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A Note from the Dean

A scenic WV mountain vista sunrise.

Dear Friends of WVU Extension, 

The past year generated a renewed interest in gardening. Seasoned gardeners poured their hearts and souls into perfecting crops, while the more novice gardeners took this opportunity to try home gardening for the first time. Our Family Nutrition Program received more than 25,000 requests for seeds as part of its “ Grow This! Challenge,” and families enjoyed learning about the benefits of gardening. 

Gardening can be traced back to our ancestors. As a curious fact, my own name, Jorge, derives from the Greek word “georgos,” which means “farmer” or “earth worker.” I believe that the earth is so good to us – it provides food, fiber and fuel. Using our garden calendar and science-based information, we can be good to the earth as well. You may remember eating your grandmother’s garden tomatoes or helping your grandfather preserve peaches to enjoy through the winter months. Like them, we continually look for ways to improve our crops through education and a better understanding of the science behind gardening. Our WVU Extension experts take a closer look at how science and gardening go together. 

As a new West Virginian, I follow the calendar and enjoy putting into practice the tips it offers. The 2021 calendar will be a great asset for this year’s growing season. You also will find a wealth of wonderful articles and gardening tips on our website, including educational videos and recipes

I wish you a healthy, safe and prosperous growing season. 


Jorge H. Atiles, PhD
Dean of Extension and Engagement
Director of WVU Extension