Its raining here in San Pedro, California, so I’m waiting to plant my new tomato babies until the soil dries up a bit even though I’m so excited to get them into the ground! These rainy days have me reminiscing about my early gardening days many spring seasons ago when I first started seriously experimenting in the garden.
Back then I was working as a line cook at A.O.C. in Los Angeles and was really starting to appreciate the mind blowing variety of produce that actually exists OUTSIDE of the SUPERMARKET and could be found at local farmer’s markets. Its funny to think that at the time that epiphany didn’t even include the thought that I myself could have access to the incredible seeds that grew into these beautiful gifts of nature, nor that I would ever even have the slightest idea of what to do with those seeds if I ever did in fact get my hands on them. Growing food was still basically a mystery to me and in my young mind’s opinion probably best left to the farmers…
Fortunately for me, everything shifted when I stumbled upon two separate opportunities that really opened my mind to the possibility that I too could learn to grow food and teach others (even kindergardeners) to do so as well! The first experience came when the restaurant crew I worked with volunteered through Michelle Obama’s “Chefs move to school” initiative to build a school garden (and teach the kids there to cook with what they grew!) at an elementary school in Boyle Heights. Around the same time, I also decided to try out an introductory 4 session gardening course offered by the UCCE Master Gardener Program called the Grow L.A. Victory Gardening Initiative. The course is basically a crash course on Home Vegetable Gardening for beginners.
I’ve been hearing a lot about Victory Gardens in the news lately which is super exciting. For those of you unfamiliar with the movement, it was born out of World War II when everyday citizens were rallied to start growing food at home in order to increase local food production and enhance national security.
Therefor, its no surprise that under today’s circumstances we are again hearing the call to action.
Aside from food security, Victory Gardens also offer improved health through consumption of more vegetables. I myself am prone to cook and eat so many more vegetables when I’ve spent the sweat equity growing them! Research shows that eating more vegetables leads to reduced obesity, strengthens our immune systems and also reduces our risk of developing chronic diseases including Cancer and Heart Disease. During this time of pandemic, a healthy immune system can make the difference between us staying healthy or falling victim to the the COVID-19 virus. And speaking of COVID-19 – growing food has the added bonus of reduced frequency of grocery store visits which also means lower grocery bills!!!
If you are already growing a food garden for your family – HOORAY!!!
Growing food is one of the best ways we can empower our selves and our communities even in the best of times. If you don’t alreay grow food, but you want to try, there has never been a better time to get started! My advise is to start off small and grow from there! There are so many resources to get you motivated and going, including myself who would love to help you succeed!
What’s holding you back?
Email or call me today to schedule a quick 20 minute consultation and I can answer any questions holding you back from your gardening dreams.
And, if you live in Los Angeles or the San Pedro area and are interested in taking a Grow LA Victory Gardening Course, while they are on hold for now they will absolutely be back once this pandemic cools down. Follow the link for more information and for many other Master Gardener resources for the L.A. area and beyond.
Happy gardening and stay safe and healthy out there.http://celosangeles.ucanr.edu/UC_Master_Gardener_Program/Grow_LA_Victory_Garden_Initiative/