The Dig – What we are all about!

Victory Gardens originated during World War I, an answer to a severe food shortage at the time. People were encouraged to find any usable space, plop in some seeds and contribute homegrown fruits, vegetables and herbs to the effort. The idea was wildly successful, growing an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism.

While we’re not in wartime, we can all commiserate the past few months have been tough, mood-boosters are welcomed. So the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio State University are reviving the effort and once again inspiring people to get their hands dirty, realize the fruits of their labor and share with others if inspired.  We believe a good day in the garden is good for the soul.

Survey Tool Kit WINNERS!

Thank you to all those who participated in the Ohio Victory Garden Survey! Winners have been selected and we hope you love your tool kit!

Check out our Facebook announcement!

Congrats to:

Rachel in Van Wert,

Zach in Marietta,

Kelsey in Freeport,

Amy in Lima,

Martha in Fayetteville,

Leann in Willowick,

Brianna in Ashville,

Lauren in Columbus,

and

Melissa in Chippewa Lake!

How is your garden going?

It is a beautiful day in the Sylvania Area Family Services (SAFS) garden that is participating as one of the Victory Gardens in Lucas County Ohio. The garden has been used as an outdoor classroom for their summer camp, and all produce is harvested and distributed as part of their weekly choice food pantry.

The sunflowers just began blooming and bring a smile to everyone’s face who visits the garden!

The cucumbers in the garden are coming on strong. We have trellised the cucumbers with metal posts and twine.

It is important at this time of the year to keep up on harvesting, to keep the plants producing.

A huge thank you to Master Gardener Volunteers Barb, Cathy and Grace for your hard work in the garden; Jess our 4-H Educator and Patrice our FCS Educator for the educational sessions for youth; and the Sylvania Area Family Services as the host site.

How is your garden going? Share your Ohio Victory Garden pictures with us via email at:  OhioVictoryGardens@agri.ohio.gov

 

#livesmartlucas #growsmartlucas #ohiovictorygarden

Blog post by:

Amy K. Stone

Ohio State University

Lucas County Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources

OSU at Metropark’s Toledo, Toledo Botanical Garden

Pollen Power

SOOOOO, you’ve begun to think about your 2022 garden, you’re itching for spring to be here and for that growing season to start? But have you given much thought about pollinators?

Pollinators have a mutualistic relationship with plants. Food for the pollinators, and distribution of pollen to allow plants to reproduce. But plants are not the only ones who benefit from the work that pollinators perform. Without pollinators, we wouldn’t have a great many of the fruits and veggies that most of us love. Not to mention, Honey, need I say more?

But what does your garden have to do with pollinators? Well, having pollinators frequent your garden, big or small, is a must! But some plants are higher on the list of what pollinators love.

Now when we talk about pollinators, we aren’t just talking about honeybees, we are talking about wasps, bees, moths, and butterflies to name a few.

Animal Pollination

                          U.S. Forest Service

And there are many ways to make your garden a pollinator friendly garden. You can add bee homes, create a butterfly waystation, and plant pollinator loving plants and just like that, you have yourself a pollinator loving space! Not sure where to start? Check out these pages that are filled with great information.

How to Build a Pollinator House

Monarch Waystations

How to Build a Pollinator Garden

Attracting Pollinators to the Garden

Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden Using Native Plants

 

HOWEVER, please do your research!!! Not all plants are good for our native pollinators.

Check out these pages below for details on how some plants are causing issues for our pollinators.

Monarch Joint Venture

Invasive Plant Species Can Hurt Both Pollinators and Native Plant Communities

 

 

What’s in your Yard?

Winter can sometimes be a good time to see what is growing in your yard.  Check out this great BYGL Alert to read all about it! Go out to your yard during this warmer spell and see what you find!

Can you take clear images? Check out this cool app that is your one stop for identifying insects and plants! iNaturalist App

How Do You Define Victory? 2021 Victory Gardens

By Marcus McCartney, OSU Extension Educator, Washington County

How do you define “Victory” as a gardener?

Whether you are new or an experienced gardener, how do you personally define success as it relates to your garden?  New gardeners may define success as simply starting a garden for the very first time.  The initial effort and time invested defines success for them. Maybe it’s eating the very first fruit or vegetable you grew entirely by yourself (self-fulfillment).  For our experienced gardeners, maybe victory or success is defined as successfully growing a new variety or species, or reaching a certain poundage of potatoes or tomatoes, or canning 15 dozen jars of green beans or salsa.  However, you define victory, it’s important set goals and try to reach those goals.  If you met your 2021 gardening goals, kudos to you and I tip my hat!  If not, then it’s fun and important to troubleshoot and figure out why or what went wrong which lead to not meeting your goals.   For me, my personal gardening goals were different this year than years past.  I’ll explain how I defined victory shortly, but first, what is a victory garden?

ODA and OSU Victory Garden Program

Victory Gardens originated during World War I as an answer to a serious food shortage. The idea was very successful, resulting in an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism. Although there’s no food shortage today, ODA and OSU Extension revived this effort to encourage people to plant seeds, realize the fruits of their labor, and share with others if inspired.  Washington County was only one of 25 counties to receive vegetable seeds.  Over 1,500 seeds were distributed in Washington County and Wood County WV this past spring by the OSU Extension office.

My Victory Garden

For my victory garden, I wanted to do something different and creative.  I wanted to demonstrate that gardens can be a reflection of your imagination and do not have to be traditional squares or rectangles.  Gardening is a healthy activity, but it should also be fun!  Creating around gardening only encourages and empowers individuals to grow plants, tend to the Earth, and eat fresh tasty nutritious foods for themselves.  From the first moment I started running rope and spray-painting lines in my backyard, these gardens already started to gather attention from neighbors and eventually the community.  The effect of my effort encouraged others to try gardening using unique designs, and creating awareness about our OSU and ODA Victory Garden outreach effort.

 

Victory Garden design

For Scale – 55 properly spaced pepper plants were planted in the “H”

V in Victory Garden in Snow

Victory Garden in Snow

How I do I define Victory

This year, the single most important factor which determine success or victory for me, was not growing plants or producing a large yield; it was growing the next generation of gardeners by developing an interest and enthusiasm for fruits and vegetables, and the appreciation of the amount of hard work it requires to produce such fruits and vegetables.  My son, Allister, was involved from the start; from planning, to plowing, to planting, to watering, to harvesting, and to cooking.  He wanted to be victorious just as much as I did.  I gave him complete ownership of the garden and constantly reinforced the concept these were his gardens.

My victory was seeing my son’s smiling face selling his produce at the Rivers City Farmers Market, and the time we spent together as a family.  We created lots of fun memories and hopefully these memories will grow into knowledge for my son, and just as important, spending time together with his dad.   And that’s how I defined victory in 2021.

Farmer's Market

Allister McCartney (6) at his River City Farmers Market Stand – Allister’s Tomatoes & More (ATM)

Get Involved

We would love to hear about your garden victories!  You can post your story and pictures in the comment section of this article on our OSU Extension Washington County Facebook page:  facebook.com/OhioStateWashingtonCountyExtension

Be on the lookout in 2022 for free Victory Garden Seed samples in early spring.  To inquire about receiving seeds, you can contact the office at 740-376-7431 or sign up to receive our OSU Horticulture email listserv.  To sign up, please call the office or email Peggy Bolen at bolen.8@osu.edu.

About the Author:

Marcus McCartney is the OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Washington County.  He has been with extension since 2014.  Marcus received both his bachelor’s and Master’s degree from West Virginia University Agriculture Education