Penn State Extension Victory Garden Program Supports Latino Community | Gardening
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania – In anticipation of renewed interest in home gardening in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Penn State Extension’s master gardeners developed the 10-part “Victory Garden Reinvented!” Webinar series to support gardeners across the country.
In 2021, the Penn State Extension’s master horticultural program and horticultural team expanded those efforts – with the goal of reaching the Latino community – and the webinars are now available in Spanish.
In addition to the webinars, team members translated nine fact sheets to provide additional information for gardeners and new farmers.
Maria Gorgo-Gourovitch, horticultural extension instructor found that native Spanish speakers translated the webinar scripts and PowerPoint slides. All 10 webinars were also recorded.
Part of Extension’s support for the growing Spanish-speaking population in Pennsylvania is a community of practice called the Latinx Agricultural Network. A team of educators, students, faculty, administrators, and grassroots consultants are working to improve public relations and educational efforts across all areas of the Extension portfolio.
The members of this network responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and coordinated their efforts to support multicultural needs, resulting in numerous contemporary products. The impact will continue to increase as network members add more materials.
Gorgo-Gourovitch said the Latino community makes up 75% of the agricultural workforce in the United States. In some Pennsylvanian industries, such as the mushroom industry, about 90 percent of workers are Latinos.
According to the USDA, the number of major Hispanic farm operators in Penn State Extension Victory Garden Program Supports Latino Community Land rose 24% to 112,451 between 2012 and 2017. There were 759 Hispanic farms in Pennsylvania in 2017, up from 652 in 2012. These farms and their families are essential contributors to the well-being of Pennsylvanians.
For more resources, visit the extension’s Spanish Facebook page or contact GorgoGourovitch at [email protected] In addition, there is a Spanish-speaking option via the 800-PENN-IPM hotline – 800-736-6476 – for tree fruit, vegetable and small-scale fruit growers, as well as for Spanish-speaking players in the green sector who cover the tree nursery, landscaping, lawn and allotment garden sectors .
Further information can be found online at https://extension.psu.edu/programs/master-gardener.