HOLMES COUNTY – Having access to fresh fruits and vegetables is not always easy for some Holmes County residents. Holmes County UF/IFAS Extension Director Kalyn Waters recognized that problem – as well as an opportunity to help educate the public on some gardening basics. From this inspiration, Waters began a program called “Garden in a Bag.”
“I saw this as a way to both serve and educate the community,” said Waters. “We are teaching people how to grow a sustainable source of food which increases their access to affordable produce and helps to increase the quality of their diet.”
This year is the first time fall bags have been available, as they are usually only offered in the spring. Each bag contains three vegetable packets and one fruit seed packet along with planting, care, harvesting and preservation fact sheets.
A total of 2,284 “Garden in a Bag” have been given out to the community since the program’s inception in 2018.
Waters says that ultimately, the goal is to help those who live in rural areas and food deserts.
“There are those in Holmes County who don’t have easy access to a grocery store,” she said. “People in the more rural areas of the county have quite a way to travel to get to fresh produce. This program is meant to be an outreach for economically challenged residents, youth, and seniors to teach them how to grow a sustainable food source.”
There are different types of seeds in each season such as carrots, radishes and a lettuce mix for the fall and bush beans, watermelon, and cucumbers in the spring.
The bags are available while supplies last at the Holmes County Tax Collector's office, Holmes County Public Library. S&S Grocery at Millers Crossroads, and M&W Barbecue.
For more information on “Garden in a Bag” and other UF/IFAS programs, contact Waters at 850-547-1108.
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