Finally spring has sprung, and so have our plants. This past Saturday we had our
garden planning workshop along with a seed and plant handout with gardeners eagerly
planning on where things ought to be put. This was our first face-to-face meeting since
COVID began, and gardeners said that they had missed the in-person workshops. An
alternative option was offered for those with compromised immune systems or who
were living with someone with a compromised immune system, so that they could still
participate in workshops.

Unfortunately, COVID is still having a huge impact on our program. Transportation
issues that have lingered, caused a delay in getting seeds. Some seeds ordered never
arrived. The person who had agreed to start our plants ended up with a severe case of
COVID, causing us to start over to find ways of providing tomato, pepper, and cabbage
plants for our gardeners. And at least 4 gardeners were unable to come as they had
COVID themselves.

But our gardeners are a resilient bunch. Many picked up not only for their families, but
for others who couldn’t come. One was even planning on planting for his neighbor who
is down with COVID so that the family would still be able to have a garden. And while
they were happy to have some plants, many said if we couldn’t do plants, they would be
happy just to get something. We’ve also had a damp, cool spring with a couple of late
frosts that impacted early planting, but even that didn’t stop our gardeners.

One thing on our agenda for this growing season is care-boxes for gardeners who had
to drop out of gardening due to age and/or disability making it impossible for them to
garden. For many, the recent astronomical increases we’ve seen at the grocery stores,
make purchasing produce impossible. Gardeners will donate extra produce for the care-
boxes that will be delivered to those who need them, to provide an ongoing source of
fresh produce over the summer to eat and preserve.

Another item on our agenda this year is good food; as people were waiting in line for
plants and seeds, they began discussing how they like to prepare certain things, and
what they were looking forward to eating. These discussions actually had a couple of
gardeners rethinking their seed choices, and asking for seeds for plants they had said
they really didn’t care much for. Others decided to grow more herbs for seasoning than
they had planned after hearing about different ways fresh herbs could be used.

So, we are hopefully looking at the start of a bountiful year full of great gardens, great
food, and great harvests.