Gardening makes sense at times like nothing else

Christine Smith, who leads the Seadleaf community garden organization in Lexington, Ky., wrote last week, “In times of fear and confusion, the only thing that makes sense to me is to get outside and garden.”

Of course, she’s not the only one to express such a sentiment. Seed companies across the country say they’re overwhelmed with business. So clearly droves of people have similar ideas as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. Smith, however, is particularly eloquent in explaining the good that putting hands in soil can do for troubled souls. So we encourage you to read.

We at the Vegetable Project would also like to encourage giving gardening a try, especially to parents who are looking for healthy educational activities for the kids while schools are closed. We’ll give a pack to seeds to the first 10 people who message us on Facebook and arrange a contactless handoff in Albany.

Then, you might want to peruse a sampling of the sage advice out there for first-timers as well as links to additional resources and a couple of pieces with ideas about other nature-based explorations that kids will enjoy.

Gardeners Supply, a Vermont mail-order business selling gear for gardening, offers a how-to guide to growing flowers and vegetables.

Adrian Higgins, long-time garden writer for The Washington Post, helps the beginner get started as he likens gardening in a time of coronavirus pandemic to victory gardens during World War II.

Here’s a seed-starting 101 from John Scheepers Kitchen Garden Seeds.

And then, the Kitchen Garden Seeds folks identify a host of great reasons to get kids outside along with a host of seed-starting tips.

The aforementioned Gardeners Supply brings us Kevin Espiritu, author of Field Guide to Urban Gardening: How to Grow Plants, No Matter Where You Live, with eight tips for new gardeners.

The New York Botanical Garden lists online gardening resources.

And one more from Gardeners Supply, 5 Nature-Based Activities to do with kids this week.

A final thought for troubled times: Planting tiny seeds is an act of faith – that better days are ahead. Like everyone else, we cannot even guess how long it will be until do not we’re able to get with other people. We are preparing garden beds and starting seeds, however, for all the reasons Christine Smith cites. And to be ready to engage with kids just as soon as that is possible.

–Bill Stoneman

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