Finding a victory in the garden

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Free seed packets are being passed out by Ohio State University Extension Offices. The Victory Garden Program encourages people to try growing their own food.

Pam Bennet said OSU Extension and the Ohio Department of Agriculture started the program last year during the coronavirus pandemic. Bennett is an associate professor at Ohio State University and the State Master Gardener Director.

“It was so popular that we spread it out to 10 counties last fall and then again this year we’re in 25 Ohio counties,” Bennett said. 

Seven of those counties are in the Miami Valley and seed distribution is taking place this week. 

 “We saw such a great increase in gardening that this year we want to keep that interest in gardening continuing,” Bennett said.

Some seeds were distributed at Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum in Clark County on Wednesday.

“If you have nothing to do there’s always the outside where you can go out and work,” Randy Claar said.

Claar picked up a packet of seeds. He considers himself a part-time gardener.

“I know where my food comes from and I can take better care of it,” Claar said.

Lettuce, cucumbers, and sunflower seeds are inside the packets.

“Right now we can plant the spring crops. Lettuce can go in, beets can go in, and you can plant spinach,” Bennett said. “Anything that likes cool weather can go in right now but wait until mid-may before you put in cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, peppers, or any of the summer-loving crops.”

“It’s Ohio, you never know what’s going to happen,” Claar said.

Though OSU Extension, Master Gardeners are available to help answer questions.

“They’re there to help,” Claar said. “Why not take advantage of it?”

Several Master Gardeners volunteered at Snyder Park Garden’s and Arboretum on Wednesday.

“We have our own Garden of Eatin’ where you can learn about how to have your own vegetable garden,” Bennett said. “There’s just so much going on, we’re planting around the Wingert-Tossey Pavilion. We have a 1400 square foot Victory Garden where we harvest the vegetables and take them to our local food bank. There’s just all kinds of things here to see at Snyder Park Garden’s and Arboretum.”

The Springfield Foundation Feature Garden will be a new addition to the park this summer.

Several Miami Valley county extension offices are still handing out free seeds for people to start a Victory Garden.

Montgomery County residents can email Susan Mills-Wasniak at mills-wasniak.1@osu.edu or call 937-952-1614.

Miami County residents can pick up seeds on Thursday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. a the Miami County Extension Office at 510 W. Water St., Suite 250, 2nd Floor, Troy, OH 45373-2982.

Greene County residents can pick up seeds between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Greene County Extension Office through April 9th at 100 Fairground Rd, Xenia, OH 45385.

Shelby County residents can pick up seeds on April 10 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Amos Memorial Public Library at 230 East North Street, Sidney, OH 45365.

Butler County residents can pick up seeds 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the extension office through April 9th on 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011.

Clinton County residents can call the office at 937-382-0901.

All extension offices have a limited number of seeds, so the supply may run out before the end of the times given above.

Read more about the Victory Gardens here.

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