Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cooperative Extension/4-H Plant Sale Pick Up

The plants from our plant sale have arrived!
Pick up times are as follows:

Thursday & Friday,
November 15th & 16th, 2012
9 am until 5 pm

1418 Armory Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28204

 All proceeds from the Plant Sale provide Cooperative Extension programming support and partial & full scholarships to Mecklenburg County youth attending 4-H summer camps & teen leadership opportunities. All plant orders must be paid for, in full, upon pick up.


Missed your chance to order?  No worries!  Just check back in February for our Spring 2013 Plant Sale...
To see what we offered for purchase for this fall,
please visit:

Monday, November 12, 2012

4-H Homeschool Club Interest Meeting

Calling all homeschoolers & homeschool parents!!!

We are having a interest meeting for a 4-H community-based, homeschool club.  To learn more about this meeting please visit the following site for more details:
WHO: Parents and Homeschoolers, open to all interested
WHEN: NOVEMBER 30th at 2 pm
WHERE: 1418 Armory Dr. Charlotte, NC 28204
Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension Office

Students will have the opportunity to sit in on the conversation as well as enjoy an EcoBot activity afterwards!  We are very excited about this meeting - we hope to see you all there.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

4-H at National Food Day Celebration

Mecklenburg County 4-H enjoyed their participation in the 2012 National Food Day Celebration held at The 7th Street Public Market.  This event was designed to highlight REAL food!  4-H was asked to be a part of this event in collaboration with our Food & Consumer Sciences, Local Foods Agent, Kristin Davis.  We shared our 4-H curriculum with those interested, highlighting upcoming pieces that will be dealing specifically with local foods!  We also shared our 4-H youth gardening efforts in hopes to gain interest in our gardening curriculum and a potential JR Master Gardener program.  We also took the opportunity to share with others what Mecklenburg County 4-H is doing and how youth, parents, & volunteers can get involved.  It was a wonderful night of fellowship with others who shared a passion for real foods, sustainability, and the growing urban gardening movement in the Charlotte area.  See below for more details on what all Food Day entailed and for a nice article that sums up the event, including pictures.
Food Day Article in Eat My Charlotte Section of the Creative Loafing Charlotte Area Magazine

"Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. In Charlotte we will be celebrating Food Day with a special focus on real, wholesome, local and unprocessed food. Events and activities will be planned for October 16 through October 24, 2012. We invite agencies of all genres to join us as we educate our county on REAL food. The Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension Service, Family and Consumer Sciences Department and Sow Much Good, INC are the county coordinators for this year's event

It’s time to EAT REAL Mecklenburg! Join us for the 2nd Annual Food Day Celebration, an event to celebrate local, fresh and unprocessed food in Mecklenburg. The event will kick off with a happy hour including local food tastings. Learn about the local food movement with a special guest vendors and chef demonstrations of wholesome food!"
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For More Information:
Jillian Mickens, 919-889-1299
Clare Politano, 202-777-8316
North Carolinians Celebrate Eating Real on Food Day

Second Annual Food Day is Wednesday, October 24

RALEIGH—Mayor William Bell of Durham has issued a proclamation declaring October 24 to be Food Day, and he is joined by Mayor Terry M. Bellamy of Asheville and Mayor Bill Saffo of Wilmington. Cities, businesses, organizations, and campuses across North Carolina are hosting special events in honor of Food Day, the nationwide celebration and movement toward healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. North Carolina’s events number among the 3,100 Food Day celebrations taking place across the country, building momentum for the real food movement and pushing for improved food policies.
At the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the Gillings School of Global Public Health is hosting a Food Day Fair to promote access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food for all people in the Triangle area. The school is also hosting a food drive throughout the week, and a film festival with panel discussions culminating tomorrow, October 25.

"North Carolina's Food Day activities are going to be all about highlighting healthy, local options. We feel that Food Day is a great opportunity to celebrate what's going right with our food system and help people make healthier choices across the state,” said Jillian Mickens, the Chapel Hill community Food Day leader, and coordinator for the Community Nutrition Partnership at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. “UNC and the Chapel Hill community will be celebrating with a full week of activities, and many other campuses around the state are following suit."

