Image of raised bed vegetable garden

Growing Your Own Food

Dear Sam,

What is something easy I can do during the Covid-19 stay-at-home order that’s good for the planet?




Dear Marie,

Thank you for staying home to help keep your neighbors and the essential workers who are caring for our community healthy. And, for thinking about how you can help care for our planet during this time! 

Many of us are finding that we have to be more planful about our grocery shopping in order to reduce potential exposure to the virus and to minimize trips out of the house. At the same time, we are looking for new activities to keep ourselves busy and bring joy to our daily routines. Why not try growing some of the fresh vegetables, fruits, or herbs you eat?

Shifting to a plant-rich diet is a widely discussed, impactful way to fight climate change. In addition, food that is grown closer to home generally has a smaller carbon footprint than food that has to travel thousands of miles.

When you are making your meal plan and shopping list this week, consider adding more plant-based meals that incorporate beans and lentils for protein. Next, look at the vegetables, fruits, or herbs that you love to eat, and that you frequently buy, and pick a few that can be grown during the Minnesota summer. Make this the year you try growing them!

To get started, check out this free online planning tool to help you plan your garden based on the space you have available. Already have a vegetable garden? Use the tool to help plan an expansion of your space and try growing something new. 

Don’t have space for an entire garden? Try growing one or two things in containers. Here are a few plant recommendations to get you started.

If you would like to start from seed, Tangletown Gardens and Diamond Lake Hardware have seeds and soil to get you started. Check with neighbors, too, to see if they have seeds they want to swap or share. Lettuce, beans, and herbs are easy to start from seed, and YouTube has many videos to help you get started.

I’m still developing my green thumb, so I start my own food garden with transplant-ready vegetable, fruit, and herb plants. Tangletown Gardens has always offered a beautiful variety of plants as temps get consistently warmer and planting season begins. Call them or follow on Facebook for current hours and for updates on what they have available at their garden center. You can also follow nearby Kingfield Farmers Market on Facebook for market opening updates and to find out if their bedding plant vendors will be taking orders during this stay-at-home and social distancing time.

Wishing you health, sunshine, and the perfect amount of rain for a productive growing season.



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