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Garden columnist flourishes in national competition

By Maria Young, Assistant city editor for features
Photo courtesy of JOHN PORTER
John Porter, who writes the Garden Guru column for the Sunday Gazette-Mail, received first place in the personal column division of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents annual competition.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If area gardeners and growers had to select the single best column by Garden Guru and West Virginia University Extension Agent John Porter, it would no doubt be a tough call.

Porter himself had a difficult decision, but finally settled on not one but two of his columns so far this year for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents annual competition.

You might remember “Composting turns trash to garden treasure” from March 8 and “Superfoods are becoming garden superheroes” from Jan. 25. With those submissions, Porter was the only entry from West Virginia and got an automatic pass to the regional finals, where he won and advanced to the national level.

At the national conference last month in Mobile, Alabama, from a field of 71 entries, he took first place in the personal column category.

“It is wonderful to be recognized by my peers for the writing I enjoy so much,” Porter said. “I get to hear from many readers about how they enjoy reading my articles and use the information I provide in my column in their own gardens. That recognition is also very gratifying.”

He also picked up a handful of regional awards.


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