As the pandemic toys with our sense of security, there’s one way to feel more assured: grow your own food. Indeed, it’s a trend that has gained momentum in the wake of the virus.
According to a recent New York Times article, headlined “Turn Your Home into Your Main Food Producer,” people across America are building in-home seed beds and even considering raising their own poultry.
In March, as the virus created food shortages, Google saw a 50% spike in users searching the term “home farming” and a 75% spike in the phrase “how to raise chickens,” according to the Times. Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems, which provides at-home farming kits and online instruction saw its web traffic double since the outbreak.
Some people, such as Vermont engineer Jason McCune, even stopped Googling and jumped into action. After learning through a YouTube video that thyme had disinfectant qualities, McCune’s interest was piqued. “I thought, if I grow a lot of thyme and drink thyme tea, it certainly won’t hurt,” he told the Times.
He turned his dining room into a thyme greenhouse, complete with a 4-foot by 10-foot bed for seeds. He plans to dry the thyme and share it with friends. “We’ll make an apocalypse tea blend,” he joked.
Meanwhile, David Siegel, a Brooklyn dietician, helps online viewers grow food through aquaponics, a system that uses fish excretions as fertilizer for plants.
“We say tongue in cheek, that this is pandemic hobby. But right now we’re stocking up on frozen goods and canned and dry goods and we’ll be able to supplement, especially with the herbs. It’s adding some much-needed freshness to our diets,” he said.
For those looking to do just that, Houzz suggests growing herbs to “enhance your recipes, eliminate extra trips to the grocery store and cultivate a connection with nature.” Among the most useful and easiest to grow, Houzz notes, are: basil, common sage, thyme, dill, oregano, mint, rosemary, parsley and tarragon.