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Downloadable Handouts & Information


 


Fruits and Veggies


Where are the farmers markets located in Mecklenburg County?
The Mecklenburg County Fruit and Vegetable Coalition provides an updated list of Charlotte area farmers markets. Find one near you and start supporting your local farmers while enjoying delicious and nutritious produce! 
When is the best time to buy certain fruits and vegetables?
Fresh fruits and vegetables taste the best and are richest in nutrients when in season! Check out the Mecklenburg County Fruit and Vegetable Coalition website to find out what’s in season during each part of the year in North Carolina. For information about seasonal produce across the country, visit the Fit City Challenge website. 
I am trying to get my family excited about fruits and vegetables, any tips?
There are many creative ways to get your family excited about fruits and vegetables! Check out the quick & easy recipes and healthy eating games for kids on the More Matters website.  Find more fun recipes and budgeting tips on the Fruits and Veggies Matter page and numerous healthy eating tips and resources for kids on the MyPlate website.
How do I begin composting?
Composting is a great way to put food waste to great use and save money by making your own soil. Learn how to compost by visiting this informative composting resource and the Mecklenburg County Compost Central page. Friendship Gardens also provides helpful tips and even suggests ways for kids to get involved! 
Where can I find tips on canning fruit and vegetables? The Complete Guide to Home Canning created by the USDA is a helpful tool for safely canning fruits and vegetables.
 
What is the best way to freeze fruit and vegetables?
Freezing fresh fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to preserve them while retaining most of the nutritive value and the quality of the produce. Oregon State University provides a great resource for freezing fruit and vegetables.

 


Gardening


I am limited on yard space; can I still have a vegetable garden?
Yes! Container gardens and raised bed gardens are an excellent option for people with limited space. For information on how to start these types of gardens, see the information and links below.
How do I start a container garden?
It does not take much to start a container garden! Purchase a plastic tub with a tray or lid, pebbles, potting soil, and seeds or plants. The only tools you will need are a hammer and nails. Check out these instructions on creating a container garden and create your container garden in no time! 
Visit this site about successful container gardens for creative ideas like using plastic milk cartons as containers for your garden! For more tips and a list of the light, water, and nutrient requirements of different plants, check out information provided by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.
How can I get a community garden started?
It’s easier than you may think. Check out Eat Smart Move More North Carolina’s planning and resource guide, a helpful resource for anyone who is thinking about starting a community garden. The guide describes a community garden, its benefits, how to find or start a garden and tips for growing, storing, preparing and enjoying fruits and vegetables.
What should I plant and during what season?
With each season comes a different and exciting selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, which is what makes gardening so fun! You can find out what should be planted for spring, summer, fall, and winter with these resources from Friendship Gardens.   
Are there any gardening classes available to me in the Charlotte area?
Many groups throughout the Charlotte area offer gardening classes! Find out more about the classes offered through Renfrow Hardware in Matthews, Central Piedmont Community College, the Mecklenburg Cooperative Extension, and Friendship Gardens by visiting their websites.
I am really interested in organic gardening; do you have any resources for that?
Friendship Gardens provides an excellent resource for organic gardening, including tips for pest and disease control. Check out the list of homemade organic controls to try in your garden. 
Do farmers markets accept EBT cards?
A few farmers markets in Mecklenburg County accept EBT cards. They include:
  1. Atherton Market (year round)
  2. David B. Waymer Center Market (seasonal)
  3. Davidson Farmers Market (year round)
  4. Redeemer in Mission for Christ Church Market (seasonal)
  5. Sow Much Good (seasonal)
  6. Total Image Produce (year round)
The days, times, and address of these markets can be found on our list of farmers markets.
Companion planting is strategically planting flowers, fruit plants and vegetable plants together to help each other grow. Learn more about companion planting.​

 


National


Sustainable Table is a national movement supporting local produce and growing your own food!

 

School Gardening

The Edible Schoolyard provides resources, tools and information for teachers, parents and advocates.
Kids Gardening provides information and resources for school and family gardening, along with garden social network for connecting with youth garden advocates.
School Garden Wizard offers answers to common gardening questions asked by the K-12 school community.
These preschool and kindergarten gardening books are a great way to get young ones interested in gardening.

 


State/Local


10% Campaign encourages people to spend 10% of their food dollars locally and provides helpful information about local food.
Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension offers information about agriculture and food in North Carolina.
 
SLOW Food Charlotte is a movement to support local food in the Charlotte area and strengthen the connection of food with community and tradition.
Fit City Challenge provides access a personal fitness log where you can track your physical activity, fruits and vegetables, and fitness goals! 

NC Eat Smart Move More provides information about health and nutrition in NC as well as useful nutrition and exercise resources.
 
Friendship Gardens offers valuable gardening and local food resources.
Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation offers Charlotte residents the opportunity to rent their own garden space!
Charlotte Green is an organization that promotes gardening and greenhouses within the community.
Sow Much Good works to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to areas with limited access through organic gardening.

 



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