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Victory-Over-the-Virus Gardening: Sabbatical within the Time of COVID-19


“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and within the sky
The larks, nonetheless bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the weapons under.”
from In Flanders Subject, by John McCrae (WWI solider)

Properly, like the whole lot else on the earth in the meanwhile, our plans on the farm have been evolving day-by-day. As a reminder for readers who don’t frequently comply with this weblog, I used to be speculated to be taking a yr off from farming this season. (Return to Embracing Persephone for extra on that.) I used to be going to present myself, and the land, a a lot wanted relaxation. I used to be going to journey, learn extra books, take extra walks within the woods and study to hunt mushrooms and different wild edibles, do extra yoga…

I’m taking extra walks and doing extra yoga, and I used to be studying extra books till the world shut down and now I’m again to the basement beginning seeds and the yard prepping beds. 

The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has made the mission of our little farm extra clear. We want to extend meals sovereignty, our energy to develop our personal wholesome, scrumptious, secure meals. Within the spirit of the Victory Gardens of WWI and II, I’m stepping again into manufacturing and attempting some new methods to advertise Victory-Over-the-Virus Gardens this yr, to maintain our group stocked with wholesome, scrumptious, and secure produce. [Shout out to Ed Fallon in Iowa, via local friend of the farm “Jimmy Christmas,” for introducing the term which he shared on his blog last week.]

Whereas addressing this second of disaster as a window of opporutnity to get extra individuals rising, I’m additionally attempting to keep up a sabbatical mindset. As students use their “yr of launch” from instructing to pursue analysis, I’m testing out a number of concepts I’ve been occupied with however hadn’t gotten round to. Listed here are a number of I’m enjoying with.

I) Working by means of my seed stash
Certainly one of my shmita plans was to “clear out the pantries.” In different phrases, I needed to pay extra consideration to the abundance I already possessed fairly than shopping for extra, extra, extra. In direction of that finish, 99% of the seeds I’m rising had been already in my seed library. I’ll miss the issues I’m out of and would have bought – particularly the big variety of tomatoes – however lacking them is kinda the purpose. Sabbatical time, like disaster time, must be marked by some distinction to be able to make an enduring impression on our mindset.

II) Farm stand
I’ve been desirous to strive a weekly farm stand for a very long time. I hope this can entice extra people in my neighborhood to the work we’re doing. Columbus is at the moment engaged on new zoning laws to permit on-site gross sales for city agriculture, so the time appears proper to present this a shot. (With social distancing and hand sanitizing enforced, in fact.)

III) Victory-over-the-virus Backyard-in-a-Field
Lastly, after a number of years of profitable perennial flower and herb plant gross sales, geared toward rising pollinator habitat, we will probably be providing a collection of plant collections to get extra individuals rising, and rising extra, this season. Ongoing conversations about local weather change and analysis on bionutrient density loss by means of journey have promoted sourcing greens regionally for awhile, however COVID-19 disaster has introduced a brand new sense of urgency to that work. Confronted with empty grocery cabinets and halts to distribution, People are shortly waking as much as the notion that meals sovereignty is one thing we should always all be involved with.

And now, sufficient with the typing, I’ve work to do…

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