Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith

As we all do at the start of a new year, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the events and lessons of the previous one.

It has been a pleasure to serve as the horticulture extension agent for Pitt County and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank and recognize some special people and moments from my first six months.

It’s only fitting to start by thanking my colleagues at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office in Pitt County for the warm welcome and encouragement they have given from the start. Showing up to work each day is made all the better when your office is full of kind, hard-working and committed people. A joy that I am truly grateful for.

I would also be remiss if I did not thank the Daily Reflector for allowing me the chance to regularly write and submit articles.

It allows me a chance to share timely information with other garden enthusiasts as well as reach a much wider audience than I could alone.

A huge thanks is due to the outstanding group of Extension Master Gardener volunteers who give selflessly of their time and energy to make our horticulture program the best that it can be.

Our volunteers are on hand in the office to answer gardening questions as well as participate in various events and projects to provide outreach to the community and promote the Pitt County Arboretum.

As they maintain and curate all of the Arboretum’s gardens, the beautiful greenspace would not be available to our community to enjoy without their efforts. In 2019, they donated hundreds of pounds of fruit and vegetables to local food banks, pantries and other community outreach organizations.

They also hosted several workshops and seminars, raised funds for the Arboretum through the annual plant sale and gave over 5,000 hours of their time to N.C. Cooperative Extension in Pitt County.

If you are interested in joining the ranks of this outstanding group, reach out to learn more about the program and receive an application. We will have a class to train new Extension Master Gardener volunteers in the fall.

Last but certainly not least, I have to thank the community of Pitt County for the privilege of serving you. It has been a fun, challenging and educational experience that I look forward to continuing for many years to come.

I hope this next year sees more members of our community utilizing all of the resources and information that NC Cooperative Extension has to offer. You can find all of the latest information and schedule of upcoming events on our county website.

While we end our year and look ahead with gratitude, it is also good to consider new ideas and plan for growth in the coming year.

We have a number of exciting workshops, seminars and demonstrations planned in the months ahead and hope that you will join us in kicking off the new year by attending our annual winter speaker event at the Pitt County Arboretum.

Our extension Master Gardener volunteers are excited to welcome Linda Chalker-Scott on Jan. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon, to share her knowledge and experience with dispelling garden myths. With so much garden information out there, we certainly look forward to hearing insights from this Washington State University Puyallup faculty member and published author.

Covering topics from lasagna mulching to compost tea, this is one seminar you will not want to miss! If you would like to learn more about this event or purchase tickets, stop by the N.C. Cooperative Extension office or call us at 902-1709.

Our Extension Master Gardener volunteers also are on hand for assistance and advice for all things gardening. You can reach them via the Extension Master Gardener Infoline on Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon at 902-1705. They are a treasure for insight and real-world advice in the world of horticulture.

You can, as always, find me in the Pitt County Extension Office or by contacting me by phone or email; both can be found at pitt.ces.ncsu.edu.

Wishing you a year filled with growth, gratitude and great gardening!

Contact jstorm@reflector.com or 252-329-9587.