Ready U session to introduce vegetable gardening basicsWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
For those interested in starting a vegetable garden but not sure where to begin, a good place to start might be the Ready U presentation on Feb. 13.
“From Plant to Plate: Planning Your Victory Garden” will introduce basic vegetable gardening techniques for the backyard, community or container gardener.
The free, hour-long session will start at 7 p.m. at The Andersons Activity Room, 1833 S. Holland-Sylvania Road in Maumee. Presenters will be Extension Educator Amy Stone and Program Assistant Patrice Powers-Barker of the Ohio State University Extension office in Lucas County, which developed the presentation. Kristin Emery of 13abc will host.
Ready U, a yearlong series presented by the Red Cross of Greater Toledo and the Lucas County Emergency Management Agency, is designed to educate the public and prepare individuals and families for potential emergencies in Northwest Ohio.
There are many reasons to grow your own vegetables, including for enjoyment, to save money on groceries and to introduce more vegetable variety to your diet, Powers-Barker said.
“A lot of people are interested in vegetable gardening, but don’t always know where to start,” Powers-Barker said. “We think it’s great people want to do vegetable gardening and we want them to be successful.”
The presentation is designed to inform and inspire gardeners of all skill levels, focusing on easy-to-grow, economical, edible plants, Powers-Barker said. It will cover everything from choosing seeds or transplants to harvesting your produce to washing, preserving and preparing simple, tasty, healthy recipes.
“People who have attended have said, ‘I never really thought about that,’ or ‘That’s a great idea,’” Powers-Barker said. “We really want to focus on helping people to decide for themselves what would make the most sense for them to grow, depending on space, interest or their taste, as well as letting them know about the resources in the area for help as they get started and for all the steps along the way.”
One resource is the Extension’s horticulture hotline, staffed 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. At other times, callers can leave a message that will be returned. The number is (419) 578-6783.
The Toledo Botanical Garden’s annual seed swap is another good way to get advice and get started, Emery said. This year’s event will be noon-3 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Erie Street Market, 237 S. Erie St.
Emery, who also hosted last year’s Ready U session on victory gardens, said the event was well-attended by beginners and experts.
“Community gardening and urban gardening are really catching on,” Emery said. “If you can grow your own, why spend all that money buying organic pre-cut produce?”
Powers-Barker said she hopes people come away from the presentation excited for the upcoming growing season and armed with the information and resources they need to turn their ideas into reality.
Toledo Free Press is a media sponsor for the Ready U program.
Ready U kits containing emergency preparedness materials as well as smoke detectors will be given to the first 50 attendees, said Red Cross Communications Officer Jason Copsey. For more information, visit ready-u.com.