I think we’re all looking for good news these days. A hint of a silver lining in the midst of all the craziness in the world. And I think I’ve found one!

Growing up, we had a full-on summer garden. Potatoes, sugar peas, lettuces, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, beans, and so on. We ate, we harvested, we canned, and we preserved. And while I don’t plant a vegetable garden anymore, I like to dabble.

A pot of herbs on the porch. Cherry tomatoes in the flower bed. Some sweet peas on a trellis. And this year, I had the notion to plant a few seed potatoes. I went on-line to order some (since the ones at the grocery store are neutered–a topic for another time!).

No potatoes. Only one kind of sweet pea remained. And the cucumber choices were slim. What’s up?

Turns out this pandemic business has been a boon for garden centers. People are planting gardens and snapping up any plant that produces food. Which I think is fantastic!! Not to mention the people buying up laying hens for backyard coops.

Now, I doubt people are planning to suddenly grow all their own food. Much less butcher their own chickens. But I find this turn hugely encouraging. I’ve been an advocate of locally grown, seasonal food for a long time. Asparagus in the spring. Peaches and blackberries in the summer. Acorn squash in the fall.

I’m not going to pretend that I’ll refuse some good looking okra in February. Or that I’ve never indulged in a blueberry from South America. But I do pay attention to where (and when) my produce is sourced and much prefer some spring greens picked right here in Western NC to a bag of pre-washed whatever from Florida or California.

So I’ll plant my peas on a trellis and make a hill for cucumbers between the cone flowers and the lilac. This spring, it almost feels like an act of solidarity with everyone else who’s trying their hand at growing something good to eat.

And what, after all, is more hopeful than planting a seed?