Resilience Gardening and Learning from Nature

          This current pandemic has proved one thing, we may not have been as prepared for a crisis as we thought. The interest in home gardening has recently skyrocketed, online seed companies are out of stock (even closed) and chicks sellout within the hour at the local feed store. As much as I want to encourage folks to take up growing their own food, I want to heed some caution. Remember, every time you go shopping for gardening supplies you pose the risk of exposing yourself to others that maybe be sick (asymptomatic).

You might feel it leaves you with little options, but if you’re resourceful you can creatively and safely source your gardening supplies. If you know Elders from the Greatest Generation, it’s likely they gardened and rationed during World War II. Talk to those who are still here, you could gain some perspective and ideas.

Items such as; soil, seeds, plant starts, and building materials can be traded, gifted, or recycled. You may have a family member or friend that gardens, have them deliver some seeds to your mailbox or drop off on your porch. The same could be said for other items in need. Currently, I’m saving and recycling old plastic milk cartons for season extenders in my garden (just cut out the bottoms). If you have an unused notebook lying around the house, I would recommend keeping a garden journal. This is a personable and inspiring way to plan and keep records of your hard work. Also, the internet holds a wealth of information for every gardener at every skill level, use it to your advantage.

Seed inventory in my new garden journal. I happened to have a spare journal at home and put it to use.

If gardening is not feasible this year, consider keeping a phenology log. This activity can be done together as a family and is inexpensive. What exactly is phenology? Phenology is the study of natural phenomenon over time through the observations of weather patterns, lifecycles of plants, and behaviors of animals. Included is a sample phenology wheel that my family and I made for the month of March. Half of the entries were completed from at home observations. These entries included; the lunar cycle, Spring Equinox, plant species leafing out, weather events, gardening tasks, and animal sightings. A link is included below for free printable templates.

Phenology wheel created for March 2020, listed are general observations from home and work. Blank templates are available from the links listed below.


To learn more about Victory Gardens (school-aged children):

For more information on Garden and Bullet Journaling:

For more information on Phenology Wheels:

Written by Gaylene Kinzy, the Community Market Manager of the Bishop Paiute Tribe’s Food Sovereignty Program.