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Free seeds available from Victory Gardens Program

REYNOLDSBURG — It’s time to get your hands dirty and start growing! The Ohio Department of Agriculture and OSU Extension Offices are kicking off the second year of the Victory Gardens Program.

Due to high demand, the program is expanding from 10 to 25 counties across the state, including Jefferson County, with 8,300 seed packets available free to the public to get people planting.

“We have seen a revived passion for planting through our Victory Gardens Program, which has expanded to 15 additional counties this year,” said Dorothy Pelanda, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “Our Ohio Victory Gardens are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, from urban apartment dwellers, to those living in the country, and everyone in between. We hope this will inspire a new generation of gardeners who will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor for years to come.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with ODA on the Victory Garden Program. Last year, we had an overwhelming positive response to the program, so this year, we will be expanding the seed distribution initiative to 25 Ohio State University Extension county offices,” said Cathann A. Kress, vice president for agricultural administration and dean, college of food, agricultural and eEnvironmental sciences.

“No matter your level of gardening experience, our OSU Extension educators will provide expertise that will help your gardens thrive.”

In Jefferson County, seeds will be available to pick up Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Urban Mission at 311 N. Sixth St., Steubenville, while supplies last. Planting resources and other information about gardening can be found at the Ohio Victory Gardens website.

Victory Gardens originated during World War I, an answer to a severe food shortage at the time. The idea was wildly successful, growing an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism.

Although there’s no food shortage now, ODA and OSU Extension are reviving the effort and once again encouraging people to plant seeds, realize the fruits of their labor, and share with others if inspired. The Victory Gardens Program offers a full website with details on seed distribution, advice and resources on every aspect of planting and harvesting produce.

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