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Plant your Victory Gardens NOW!

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

NCO Gardens Project responds to heavy demand in response to COVID-19

The Gardens Project response to the current pandemic is modeled after the Victory Garden Movement of WWI and WWII, when citizens worldwide planted seeds for hope and victory at a time when food supplies were scarce and the future was unpredictable. Gardening is resurging in popularity as shoppers face empty shelves at the supermarket and uncertainty looms over the future of the global, industrialized food chain.

NCO Gardens Project is a program of North Coast Opportunities Inc., (NCO) and is led by program manager Sarah Marshall and program coordinator Lucy Kramer with support from AmeriCorps VISTA service members Maddi Cheek and Michelle Hablitzel. “We know the work we do is vital to the community, but now the importance of your local garden is being recognized globally,” says Marshall.

“We at Gardens Project are so inspired by people cultivating new gardens, expanding existing gardens, sharing produce, and creatively planning for the future,” notes Kramer. To ensure gardeners can continue to use their community garden and access fresh, nutrient dense, organic produce, Gardens Project staff published a protocol for safe garden use in English and Spanish. Gardeners are practicing social distancing, disinfecting all tools and shared surfaces, and staying home when feeling unwell.

Gardeners and their families not only enjoy improved food security, but fresh vegetables and herbs strengthen the body's immune system. Community Gardeners overwhelmingly report that spending time with their hands in the soil and seeing their fellow gardeners from a distance eases anxiety and depression, afflictions that many are experiencing in isolation.

To find the most up to date information on the Gardens Project response to COVID-19 or to be included in an upcoming webinar on establishing a community garden, visit NCO Gardens Project on Facebook or email the team at gardens@ncoinc.org with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Gardens Project seeks to empower community, one garden at a time. Gardens Project collaborates with local government, private landowners, and other non-profits in Lake and Mendocino Counties to identify and lease land in low-income neighborhoods to become food-producing community gardens.

 

Program(s) Involved: The Gardens Project Community Wellness Projects