoom link.

NC 4-H Volunteer Trainings Coming Up

4-H Virtual Dish Off

To celebrate 2021 Small Farms Week event, we shared this fun and exciting opportunity in February to our currently enrolled 4-Her's and encouraged them to participate in this first ever event. This year, NC A&T is hosting a 'virtual' Dish-Off competition! Youth will prepare a dish in the safety of their home and will be judged via Zoom by a panelist of judges. Winners will be announced via Zoom LIVE on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 during the Small Farms Week festivities. If you have should have any questions about this event, please contact Shannon Wiley at srwiley@ncat.edu.

To participate in a 4-H event, your child must be enrolled in 4HOnline 2.0. Don't let your child miss out on future events, register them today!

Collegiate Student Panel

4-H PEAK Registration Is Open!

The NC 4-H State Council proudly presents a series of FREE, fun, and interactive virtual programs for youth. To register for any (or all) of the 15 awesome programs simply log into your 4-H Online2.0 family profile and click on the event. *If you have not completed your 2021 enrollment, you’ll need to that in order to see the 4-H PEAK event at the bottom of your profile. The series includes The 4-H Pet Parade, Dr. Seuss Day, Theatre Magic – Kahoot! Challenge, Hip, Hop 4-H Style Line Dancing, Showing Animals 101, and LOTS more! Don’t miss out on the fun – register today.

North Carolina Youth Institute: world food prize

Hunt at Home Event

Student Panel Discussion: Oh, The Places You Can Go with AGRICULTURE!

Tuesday, March 24

1:00 - 2:00 pm

Join Shannon Wiley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T along with special panelists from Students in Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) and Collegiate Farm Bureau.

Many young people fail to consider the numerous options available within agriculture when choosing a college major. They often lack familiarity with the opportunities for diverse and rewarding careers that these majors provide. During this panel discussion aimed at middle and high school students, N.C. A&T students in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences will share insights about majoring in an agricultural discipline and their plans for the future.

Student Panel Discussion: Learning & Leading in Agriculture: Choosing Your Path to a Career in the Field of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

Friday, March 26

1:00-2:00 pm

Presiding: Shannon Wiley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T

Panelists: Students in Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS) and Collegiate Farm Bureau

Choosing a career can be difficult. Choosing a career in the field of agriculture can be even more so difficult because there is so many options from which to choose! During this panel discussion, youth participants will discuss careers in agriculture and the preparation needed to obtain the position!

Chatham County 4-H Spread the Love with a Coloring Activity

Colorful Valentine masterpieces created by Faith Culberson, Antionette Peluso, and Elise Overton

Chatham County 4-H offered a Valentine Coloring activity to all Chatham 4-Hers in February. We had three entries that were shared with the Council on Aging for Valentines for Seniors Community Outreach. Faith Culberson colored the "Love" picture while Antionette Peluso and Elise Overton colored "Be My Valentine".

Jerusalem Artichokes

By Pat Weisbrodt Master Gardener℠ volunteer (and Master Beekeeper!) in Chatham County

Helianthus tuberosus has many common names, but Jerusalem artichoke and sunchoke seem to be used most often. It is a perennial sunflower that is native to North America. The plant is very easy to grow, but can be a problem if you have limited space. It will spread at the rate of twenty or more tubers for every tuber planted. It tolerates most soils as long as the ground doesn’t stay saturated. The height is six to nine feet with the leaves lance-shaped, coarse, and hairy. It blooms mid to late fall. Harvesting should start after the first frost in fall/winter and ends in the spring. Also, it is best to dig when you need them. They will store in the refrigerator if placed in a plastic bag with a few slightly damp paper towels. Over time, they will change in color, but will last up to two months.

Jerusalem artichoke tubers

Spanish Language Gardening and Horticultural Resources

NC State Extension Gardener has compiled a list of Spanish-language gardening and horticultural resources.

