What started as a pilot program in a few Ohio counties has expanded, with eyes on southeast Ohio once again.
Near the end of summer in 2020, five Ohio State University extension offices offered a pilot program with a nod to World War I history.
The program was a joint effort between the Ohio Department of Agriculture and The Ohio State University extension program to encourage the momentum and camaraderie first seen with Victory Gardens, placing the Buckeye spin on the old tradition.
Washington County was one of the participants, with local green thumbs picking up free seeds for fall planting of an Ohio Victory Garden.
Now, with a rollout across Ohio for a spring and summer planting, Washington County is among the top distribution target counties with 500 envelopes of seed varieties to be planted in local soil.
“Washington County got 500, along with Lucas County, Hamilton County, Franklin County and Cuyahoga County, so only five counties got 500 packs,” said Marcus McCartney, Washington County OSU Extension educator. “The other counties got 300 packs, I like to say because we just know what we’re doing down here.”
This time, summer crops include beets, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers and sunflowers; again all free.
Seeds may be picked up at the OSU Extension office during business hours in Marietta, or on Saturday at the River City Farmers Market in Marietta on Butler Street between Second and Third streets.
“There’s all this renewed interest or resurgence in gardening again, I think it gives people an appreciation of where the food comes from and but also the three parts of well-being,” said McCartney.
“The mental aspect, the physical aspect and the soul. Physical is obvious, that work in the soil is hard work getting out and in the fresh air; then studying or harvesting, squashing out the bugs that’s the mental aspect when you see that something’s not right. You use your brain and do the research … And then from the soul or your spirit, there’s nothing more fulfilling than eating something that you grew. It’s that accomplishment.”
But the gardening isn’t a pick up and go, never to be heard from or receive support again deal.
“We have these master gardeners, Cindy Brown, Bob Rothwell and Pat Lang, and others, who put in the work and want to help you succeed and are really knowledgeable,” said McCartney.
He encouraged participants who take advantage of the program to also document both success and struggle on social media, including the tagline #OhioVictoryGardens to help master gardeners and extension offices track progress and offer aid as needed throughout the spring and summer growing seasons.
Check out a future edition of the Times, for tips and tricks from local master gardeners as you start your victory garden and what services are available for soil testing and guidance from the extension office.
Janelle Patterson may be reached at email@example.com.
At a glance:
¯ Traditional graduation will be held.
¯ Prom is scheduled for May 8 at Camp Hervida.
¯ Waterford PTO members looking to add a digital sign to high school campus.
¯ Marietta Community Foundation grant to fund outdoor learning.
Source: Wolf Creek Local Schools.
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