Stokes County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers work with the NC Cooperative Extension to provide gardeners with unbiased, research based information on gardens, lawns and landscapes.
Stokes Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association (SEMGVA)
Here’s a little about our group. The first class was in 2013 in Danbury and formed the Stokes Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association, now a 501(c) 3 group. Our mentor is NC Cooperative Extension Agent Bryan Hartman, who also teaches the Extension Master Gardener classes. Classes were held in Danbury, King, Walnut Cove, and Francisco. We now have more than a dozen awesome people in the Association.
Stokes Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (SEMGV) have several gardens that we support. The Ag building in Danbury always had a demonstration garden. In 2018, new beds were added. Deer fencing and more new beds were added in 2019.
The second demonstration garden we call SEEDS for Stokes Educational Exploration Dirt Spot. We have shown various methods of gardening, including raised beds designs, various support and trellis ideas, companion planting, crop rotation, and cover crops. We added landscape fabric around the 11 beds, added drip irrigation, and turned an aged peach tree into a display for birdhouses, beneficial bughouses, and a birdbath. There is also a Little Lending library there. The harvest goes to the King Outreach Ministries food bank or other Stokes County food banks. In 2020, the peach tree display is being replaced by a large herb spiral!
A 3rd garden was in Walnut Cove at the Stokes Opportunity Center, a facility for challenged individuals. This group was very enthusiastic! We were mentoring them in 2016-2017 on how to renovate the old garden area and expand into new areas for both vegetables and flowers. Their Star Catchers singing group has performed at many places. A change in focus at the Center has the gardening on hold for now.
In May 2016, a 4th garden was created in Francisco, assisting the group called “Our Communities of NW Stokes” to beautify the old school grounds. After the property was sold, the plans for a community center and community garden are being revamped.
Our recognition by the community has been greatly helped by having Seed Swaps, Kids Day, Salsa Contest and the famous Tomato Tasting Contest, mostly at the King Farmers Market at the Stokes YMCA. Future plans have more involvement at multiple farmers markets and workshops open to the public. If you would like to donate to SEMGVA, here is a letter about our 501(c)3 status.