As the coronavirus pandemic shook the country this spring, grocery stores quickly sold out of essentials and produce departments were emptied. Fearing food shortages, and afraid to expose themselves to other shoppers in the store, many following orders to stay at home came up with the same idea: pandemic gardens.
It happened to be spring planting season as shelter-in-place orders came down in the U.S. Even people unfamiliar with gardening began placing orders for seeds and those selling them saw exponential spikes in business.
“Not in any recorded history have there been sales at these levels, certainly in the last 20 years,” Dave Thompson, director of sales and operations at organic seed company Seeds of Change in Rancho Dominguez, California, tells PEOPLE. “This is so unprecedented. We’re doing the best we can. You can’t capture all of this business.”
Came across this. We’re suddenly more interested in shade as the temps have been in the 90s. A search for diy greenhouse yields many ideas for recycling old windows, or this one which budget, but effective.
How to build a small, cheap and easy greenhouse. Includes Material List for 28 foot by 15 foot greenhouse, sorry, with pvc, the greenhouse has to be small.
As a new gardener, I often found the task of growing prize-winning tomatoes and succulent melons very daunting. Can I say succulent melons here? Get your head out of the gutter! But growing and drying your own herbs, now that was a new task.
Gardening has never come naturally to me. But I learn and grow each and every year. I finally began to master tomatoes by the third year of gardening. But I’ve still never mastered the green bean. It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re gardening, but I’ve found one thing that I can never kill. I suppose I could if I drenched it in chemicals, but ultimately, they’re very forgiving. What is it, you ask? Why, herbs, of course!
Herbs are one of the easiest things in the world to grow and maintain. Drying your own herbs is one of the easiest skills to learn, and will come in handy often. Whether you’re drying them once harvested, making a tincture, preserving dried herbs into spice rubs, or simply hanging them until you’re ready to use them. There are plenty of ways to grow and preserve herbs on your homestead.
Lots of useful information, a good read.
The photo above is a salad without a speck of lettuce. Taken at Chacra d’Dago in Villa Rica Peru, home of an amazing biodynamic farm. -Ben
Growing medicinal plants are a great way to ensure garden sustainability and more notably, have access to natural medicine when you need it most. When I introduced more herbs in my garden, I noticed it had a profound impact on the vegetables and fruits I was growing. It also encouraged beneficial insects and birds to visit my garden and this helped cut down on plants being eaten.
Because of this observation, I changed my focus from solely growing to eat and, instead, worked to create a welcoming growing environment. Not only were my plants healthier, but I had access to natural herbs to use for making extracts and poultices. The following are reasons I feel gardeners should adopt adding medicinal herbs to the garden.
7 Reasons Why You Should Have a Medicinal Garden
1.) have fresh cut herbs to use for natural medicine, you have access to the freshest forms of their healing properties. For example, what if you cut your hand and did not have a bandage.
Did you know that the sage leaf can be wrapped around a wound and used as a natural band-aid? Or, if the bleeding from that cut was so bad that it wouldn’t stop. Did you know that a few shakes of some cayenne pepper can help control the bleed? Or, if you have a severe bruise, make a poultice. It’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to use herbal medicine.
2.) Calm your senses with medicinal teas. (Click to read more)
Read more at the link. Pictured above is Ephedra which is quite common here. Known as “Mormon Tea,” it’s said to be a wonderful decongestant. It must be simmered for at least 20 minutes prior to drinking. It’s quite stimulating, and should be avoided by those with heart conditions.
Americans are panic hoarding plant seeds as the coronavirus outbreak confines millions to their homes, crashes the economy, and disrupts food supply chains. This has resulted in people questioning their food security.
A Google search of “buy seeds” has rocketed to an all-time high across the US in March to early April, the same time as supermarket shelves went bare.
Seed companies who spoke with CBS News said they have stopped taking new orders after unprecedented demand. George Ball, chairman of Pennsylvania-based Burpee Seeds, said the recent increase in new orders is “just unbelievable.” The company will start accepting orders again on Wednesday after it stopped taking new ones for several days to catch up on the backlog.
