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The onset of Covid-19, developing into a worldwide pandemic, has given me the time to really invest in what is truly important: feeding my family and community organic foods grown on the land. We have spent most of our time working the land and farm. We have added two new garden spaces and more medicinal herbs. We had to cancel our vendor and seedling plant sale because of the statewide, stay at home order. So, we decided to give plants away to the essential workers and single Moms in our community. The rest we planted in the new gardens. Since there are so many plants, we are doing crop rotations. That way the food will be harvested at different times and provide us food all year long. 

If you want to start your own garden and don’t have the land, there are always other ways to grow food. One, you can grow plants in pots or grow bags, even planter boxes or shipping pallets on decks or balconies. I have seen people do no-soil, zero maintenance for growing in apartments. If there is a will, there is always a way! Indoor gardening is fun and easy and what a great project to do with the kids. They enjoy the process and to watch the seedlings grow is such a positive, encouraging process for them to focus on, especially during this time. It gets them outside off of electronic devices, spending time with Mother Gaia and receiving all of the healing energy that she has to offer. 

Since we have chickens, it makes it easier on the pocket book when it comes to fertilizer. We allow the bedding from wood shavings and scraps and of course, their poop to pile up all year and then dig it all up in the springtime. We have a pretty huge chicken coop, much like a hotel, so we have at least two feet of fertilizer ready to be used in all our gardens, fruit trees and landscaping. We take that and our compost and start planting. If you don’t have chickens, you can always buy a bag of chicken fertilizer at your local garden supply store.

We harvest everything and process and save all the seeds for the following year, so every year it gets less expensive. The more organized you are, the better. We keep all of our supplies in one space.

If you feel like you’re not a green thumb, that’s okay. Join more groups on social media. There are so many out there and you can get the support you need. I am fortunate to be living in a rural area and most of us in my community grow organic and love to help with advice and offer up trades or barter. We plant food all year round in the different seasons. When we have abundance, we harvest, can and freeze our crops so we have a year round supply of food. This saves us money at the grocery store. Every year our food bill goes down. Don’t make it complicated. Just do what you can handle. Maybe start small and work your way up. There is nothing more rewarding than to watch your love grow right in front of your eyes. I for one, love to go out on the farm, play my favorite music and get my hands in the soil. I call this my hand and soul connection. There is something about connecting to the plants. It’s all energy and the more you give, the more you will reap. 

Growing food for you and yours is such an inspiring and magical thing. It’s never too late to start a garden. I highly suggest it. Be the change and make it happen. And I promise you will fall in love with it too.

In a comfortable state of gratitude,

Kerry Romano Zall

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