Growth, Gratitude, and Green Babies

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Growth, Gratitude, and Green Babies

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Teddy Roosevelt said, "The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future." As the pandemic and panic seemed to spread wildly across the globe, I found myself turning to my relatives for answers and advice. When specifically in their lifetime did they remember a time of uncertainty? What did they do to maintain a sense of direction, clarity to make decisions, a sense of well being and safety when each day's events are unfathomable? My mother responded with stories of her mother. My grandmother has always been the most resourceful person I know. Growing up in the Great Depression planted seeds of ingenuity and self sufficiency in her, which she continued to cultivate along with priceless experience and knowledge. She recalled people taking responsibility for their situations and security, and doing their best to make the most of what they had, which at the time wasn't much at all. I will never understand the scarcity she faced in that era, but I did experience the eerie alarm that washed over my fiancé and I entering a nearly empty produce section of our local grocery store, then another store, then another store. Almost every store in our small town of Lewes, Delaware had been almost completely panic-bought out of produce, meat, cleaning products, and hygiene products. It was at that time we decided to take a life lesson from Grandma, gain some grit, and get our hands dirty.

Early June, we began a basic herb garden to get the hang of being "new parents to green babies" as we expressed it to our friends and family. We soon adopted a couple of tomato plants, bell peppers, red lunchbox sweet peppers, and as of recently, sunflowers. August brought our efforts to fruition when tiny peppers and tomatoes started to develop and today we plucked our first ready to eat hamburger tomato along with a few green bell peppers and scarlet red sweet peppers. Tending our garden has grown more than just invigorating herbs and veggies, but it has cultivated therapeutic peacefulness and tranquility while watering, cleaning, and caring for these little forms of life. We learned first hand the valuable lesson of just how giving and selfless nature is, ex. planting one seed and getting three pieces of fruit in return from that one plant, or planting one bulb which springs forth four blossoms. Giving life and helping maintain that life in something smaller than you grows a beautiful relationship between humanity and nature, a relationship which has become more and more distant.

Growing a garden reconnected us to the knowledge, innovation, and self reliance, of our grandparents. It reconnected us to getting outdoors, getting our hands dirty, and getting into a flow state of mental clarity and caring for another living being apart from human kind. It reconnected us to nature, to the valuable lesson Mother Nature can teach us about selflessly giving and sharing, and a reminder of the respect she so deserves and is so lacking in the current state of the environment. I hope our story of our little backyard garden will encourage you to plant seeds of your own, to look to the priceless knowledge and experience of your relatives for advice in facing an uncertain future, and to share your lessons and stories of how COVID-19 impacted your life as well.
Photograph Collage, photos taken by me

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photo collage

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Environment and the Pandemic>Gardening and Growing Food

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This item was submitted on August 10, 2020 by Hannah Crotts using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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