Franklin County

Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County, a program of The Ohio State University College of Social Work, entered the AARP and World Health Organization international network of Age-Friendly Communities in 2016. This network defines a five-year process for communities across the globe to assess, plan, and implement needed improvements through the lens of older adults. Each community is given access to resources and guidance for how to complete the work, but is also given the flexibility to cater the process locally. December of 2020 marks the first round of improvements in Columbus and Franklin County-defined by five years of robust discovery and innovation with older adult residents and those who serve them. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Next City 

Join Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Franklin County, for the Take A Break! Live Healthy, Live Well fall email wellness challenge. The challenge will begin the week of October 19, 2020 and run through November 25, 2020. Participants will receive two email messages weekly with tips and encouragement on topics such as play, rest, creativity, nourishment, and more. Follow this link to learn more. Follow this link to sign up. Sourced from: OSU Extension, Franklin County
Jodi Kushins, of Over the Fence Urban Farm, knows she doesn’t grow a lot compared to some farms. She feeds about 20 households through her CSA program, with 2,500 square feet in her yard and her neighbor’s yard. “It’s like a drop in the bucket,” she said. “Seeing a semi truck full of produce and then thinking about the very, very tiny amount of food I’m able to produce in my yard definitely gives me pause.” Kushin’s farm is one of more than 30 in Columbus, up from about five in 2014. Urban agriculture is driven by desires for food security and fresh foods, vacant land in post-industrial areas and interest in connecting with farmers, said Mike Hogan,  Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, Franklin County. “We know we’re not gonna feed the world with urban agriculture,” Hogan said. But Hogan believes that urban agriculture needs to be part of the city food systems. In Cleveland, about 80% of the vacant land could provide 20% of all the produce needed. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: Farm and Dairy
This series of 10 evening workshops is designed to help individuals learn how to produce and market all types of food products in an urban environment. While the workshop content will be introductory, individuals who already have some experience growing or marketing food products will benefit from participating. The 2020 Master Urban Farmer class will be held utilizing a hybrid model of some in-person classes, some outdoor sessions, and many classes held virtually. The in-person sessions will utilize safety protocols including reduced class size, social distancing, face masks required, and no food served. Because of this, the cost of registration will be cut in half from $200 to $100 for the general public and $50 for Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: OSU Extension, Franklin County
COVID-19 has impacted the ability to deliver in person education; however, it hasn't stopped Extension educators from continuing to support backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers. Agriculture and Natural Resources educator, Tim McDermott, recently paired with Chef Katie and Chef Stephanie to provide the Ross Heart Hospital clients a virtual learning experience. The experience was originally set to stream from the demonstration kitchen of Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building; however, the weather was too nice to not take advantage of the Veggie Trials Garden. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: OSU Extension Franklin County
Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Department of Agriculture are partnering to encourage people to plant a fall victory garden. Dubbed Ohio Victory Gardens – Let’s Grow Ohio, the statewide project will be piloted in five Ohio counties this fall: Lucas, Cuyahoga, Hamilton, Clark, and Franklin.  The project will include educational programs targeted to fall vegetable gardening throughout Ohio and distribution of free seeds in the five pilot counties. In addition, they are establishing a u.osu.edu/ohiovictorygardens website to gather together  numerous resources around the state focused on vegetable gardening. They are in need of any resources that either you or your county have created (videos, fact sheets, etc.) as well as those you use regularly for vegetable gardening and preservation, etc. See the following list for resource categories:
  • Pots and Plots (soils, planning the garden, season extension, container gardens)
  • Insects!Diseases!Critters! OH My! (pest management information)
  • Buzz about Pollinators (information about pollinators)
  • Seeds – Come and Get Them (seed distribution information, pilot testing in six counties in August and all counties in spring)
  • Donating Your Victory (food pantries, food banks, etc.)
  • Cook ‘N Can It! (What to do with your Victory (preservation, recipes, other)
  • Show off the Good, The Bad & The Ugly (people submit photos)
Please contact Associate Professor, Pamela Bennett if you would like to add to the resource list. Follow this link to learn more.
With widespread food insecurity across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio National Guard Soldiers and Airmen were called in March to support regional food bank warehouses and local pantries. In addition to that support, about 15 Guard members helping at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank had a unique task assigned to them at an off-site location – build an urban farm. The Mid-Ohio Farm on the Hilltop in the Hilltop neighborhood just west of downtown Columbus will provide the food bank with quick access to fresh, local produce while also serving as a place to provide hands-on education for the local communities. Follow this link to read more. Sourced from: U.S. Army
With a population nearing 900,000, Columbus, Ohio, is the largest municipality in the state and 14th largest in the United States. It is Ohio’s state capital as well as home to The Ohio State University and headquarters for five Fortune 500 companies. Combined with the rest of Franklin County, the area is home to about 1.3 million residents, 12 percent of who are age 65 or older. Columbus joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities  in 2015. Franklin County followed in 2018. The region’s age-friendly initiative is called Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County. The Challenge “When COVID hit the front pages of Central Ohio newspapers, we anticipated older adults would have limited access to resources, resulting in increased social isolation and food insecurity,” says Katie White, Director, Age-Friendly Columbus and Franklin County. “We also immediately saw that need spanned the entire county, not just Columbus.” The Response The age-friendly group sprang into action, contacting community partners that have a continual pulse on needs, challenges, and opportunities throughout the region. Students, staff, and faculty volunteers from The Ohio State University College of Social Work speak by phone with older adults in the community, providing an opportunity for older people to socialize and get questions answered without the fear of contracting COVID. Follow this link to read more. Sourced from: Cities Speak
Join the Columbus Urban Farmer Networking Meeting Thursday, January 30, 2020, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building. Come learn about: New Columbus zoning code changes related to: food sales at residential locations, hoophouse structures, and composting. This meeting will be presented by Cheryl Graffagnino, Local Food Systems Strategies Coordinator, City of Columbus. There will be refreshments provided. No RSVP or registration required. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: CFAES
Eighteen active duty military veterans recently graduated from a five month farming and gardening training program called the Heroes Garden. The project was a collaboration between the Franklin County Office of OSU Extension and the Central Ohio Veterans Administration Healthcare System. Veterans participated in classroom sessions on urban farming and gardening topics in the early spring and then planted and maintained a vegetable garden at the new Extension Teaching and Learning Gardens at Waterman Farm on campus. Follow this link to learn more. Sourced from: OSU Franklin County Extension

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