Growing It at Home

Gardens bloom in the shadow of the pandemic

For weeks, folks have been waking to a “groundhog day” scenario—coronavirus headlines and a feeling that something about the world has altered. But most people are writing their own scripts to rectify the situation. From health workers to food producers, people are fighting back against the virus, and gardening is one activity “contained” citizens use as they try to take control and find silver linings.  

A new slogan for garden enthusiasts seems to be, “When the going gets tough, the tough get growing.” But the victory garden is not a new concept—world wars and economic depressions in the previous century featured home plots and community projects. Nowadays, plant nurseries, university extension offices, seed companies, and amateur gardeners share their experiences and advice online. The following links contain information about gardening and other “home food experiences.”

  1. As people pick up new hobbies while they remain in self-quarantine, interest in gardening and farming grows—tips for beginning gardeners and chicken growers.
  2. As the Mississippi State Extension Office explains, April is National Gardening Month—a perfect time for shelter-in-place folks to turn soil and plant seeds.
  3. Quarantine time might cultivate a lifelong love of gardening, and this nine-year-old is off to a good start.
  4. In this writer’s opinion, gardening can be a positive family-inclusive activity to adopt.
  5. This site includes more tips about growing a garden.

Even those who don’t get involved with planting, weeding, and harvesting can benefit from the get-it-growing movement. Penn State University Extension Master Gardeners are partnering with commercial greenhouses to provide plants, both edible and ornamental, to medical caregivers and front-line staff whose lives have been upended by the coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus has tried to cast a “doom of Mordor” shroud over the land, but spring is unfolding, plants are blooming, and many people are joining the gardeners-r-us movement. They won’t win all the battles against weeds, pests, and bad weather, but in the end, the home-grown harvest will yield nutritional, emotional, and maybe even financial benefits.

photo collage from and

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