Canadians are digging into victory gardens for 2020
In this year of coronavirus, surging interest in gardening is about concerns over food security and rising prices, along with a strong desire to get outside after a couple of months of being in the house, says Sheila Colla, an assistant professor in environmental studies at York University in Toronto.
As a conservation biologist, Colla sees an opportunity to shift from the idea of a victory garden to a resiliency garden. Growing food in our yards and on balconies and patios, and Colla hopes in public spaces such as schools and street boulevards, will bring more plant pollinators to urban places where only lawns have existed before.
“We can use this time to change the landscape to bring more biodiversity. Increased biodiversity means more resilience for the ecosystem.”
That is not only a boon for the environment, but it brings communities together as neighbours share their yields, and brings enormous mental health benefits, she says. Plenty of people have been forced to slow down during this time, allowing them the luxury of growing their own food.
“And with children not being in school, there are a lot of skills that go along with gardening, like counting of seeds, and learning what plants need in terms of sun, soil and when to plant, how to prune and harvest,” said Colla, who is planting in her Toronto front yard with kids who are three and six.
“That experiential learning is a form of resiliency.”