Garden Health



Growing Mindfully with Hopefilled Days
Baby Sunflower

In these new and challenging times, we need to turn to the outdoors; for our peace and productivity. I know of many families inspired to put in raised gardens, patio containers and small manageable gardens. Not only for a supplement of nutritious vegetables and herbs but also for the mindfulness involved. Garden projects help families and young people to focus on specific chores, nurturing tender plants and the joy of small successes. Busy minds turn off as our hands become engaged and the learning opportunities are boundless – experiential! Our gardens may not reap the harvest of large commercial producers but the time outside, as a family or an individual focusing on the positives, is a huge return!

So . . . upon the pandemic, I was motivated to get back outdoors and resurrect what was once my long ago garden, my quiet de-stressor before a time when I thought I was too busy! (laughter) Some timeline photos of the start and the first sprouts. I have sunflowers, cucumbers, watermelon, turnips, corn and kohlrabi in the ground. All will be supplemented in stages. As I thin out the turnips, I will have some sweet additions to my salads. The large container is planted with carrots, sweet peas and beets. Marigolds are starting to emerge to discourage the creepy crawlies. And once the corn is larger I will plant beans and squash for a “Three Sister” – permaculture – endeavor.

UF/IFAS Extension Service Martin

UF/IFAS Gardening Vegetable Series guide: and by season: Many links are available to explore the possibilities in vegetable gardening for our region.

Explore the warm weather crops you can manage on a small scale. Ever wonder why Okra is so popular in the South? Or Chayote in Guatemala? Plus, you may experience a new vegetable, recipe, or taste that normal times would not have encouraged – another positive. (smile) From there learn about the country or culture. As I mentioned, one simple step leads to continuing learning. Call us at 772-288-5654 or email our office at: We are here to help, educate and support at all times.

Physically Distanced – Socially Connected!

Giving our very best to our Great Community.


Posted: April 15, 2020

Category: 4-H & Youth, Fruits & Vegetables, Horticulture, Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS Extension

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