One of the positives that bloomed from widespread stay-at-home orders was the development of healthy new hobbies, including backyard farming and gardening. From Victory Gardens to chicken coop construction, many flexed green thumbs as a way to pass time, stay entertained and secure some food for the future. I personally purchased a plethora of houseplants, which I repotted and placed around my previously gloomy bedroom-turned-office.
For some, gardening was not much more than a fun way to pass time with the family outdoors. For others, producing fresh produce put their minds at ease in case of a food shortage (after panic buying led to temporary grocery shortages). Regardless of the initial inspiration, local garden centers have been thriving.
Garden centers, including Green Leaf Garden Center and Moonfire and Sun have told the Source that sales had skyrocketed over the past couple of months. Meanwhile, local groups are creating new veggie gardens to feed local people. The garden group South County Gardening has teamed up with volunteers and businesses from Bend, La Pine and Sunriver to build a Victory Garden at the La Pine Senior Center.
Bendites agree that getting their hands dirty has been a fulfilling experience.
"I've had the time over the past couple of months to really dive into home gardening, which I've honestly been thinking about exploring for several years," said local quarantiner Tyler Cranor. "I feel it's important for us to do what we can to use the resources that are readily available to us, and be both self-sufficient and environmentally friendly."