The current global experience of COVID-19 and efforts to soften the impact have seen Australians exhibit some strange behaviours in recent times, but one trend may hold positive implications long after the virus has faded.
Sales of vegie seeds and seedlings have been sent soaring in recent weeks as people around the country look to start, replenish or revive their home vegie patches. The Diggers Club, an online gardening club providing a mail order seed service to members, said it had sold 100,000 packets of seeds, most of them for vegetables, to its backyard garden clients in the month of March so far, compared to just 30,000 for the whole of the month last year.
Australian celebrity chef Adam Liaw recently encouraged Australians to “grab a shovel, not a shopping trolley” in response to reports of supermarket hoarding, recommending vegetable patches as a means of becoming more self-sufficient. With evidence suggesting more than two-thirds of the Australian population are “at least interested” in backyard food production, Adam is right to encourage such a response.
This does not mean every Australian should be buying up as many seeds as possible as insurance against potential shortages. We are lucky in Australia to not face such threats and should act as responsibly in our purchasing of seeds and seedlings as we do with any other product.
However, in the unique circumstance we find ourselves in now, most with more time at home than ever before and limited opportunity to connect with nature, it makes sense to rekindle our relationship with the small patch of earth in our backyard, or the planting box on our balcony or the succulent in our bathroom.
If we do, we might all find ourselves coming out of this with a new perspective on what the soil around us can offer and, once we can get together again, inspire a new movement of urban gardening.
- If you’re looking to start a vegetable garden at home, take the time to do it in a way that is sustainable beyond the current situation and start small. Instead of buying up seeds, tend to your space and prepare your soil to start growing a few vegetables.
- For more advice on getting a nature fix during this time at home, check out these tips or the range of resources and activities available through National Tree Day.
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.