Hispanic Heritage Month: Collaborative Spanish Project Grant Awarded

Oct 4, 2021

The majority of resources offered through the UC Master Gardener Program are only available in English, so when an internalUC Agriculture and Natural Resource (UC ANR) grant arose to develop online educational resource materials in other languages it was the perfect opportunity to expand its gardening resources for Spanish speakers. UC ANR and UC ANR-affiliated academics and staff from across the state submitted proposals for review in hopes of getting projects funded and out into their communities.

Extending the UC Master Gardener Programs' reach and impact to non-English speaking audiences is key to achieving the program's mission of reaching all Californians. According to the 2019 census data, the most common non-English language spoken in California is Spanish; 28.8% of the overall population of California are native Spanish speakers. For this reason, building the UC Master Gardener Program's resources in Spanish is a significant priority area.

Senior Latina woman working in garden setting smiling holding garden trimmings

Award with a twist

While evaluating the proposals, Strategic Initiatives leaders discovered four proposals with similar gardening themes, and after careful consideration granted the award but with a little “twist”. The four proposals would be combined to form one collaborative project. The proposals shared common goals and had overlapping scope, so the Director of the UC Master Gardener Program, Missy Gable, was charged with coordinating a collective effort to develop food gardening resources in Spanish and distribute these new resources through the UC Master Garden Program channels.  

Thanks to shared goals a creative team formed, including awardees: 

  • Dr. Lucy Diekmann, Urban Agriculture and Food Systems Advisor in Santa Clara County
  • Mimi Enright, UC Master Gardener Coordinator in County
  • Maggie Reiter, former Environmental Horticulture Advisor in Tulare/Kings Counties
  • Dr. Yu Meng, Youth Family and Community Advisor in Imperial County 

Collaboration and unexpected outcomes

With a spirit of collaboration, the group worked alongside UC Master Gardener volunteers, local community organizations and partners, and UC Communication Services News and Outreach in Spanish staff to create and release a series of food gardening videos in Spanish.

The project also funded a comprehensive vegetable gardening resource that is set to be released in 2022 in both Spanish and English. The teamwork didn't stop here though, YFC Advisor, Dr. Yu Meng initiated the development of a new UC Master Gardener Program in Imperial County so collaboration will continue and expand to meet the needs of residents in our southernmost locations.

Vídeos de jardinería en español (Gardening videos in spanish)

The statewide UC Master Gardener YouTube channel is now hosting a playlist of videos in spanish titled, Vídeos de jardinería en español . These videos are available for individuals or local programs to share on social media, websites, or anywhere the program is reaching the gardening public.

Full YouTube playlist link: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLw6OczuNHpWDc1YzCKXqj2PYQnDTl6Hx9 

A special thank you to those working in front of and behind the camera and computers to get these videos produced. The videos have already reached thousands of people in communities across California and beyond!  

Join us LIVE

UC ANR and the UC Master Gardener Program are joining the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationally to acknowledge Latinos' contributions and vital presence in the United States. UC ANR has already held several zoom forums and there are three more to come. The below events will be presented in Spanish.

Links to join will be sent to registrants prior to each event. Registration required: https://surveys.ucanr.edu/survey.cfm?surveynumber=35503 

  • Oct. 6, 1-2:30 PM - Zoom community forum in Spanish
    Be better parents, how to make your kid a leader.
    Guest speakers: Claudia Diaz – 4-H youth development advisor

  • Oct. 13, 1-2:30 PM - Zoom community forum in Spanish
    How to have a successful vegetable garden
    Guest speaker: Master Garden Volunteers from UCCE Contra Costa County

  • Oct. 15, 1-2:30 PM - Zoom community forum in Spanish
    The power of a nutritional meal
    Guest speakers: Susana Matias Medrano/Nutritional Science & Toxicology/ UC and CE Berkeley

2019 US Census, https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/news/updates/2019.html 
Data USA, California. https://datausa.io/profile/geo/california
UC ANR Employee Blog, https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=29017

By Lauren Snowden
Author - Statewide Training Coordinator