Happy National Ag Day!
This entire week, actually, is National Agriculture Week (March 22-28, 2020) and it gives us the opportunity to celebrate American agriculture and the contribution that the agricultural industry plays in our countries economy.
This year we are experiencing National Ag Week in a little bit of a unique situation. All of America, and the world, is working collectively to fight against COVID-19 by the use of practices, such as social distancing, to help reduce the spread of the disease for our most vulnerable populations.
With so many families spending more time at home over the next several weeks we suggest that they partake in a little farming operation of their own: with a backyard garden. In as little space as a flower pot on your front/back porch, anyone can start a garden! No matter what size you would like to start with (flower pot-sized or plowing up your back yard) gardening is a great family project to engage parents, siblings, kids, and even pets! It just happens to be the perfect time of the year for all of America to begin planting their garden, as well. Read further to see some of the quick and easy steps you’ll need:
- Find a Growing Medium
This is where you can use a flower pot, or build a raised bed beside your house, or take a hoe to your backyard and turn over your lawn to expose the rich soil underneath. Be sure to start your garden with bare soil so that your plants will grow with little to no competition for the resources they need from the earth.
If you’re choosing to start your garden in a raised bed or flower pot be sure to visit your closest Rockingham Cooperative Ace Hardware to pick up some potting soil!
2. Pick Your Seed(s) or Plugs
Check out this website (Farmer’s Almanac) which has some specific guidelines on when you should plant your seeds or starters for optimum growth! Starting your plants from seeds allows you to start your plants earlier in the year, and get a jump start on your planting season. We have everything you need to start your seeds at your closest Rockingham Cooperative Ace Hardware. In fact, one of our sales associates has a video walking you through starting your seeds. Watch it here!
Whether you choose to start your garden from seeds or use some pre-planted “plugs” be sure to leave adequate space in between your plants so that they can grow to full capacity. (Check the back of the seed packet or plant label for planting instructions.
3. All you need is Water, Sunlight, & Patience
Once you’ve made it to step three you’ve officially finished all the hard parts! If you have kids helping you with your gardening project, have them check the seeds/plants each day to measure for growth and check your soil moisture (watering as needed). Be sure your garden is in a spot to receive full sunshine. Don’t forget to recognize any weeds that might be growing in your garden and pull them, as they pop-up, so that your vegetable plants will have the best chance at success!
Growing garden plants is a true joy that will help put fresh nutrient-dense food on your family’s plate later in the year. While you’re planting your seeds and tending to your garden, remember that your operating your garden on a small scale with similar practices that farmers use on a much larger scale each day to feed the population of America, and even the world. Each farmer is responsible for feeding an estimated 166 individuals each year with their products. This number has steadily increased over the decades as agriculture and industrial innovations have allowed us to be more efficient in our practices.
Think about the items you use/eat today and try to identify what agricultural products those things are derived from. Our farmers, and the agricultural industry, has become pretty ingenious when it comes to finding uses for agricultural products.
Join Rockingham Cooperative in celebrating National Ag Day and National Agriculture Week! We’re proud to be a part of the agriculture industry, providing goods and services to agriculture producers for 99+ years!