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Ohio Department of Agriculture, OSU Extension team up for garden program

A sunflower from a 2023 ODA Victory Garden.

A sample Victory Garden. Photos courtesy of the Ohio Department of Agriculture

REYNOLDSBURG — The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio State University (OSU) Extension are partnering again to encourage Ohioans to cultivate their own produce. The Ohio Victory Gardens program is back for its fifth year, and the program is expanding to include 64 counties, including Stark and Summit.
OSU Extension offices will be handing out free seed sample kits to the public to get people planting. Specific days and times for each office are available at u.osu.edu/ohiovictorygardens/seed-sample-pack-locations/ as well as planting resources and information. Each of the participating counties will receive 300 sample seed kits that contain carrot, cucumber, lettuce and sunflower seeds. In addition, all Ohio Victory Gardens participants will be eligible to win a free starter gardening toolkit by completing a short online survey at u.osu.edu/ohiovictorygardens/survey/.
“We want all Ohioans to experience the pride of growing their own food,” said ODA Director Brian Baldridge. “Planting those seeds, watching that produce grow, and being able to provide those nutritious foods for your family is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in agriculture. We encourage all folks to plant their own victory garden.”
OSU Extension is the community-based outreach arm of The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) with programming that addresses agriculture and natural resources, community development, family and consumer sciences and 4-H youth development.
“Our partnership with ODA on the Ohio Victory Garden program allows Ohioans to learn about agriculture and where their food comes from,” said Cathann Kress, vice president of agricultural administration and dean of CFAES. “It provides a glimpse into the science and dedication involved by those who work in the food system every day to bring fresh produce into grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants.”
More than 3,200 volunteers support the Ohio Victory Gardens program by providing gardening advice, helping with community gardens and promoting local food production among their neighbors throughout the state.
For more information on seed distribution, advice and resources on planting and harvesting produce, visit u.osu.edu/ohiovictorygardens/.