Red Cross session to spotlight gardening ‘From Plant to Plate’Written by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Growing your own food can be part of your family’s emergency plan and tips on how to get started is the topic of this month’s Ready U session.
The hour-long event, titled “Victory in the Garden,” is set for 7 p.m. May 23 at the Toledo Botanical Garden conference center, 5403 Elmer Drive.
Horticulture Manager Josh Miller will talk about Toledo Botanical Garden and its community outreach arm, Toledo GROWs, before turning the floor over to two Ohio State University Extension employees.
Extension Educator Amy Stone and Patrice Powers-Barker, program assistant with the Family Nutrition Program, will co-present a program called “From Plant to Plate.”
The discussion will cover the growing process from planting to harvest and what to do after the harvest, including food safety, preparation and preservation.
“It’s kind of geared toward the beginning gardener, but I think the greenest of the green thumbs can learn something and take away something from the information we present. Whether it’s a new vegetable or fruit they haven’t used before or a really great recipe,” Stone said.
Stone hopes attendees will leave with new confidence, new excitement and new ideas for their gardens.
“I want them to leave knowing they can be successful in the garden and to maybe take a plant or a variety of plants they are excited about trying this year,” Stone said. “And then what to do after they harvest it. Maybe they’ve always eaten it fresh out of the garden and maybe they’re interested in canning or freezing or something they haven’t done before.”
If a family’s garden produces more than they need, donation is a great way to give back to the community, Stone said.
“We really want to promote that if you have more than you need or your family needs, to donate that back to the community, to someone in need, whether that’s a soup kitchen, food bank or a next-door neighbor, but just to share that harvest,” Stone said.
Handouts on specific vegetables will be available at the event as well as a guide to the area’s community gardens.
“If you’re interested in learning more about community gardens rather than backyard gardens, we will have resources for those people too,” Stone said.
Ready U, a 10-session yearlong series presented by the Red Cross of Greater Toledo and the Lucas County EMA, is designed to educate the public and prepare individuals and families for potential emergencies in Northwest Ohio.
Attendees will receive reusable grocery bags and have a chance to win raffle prizes, including a gift card from The Andersons, said Sheri Meeker, community disaster education specialist for the Red Cross. 13abc’s Kristin Emery will host the session.
Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor for the Ready U program.
For more information, visit the website ready-u.com.