Moving back to Ohio to take care of her parents after living in Georgia, Barbara Takacs decided she wanted to start a home garden.

Moving back to Ohio to take care of her parents after living in Georgia, Barbara Takacs decided she wanted to start a home garden. Her parents owned some acreage in Hartville and her father asked that she plant the garden in a section that was a bit far away from the house. It was also a long distance from a water source.

She planted her garden and then went in search of an effective way to get water to the area. Takacs did some research on the Internet and determined she needed rain barrels.

“I put up a small shed next to the garden and then put two rain barrels next to the shed to catch rainwater,” Takacs said. “I’m not a rain barrel expert, I’m a rain barrel user.”

Once she discovered how easy the rain barrels made watering the garden plants, she decided to share the experience with others.

“… I wanted to start a small business and it was a good fit to start selling rain barrels,” Takacs said. “I started selling online first and then opened a store in the Hartville MarketPlace.”

Takacs held a how-to talk in Jackson Township’s North Park as part of this year’s new programming, “Gardening with Zest.” Karen Halter came up with the idea to offer free gardening classes.

“We’ve offered talks on raised bed gardening, edible landscaping and sustainable gardening,” Halter said. “This is our fourth talk in the series. There are two more, one is on bees and their interaction with the environment and the garden and the last one will be on putting gardens to bed for the fall.”

People who are part of the Master Gardeners of Summit/Stark program can use the talks as part of their accreditation requirements. Each talk has had between 15 and 25 people and Halter said the feedback has been positive.

“People have been finding the topics and the guest speakers interesting,” Halter said. “We’ve had people of all ages attend. Some of the presenters have brought along free plants or other items. I also give away door prizes of little gardening tools and other things.”

Those interested in attending the remaining two presentations can visit the township’s website, www.jacksontwp.com, for more information.

Registration is not required.

At 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 26 the program will examine bees and pollination. The 6:30 p.m. program on Sept. 23 will provide tips for winterizing your garden.