Farming in the time of COVID-19

It took a pandemic for me to start a farm.


When the lock-down of COVID-19 became a reality in March, 2020, life changed for everyone. Life as we knew it ceased to exist, and odd unexpected occurrences, like a shortage of toilet paper and an overwhelming demand for hand sanitizer, wrecked havoc on our shopping habits.

For me, the shortage of paper goods was not nearly as daunting as the lack of green groceries. While certainly an omnivore, one of my lifetime mantras has been, “Eat a shit load or vegetables.” Combined with regular exercise, it’s one of the cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle. I don’t get sick – and I do what I can to keep it that way.

Crookneck, Carrots, Cucumber, Zucchini

Since sheltering in place was the preferred method of staying safe, I scoured the internet for seeds. I was not the only one. Several of my treasured seed purveyors were either out or back-ordered. I found myself ordering from a variety of dealers in order to be able to start my farm.

Also to note: I rent the home I currently occupy, so tearing up the front lawn was not an option. So I plotted building a farm in containers. Home Depot delivered the pots and long troughs. Amazon shipped the soil. The seeds arrived, and the planting began. The obvious location was the back, a salty windy corridor, and there was a strong chance of crop failure. The location was not ideal, but as I planted the seeds, I whispered to them, “This is it. Make the best of it.”

I watched with almost child-like glee as the first seedlings pushed their way above the soil’s surface. Then sprouted their tiny second set of ‘wings’ as I call them, ready to push toward fruit.

Carrot Seedlings with second leaves

Maybe it was the whispering. Maybe it was my attentive care. But the garden has thrived in more ways than I could have imagined. The harvests have been bountiful : green beans, chinese peas, five kinds of lettuce, swiss chard, carrots, three kinds of beets, three kinds of squash, four kinds of peppers, three kinds of tomatoes, spinach, arugula, two kinds of cucumbers, and a plethora of herbs

Green Beans & Two Kinds of Squash
Multiple kinds of Lettuce

So yes, I allayed my fears, and now eat the freshest produce I can imagine. Truly, farm to table. All in the time of COVID-19, which of course, was the first time I’ve stayed in one place long enough to start a farm.


  1. I have been growing vegetables for many years at my home in Santa Barbara and I always seem to enjoy my own more than the store bought organics but your pictures outshine my crops by plenty.

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