University of Maryland Extension

Extension Innovation in Times of COVID

Image Credit: 
Photo by Edwin Remsberg Photography

Food shortages and social distancing in grocery stores have caused agriculture and local food sources to be at the forefront of the public’s mind. For over 100 years, Extension has been serving the needs of Maryland’s farm families and home gardeners, and during this pandemic, Extension is committed to providing the same quality education as always through virtual and online formats.

Check out some of our innovative new teaching methods and tools developed and offered by our knowledgeable Extension agents to help Maryland’s farmers and gardeners. All of these programs are free and open to everyone.

Ask-An-Agent Live Facebook Hour - Premiering this week, Courtney Coddington, Alexa Smarr and Peter Coffey are coming together every week to answer questions in a talk-show format about home gardening, pests, and agriculture. The weekly show broadcasts every Tuesday at 10 a.m. on the Carroll County Extension Facebook page. Watch the first Ask-An-Agent Live.

Vegetable and Fruit Gardening Wednesday Webinars - Luke Gustafson, senior agricultural agent and Master Gardener in Charles County, is offering free, online webinars every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Anyone interested in home gardening can participate in Unique Fruits for Home Landscapes, Getting Started with Vegetable Gardening, and Vegetable Gardening in Small Spaces

Master Gardener Facebook Tutorials - Master Gardeners across the state are taking to Facebook to share short videos with spring planting and home gardening tips. In Garrett County, Master Gardener Coordinator Ashley Bodkins taught Seed Starting and Transplanting Skills, and in Allegany County, Sherry Frick demonstrates how to properly plant a tree. Follow their Facebook pages for more tips and videos.

Garden Hoe’s Podcast - Since last fall, Eastern Shore Extension agents, Emily Zobel, Rachel Rhodes, and Mikaela Boley have been producing the Garden Hoes Podcast. Covering a variety of topics from garden tool care to soil health, the agents produce the monthly show and share tips on their Facebook page.

Grow It Eat It Signature Program - Since 2009, Master Gardeners have taught classes/workshops, developed demonstration gardens, and have educated Marylanders how to produce their own affordable and healthy food while using sustainable gardening practices in their home, community, and school gardens. This Signature Extension Program, recognized for its outstanding curriculum and development, also provides educational gardening videos through a YouTube channel

For more information on Extension programs in your area, reach out to your local Extension office, and find news, educational articles and more at

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