Get into the Garden!

05/15/2020

At APD, we’ve always cared about your health. But how should you and your kids stay healthy when everything is suddenly so different?

Welcome to Community Care News, a free resource from APD designed to help you know how to stay healthy as a very different future unfolds for all of us. Here we will share tips about food, exercise, sleep, and other issues important to improve your health in simple but important ways every day.

Community Care News Edition #7: Get into the Garden!

One of the silver linings of the pandemic is increased interest in gardening. In fact, in the United States, farmers were confronted by a seed shortage in the early spring months as more people than usual rushed to establish a collection of seedlings.

The new interest in gardening is likely due to having more time at home. But it’s also because getting your hands in the dirt and reconnecting with nature can greatly improve your mood and attitude.

Looking for some inspiration but don’t know how to start? Read on!

Mini-Farming Program at APD

At APD, we started a mini-farming program. We purchased four garden towers designed to grow vegetables and herbs that will feed our patients and employees.

Plus, we’re vermicomposting, or composting with worms. The compost contributes to our towers and reduces the amount of waste we send to landfills.

Gardening for Children

Fresh air, time away from screens, and a new understanding of where food comes from are all good reasons for children to get involved in gardening. Plus, it’s fun!

Cedar Circle Farm and Education Center has started a Nature Journal Club and Pen Pal Program for kids, as part of the “screen to green” movement. To join, email Meredith Rivlin.

For fun things to do in the garden, check out this free guide from organic gardening company Kellogg Garden for ideas. Kids can learn how to create a mini garden from eggshells, grow a pizza garden, regrow kitchen scraps, and build a garden teepee.

Volunteer to Garden

Willing Hands is looking for volunteers to harvest fruits and vegetables from the fields of local growers. This time-honored method of sharing food means families in need get fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing food waste. Visit their website to find out how you can help.

Gardening Education

UNH’s Cooperative Extension hosts a website with informative technical guides on a range of topics. They have a hotline that allows you to connect with master gardeners to get help with problems and answer questions.

UVM’s Extension Master Gardener program has  a web page for people interested in gardening during the pandemic. It includes tips on how to plan a vegetable garden and how to raise your own garden beds.

Gardening Supplies

Ready to start? You might need some supplies. Most local garden centers and home centers are open in some capacity, including curbside pickup. Check each website for more information. PLEASE REMEMBER: If you visit any public location, maintain 6 feet of social distance, wear a cloth mask, and wash or sanitize your hands often.

Gardener’s Supply Company: While there is currently limited in-person shopping, you can order online and pickup at Gardener Supply Garden Centers. Call (603) 448-6110 before you arrive and they will load your order on a cart.

Hanover Garden Club: The Annual Plant Sale is open! Select your plants online and enjoy scheduled curbside pick-up.

Cedar Circle: Open for online ordering and pickup, and they still have CSA and Summer Camp spots available!

Crossroad Farm: Greenhouses are open for in-person shopping and online/phone orders.

Frost Gardens: Open for in-person shopping.

Mill Gardens: Curbside pickup is preferred. Call and place your order (603-353-9901) and your materials will be ready for pickup on a cart.

And Lebanon’s United Methodist Church is offering free gardening supplies to its neighbors.

Healthy Gardening

Finally, don’t forget to stay healthy while gardening! Protect your skin by wearing long sleeves, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.

The ticks ARE ACTIVE! Tuck in your clothing whenever possible and do a tick check when you are done gardening. That goes for the kiddos too!

Please stay hydrated, take breaks and enjoy having a great reason to be outside.

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