by Tab Moura
This year has taken me out of my comfort zone in so many ways, and I’m not altogether bummed about it. We didn’t know last March that we would experience grocery shortages across the country. We didn’t know that we would spend the next 12 months thinking about our families’ health and wellness more than ever before. But we did… and many of us aren’t looking back!
Many of you experimented with gardening over the last year. Research suggests that we basically sold out of all seeds last year… and that’s good news! The world is a better place when people have seeds in
their hands… and it’s always been that way! In the United States, we can look to our own family histories to see how our parents, grandparents, and their parents used at-home gardens to produce significant amounts of food during WWI, and as much as 40% of the nations produce during WWII. A time where no one could escape the effects of the war, the people just wanted to help however they could. Gardening proved to have a bigger impact than they could have imagined… their Victory Gardens have inspired generations of home gardens and have now produced decades of meals.
I am gardening with my daughters this year, and I am so excited! Cannabis patients across the country are already familiar with the heart of victory gardens because many of us grow our own medicine— a victory of a different kind. Modern victory gardens may look pretty unique, with a canna-plant or two thrown in, but even if you simply grow food in your yard to help feed those in need, the energy invested will have lasting impacts.
- For those with limited space, I recommend planting things that can grow vertically. Maybe peas, or green beans, etc… you can use various objects around the house to help support them as they grow, but most gardening stores will have trellises if you can afford it.
- If you are new to gardening, I recommend looking into plants that are not as sensitive to overwatering or sun exposure. Here are some plants that the pros consider “easy” to grow: tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, bell peppers, beans, strawberries, and carrots.
- We have a few veggie plants growing indoors at the moment; peas, tomatoes, and green beans. We started them in solo cups, labeled them, and set them near a window, and I am so very excited to transfer them to the dirt in a week or so! (Stay tuned!) If this is your first garden, start slow. Don’t make it fancy. Don’t plant too much at once until you feel ready to add a bigger commitment to your plate. You don’t have to plant them all at the same time, they all have different growth cycles anyway.
- Get the kids involved, I cannot imagine a better life lesson than to learn *firsthand* that something small can be so powerful. Let them garden, and don’t pressure them to eat any of it… let their curiosity take root. This is their victory garden too, their chance to help contribute to world hunger. What an empowering job.
Having children with special needs, both developmental and medical, I didn’t know we were ready for a project like this until we tried. The seed supply is ready for another record-breaking year… but many seeds can be found inside of the produce you find at the grocery store. Next time you open a bell pepper or a tomato, save your seeds for planting and see what happens. Maybe 2021 can be a year of victory after all.