Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant Information Session on Monday December 11th @ 5pm

I have been working with local partners on a great opportunity for urban producers to capacity build.  This is applicable for both profit and not-for-profit producers.  There will be an information session for potential grant awardees to learn more about the grant and get questions answered on Monday December 11th @ 5pm. It will be recorded as well.


CLICK HERE to learn more about the grant. 


Info Session for Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant

Monday, December 11, 2023
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Please join us virtually for info-sessions related to the upcoming Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant! (https://www.franklinswcd.org/urban-ag-grant) If you are interested in applying for the grant and have questions, this event is for you! You can access this info session via the Teams link below. This session will be recorded and posted publicly for anyone who cannot make it. If you have any questions or need accommodations, please reach out to Annabel Spranger at aspranger@franklinswcd.org .

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 229 915 886 363
Passcode: HShq3y

Backyard Poultry Certification Course

Interest in keeping backyard poultry has been increasing steadily with a huge jump in growth around the COVID pandemic and Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak due to egg price increases and egg shortages.  We have also see a big jump in the number of 4H kiddos who want to keep chickens and turkeys for 4H livestock projects.  Many cities and municipalities require a certification before they allow you to keep backyard poultry.  Lots of people just want to learn more about this for their own family and personal food security.  Maybe this is the perfect holiday gift for that hard to buy family member.  Whatever your reason, we have you covered.


The course costs $25 dollars. (Super cheep!)  Click on the QR code or head to go.osu.edu/chicken

This self-paced course is expected to take 2-3 hours to complete and includes the following 6 modules:

  • Getting Started
  • Brooding, Basic Husbandry & Nutrition
  • Housing
  • Egg Production
  • Maximizing Health
  • Biosecurity

After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  • Identify rules and regulations relevant to raising backyard poultry in their state, city, or municipality
  • Source healthy birds to raise in their backyard
  • Apply concepts of basic husbandry, nutrition, and housing to successfully raise backyard poultry.
  • Explain how eggs are produced
  • Practice safe handling of birds and eggs
  • Recognize health-related abnormalities of poultry through physical examination
  • Describe the roles of of veterinary care and biosecurity in maximizing poultry health

There are NO refunds issued for this course.
If you have questions about the course, contact Tim McDermott at mcdermott.15@osu.edu for assistance.

School Garden Week of December 4th, 2023

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!


Thanks for sending me pictures!  I am responding to them as fast as possible.  Keep sending them to me,  I enjoy seeing your progress.

Let’s check out the forecast.


I recommend you keep the row cover over your plants due to the overnight temperatures.

Outside in the raised beds:

  • All days this week – keep your beds covered with the season extension garden cover.
  • If you have not had a chance to plant spinach and kale outdoors, you could try to plant on Thursday or Friday but would need to wait until mid-day for the beds to warm up and then cover with the season extension garden cover after you plant. This is probably our last window to plant outdoors in 2023.
  • If the season extension garden cover is frozen, do not try to open it or it may tear.

For CCS teachers if you need soil, seeds, or fertilizer let Katie know.

Thanks to Cedric for the pics of the amazing Bok Choy he is growing with his kiddos at CCPSB.

Inside in the Aerogarden:

Hopefully you have had good germination and are getting good plant growth in your Aerogarden.  Send me some pictures and I will post them in the weekly email.

 Aerogarden has some great information on planting on their website.  CLICK HERE for their product manual website.

Click here for the Aerogarden planting guide for herbs –> herb_tending_and_harvesting_guide

If you have germination already, you should be thinning to one seedling per pod.  Make sure to cover up the unplanted openings to keep light from the nutrient solution.

Inside under LED lights.  

How are your plants growing under your LED lights?  Send me some pictures and I will use them in the weekly email.  You will need to fertilize every two weeks.  The fertilizer for indoor LED lights is the pink crystals delivered through bottom watering mixed according to the instructions on the package.

Tips on Bottom Watering:  We have been getting lots of questions regarding bottom watering.  Here is a step by step look at the process:

  1. Be sure to bottom water twice per week under the LED.  Watering before you leave school on Friday is recommended as one of the times.
  2. Remove the insert tray holding the pots from the the bottom tray.
  3. Fill the bottom tray half full of water.
  4. Place the pots in the water so that they can absorb water through the holes on the bottom of the pots to fully hydrate the soil.
  5. Leave them in the water for about 30 minutes until fully hydrated.
  6. Dump the extra water from the bottom tray.
  7. Replace the insert tray into the bottom tray and put the pots back into the insert tray to drain.
  8. Every two weeks add fertilizer to the bottom water according to the label.

Check out this portion of the seed starting video that shows bottom watering.


  • Check below for thinning pictures.  The seedlings are kale, but the technique is the same.  Bottom water if you are going to gently pull the seedling from the pot as it will slide out of moist soil.  If the seedlings are too mature, or too close together, then trim the seedlings off at the soil level with scissors.
  • As your plants grow, keep the seedlings within a few inches of the LED light panel so that they do not get too leggy.

I planted three seeds and all three germinated. I need to thin to one seedling. Any of them would make a good plant, but if I keep all of them they will compete. I need to thin to a single plant in the pot.


At the Professional Development: Advanced Ag in the Classroom event a couple months ago I showed some alternate ways to grow some different varieties of vegetables, including potatoes.  I thought I would give you an update:

The potatoes are growing like crazy, I need to raise the lights.


The potato flowers are emerging. I will not be too much longer that we should have a harvest.

Let me know what questions you have!  Make sure you engage your kiddos in the process. Looking forward to a wonderful Ag in the Classroom season!