Thousands of Ohioans are rolling up their sleeves and trying their hand at gardening thanks to a brand new, collaborative effort from ODA and OSU Extension. The Victory Gardens program encourages people to take up backyard gardening and to grow their own food to enjoy with family at a time when many people are eating out less and spending more time at home.
In true grassroots fashion, more than 2,600 packets of fall vegetable seeds were hand packed, labeled, and personally delivered by a small (but mighty!) workforce of ODA employees, and then distributed across six counties all over Ohio to Clark, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas, and Washington county OSU Extension Offices. But demand was so high, four more counties were added to this mix. A great problem to have! Now Fairfield, Licking, Mahoning, and Summit are joining the ranks of Victory Garden Program counties.
Victory Gardens began in this country during World War I to address the severe food shortage. It was incredibly successful and even helped boost morale and patriotism. Although there is certainly no food shortage now, this is a great way to encourage the importance of agriculture and growing food, learn new ways to prepare that food, and connect with family.
As the growing season winds down for the year, plans are underway for a bigger and better next year when the Victory Gardens Program will expand with a larger seed distribution across the state in the spring. Until then, check out the Victory Gardens’ full website with details on upcoming seed distribution, advice, and resources on every aspect of planting and harvesting produce. If you didn’t get your fall seed packet this year, keep an eye on the website and touch base with your area OSU Extension Office for spring – these things are going fast!