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Viewpoint: Do your self a solid, Get that green thumb on

By Clark Brooks, Editor & Publisher


I've seen a lot of grumblings over the last five weeks or so of shelling with friends and followers on social media unclear on why nurseries, hardware stores and large chains operations with garden departments like Farm & Fleet, Wal-Mart and Meijer are considered essential in Governor J.B. Pritzker's executive order to shelter-in-place and other stores that offer similar merchandise but without the garden centers were forced to close.

There is a perfectly logical reason and here's why: These stores are deemed essential not because the sell luscious philodendrons or gorgeous varieties of potted of irises and tulips, but because they are the main source pandemic gold - seeds. Specifically, seeds that produce fruits and vegetables.

Seeds are absolutely essential in catastrophic disaster and pandemic management. Also necessary to the growing process fertilizer, herbicides and hardware is available in these retail outlets. When Michigan forced nurseries in its state to close during in their stay-at-home order, that was a pandemic fail.

So why are seeds so important? Duh. So that people can grow and harvest food their own food.

If I owned or lived in a house with a lot of any size, I would grow as much food as I could squeeze in the available area this summer. What I can't eat, can or store by late September, I would happily share with my neighbors or those less fortunate and in need.

You might not consider gardening a good idea when you can order online and do a curbside pickup a few days later, but during a pandemic gardening is a solid investment.

Contrary to popular belief, pandemics don't disappear overnight or in months. The Spanish Flu lasted from January 1918 until December 1920, Cholera attacked the world population in three waves from 1832 to 1866 and a small pox epidemic broke out from 1633 to 1634. Historically, they can linger for years until the herd, those of us with superior immune systems are left still standing.

Growing your own food helps your household budget fight inflationary and predatory pricing when inventories wane due to the inability of farmers or produce companies to transport goods to marketplaces. Growing your own food can help stretch unemployment dollars if an employer is forced to downsize or trim hours.

If you haven't already noticed, food prices have been increasing nationwide. Buyers are spending 2.6% more on food in April. According ABC Channel 7, prices rose 5.8% compared to a year ago in Chicago. Prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs have increased 4.7%.

This September, why spend $6.89 on a pound of tomatoes when you can go in the backyard in pick them and a couple bell peppers for homemade salsa for free.


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