PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — It’s a good day for green thumbs and potential gardeners in the area.

The Unity Gardens Initiative began on Monday. Free starter seed packets are available to any resident who wants them.

“The seed packets are a good way to have a conversation and start learning more about gardening here locally,” University of Florida/IFAS Bay County Extension Director Scott Jackson said. “We have a vegetable gardening guide, and we provide that information throughout the year, along with soil test information, so if you’re needing more resources or you haven’t been successful in the past with vegetable gardening, then come by and see us and we’ll be happy to help you.”

Some of the plant seeds include corn, tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant.

The program was started by Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The purpose is to help encourage Floridians to live a healthy life, learn more about the environment, and even allow residents to connect with— and learn from— the Bay County IFAS extension office.

“The ability to understand and listen to what people are trying to grow gives us an opportunity to talk about soil testing, and so we can give targeted information to those requests and help people be more successful in their homes, landscapes and also in their vegetable gardens,” Jackson said. “We have unlimited supplies of materials, especially as it relates to what to plant at certain times of the year.”

If you’re a Bay County resident interested in taking part in the program, you can grab a few packets of seeds at the Bay County IFAS location on 14th Street in Panama City.