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Grow This: West Virginia Garden Challenge

Seed packets from the 2020 Grow This campaign.

The Grow This: West Virginia Garden Challenge provides free seeds to anyone in West Virginia who fills out a short survey.

Sign-ups for the 2021 season begin January 1, 2021. This year's crops will be corn, beans and squash, forming a traditional Native American "three sisters" garden.

The program launched in 2018 and, for the first few years, had a few hundred participants statewide. But in 2020, as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, more than 25,000 people signed up to receive seeds. Many were first-time gardeners.

Family Nutrition Program staff also held events around the state to distribute seeds and allow gardeners to share plants and supplies. The program keeps in touch with participants via the Grow This Facebook page, where growers get updates on the program, share photos, compete in challenges and share advice. The page also hosts regular “Ask the Expert” live streams where followers ask WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources experts for gardening and home preserving advice.

The Grow This email newsletter provides weekly to-do lists based on the WVU Extension Service Garden Calendar.

By the numbers

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Over 17,000 participants

More than 17,000 people signed up to participate in 2021. That’s more than 50,000 packets of seeds mailed out!

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10,000 followers

The Grow This! Facebook page, where we share gardening information and host special competitions, has more than 10,000 followers.

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Three sisters

This year, Grow This! participants are growing a traditional Native American "Three Sisters" garden of squash, corn and beans.