The goal of the Family & Consumer Sciences Program is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families in Garrard County. We want to help the residents of our county meet new challenges in a changing environment. We focus on our clients' economic and social well-being through programs that help people extend their incomes, improve their health and strengthen their personal and family relationships.

For more information, contact Mary Hixson, County Extension Agent for Family & Consumer Sciences at the Garrard County Extension Office 859-792-3026

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Garrard County Victory Garden Project

By Mary Hixson, FCS Extension Agent for Garrard County

It’s time to think about your fall garden! In Garrard County that means you have a chance to pick up your fall Victory Garden Kit from the Extension Office. Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles announced earlier this summer a new Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) partnership with the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program (KYNEP) to encourage Kentuckians to get in touch with their agricultural roots during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Since starting the Kentucky Hunger Initiative years ago, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has kicked around the idea of a new agricultural education effort to encourage Kentuckians to grow their own victory gardens,” said Commissioner Quarles. “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, people have reached out to the KDA in droves seeking to learn how they can grow their own food. A partnership with the University of Kentucky is a natural fit for educating Kentucky families about how they can grow their own food. I hope Kentuckians – whether they be urban or rural – will get their hands dirty learning the basics about agriculture through a garden.”

The Kentucky Victory Garden effort comes during the coronavirus pandemic, a time in which Americans and Kentuckians of all stripes are coming together to not only support local agriculture but also have an increased interest in growing their own food while they are staying at home and practicing social distancing. Because of the distribution time, Garrard County Cooperative Extension Service, will distribute their Kentucky Victory Garden toolkits for development of a fall garden.

“The UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is grateful for this partnership with KDA, which will allow us to serve more citizens,” said Dr. Nancy Cox, dean of UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “This project builds on the successful and dedicated efforts of Family and Consumer Science programs to offer nutrition advice for Kentucky families. We know that the food dollar has never been more stretched, so this collaboration is so important. We thank Commissioner Quarles for his confidence in the Kentucky Cooperative Extensions Service.”

The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment was founded as, and remains a land-grant institution, committed to improving the quality of life for Kentuckians. Our research, teaching, and extension programs are part of a national system that maintains a statewide presence and links local, state, and global issues. Agriculture, food, and environmental systems are key components of Kentucky's economic future, and the college is playing a prominent role in those areas with its programs.

The Kentucky Nutrition Education Program (KYNEP) encompasses two separate USDA programs: The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Both programs are administered by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service in order to show limited resource families with young children and SNAP eligible individuals how to plan nutritious meals on a limited budget, acquire safe food handling practices, improve food preparation skills, and change behavior necessary to have a healthy lifestyle.

Our fall Victory Garden Kit from the Garrard County Extension Office is a bag full of items to help in planting a fall mix of vegetables including seeds. There is a limited number of bags so first come first serve, but we do have plenty of garden calendars and recipe cards.  If you would like a Victory Garden kit, stop by the Extension Office during office hours.  If you would like to visit our Garden at the Office—stop by and take a look at our raised bed to the right of the building and check out how our vegetables are growing that were planted last week. For more information about gardening, food preservation or recipes for using your fresh vegetables, contact the Extension Office at 859-792-3026.