Asparagus: Grow It, Eat It

Asparagus growing. Photo by twoellis/Bigstock.com

Versatile asparagus is a nutritional powerhouse that pairs well with fish, beef, shrimp, veal, chicken, and pasta, but is also great on its own as a side dish. Rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, asparagus is as nutritious as it is delicious. One of the first vegetables to arrive in spring, this beautiful perennial looks like a soft fern in the landscape.

Storm Damaged Trees - NC Extension Gardener resources

Hurricanes, tornadoes, and ice storms can all damage landscape trees. Find out how to prevent tree damage, how to identify trees at risk, and how to monitor them regularly by clicking on the button below.

Celebrating Chatham County Beekeeper and Conservationist Judy Pick

Long-time Chatham County beekeeper, conservationist, and volunteer Judy Pick passed away on February 6 at age 79. Judy left a lasting legacy with her volunteer work and relationship-building and inspired many beekeepers in North Carolina.

Judy was a founding member of the Chatham County Beekeepers Association and the Chatham Conservation Partnership and also was instrumental in working with the NC State Beekeepers Association to create the Honey Bee Exhibit at the North Carolina Zoo.

Agriculture Agent Debbie Roos shares memories and photos of working with Judy over the past 20 years on the Growing Small Farms website.

Chatham County Beekeepers Offer an Intro to Beekeeping Online Course

Recognizing that the demand for beekeeping programs remains high, the CCBA is offering an Introduction to Beekeeping Online Course for beginning and aspiring beekeepers.

The Introduction to Beekeeping Course is self-paced and entirely online.

This ten-module course introduces new or prospective beekeepers to the concepts and practical information needed to manage or start their first colony, foster hive health, and know what to expect in every season.

Two Chatham County Farmers' Markets Are Open through the Winter!

Don't forget that two of our Chatham County farmers' markets are open during the winter!

Register Now for March 11 ForestHer Webinar

Join ForestHer NC landowners, natural resource professionals, and others for the third of three interactive webinars about enjoying your woodlands! In this webinar you will have an opportunity to learn about Citizen Science and how you can participate in it, as well as, enjoying your woods safely.

Piedmont Regional Beef Conference

Join us online as the Piedmont Regional Beef Conference planning committee brings you an exciting series throughout the month of March! If you have ever wanted to attend the Piedmont Regional Beef Conference and haven’t been able to in the past, this is your year!

2021 Chatham County Horse Health Clinic

21st Biennial Southern Silivicultural Research Conference

March 16-17

Join our colleagues at Mississippi State University for the 21st Biennial Southern Silivicultural Research Conference.

  • The two day conference has gone virtual this year! This conference includes six concurrent sessions, a poster session, and continuing education credits as well.
  • Registration is required. Registration fee is $75 for professionals and $25 for students.

Southern Regional Extension Forestry Webinar: Invasive Grasses in the Southeastern United States

March 10th at 1:00pm

  • This webinar will discuss a variety of invasive grasses throughout the southeastern United States. Invasive grasses rapidly invade disturbed areas, including pastures, fallow fields, forests, and highway and powerline rights-of-way. Infestations can impact the diversity of native species, reduce wildlife habitat, and disrupt important ecosystem functions. Seeds are typically wind-dispersed, but the plant can spread vegetatively through rhizomes (roots); these rhizomes can be spread to new places on vehicles and equipment. Seeds of many invasive grasses can remain viable in the soil for years. As such, control of invasive grasses is difficult, time-consuming, and expensive, involving a combination of mechanical and chemical treatments.
  • Advanced registration is not required.


Small Farms Week 2021 Daily Webinars

March 21-27, 2021

“35 Years: Resilience. Strength. Diversity.”

The 35th annual Small Farms Week is presented by Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T with the theme, “35 Years: Resilience. Strength. Diversity.” The week’s virtual events are designed for farmers with limited incomes and acreage and will provide them with information to become more resilient and more profitable. The general public is also encouraged to attend.

Can a Healthy Meal Really include my favorite foods? Yes, it can!

Join us for this virtual webinar!

Wondering how you can fit your favorite foods into a healthy meal? In celebration of National Nutrition Month, explore how to personalize your plate with your health and taste buds in mind!

