Gardening for your health during COVID-19
With many of us spending significantly more time in our homes, now is the perfect time to start a project that benefits your mind, body, and overall health. Gardening can help reduce stress, expose you to sunlight and fresh air, offer a creative way to get physical exercise, and supply you with delicious, healthy produce to enjoy. Additionally, growing your own produce can save you money, which can be helpful during this time of economic uncertainty.
Did you know that many common vegetables can be re-grown from scraps? You can save money and avoid unnecessary trips to the store by starting a new vegetable plot from the food that’s running low in your fridge, and help you reduce food waste in the process!
Onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots
Take a small section of the base or a bulb or stem with the roots attached and place them in a shallow dish of water. Soon, you will see new, green material growing from the base. You can leave them in water, plant them in a pot, or plant them in your garden until they are ready to be harvested again. They will be ready to harvest and eat within a month.
Celery may be the easiest plant to re-grow from scraps. All you need to do is cut off the bottom of the stalk and place it in a shallow dish with a little warm water and keep it in a sunny place in your home. After a week when you see leaves growing, you can replant it in your garden or in a pot until it grows into a full-size plant. The celery will be ready to harvest and eat withing three to four months.
Carrots, turnips, parsnips, beets, and other root crops
If your root vegetables still have the stop (where the leaves and stems grow off the root), they can be regrown by placing them in a container of water. Within days, new green tops should grow, which can be planted in the ground or in a pot. They will be ready to harvest and eat within three months.
Lettuce, bok choy, and other leafy greens
For full heads of leafy greens, you can easily follow the same instructions as for celery. However, lettuce, bok choy, and other leafy greens can often be grown from individual leaves as well. Place the leaves in a bowl with a little water and keep them in a sunny place. Soon, new roots and leaves should begin to form, and you can plant your new lettuce in your garden or in a pot. They will be ready to harvest and eat within three to four months.
Basil, mint, cilantro, and other herbs
Place a stem of your herbs into a glass of water, but make sure the leaves are well above the water level. When roots begin to grow, these herbs can be transferred to pots or directly into your garden. They will be ready to harvest and eat within a month.
Now is as good a time as any to try your hand at a new hobby, especially one that can have such a positive impact on your health and the health of your family. Planting a garden can help improve your mood, reduce your stress, and help you get some fresh air, sunlight, and exercise. And you and your family can enjoy nutritious meals made with fresh, delicious produce grown right out of your own backyard!