Growing up some of my fondest memories of visiting my grandparents was the garden they had. My Pop-Pop always had corn, different color beans, tomatoes, and much more. He also grew flowers and herbs that kept the air smelling nice and sweet. Because of him I started my own small vegetable and herb garden in the backyard, and this year I have attempted to grow a peony bush just like the one he had in his garden.

Many people during the COVID pandemic started their own gardens, or at least attempted to. It provided fresh food, fresh air in a safe space, and gardening can be quite therapeutic to some. If you did not start your garden early enough this year, it is still not too late to partake in the hobby.

Donate Plants

If you are like me, you have an over-abundance of tomato plants. I start mine as seeds and see how much grow into plants. This year was quite unexpected when almost all decided to grow. Needless to say, I do not have the space for all of them. I placed a few in pots, others in my raised garden bed, but I have a few that have no home. I have decided to give some away to friends who may not have the space for a garden but would love some fresh produce.

Donate the Fresh Produce

As many gardeners know, once one vegetable comes, so do the rest. It can be hard to keep up with the delicious ripe tomatoes, and that is why I will donate them to a food bank or St. Vincent de Paul Society to give to their guests. Food waste is one of my biggest pet peeves, so this way I know a family member can take them in the day they work, and someone will take them home to eat that evening.

Save the Leftovers

Something new I want to try this year is to can some of my tomatoes and basil. We all have that day in January when all you want is a garden grown tomato, and the ones in the store taste like sand. Well not this year! I want my hard work and dedication to my garden to be enjoyed past the summer months. We shall see if I am successful!

As you can see, we do not want the care to go away because the virus is. Giving is not a temporary band aid for the current climate. We should give what we can when we are able. You never know what life may bring, so you should pay it forward when you can.