Including UNC, 11 North Carolina colleges are participating in Food Day in partnership with Real Food Challenge. The Duke University Real Food Campaign will celebrate Food Day with “Food For Thought,” a real food potluck and discussion on the quad in front of the iconic Duke Chapel while Meredith College hosts an outdoor fair celebrating several local food organizations. Students at both Duke and Meredith hope that their Food Day events will serve as a launch for student support of the Get Real Campaign, the flagship campaign of Real Food Challenge requiring the university to pledge shifting 20 percent or more of their food purchasing budget to “real” food by the year 2020. Appalachian State University, Guilford College, and NC State are among the other college campuses celebrating Food Day throughout the Tar Heel State.

In its second year, Food Day is coordinated by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest with the backing of dozens of state and national partner organizations and an advisory board led by members of Congress, nutrition authorities, physicians, chefs, writers, and advocates for sustainable agriculture, farmworker justice, and animal welfare.

“All around the country, people are coming together to make a change for the better, whether it’s a positive change in their own diet, or a change for the better in the food policies of a campus, a business, a city, or a state,” said Food Day founder and CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “It’s exciting to see so many diverse events and so much momentum building for a food system that is healthy, environmentally sustainable, and fair for all.”

Thursday, October 18, 2012

4-H & Bionic Arms at Sugaw Creek Rec Center

Racquel and I recently had the opportunity to visit Brett Krizanik, the recreation specialist who handles most of the 4-H programming at the Sugaw Creek Recreation Center in Charlotte.  The day we visited Brett was when he was in the process of completing the TechXcite curriculum we trained on in mid September, beneath the Arts & Science Council grant funding that the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation received.  The module he was completing with the youth that day was the Bionic Arm Module.  Click on the link to learn more and to see a video!  The students really loved the activity and enjoyed the hands-on learning that took place.  It was wonderful to see them engaged in the experiential learning model!  We just wanted to share a few pictures from our visit :)
*All images protected via signed media release consent forms through Mecklenburg Parks & Recreation and Mecklenburg County 4-H.*

Monday, October 8, 2012

What's Happening with Berewick 4-H?!

This past Friday, we had the privilege to visit the Berewick Recreation Center to see Kim Golden's 4-H programming with her after-school group.  This was a fun afternoon as she introduced 4-H to her new group of students, as they were in their first few months of school starting back.  She started out by highlighting the 4 H's and what they meant to the children.  It was really interesting to hear what they had to suggest when she asked what each meant (head, heart, hands, health).  They then had the chance to transition into a quick team building exercise in which they had to help one another get in and out of the hula hoop that was going around their circles - all done without breaking the circle they made when their hands were held all around.  After they'd done this, she then directed them to the tables where they were able to make their 4-H books.  Each page had the H each part of the 4-H clover stands for written on a piece of paper which they were able to glue on.  They then were able to use their creativity to color and put together their book however they chose, along with illustrations of what each part of the clover meant to them.  We as 4-H staff really enjoyed our afternoon with this beautiful group of young 4-H'ers.  We appreciate Kim Golden and her role within Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation and we commend her for the terrific job she does with 4-H programming at her site!
*All images protected via signed media release consent forms through Mecklenburg Parks & Recreation and Mecklenburg County 4-H.*

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Welcome Catherine and Racquel!

We are EXCITED to have Catherine Crocker and Racquel McNeil join the Mecklenburg Cooperative Extension staff.  Both began their new positions in late Summer 2012.
Racquel is the 4-H Extension Agent. Catherine is the 4-H Program Assistant.
We look forward to seeing GREAT THINGS come from both of these ladies.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Volunteers Needed for District Public Speaking Competition

Mecklenburg County 4-H is hosting the 17-county public speaking competition for the West Central District on Wednesday, June 23. The event will be held at Berewick Elementary School in south Charlotte. Volunteers are needed to serve as room host/hostess, assist with information table, assist serving lunch, parking and data processing.

