Victory gardens have been on my mind and in my heart as we work overtime to fill seed orders! During both World War I and World War II Victory Gardens were strongly promoted as a way for ordinary people to help with the war effort. This concept is being resurrected as we respond-- together-- to this viral crisis.
We are pretty isolated here in rural North Dakota and daily life hasn’t changed much for us here on the farm-- it is our great privilege to always work from home! Our mailbox, internet and phone are our normal contacts with the outside world. Even so, we are taking every precaution! Most importantly, we are eating well— a direct benefit from the garden!
We are heartened and humbled by the demand for seed! We have a good supply of seedstocks on hand. Gardens are about food security and self-sufficiency, and are the most local of any food source. It all starts with the seed. It is our privilege to provide seed to you for your gardens.
In North Dakota our Ag Department has a program called, the Hunger Free ND Garden Project, where gardeners grow an extra row or more of produce to help alleviate hunger in their own communities. As people’s lives are turned upside down by the challenges imposed by this virus, many find themselves insecure and in need of help.
Next to your own garden is your local market growers and farmers markets. We have been talking to many of those local growers, who are working to increase their production in response to this crisis.
As we disengage and self-isolate, boredom can be a problem—most especially for kids. Fill that boredom with some soil, a few seeds, and watch the magic! Many of you have first-hand experience working with your kids on the family garden. Encourage others to do the same.
Plan your family garden with the kids. If they help create it-- plan it, order the seeds, start transplants, plant the seeds-- they are more likely to help take care of it and then EAT the veggies they helped grow. This is a great time to engage kids in gardening and talk about how gardening has helped us win wars, fight hunger, and can help us during this crisis.
A Community Response
I just received a call with a friend and colleague, who is working to devise strategies to by-pass social gathering at farmers markets by connecting local farmers with local grocers. The goal is to provide locally grown produce through curbside pickup. And of course, there are the local CSA farmers, many of whom are working out delivery strategies!
I was on another call yesterday discussing our parish and community response— needs that have been identified and those we haven’t yet recognized; those that are being met or left unmet. Asking people to share their perspectives and ideas engages the power of people, supporting each other in this circle of life— we are all a part of that response. Who knew social distancing could bring our focus back to building community?
We are thankful to be a small part of your circle, providing you with seed— seed for you to nurture and bring forth good things from the earth— helping you to feed yourselves, your families, friends, neighbors, and your community. As we surpass the spring equinox, we wish you all a fruitful growing season! Together we will work toward the "Fruits of Victory!"
Eat well! Be well!
Our best to you,
Theresa & Dan