Amy plants Emmer wheat in late March, 2020.

Why gardening can: calm the soul, ease food security worries and lead to self empowerment.

It was cold… just how cold, I can’t remember. But we needed heavy insulated work gloves to shield our hands from the crisp wind when we didn’t have our fingertips on tiny seeds. A gray Sunday afternoon and we’d been cooped up wondering what in the world was happening to the world. The schools were closed, kids being taught by distance learning, just one early step in the road of “Safe At Home” (isolation). 

Constantly dreaming of the next garden.

Planting an onion start is simple… you almost can’t mess this up.

We’d been mulling over our garden since the middle of Summer last year. Warm days wondering if the tomatoes were really going to turn lead to daydreams of what our next harvest should include. But this day we were ready to tackle early planting with a new zest. In a world gone crazy, we were determined to control what we could. If that only meant controlling our garden, taking our food security by the horns (like we always try on the homestead anyhow), well that’s what we were going to do… even if it was a bit on the chilly side.

In our zone, late March is a fine time to plant potatoes, onions and leafy greens. We’ve had success with potatoes and onions and only succeeded for the first time with lettuces last season.

Trying to grow something for the first time.

This year we also tried our hand at something we really hope will be a big win for us, Emmer Wheat. With Amy being on a gluten-free diet, we hoped that this ancient grain would provide an opportunity to try making our own flour that might be gentle on her system. We sowed several rows in a tight, 4×16 raised bed. Chris covered the seeds with protective netting in an effort to keep wild feathered scavengers from feasting before our labor had a chance to sprout. We’ll keep our fingers crossed on this effort, it truly is another “Learning By Living” opportunity.

Why we garden, why you should consider it.

Gardening, for us, has always been about self-sufficiency and feeding our growing family as well as treating family and neighbors to homegrown goodness. This year we expect it will take on a new importance for many. It will be an outlet to escape the “isolation” brought on by an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ease any worries some may have about food security. There are so many factors out of one’s control when it comes to gardening.  The weather can make or break a season. Uninvited guests and pests can destroy your hard work. But in a world where so much seems out of control, we will continue to control what we can and that is making an effort to feed our stomachs and souls in the garden.

Finding joy in the chaos… it was a wonderful day gardening even if it was cold outside.
A handful of Emmer wheat ready to be sown.
Emmer wheat planted and covered with netting and fencing to prevent birds from getting to the freshly sown seeds.


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