If you are interested in serving as a volunteer, contact

A volunteer orientation will be held on Thursday, June 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the 4-H Office (1418 Armory Drive, Charlotte NC 28204).

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

15 Classrooms begin 4-H Embryology

Fifteen Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools classrooms begin their 4-H embryology adventure today. Fertilized chicken eggs have been set in each classroom and will be incubated over the next 21 days. Throughout the incubation process, the classroom students will turn the eggs, check the incubator temperature and check the incubator humidity level three times each day.

The classroom teachers are utilizing the 4-H "Hatching Classrooms" curriculum with hands-on science activities that reinforce the life cycle standard course of study science objectives.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Planting Blueberries in Mecklenburg County

The Mecklenburg County 4-H program is selling blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and muscadine plants this month to support youth program efforts in the county. But, what do you do with these plants once you get them home? I've put together some useful information to be used in planting blueberry plants.

The varieties of blueberry plants the 4-H program is selling are well adapted to our growing climate. For home planting, it is recommended that two or more varieties of blueberries be planted together to assure higher yields and better quality fruit. This is a direct result of cross-pollination.

Blueberries have a shallow root system. Therefore, only the top 6 to 12 inches of the soil needs to be prepared. You can prepare the soil in the same way you do to grow azaleas or rhododendrons. The area you choose should be well drained. Excess water should be able to drain away from blueberry plants within a few hours. The area should be free of grass and weeds. When the planting site is determined, place 1/2 bushel of composted material on top. Peat moss, leaves, bark or sawdust will do. Work the mulch into the top 8 inches of the soil within a 2 to 3 foot diameter of each plant.

Blueberry plants will grow in full shade to full sun. The more shade the plant is exposed to will result in a lower fruit production.

The plants sold by Mecklenburg County 4-H do not need to be pruned before planting. Following the first harvest season, it is normally advantageous to prune 1/3 to 1/2 of the plant. This can be accomplished by cutting back, cutting out or a combination of both. You can prune to a desired shape any time of the year. However, for minimal fruit loss it is best to prune just at the end of harvest season.

When planting your blueberries, they should be spaced 3 to 6 feet apart. Planting at three feet will give a high density planting and form a hedge quickly. Rake back an area about 3-4 inches deep. Place the plant in the center of the area and fan the roots out in all directions. Holding the plant upright, rake the soil back over the roots and pack firmly. Wet the soil sufficiently.

The root area of blueberries should always be kept moist. You can use fertilizers formulated for azaleas or rhododendrons on your blueberry plants. These plants can only tolerate small amounts of nitrogen at a time.

If you do order blueberry plants from the 4-H office, you will also receive planting guidelines similar to these listed above. If you have further questions regarding blueberry planting, please call the Mecklenburg Cooperative Extension Office at 704-336-2082 weekdays from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

More information about the 4-H plant sale along with an online order form is available on our website: You can also call the 4-H Office at 704-336-2082. The deadline to place an order is October 30. The plants can be picked up at the Mecklenburg Cooperative Extension office (1418 Armory Drive, Charlotte, NC 28204) on Thursday, November 5 between 9am and 7pm or Friday, November 6 between 9am and 5pm.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

4-H Electric Curriculum Training

Would you like to introduce your 4-H’ers to “The Magic of Electricity”? The next 4-H cluster training scheduled for Tuesday, September 15 will focus on the 4-H Electric curriculum and kit. Participants in the 1.5 hour session will experience several of the FOURTEEN activities included in this curriculum, using supplies from the 4-H Electric Kit. Topics covered in the curriculum include: electrical switches, magnetism, circuits and conductors. A light meal will be served.

The deadline to register is Friday, September 11. Call the 4-H Office at 704-336-2082 or email Robbie Furr ( to register.

Mecklenburg County 4-H Club Locations