It’s time to garden

With spring weather coming, it’s time to start thinking about gardening.

Community gardens are a great resource if you don’t have a garden available to you or you want to be a part of a gardening community. Gardening is not a “plant and leave” activity — ongoing care and attention is required to grow what you want and to do so in a healthy, safe way. Plus, gardening has been shown to improve both physical and mental health. Exposure to plants, green space and sunlight, alongside fairly rigorous physical activities like digging and raking, all improve health outcomes. Gardens have been used for various therapeutic purposes in different populations with positive results.

It’s estimated that 40% of food in the U.S. is never eaten, and each U.S. household wastes at least $1,500 in food each year — which doesn’t count the waste of the resources used to produce that food or get it to your home. By planting a garden at your home or in a community garden, you can save time, money and help the environment. Gardens are a great tool to bring the family together and get your hands in the dirt to experience nature.

Below are some opportunities to help you up your garden game. Use these resources and start planning your garden for the upcoming spring and summer.

  • Cornell University has a great resource on the proper place to grow various vegetables or flowers, plant traits, and special considerations when deciding what to plant and when to plant it.
  • City Sprouts and The Big Garden are partnering to offer some great workshops this spring. These workshops range from small space gardening to composting to preparing a new garden site. Check out this link to register for the webinars.
  • The Big Garden, City Sprouts, Big Muddy Urban Farm and the Omaha Public Library are offering the seventh annual seed share on March 20. This free community event will take place in the Omaha Economic Development Corporation parking lot, 2221 N. 24th St., from noon-4 pm. Seeds, including many organic and heirloom, will be available free of charge to everyone in attendance. Gardeners also are invited to bring their seeds to share with neighbors. This event is for everyone who cares about strengthening our local food systems from the ground up.

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