How seeds offer resiliency

Have you planted any seeds in the last month? 

On the latest A Way to Garden podcast, host Margaret Roach interviewed Ken Greene, Co-Founder of Hudson Valley Seed. Ken talked about a huge increase in online seed orders; the uptick is the biggest they’ve had in years.  

Nationally, there has been a resurgence of home gardening and food production. This is reminiscent of the Victory Gardens during World War I and during the influenza outbreak of 1918-19. During this time President Woodrow Wilson encouraged families to grow their own food where they could find room, including in suburban backyards and on city rooftops or fire escapes. This food counted for nearly 40 percent of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. 

Now Victory Gardens are back, and branded for our new war. Search “Victory Garden” on the internet and you’ll get Designing a Coronavirus Victory Garden: First Steps, “Victory Gardens” for the war against COVID-19, COVID-19 Crisis Is Reviving ‘Victory Gardens’ In St. Louis, and so on.

Perhaps this resurgence is rooted in fear. But I think it’s about hope. 

I love what Ken has to say about people wanting to till their own land and plant seeds: “We can look at this increase in seed buying as that people are worried… but part of it also is that seeds are hopeful. They embody this sense of potential, this idea that things keep changing, that we can transform our experiences in the world through gardening, through the joy of watching seeds grow, and also this amazing possibility to feed ourselves, care for ourselves, feed and care for our community. All of that is in that little tiny package of the seeds.”

All of that in a tiny package of seeds.

I love that. Seeds offer resiliency. In this time of great uncertainty, of not brushing my hair in a few days, of sparing squares of toilet paper, I’m seeing this resiliency in you, and what you’re doing, such as:

  • The Communications Network, a community of foundation and nonprofit communications professionals, has shifted their content to help their community. They have gathered  resources into a Coronavirus Crisis Comms Triage Kit. This kit shares and crowdsources best practices, resources, and examples of effective crisis communications people can use during this time. The kit is worth a look, if you’re a comms person or not.
  • Media Cause, a digital marketing agency for nonprofits, is offering bucketloads of content such as webinars and blog posts. They are also available for free office hours to any nonprofit that needs it. I spoke with Amy Small, their SVP of Creative and Brand, who said “Our goal right now is to be able to help as many NPOs as we can get through this.”

The Good News Movement is the best thing I’m following right now. It might feel like it’s all doom and gloom right now, but this feed is reminding me of the good in humanity.

What seeds are you planting these days? I want to know.

If you are too worried to go out to buy seeds, or you are trimming your budget with all the economic oh-crap-edness going on, guess what? I’ve got seeds I can send you. Reply to this email with your home address and I’ll send you a package. No fancy soil or green thumb required.