Gardening: A quarantine activity

Mary Park, Central News Watch


Mary Park

While many gatherings and activities have been cancelled or moved online, COVID-19 hasn’t shut down gardening. As the temperature grows warmer, home gardeners are pulling weeds, pruning shrubs and planting flowers.

Dustin Brunson, owner of Dusty’s Nursery and Company, said in times of uncertainty, people turn to gardening from a natural desire to want stability in their lives.

“I think a part of that is just a desire to kind of control something in a world that maybe they’re feeling increasingly out of control,” Brunson said. “Potatoes, onions and salad garden … They will see a return in payoff from their efforts in a relatively short time.”

Planting crops can also be a teaching opportunity to children, he added.

“I think it’s important that even kids who don’t want to be farmers or grow produce, it’s useful for children’s minds to see the process and to understand the process, the joy of watching something that they’ve planted and taken care of grow,” Brunson said.

Ellensburg resident Ali Dermond described gardening as her hobby to enjoy the outdoors and to grow food. Now with the pandemic, she thought about using her skills to help her community by donating homegrown produce to FISH Community Food Bank.

“We have a pretty good-sized garden and most years, we eat out of it … and every year I kind of have more than what I can really do anything with,” Dermond said. “Knowing that there’s going to be a lot of people needing the food bank this year and for the next little bit, I just figured that’s where I can help.”

FISH has always accepted homegrown veggies, fruits and herbs, but they have recently encouraged home gardeners to plant more if they can during COVID-19.

They created a Facebook group called FISH Victory Gardeners, in reference to gardens that produced food during wartime. Group members can share what they are growing and ask questions.