Topics covered include: building meals with a variety of nutritious foods from all of the food groups, enjoying your food, planning ahead for quick meal ideas, and food demonstrations with ideas for each meal of the day.

When: March 16th, 23rd, and 30th

Time: 12pm-1pm

Exercise Your Brain and Eyes

Celebrate the Luck of the Irish!

Our friends at the Lenoir County Extension Center shared these recipes a few years ago that we would like to share with you!

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday known for parades, shamrocks and all things Irish. From leprechauns to the color green, thousands of Irish Americans gather with their loved ones on St. Patrick’s Day to share a “traditional” meal of corned beef and cabbage or a toast with a dark beer or even a green one. Whether you enjoy celebrating the traditional way or just by sharing something green, here are some great recipes for you to use. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

What's on Sale this Month?

Knowing what month to purchase certain items can help you save through the year. Have you noticed that sale ads seem to go through a cycle and many items you use weekly go on sale at the same time each year? Knowing how many of each item you need throughout the year can help you purchase enough of that item while it is at that rock bottom price. This will allow you to obtain a moderate stockpile. If you like to collect coupons, you can also pair those low prices with coupons and almost pay nothing for your favorite items. You do not have to put too much effort into this process to see some savings for your family.

Save Money with Coupons

WRAL TV 5's Faye Prosser shares coupon resources and more to help you save your money.

Tommy could do it

Whenever we needed some tractors to display for an event, we knew Tommy could do it. Whenever we needed assistance from Farm Bureau, we knew Tommy could do it. Whenever the farmers needed their voices to be heard in front of the commissioners or various county boards, we knew Tommy could do it. Tommy would do just about anything to help others when they needed something. Mr. Tommy Glosson passed away on January 5, 2021. He was 86 years old, but he had the enthusiasm of someone much younger than his age. He was always ready for what was next. Tommy would bring his antique tractors and even livestock to Ag Fest, Silk Hope Old Fashion Days, or The Chatham County Fair. Our local officials, from the past to the present would hear from Tommy as well. He did not mind standing up in front of them either praising them or telling them why he disagreed with their decisions. Tommy was old school though; he would speak up, say what was on his mind, take it or leave it, but he would not be disrespectful while speaking his mind. Tommy was one of those guys who would just agree to disagree and move on to another conversation. He was a people person; I don't believe he ever met a stranger, no matter who you were, he was going to make sure he spoke.

Tommy loved Chatham County because this was his home. He was born in Chatham County on May 9, 1934 to farmers Lacy Eugene Glosson and Zula Lewis Glosson. Tommy comes from a long line of farmers. His fifth great grandfather, Joseph Glosson, was born in 1742 in this area, which back then was Orange County. Farming was in Tommy's DNA, he learned from his father, who learned from his father. Every generation learned from the past generation on how to be a successful farmer.

Tommy had a long history with Extension. He was a Chatham County 4-H member when he was just a young boy. As Tommy grew into adulthood he served on several committees and boards for the Extension office, including the Ag Advisory Board. He married the love of his life sixty-one years ago, Hilda, and they had two girls, Rose Marie and Carol Ann. His two girls were also members of Chatham County 4-H.

If one needed proof of how active Tommy was, not just in Chatham County, but in North Carolina, you could turn to the newspaper. I subscribe to Newspapers.com so I decided to type in "Tommy Glosson" in the search box. I was amazed at how often Tommy was either mentioned in newspaper articles or how many times his picture was in various newspapers around the state. I could not add every single newspaper article that mentioned Tommy, but I do want to share a few.

I have a couple of my favorite newspaper finds that I want to share. When Tommy was in high school, he and Billy Dixon of Bonlee were invited to attend the NC Motor Carriers Annual Rodeo in Winston Salem because of their driving skills. "To qualify to attend the rodeo the boys had to meet the following qualifications: A year's worth of accident free driving, along with other considerations of the highest standards for school bus driving, must expect to drive a school bus the following year. " While browsing through the newspapers I found another story where Governor Hunt and his wife received poultry products from Tommy who was a member of the of the NC Poultry Federation and a grower for Townsend, Inc. During the 1950's the Chatham Record ran a column titled, "Us Young Folks." In the November 21, 1952 column, the article was about the Senior Class from Pittsboro High School had met to elect their superlatives. I was not surprised to find that Tommy was elected as the "Wittiest" boy in the class. You can check out these newspaper clippings, along with a few more below, just to see for yourself how popular Mr. Tommy was in the community and the state.

