by Barry Bookman, Vice Chair
Hello Again! With the current Stay-at-Home order, what better time to start a garden, especially with fruits and veggies that store well and keep fresh longest.
Why you should consider a garden now:
Currently we are getting food from the grocery store. The key word - currently. What would happen if 10% of truck drivers couldn’t deliver because they were sick or the roads were blocked? Store shelves would run low and once people realized deliveries were reduced, the shelves will be picked clean. Current predictions indicate stores have about three days of stock without replenishment, and that’s assuming normal buying habits. The food distribution network in this country is fragile. Our current pandemic aside, what would happen if there is a large earthquake? Even if bridges survive, much of the other infrastructure may not. It would be very difficult for delivery trucks to get here. People will lose any sense of civility when their food supply is threatened. Growing of some of your own food helps address some of these possibilities.
Where to grow a garden:
Almost anywhere there’s dirt! Most homes have many unused spots to grow things. What better use for that corner of idle land than to make it productive? Raised beds are great family projects and are easy to tend. If you’re in the country, don’t forget to protect against deer and rabbits! If it has dirt, sun and water, you can grow something!
To use indoor or porch space, you can buy or build small garden boxes. For smaller indoor boxes, tomatoes, green onions and herbs are favorites. You can also grow alternating tiered trays of micro greens or sprouts, planting a new batch every week!
What you could grow:
For outdoor gardens, consider vegetables that are easy to grow, prolific, and that store well. Prolific vegetables include: tomato, cucumber, zucchini, squash, bush or pole beans, welsh onion, bulb onion, carrot and potato. With proper care, most of the vegetables will grow into the fall!
Vegetables and fruits that store well without refrigeration include: carrots, potatoes, bulb onions, beans, cabbage, garlic, squash, apples, pomegranates, and most citrus fruits. When planning for long term storage, most fruits and vegetables must be stored separately. There are many ways to store them, but they will all last longer if stored in a cool, dry, dark place and not touching each other.
Canning and pickling, vacuum sealing, dehydrating (can be done in a low oven), and sun-drying are all fun family projects! A quick internet search will help you with ideas and books. Remember we are preparing for myriad threats - If the power or internet is out, books will be the only way to get this information.
Garden vegetable ideas/links:
Long term storage ideas/links:
Together - We got this!