I invite you to bury your troubles in the dirt for an hour, even if it is just the dirt in a single flowerpot.
In times like this, people plant and tend gardens. We plant to save money. To have something for the family to do at home. To have food even when the store shelves are empty. To get exercise and lessen stress. To have some control over something. To have fresh herbs for fragrance and well-being. To see a red zinnia or a sunflower bright against the sky. To forget the news and the noise for a bit and be part of the bigger living world, along with the bumblebees and the robins.
The first question is—What do you want or need most? Cut flowers for the house to cheer you up? As much food as possible? Teas and body care products? Medicinal herbs? Special foods with cultural or personal significance? All good reasons to plant a garden; all with different needs for space, sunlight, soil, and amount of labor. The point is to be clear about your priorities. There are always trade-offs.
Consider adding to our community's resources by planting extra food for those who can't. Or perhaps you could take up the challenge of growing medicinal herbs for local use. You don't have to know how to prepare and dispense remedies, if you connect with an herbalist who does. Perhaps they have the knowledge but not the materials.
If food security is your goal, these tips will help:
Jamie Chevalier lives and gardens on a river in the Coast Range. She has gardened professionally in Alaska and California, as well as living in a remote cabin and commercial fishing. She wrote the Bountiful Gardens catalog from 2009 to 2017, and now is proprietor of Quail Seeds.