As we have swung passed the darkest days of winter, there is a reawakening memory of days spent in the sun. For me, this is triggered by lengthening light during the day and an appearance of gardening catalogues in my mailbox. Other times of the year I am much like the rest of you who bemoan the displays of Halloween costumes seemingly at Labor Day but not to anything which heralds spring. To this I say welcome old friend!
There could be no better time than this year to lay in a great garden as food shortages and supply chain interruptions are leaving many store shelves empty. This is probably easier for some of us with a bit more acreage, but really anyone with a desire to do so can be a gardener or farmer. I have seen some amazing produce grown in mini gardens housed in kiddie pools, patio pots and even window sills.
The first step is establishing what space you have to work with and then what you want to grow. Some people start with just seed and soil, others wait and buy started plants. A few easy ideas to start with could be growing herbs in a kitchen windowsill, making them easy to add to while cooking, or even growing green onions in a mason jar of water. Whichever way you choose to grow your own garden, you will reap the rewards of the Earth’s bounty. My neighbor Alta has a meticulous garden where she spends hours tending her plants. She says there is great satisfaction in knowing you can sustain yourself and understanding the origin of your food. I agree wholeheartedly with her and would add my own personal pleasures in the smell of the soil and watching things grow.
Whatever your motivation may be, I hope you will join me in dreaming about days spent in a garden. If you need more ideas or have food related questions, we have resources at AL!VE which we deploy in our own community garden called HARVEST. We also conduct many a cooking demonstration in RELISH for patients and community members to teach them how easy (and flavorful) an earth-to-table meal can be.
Our spring equinox fell this past Sunday (and it was in fact a sunny day). I am excitedly embracing the length of light in the days and the warmth on horizon, not to mention my soon-to-be-planted garden.
Eaton Proud. Sparrow Strong. Mitten Made.
Helen Johnson, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FACHE
Sparrow Eaton Hospital President