One Vegetable, One Community all about planting, growing and sharing this year

Times Report
Crookston Times

    For the past five years, One Vegetable, One Community (OVOC) has been choosing a vegetable of the year. This year, the Polk County Wellness Coalition, University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed, and Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIPS) ask Polk County residents to share seeds, plant a row or two for neighbors, friends and family, and grow your own in the “Victory Garden” movement.

    Victory gardens were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted during World War I and World War II for individuals to provide their own food. As a growing county-wide initiative, OVOC encourages county communities to participate in the mission to increase access to healthy foods, grow excitement about gardening, build relationships, connect with others, and instill hope beyond the pandemic.

    This year your garden is more important than ever. “Our social, mental, and physical health and well-being is more important than ever. Gardening, getting outside, and connecting with community are all great ways to boost our mood, improve our health, and decrease stress, anxiety and depression,” OVOC organizers said in a release.

    “Now is the time to get your garden started and there are many vegetables and flowers that can be directly sown into the soil. Start by sharing seeds with neighbors or planting an extra grow for friends and family so that in the months to come, there will be plenty of fresh produce and flowers for our communities,” the release continues. “Let’s connect, plant, grow, cook and share together through gardening! What one vegetable will you choose this year?!”

    Proper hand-washing and social etiquette remain important in your growing endeavors. If you are interested more in this program, contact Megan Hruby at University of Minnesota Extension SNAP-Ed or Amanda Lien at Polk County Public Health/SHIP.

Pictured are Amanda Lien, left, and Kirsten Fagerlund, both of Polk County Public Health and the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.