NEW YORK — Gardening has become a growing trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, often as a way to combat stress or occupy oneself.
But with the threat of food supply disruptions and long lines at grocery stores, some have decided to turn to their own backyard for food, like Mike and Mable Smith of Floral Park, Long Island.
"It’s nice to know the stuff is coming from your garden, because, first of all, you could pick it when you want it and you clean it good," Mable Smith told PIX11 News.
Karen Musgrave is the marketing coordinator and gardening expert at Hicks Nursery in Westbury. She said business hasn’t slowed down. In fact, there are many first timers ready to start their own garden.
When it comes to starting your garden, Musgrave suggests:
1.Pick a sunny area
2. Measure the space to see how much you can fit
3. Add organic amendments, such as compose, to the soil to loosen everything up
4. Follow up with an organic fertilizer, and water your garden from time to time
Not only does growing a garden offer a healthier option for families, it’s also a great way to get children involved. With schools closed, educator and founder of the Green Bronx Machine Stephen Ritz said he continues to teach students at Community School 55 how to grow their garden virtually.
"We’re doing tomatoes, peppers, eggplants: the things that constitute a meal. Taking care of something alive in your home is not only teaching them responsibility, but it’s giving them the opportunity to nurture," he said.
Through his "sustainable gangster" campaign, and donations from food companies, Ritz also provides families in need with meals in the Bronx.
If you’re looking for a healthy, easy option without the worry of limited grocery store produce, you might want to consider joining this growing trend.