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Using Gardens and Produce to Reach All Communities in Our County

Extension Education

Nanette Neal
Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator
The Ohio State University Extension


The purpose of the garden was to educate the community about straw bale gardening. Throughout the growing season, eighteen articles with photos appeared in the OSU Extension Clermont County eNewsletter, 1981 subscribers. These included: articles on how to start a straw bale garden, vegetables harvested, pollinators and pests observed, weather conditions, and the use of upcycled materials. Information was distributed during the fair, garden, and the Extension Office. Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) answered questions at their booth during the fair. Information about the advantages of planting herbs and flowers with vegetables was included in the weekly eNewsletter. Handouts were available at the MGV fair booth that described what specific vegetables, herbs, and flowers were planted together to attract pollinators or deter pests. The garden also included signage to help with the identification of the plants. The demonstration project brought new light to the MGV program within the community. The informational brochure and weekly articles in the eNewsletter highlighted MGV projects and donations. Around 500 pounds of vegetables from the garden were donated to OSU Clermont Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) and SNAP-Ed programs, Owensville Commons senior living apartment complex, HOPE Community Center, and the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati. The SNAP-Ed program utilized the donated produce throughout the Summer and Fall to introduce program participants to different recipes that they might not have been willing to try on their own. The FCS program used produce during the Dining with Diabetes program and as part of food preservation classes. During the fair week at least 150 people visited the MGV booth. This was documented by the number of brochures passed out, and by the number of people who entered the drawing for different baskets of garden tools and materials. Many fair visitors were aware of the garden through the e-newsletter. Some attendees indicated they wanted to try straw bale gardening and plan to encourage their children to try it as their next 4-H project. Fairgoers appreciated the vegetables that were available for taking. Our vegetable basket was another demonstration of the variety of vegetables that can be grown in straw bales.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Nanette Neal, Margaret Jenkins, Mackenzie Mahon, Kelly Royalty, Becky Fiscus, Sarah Neikamp, Clermont County Master Gardener Volunteers
  1. Neal, N. Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160
  2. Jenkins, M. Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160
  3. Mahon, M. 4-H Youth Development/Family & Consumer Science Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160
  4. Royalty, K. 4-H Youth Development Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160
  5. Fiscus, B. SNAP Ed Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160
  6. Neikamp, S. SNAP-Ed Program Assistant, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160
  7. Master Gardener Volunteers, C. Volunteer, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio, 45160