In July 2019, Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) sowed Victory Garden Seeds donated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture and OSU Extension in 12 raised beds. Many who joined were novice vegetable gardeners who were excited to be able to grow for our community especially in a difficult year in which many of us were in enforced isolation due to Covid-19.

In 2021, Franklin County MGVs continue with an expanded plot in which the produce will be grown exclusively for food pantries. We work with community gardeners, including board members of Sprouting Spoons, a 501c3 non-profit organization promoting food security in Columbus, Ohio. We also hope to work with veterans who have expressed interest in our 18 raised beds and 7 in-ground rows.

Many of the seeds we sowed came from ODA donations earlier this spring. These included cool-season crops such as cucumbers, beets, radishes, and lettuces.

Gardening-related issues such as when to plant, when to fertilize, how to control pests, and what do the plants need to thrive are researched and information is shared with all participants.

As of the end of July, we have donated 277 pounds of produce to the Church of All People Free Store as well as Volunteers of America, which serves 63 male veterans. Church volunteers exclaimed “This is great! And we’ll be sure to get it to everyone right away! Thank you!” The veterans were “thrilled” and plan on coming to help work the plot. We look forward to making connections with so many more people through our simple act of growing to share.

Author: Yen Hanes

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