In urban areas, OSU Extension faces a challenge in delivering horticulture information to a large population. Roughly 70 percent of Americans are involved with gardening in some form; it may be as simple as an African violet on a windowsill, or as involved as a 2,500-square-foot vegetable garden. That means in the Franklin County metropolitan area, over 500,000 adults garden.
The Franklin County office of OSU Extension reaches this population through a combination of education methods, including writing articles for the Columbus Dispatch. The articles run in the Dispatch's Sunday edition, which has a circulation of roughly 380,000.
Jane Martin writes two Sunday columns per week. One is titled "By Extension," which has been ongoing since about 1994 and focuses on timely garden topics. The other is "Growing Concerns," which is a reader question-and-answer column that began in June 2000. Martin addresses topics that are current for the season, and gleans ideas from office phone calls, issues her volunteers and other educators are talking about, and observations from around the county as well as in her own garden. Most weeks, she includes photos that pertain to each column so that readers can better understand what's being covered.
The Columbus Dispatch currently makes these columns available on the Web at http://www.dispatch.com -- scroll down to Your Garden on the left menu. The Dispatch also has an archive of past articles and questions and answers.
For information on providing horticultural information to urban audiences, contact:Jane C. Martin
Created: 2008-04-11, Updated: 2008-04-11