Daily updates, press conferences, mandates and now unbelievably, protests, fill print ,digital, audiovisual and social media platforms relentlessly during this pandemic. During these unprecedented times, daily briefings on new antiviral medications , vaccine development, convalescent plasma clinical trials diagnostic tests, immunomodulatory therapy and epidemiology are visible in real-time for a global audience to watch as scientists learn, discover , collaborate and hopefully, end the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the reign of COVID19.
The public health messaging remains clear- Stay At Home, Mask Up, Flatten the Curve and We Are All In This Together. The hard work of unsung heroes- public health professionals and epidemiologists- is visible to all who value individual and community health. And for now, public health messaging continues to aim for a flattened curve and downward slope in COVID19 cases .
In the midst of this new state of uncertainty, anxiety and at times, conflicting information, finding a piece of peace is self care- something we all need.
Juxtaposed with this uncertainty is the reliable routine of the upcoming Maryland growing season. Spring is a time of excitement, planning, anticipation and hope for gardeners and farmers. Grow lights, seedling heat mats, potting mix and seeds cover tables -inside and outside. The weather remains unpredictable but midday when the sun shines, amending the soil, preparing garden beds, removing weeds, and carefully nurturing seedlings brings a sense of peace and purpose in these trying times.
This is our second year on the farm in Highland, Maryland, and while the deer enjoyed some of our harvest last year, this year the deer fence is up and the warm weather so far has brought some welcome and flavorful return guests- lemon oregano, chamomile, mint, broccoli raab, lavender, arugula and red mustard greens.
There is nothing like walking around a farm or garden on a sunny day and finding fresh leaves from a perennial or annual that self seeded from the previous year. And finding the first ladybug is a welcome sign and part of our pest control team.
And this year, unlike last year, earthworms are everywhere working to increase water penetration, decompose plant matter, increase water drainage and root penetration for our seedlings. The castings from the soil earthworms and the compost worms in our vermiculture bin, will help nurture our soil into the black gold that plants, bacteria, and mycorrhizae love. Along with the aged compost from three neighboring horses, our soil regeneration plan remains on track to grow nutrient dense crops for kitchens and tables in the suburban DC area.
In the midst of unsettling times, nature and Mother Earth will always offer a piece of peace and calm.