The Grow This: WV Garden Challenge, run by the West Virginia University Extension Service Family Nutrition Program, will provide free vegetable seeds and gardening instruction to West Virginians for another season.
Sign-ups will run January 1 – 31, 2021, and are open to any West Virginia resident who fills out a short survey. Participants can expect to receive their seeds in the mail around mid-April.
“Although the explosion of interest we saw with last year’s Grow This campaign came as a shock, it allowed us to get more creative with the ways we delivered gardening education,” said Kristin McCartney , Family Nutrition Program specialist and assistant professor. “We’re excited to see what this year brings!”
The 2021 Grow This crops will be beans, corn and squash, which create a traditional Native American “three sisters” garden. The plants help one another thrive and provide growers with a nutritionally balanced harvest.
Grow This launched in 2018 with a few hundred participants for its first few years. But in 2020, the launch coincided with statewide COVID-19 lockdowns and resulted in nearly 25,000 West Virginians joining the program.
Participants found themselves stuck at home, and gardening provided a healthy outdoor activity they could do with their families. “While people of all experience levels are welcome, this program is really aimed at the beginning gardener. We try to make gardenin g as easy and accessible as possible,” McCartney said.
In addition to complimentary seeds, Grow This participants receive a weekly email newsletter and can connect with other gardeners and WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources experts on the Grow This Facebook page.
To find out more, visit facebook.com/growthiswv.
The WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program’s work is supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
WVU Extension Service Family Nutrition Program
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