The Cuyahoga County Extension office, in alignment with all OSU campuses, has postponed all face-to-face programming through July 6th in response to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. Until further notice, all OSU Extension staff are working remotely and are available from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday to receive phone calls and emails. We are offering online video-based trainings for some of our scheduled programs during this time. If you have registered or planned to attend one of our programs scheduled between now and the end of this month be sure to check your email inbox for updates. We are closely monitoring the number of confirmed cases and the number of county residents who are quarantined here in Cuyahoga County. The health and safety of our participants, partners, and staff is our number one priority. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions (216) 429-8200.
For a Factsheet on Community Gardening during the COVID-19 pandemic, see below:
Seeing Community Gardens Through
The current coronavirus concerns have a distinct impact on community projects, spaces and places. Our office remains committed to serving our communities and we have put together the following recommendations for community garden leaders:
- If your community garden is associated with a place of worship, a non-profit or any other agency, check with their leadership to see if they have policy to follow at this time.
- Be understanding of individuals’ choice to stay safe. Consider your ability as a garden leader to be flexible for people who do not want to come to the garden at this time.
- Continue to communicate with your gardeners. If a garden policy is determined, communicate this with all gardeners. If you will let individuals determine their own level of comfort, communicate a short-term plan for maintenance of absentee plots.
- If you need to keep a garden plot free of weeds, use a thick mulch or weed fabric to suppress weeds. Consider some options:
o Cardboard, remember to wet/weigh it down with something or secure with landscape pins so the wind does not blow it away. Straw or wood chips are a great material to camouflage the cardboard if you would like to.
For information on the coronavirus and how to prevent its spread, or learn how the state of Ohio and The Ohio State University are working to keep our communities safe, visit:
Ohio Department of Heath
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The Ohio State University
Looking to Start a Community Garden in Cleveland?
The Summer Sprout Community Garden program can help! Gardens enrolled in Summer Sprout may be eligible for soil testing, soil amendments, tilling services, plants, seeds, materials for raised beds, technical assistance and education. Existing community gardens may also be eligible!
In order to become a participating garden, the project must meet the following requirements:
1) Location of garden must be within Cleveland city limits; not a suburb
2) The designated “Garden Leader” must complete Dig In! training prior to applying (provided by OSU Extension each Spring)
3) The garden must have a minimum of 5 gardeners who are committed to participating in the garden; these 5 gardeners cannot be all from the same family
4) Must have documented permission to use land for purpose of gardening
5) Must have an identified water source at or near the garden site
6) Must not sell any of the produce from the garden; all produce must go to the gardeners or be donated
General Timeline for Joining Summer Sprout:
Step 1 is to sign up for the Dig In training. This is a mandatory 5 week course offered each Spring.
Step 2 is to submit a new garden application in the Summer.
By Fall, each applicant will be notified of acceptance status and next steps.
By Spring of the following year, newly accepted gardens will be eligible to receive materials and services from the Summer Sprout program.
Dig In! Training
Register for our Dig In! Community Garden Training Program! This is a requirement for all new gardens or new garden leaders.
Dig In! helps community members gain the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, design, and build a thriving and sustainable community garden. Registration for this training is currently closed. If you would like to be contacted when registration opens, please email Carrie at email@example.com.
If you have any questions or need more information about the Summer Sprout Program or Ohio State University Extension, Cuyahoga County, please contact our office at (330) 599-7736 or email Carrie at firstname.lastname@example.org.