It is time to plant your garden

by Romana Greene

When the coronavirus pandemic first made its way to many countries, people panicked. We have all seen the shocking footage of people fighting over toilet paper in supermarkets. It made no sense. There was never a shortage of toilet paper and there was never a reason to react that way. While we could condemn the people who acted this way we must understand that it was a moment of panic, no one knew what would happen in the coming weeks and some people reacted badly. While these people showed that they are not the ones that should be relied upon during a crisis they were likely scared for themselves and for their family and were simply acting in a survival mode that many of us may have turned to if things ever did get really bad.

Luckily things didn’t get so bad or anywhere close to a need to behave in that way. Frontline workers are still providing the care and food that we require during this strange time. No one is being asked to fight over toilet paper, they are simply being asked to stay at home a little more. It is a strange fight for many. Most people in a time of crisis want an enemy to fight. A common enemy to pick on. When the solution is to stay at home, some are left frustrated. 

In world war two many felt the same frustration. Members of their family were overseas risking their lives, suffering terrible living conditions. Those remaining at home were asked to simply do more with less. To ration a little to take the pressure off the government to fight the war. It was frustrating but the response was incredible.

One of the best solutions at that time was to plant a victory garden. The idea was simple By growing your own fruits and vegetables in your garden you were becoming more self-sufficient, you were taking the pressure off the government and you were finding a nice distraction from the terrible war taking place.

The pandemic has been called a war by some. While it is a battle against an invisible threat and it may be the greatest challenge our generation ever faces, let’s be honest. It is far less scary than a true war. The great wars that took place in the last century were so horrible we must hope they are never witnessed again. Let us hope that this pandemic is the worst threat that we ever face.

In the meantime, we can take a page from those who were at home during the war. We can plant victory gardens. In 1944 the US had almost 20 million victory gardens producing 8 million tons of food. This was equivalent to around 40% of the total fruit and veg consumed by the US population at that time. Today Green America estimates that 42 million households are in a position to grow their own fruit and vegetables and believe it is an achievable goal.

Instead of fighting for toilet paper in the supermarkets, we can take this strange time to stay in our homes and do something positive. By planting a victory garden you are becoming more self-sufficient which allows more people to stay inside giving us a greater chance of defeating the pandemic. By planting a victory garden you are distracting yourself from this strange enemy that we are unable to fight with our fists. By planting a victory garden you are doing your part in leading your country to defeat the pandemic and saving the lives of those most at risk at this time. And hey, by planting a victory garden you are doing something fun, interesting, nutritious and good for the environment. So, what are you waiting for?

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