There's been a mistake.
I understand we are all coping with the pandemic in our own way. And generally, we've embraced one of three activities: There are the bakers, the gardeners, and the exercisers. I'm usually exempt from group activities because I don't like people. Also, I have five kids and no time. I mean, my wife and I, we couldn't even find a couple hours to watch "Tiger King."
Yet, somehow, I ended up a gardener.
I can't be a gardener! Gardeners are old, and ... well, I'm not that old. Also, I live in New York City! (Well, I normally do.) I'm not a fan of the outdoors. And vegetables? Well, vegetables and I have never gotten along. Yet somehow over the last two months, I find myself puttering around plants and gardening.
I blame the house we rented in June. I noticed the rental house had some raised garden beds. I thought, OK, we'll plant some seeds. That's something the kids can do while I nap. Well, the kids lost interest immediately, but I continued to water and tend and, well, garden.
Through gardening I found something I couldn't get from binge-watching, a Zoom meeting, or even a cheeseburger. I acquired control. Well, some control. Obviously I can't control a global pandemic. But I can plant a seed, make sure it gets water, and grow something where there used to just be dirt.
It's not just the accomplishment of growing something that wasn't there. It's the autonomy. It's something I did during the pandemic by myself. Alone!
I didn't stop there. In early July I converted a nearby patch of dirt into a second garden, like an agricultural imperialist.
I have two gardens. Two vegetable-producing empires! I'm virtually self-sufficient … if only I wanted to eat anything I've grown.
Know anyone who wants 10,000 green beans?
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Story produced by Julie Kracov. Editor: Lauren Barnello.