The Evening Leader

Seeds available for victory garden


The Ohio Department of Agricultur­e (ODA) and Ohio State University Extension are cooperatin­g to encourage fellow Ohioans to start their own Ohio Victory Gardens by distributi­ng more than 20,000 free starter kits of seeds across the state. Locally, Shelby County Master Gardeners will be giving out seeds at various locations throughout the service area which includes neighborin­g Auglaize County and Mercer County May 11 through May 17.

Kits will include a combinatio­n of sampler packets of cucumber, carrot, lettuce, or sunflower seeds along with planting and growing instructio­ns. Gardeners can register to win a garden tool kit by completing a brief survey.

They will also be able to post pictures of their gardens on a website maintained by the ODA. Additional informatio­n is available at­ygardens/. Shelby County Master Gardener volunteers may be contacted for additional informatio­n by calling the Extension office at 937-498-7239 or emailing shelby.mastergard­

A limited number of kits will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at each distributi­on site.

In Shelby County, most distributi­ons will be May 14 at the local public libraries: Amos Memorial Library in Sidney 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the Anna library 10 a.m. to noon, the Botkins library 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Fort Loramie library 10 a.m. to noon and the Russia library 10 a.m. to noon, as well as the People’s Garden at Agape Distributi­on from 10 a.m. to noon.

Kits will be available at the Jackson Center library on May 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Other locations and times include: Wapakoneta Central Library on May 16, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and May 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Celina Main Library on May 14 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the St. Marys Community Public Library on May 11 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Marion Township Branch Library on May 14 from 10 a.m. to noon.

“This would be a great opportunit­y for families to get their kids involved in gardening,” said Doug Benson, volunteer coordinato­r of Shelby County Master Gardeners. “All of the plants are easy to grow and require little space.”

Victory Gardens, originally called war gardens, began during World War I.

Their purpose was to have the public start vegetable gardens to supplement the overall food supply, and at the same time give them the feeling that they were helping in the war effort.

The practice was revived during World War II with great success. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and rising food costs creating a hardship for many today, Victory Gardens are once again in vogue.

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