Cooperative Extension Contra Costa
UC Delivers Impact Story

Spreading Information with Public Newsletters

The Issue

Spreading Information with Public Newsletters
Yolo County Master Gardeners offering newsletter subscription to County Fair attendant
Gardeners in Solano and Yolo counties' are hungry for timely and useful local gardening information.

What Has ANR Done?

In late 2005, Master Gardeners and advisors in the UC Cooperative Extension Yolo and Solano county offices created a newsletter titled "Seeds for Thought." Master Gardener volunteers Sharon Leos and Jim Fowler edit the publication and several Master Gardeners from both counties write articles. More than 800 printed copies of the first issue were mailed in spring 2006 to home gardeners that previously participated in Master Gardener workshops and plant clinics. Copies are also available from Master Gardener offices and booths at farmers markets in Davis, Esparto, Fairfield, Vacaville and Benicia. Current and previous issues of the newsletter also may be downloaded in pdf format from the Master Gardener pages of the county Web sites:
  • UC Cooperative Extension - Solano County
  • UC Cooperative Extension - Yolo County

    The newsletters include three regular features:
  • "Garden Guide," co-authored by Kathy Thomas-Rico and Mary Gabbard, presents month-by-month planting and maintenance information.
  • “Preservation Pointers” is written by Pearl Eddy, who is also a UC Master Food Preserver. This feature provides information on edible plant culture and also includes recipes for canning and freezing.
  • “Gardens Afield," a local destination column by Barbara Hodges.

    Topics for the additional articles are chosen by the authors or suggested by the program coordinators. Each 12-page issue contains an average of eight articles.

    The Payoff

    Timely and Useful Gardening Information Now Available

    Yolo and Solano homeowners now have access to up-to-date gardening information and many are contacting Master Gardener hot lines for the first time, asking specific gardening questions. Many of the newsletter readers are utilizing the information to produce "home grown" fruits and vegetables for themselves and friends, as well as to beautify their gardens and their communities.

    Homeowners and gardeners are learning techniques to deal with garden and landscape weed, insect and disease pests in ways that reduce negative impact on the environment, thus helping to protect Solano and Yolo counties' air and water.

    Contact

    Supporting Unit:

    Solano County
     
    Mario Moratorio, Ph.D., Urban horticulture and small farm advisor, Solano and Yolo counties, msmoratorio@ucdavis.edu, (707) 784-1325