Millions of people were inspired to tap into the uplifting power of plants during the difficulties of the pandemic. Many turned to gardening and green spaces for mental and physical wellbeing, and to gain a sense of security in a time of stress and uncertainty.
Now that lockdowns are starting to ease, grocery shelves are once again stocked and social activities are beginning to resume, horticulture is no less important. During National Garden Week, National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC) wants to inspire us to keep on gardening and connecting with nature.
This is a week to raise awareness of gardening and horticulture, and to encourage more people to take part in the healthy and productive outdoor activity of gardening. Interestingly gardening starts with using healthy, regionally adapted seed. The process of saving seeds from your own garden may be easier than you think.
During National Garden Week, the Great American Seed Up reminds us about the reasons we started gardening in the first place and also underscores the need to cultivate our own seed stock. Whether during the pandemic or any other time, here are a few reasons to garden and save seeds:
- Self-sufficiency and security in a dependent world,
- A place of peace, tranquility and retreat in a constantly connected world,
- Exercise, natural sunlight for Vitamin D, immune boosting elements and mental health benefits,
- Creating beauty and doing something worthwhile,
- Supporting pollinators,
- Connecting with nature on a regular basis, not just on vacation,
- Embracing simplicity and a connection with the past which includes ancient seed saving traditions,
- Doing something meaningful as a family or with others in your community,
- Eating better tasting, more nutritious foods and escaping from a system where food is fast and cheap,
- Eliminating toxins from your family’s diet,
- Having homegrown and home-produced foods and seeds available, right at your fingertips,
- Eating locally produced foods with locally produced seed (what’s more local than your own back yard?)
All of these reasons are still relevant now. Your motivations may align or they may differ from ours.
Whatever your reasons, take a moment to write them down. This will make them more concrete and harder to discard when life gets back to ‘normal.’
If needed, tape the list to the refrigerator door or bathroom mirror to remind yourself why you are going to all of the effort to produce your own food and seed and improve your living space. And if you have a partner or children who will be part of the effort, prepare your list of motivations together.
Learn more about National Garden Week at https://gardenclub.org/national-garden-week.
And if you’re interested in learning more about gardening, the Great American Seed Up has some wonderful resources.
Seed Up in a Box for heirloom, open-pollinated seed stock
City Farming: A How To Guide to Growing Crops and Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces – written by Kari Spencer
Basic Seed Saving: a handy and easy to understand reference book on the Why’s and How’s of saving seeds -written by Bill McDorman