Dig in to Gardening Partnerships

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A successful EFNEP partnership includes collaboration with community groups who recognize and value the positive impact for their participants. Zac Hackney, EFNEP educator and lifelong gardener, recognized a natural partnership for EFNEP in local community gardens. As a member of the Farmville Community Garden, Zac spends his free time growing food for his community. He is a passionate advocate for teaching others how to grow all types of produce and has a personal mission to encourage people to eat more vegetables. It comes as no surprise that Zac reached out to the Farmville and Greenville Community Gardens to ask if they would be willing to donate surplus produce for his EFNEP classes. They were happy to provide a wide variety of vegetables including mustard greens, green onion, kale, peppers, onions, herbs, collards and carrots, which Zac used to make Corn, Sweet Onion, and Tomato Salad, Vegetable Stir-Fry, Crustless Quiche and Fresh Salsa. Zac also used the fresh produce as an opportunity to show students that vegetables come in all different shapes and sizes and they can be locally grown in Eastern North Carolina.

Zac holding carrots from garden

Zac was recently featured along with other members of the Farmville Community Garden on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir in a story highlighting community gardens across the nation which grow serrano chili peppers for Small AXE Peppers Hot Sauce as a way to support their garden. Here is a link to the short video clip.

-Jackie Sugg, Regional Nutrition Extension Associate