It’s time to get your hands dirty and start growing! The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and OSU Extension Offices are kicking off the second year of the Victory Gardens Program. Due to high demand, the program is expanding to include 25 counties, up from 10 counties last year. Approximately 8,300 seed packets will be available free to the public to get people planting.
“We have seen a revived passion for planting through our Victory Gardens Program, which has expanded to 15 additional counties this year,” said Dorothy Pelanda, Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “Our Ohio Victory Gardens are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, from urban apartment dwellers, to those living in the country, and everyone in between. We hope this will inspire a new generation of gardeners who will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor for years to come.”
“We are excited to expand our partnership with ODA on the Victory Garden Program. Last year, we had an overwhelming positive response to the program, so this year, we will be expanding the seed distribution initiative to 25 Ohio State University Extension county offices,” said Dr. Cathann A. Kress, Vice President for Agricultural Administration and Dean, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. “No matter your level of gardening experience, our OSU Extension educators will provide expertise that will help your gardens thrive.”
Seeds will be available to pick up the first week of April at county OSU Extension Offices. Specific days and times for each office are available on the Ohio Victory Gardens website, as well as planting resources and information. The following counties are taking part in the program this year: Athens, Butler, Clark, Clinton, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Franklin, Geauga, Greene, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Lucas, Mahoning, Miami, Montgomery, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Union.
Victory Gardens originated during World War I, an answer to a severe food shortage at the time. The idea was wildly successful, growing an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism. Although there’s no food shortage now, ODA and OSU Extension are reviving the effort and once again encouraging people to plant seeds, realize the fruits of their labor, and share with others if inspired.
The Victory Gardens Program offers a full website (u.osu.edu/ohiovictorygardens) with details on seed distribution, advice, and resources on every aspect of planting and harvesting produce.