Digging Deep

Apr 10, 2024


"Soil is the most complex living life warm on the planet. A teaspoon of soil has more microorganisms than there are humans on the planet."      -Zach Bush


Do you remember learning about "Victory Gardens" back in your school days? If it's been a while, here's a refresher: During World War II, Victory Gardens were planted by U.S. families on the home front to help prevent a food shortage. At their peak, there were more than 20,000,000 Victory Gardens planted across the United States, and produced 40% of all vegetables grown in the U.S. People with no yards planted small Victory Gardens in window boxes and watered them through their windows. City dwellers who lived in tall apartment buildings planted rooftop gardens and the whole building pitched in and helped. Schools across the country planted Victory Gardens on their school grounds and used their produce in their school lunches. The U.S. government even printed recipe books describing how to prepare home grown vegetables to make nutritional and tasty meals. Agricultural companies gave tips on how to make seedlings flourish in different climates. In truth, Victory Gardens helped win the war by preventing starvation for soldiers and civilians. 


It's hard to believe how many back yards were turned into micro farms…..but take a look around today and you will see a resurgance of this idea popping everywhere. The pandemic of 2020 saw stores running out of seeds, and since then, the home gardening/homesteading movement has boomed. There are good reasons for the explosion: our supply lines can be cut off at the drop of a hat (remember the toilet paper shortage during Covid??); grocery prices are through the roof, so growing your own food is a smart way to save money; and my favorite reason is that home grown food is superior to anything you can buy at the grocery store. The nutrient density, freshness, and flavor of homegrown cannot be compared to store bought. What's more is that when you plant, grow, and harvest your own food, you are giving life to your gut microbiome. Having your hands in the soil is better than any medicine. Harvesting your own lettuce or kale, and leaving traces of home-grown organic soil on the leaves inoculates your gut with beneficial microbes that generate health inside your body. (Re-read the quote from Zach Bush at the top of this email….absolutely amazing!)


Today I want to encourage you to start a garden at home….a window sill garden, a whiskey barrel garden, or just go ahead and turn the whole backyard into a mini farm! (That's my longer-term goal!) I know that many of you already have home gardens…I've seen your gorgeous pictures and they have inspired me! I will confess that I can't keep a house plant alive, but I can grow veggies! It's easier than you might think. If you're new to growing your own food, just start small. Don't get overwhelmed. A whiskey barrel with some lettuces and fresh herbs right outside your back door is an encouraging and fun way to begin. There are SO many platforms offering fabulous gardening advice….from free tips to inexpensive courses on getting started. Here's a list of some of the gardening gurus that I've found helpful by following on Instagram:








(There are a ton more….maybe you have a few you'd like to share with me!)


As of now, I have started a few trays of seedlings indoors, and I've planted some early radishes and lettuces in my raised bed. It's all trial and error, but there's nothing quite as rewarding as combing through a midsummer garden and letting its offerings dictate what I will serve for dinner that evening. Gardening feeds my soul, my belly, and my family! I highly recommend it for gut health, mental health, and overall wellbeing. 


Please drop me a line ([email protected]) and share your thoughts, your garden pictures, your questions, and what you're growing in your garden this Spring!