Trends in gardening are changing

Mom and Dad have to turn around in their graves now. The COVID pandemic has inspired a rush of so-called Victory Gardens in the backyards of 20-year-olds and a new profession has grown out of it: Garden Coach.

The web offers wonderful information on many aspects of growing plants, but this is an interesting new fold. In early childhood, we spent our happiest days winding our way through tall tomato plants, broccoli, and corn, picking bugs, worms, and flying insects. A small bucket was attached to this child’s arm while the preschool bug killer snaked through a vegetable forest. Whatever knowledge people lacked never seemed to make it to a family conversation. There were always harvest lists and the needs of the next few years.

Today, however, online professional helpers teach young gardeners how to properly prepare the soil and assess nutrient needs, and share harvest conservation information for food storage. It is remarkable. Previous generations would never have asked a professional garden trainer for help. There was no such person. Advice came from neighbors or family members whose gray hair was covered in some sort of hood and whose hands were permanently stained from digging in the ground.

Your pay? A penny was never exchanged. Maybe a jar of jam or a cutting from a coveted fruit tree (for grafting), but not much else. As with our “North Dakota nice” people shared what was available and in return accepted pretty much everything. Nobody would ever send a bill for helping a young gardener.

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This garden coach thing is really fascinating. It shows how we humans manage to create new jobs out of necessity, how the internet community has replaced the back fence and generations adapt when emergencies create a need.

The “Gardenary” website offers insights into domestic ways of avoiding rising meat and production prices:

“As people take up new hobbies while self-quarantined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest in gardening and farming is booming among Americans.

“Developing a green thumb is a pastime for some people, but others use it to make sure they have access to fresh food after panic buying caused shortages in grocery stores. In addition to emptying the shelves with seeds and gardening tools, Americans also buy animals, especially chickens, to create a steady flow of eggs. ”

Coral Murphy Marcos wrote a wonderful story about young gardeners for USA Today on April 14, 2020. In the story, fear of the unknown was evident. Not every generation had grandparents who lived through the Great Depression or the 1918 flu pandemic that wiped out businesses, food supplies, and lives. So living through and getting by with the bare minimums was not in her memory. Having no historians in the family prevents newbies from facing their own futures amid a hundred-year pandemic.

Bringing all of their experience together with internet support proves that they can stay afloat and swim with the big fish. It is encouraging to see how innovative young people become. It gives hope for the future to the Victory Garden generation knowing that this generation will make it.

To read more of Sharon Cox’s columns, click here.

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