Americans in quarantine are becoming increasingly concerned about their food security. What has shocked many is that food on supermarket shelves that existed one day, could be completely wiped out in minutes via panic hoarding. Some people are now trying to restore the comfort of food security by planting “Pandemic Gardens.”
“If I had to put my thumb on it, I would say people are worried about their food security right now,” said Emily Rose Haga, the executive director of the Seed Savers Exchange, an Iowa-based nonprofit devoted to heirloom seeds.
Tip: When building up your disaster food stockpile, think about how you will use the foods in meals. Otherwise, you could end up with a lot of foods you don’t like. Or you might end up with disproportionate amounts of food, like 30lbs of pasta but not sauce to go on it.
In my book Disaster Preparedness for Women, I show exactly how to plan a food stockpile so you can make healthy, balanced meals. The book also covers all the preparedness essentials so you are ready for anything. Get the book here.
Here are 11 tasty ways to use dried beans Try these delicious dried bean recipes.
1. Red Bean Pasta Sauce
Click on the link for 10 more useful recipes. You did realize that you’d have to eat all those didn’t you?
The fight against coronavirus has been likened to a war—some have even referred to it as “World War C”—and it looks like wartime Victory Gardens are making a comeback. Today, the goals are different but the interest in growing a little (or a lot) of your own food is still the same! Let’s talk about planting a Victory Garden in 2020!
During WWI, the National War Garden Commission promoted home gardening and food preservation. They inspired students—calling them “soldiers of the soil”—to help plant Liberty Gardens. When it started to look like the US and its allies would win the war, the name of the gardens was changed to Victory Gardens.
TYPICAL VICTORY GARDEN CROPS
Vegetables were the largest crop followed by fruits and herb gardens. About one-third of the vegetables grown during World War II came from Victory Gardens!
The Victory Garden was made of easy-to-grow crops, including fresh vegetables in season as well as root crops and hardier crops that could be stored during the winter. Here’s a sampling.
- Spring gardens: Carrots, lettuce, kale, onion, peas, radishes.
- Summer gardens: Basil, beans (pole, bush, and lima), corn and popcorn, cucumbers, eggplants, muskmelon, okra, peppers, pumpkin, both winter and summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon.
- Fall and winter gardens: Beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, kohlrabi, parsley, parsnips, radish, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips.
Even if you haven’t started any seeds yet for your garden, there are some vegetables that can be planted indoors now and harvested within 60 days.
As well, one of the best advantages to planting fast-maturing plants (other than quicker harvests) is that these plants will need less water and fertilizers before they are harvested. These are also vegetables that were recommended for victory gardens during World War II.
If you are itching to get your hands dirty but have few gardening supplies on hand and hesitate to head to the store, take a look around the house and yard.
You may find many items that can be re-purposed into just what you need. Here are some cheap tips and tricks for house-bound gardeners!
Some great ideas for the home gardener. Enjoy…
Good Gourd! What’s with the bumpy, weird-looking decorative squash? We get many questions about growing and curing our gourds. (Did you know that the luffa sponge is a gourd?) Discover the world of “gourdgeous” gourds.
WHAT ARE GOURDS?
Gourds are among the oldest cultivated plants. They were the early water bottles of the Egyptians, and have been used for utensils, storage containers, and dippers for centuries. Botanically speaking, there’s really no difference between gourds, squash, and pumpkins. They all belong to the family Cucurbitaceae. And they’re all frost-tender. But gourds are the common name for hard-shelled, non-edible cucurbit fruits suitable for decorative ornaments or utensils. Some of the squashes and pumpkins are ornamental, too, but they are soft-shelled so they won’t lat as long.
TYPES OF GOURDS
Goards come in so many shapes and colors. There three general types of gourds: Cucurbita pepo are the cute, colorful little ornamental gourds that make good decorations. They are closely related to pumpkins, summer squashes, and some winter squashes such as acorn and delicata. An American native, Cucurbita types come in unusual shapes and textures: smooth, warty, plain, patterned, ridged, striped. There are also many shape and color variations including: the apple, pear, bell, egg, bicolor, or orange. Fruits are not usually useful more than one season.