Victory gardens aim to defeat food insecurity, COVID-19 


By Sam Montgomery

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton County Master Gardeners Shelli Broadbent and Jennifer Lambert have partnered with the Carmel Clay Public Library, with the support of the City of Carmel’s Economic Development and Community Relations Dept., to promote the concept of victory gardens to Carmel residents.

Victory gardens originated during World War I as food sources and to boost morale. Carmel residents have several options for planting.

“They can certainly start them in their backyards, and there is also the Plots to Plates community garden behind Carmel Middle School,” Lambert said.

The program was launched with more than 2,800 victory garden bundles, which included 15 seed packs in each. Hamilton East Public Library donated an additional 1,000 seed packets. Nearly 120 bundles were distributed April 18 during the Carmel Winter Farmers Market.

The goal of the project is to encourage Carmel residents to share their harvests with the more than 30 food banks in Hamilton County.

“The victory garden is about claiming victory over food insecurity and claiming victory over (COVID-19). It’s about moving on,” Broadbent said. “We want to encourage the public to grow now more than ever because despite everything that’s canceled, gardening is not canceled. It’s really exciting to be able to pass on this message and to pass on the seeds to everyone.”

A tote is available between 3 and 7 p.m. near the main entrance of the Education Center at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds with seed bundles. Each family may take one bundle, which will be available until May 16 while supplies last.

Learn more at


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