The Extension staff continues to work remotely, so it really has not hit us yet that Mr. Tommy will not be strolling down our hall. I think once we return back to the office and pick up our daily lives planning our popular events such as the Farm and Industry Tour, Ag Fest, Report to the Commissioners, and Friends of Extension Event, that's when it's truly going to hit us hard because Tommy was our go to guy. We knew whatever we may need, Tommy could do it.

COVID-19 Updates from Chatham County

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Impact CCACC Traffic Flow

Due to reoccurring vaccination clinics at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center (CCACC) on Mondays and Fridays, we highly advise individuals visiting the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Chatham County office to pick up educational materials, soil sample boxes, 4-H learning kits, etc. to avoid any planned trips to our location on Mondays and Fridays. If at all possible, it is advised that you plan such trips for Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday until further notice. We hope this advanced warning will alleviate any unnecessary return trips or frustration due to this site being used for COVID-19 vaccinations presently.

The State of North Carolina, including Chatham County, is currently in Groups 1 and 2 and the first step of Group 3 of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

We’ve Got 2 Shots to Get Back to Normal

The first COVID vaccinations began rolling out last month with frontline healthcare workers, who have been tirelessly and selflessly working to protect and save lives from this horrible pandemic, amongst the first to receive them. As many of our neighbors in high priority groups are now receiving vaccinations at this time, we encourage you to heed the advice of Dr. Walter Orenstein, the former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General and Director of the U.S. Immunization Program from 1993-2004:

“Vaccines don’t save lives …. Vaccinations save lives.”

As Dr. Orenstein explains, “A vaccine dose that remains in the vial is 0% effective regardless of the clinical trials.” Please note the timeframe of Dr. Orenstein’s public service. He is a public health scientist who served admirably within both Republican and Democratic administrations. As he emphasizes, vaccinations can save lives.

That is why the Council on Aging is joining the Chatham County Public Health Department, Cooperative Extension of Chatham County, and many others in encouraging all Chatham County residents to do the following:

  • Get the vaccine at the point it is recommended by your health provider and/or the Chatham County Public Health Department; and
  • Encourage others to do so as well.

The header for this article is “We’ve Got 2 Shots to Get Back to Normal.” This refers to the fact that the currently approved COVID-19 vaccines will require two separate vaccinations for the greatest protection. All reports to date are very optimistic about the effect of the vaccinations that will be available soon. Their success, though, depends on all of us taking personal responsibility to help protect ourselves and others to defeat COVID-19 and work our way back to normal. For trusted information on the COVID-19 vaccines, please visit the Chatham County Public Health Department page.

Stay safe and be well.

Dennis Streets, Chatham County Council on Aging

Ginger Cunningham, Cooperative Extension - Chatham County Center

Mike Zelek, Chatham County Public Health Department

From our Community Partners

Noted Southern Author and Photographer Headline Chatham Literacy’s Online Spring Author Event

“N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status. NC State University, N.C. A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and local governments cooperating.”

Created By
Tiffany Hancock


Created with images by dimitrisvetsikas1969 - "tractor farm countryside" • InspiredImages - "clover shamrocks irish" • kareni - "nature plant flower" • Valiphotos - "forest trees sun rays" • lumix2004 - "barn farm agriculture" • dendoktoor - "sunset tractor farmer" • YvonneHuijbens - "asparagus green vegetable" • ponce_photography - "pizza garlic cutting board" • mnplatypus - "jar coins currency" • Alexandra_Koch - "vaccine syringe disinfection" • mauriciokell - "staging theatre emotion" Debbie Roos