I miss March 2020 energy. The world was suddenly shifting and we were all in this together! We cared for one another and stories of people bringing groceries to neighbors were shared on social media! We fed our neighbors! We checked in! We suddenly became more aware of our neighborhoods than ever before.
We were worried about supply chain issues coming down the road! And we stocked up and we planted gardens because here in the Northern Hemisphere Spring had just started and we wanted to be prepared with bountiful harvests for the coming Covid disaster!
We didn’t anticipate two years of this pandemic (though somehow all global pandemics have been two years…) and the supply chain issues we have been dealing with, and the inflation, are only getting worse. February 2022 was the fourth deadliest month of Covid so far!
I hang out with a lot of plant obsessed babes and they’ve been talking about garden plans for this Spring.
I want to encourage you to make your garden plan. Even if it’s your fire escape, the piece of dirt between your sidewalk and street, wherever you can. Get curious & creative!
Consider planting more than you need. Plant even more than you think you have capacity for and between now and harvest(s) keep your ears out for ways to be generous.
I believe that if we open ourselves up to the flow of generosity we can give away things that aren’t a big deal to us that are literal miracles to other folks.
Imagine the Santa vibes you will feel this late Spring, Summer and Fall when you drop off produce to that single mom you met down the road who can barely afford gas and daycare. What if you heard of a neighbor willing to cook and make soups out of your harvest and give them to folks who need them?
If you found someone who needed seeds, soil and fertilizer to start a garden and you had extra that’s pre-harvest generosity that’s also filling bellies! Or maybe you can have satellite gardens because you really like to. Or maybe a family member will let you have a garden at their place.
There is just so much staggering need right now. Inflation, gas prices, tremedous healthcare costs–even missing work because of catching covid means the bills aren’t paid since most folks are on razor thin wires. What if your zucchinis meant someone didn’t have to choose between feeding the kids and paying for medicine?
Considering all the serotonin and anti-depressant benefits of gardening your generosity could be the seed of your better mood. Also when you are doing things in service to other people it helps your state of mind–volunteerism is also an anti-depressant.
One of my favorite Covid projects is Free99 fridge in Atlanta. An incredible story of mutual aid that began as fridges all over ATL filled by neighbors that is blooming into a free community grocery. “For the people, from the people.”
This is the energy I want to be seeing in this third year of this pandemic! We will save each other through person to person generosity! Give what you can lavishly!
Here’s the garden advice I got from my plant lady friends I am using for my container garden and want to pass along to you:
Plant what you like to eat (you can plant SALSA! I like to make bone broth and noodles with fresh greens and scallions cut from the garden)
Plant for your climate zone
You can keep growing kale and onions over the Winter
Potatoes take practice
Yes you need to fertilize
I didn’t realize about fertilizing last year and had a great Late Spring harvest of greens and scallions and herbs but they didn’t produce in Summer or Fall. I was a city gal for so long I didn’t start growing food beyond tomato plants and herbs until I moved near my mom and she helped me get started. I’m working on failing forward. Gardening takes patience, practice, perseverance. These are all great skills to have!
Shout out to everyone who has read or is reading Braiding Sweetgrass, I hope you plant beans corn & squash!
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