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By Celina Young

How will you grow in 2021? The start of this decade is a great time to exercise the inherent resilience that we all have. Sure, times have been very uncertain lately, but we made it through. As a new gardener, I have already begun to learn eclectic ideas that will enhance my overall lifestyle.

In The Resilient Gardener, author Carol Deppe emphasizes the importance of agricultural self-reliance. Since life can be full of unexpected occurrences, change is ultimately inevitable. We could gain so much by becoming better equipped to withstand life-altering events. Deppe asserts that our society’s current mainstream gardening norms are susceptible to change at any moment due to the unpredictability of nature. As a collective, I feel that we should use this awareness to challenge ourselves to grow.

The first step toward becoming more self-sustaining is to obtain the five key crops that Deppe suggests: potatoes, corn, squash, beans, and eggs. Potatoes are versatile, can endure drastic changes in climate, and provide carbohydrates. Corn is valuable for its high-fiber content. Various types of squash are loaded with nutrients and complement well as side dishes. Beans are an amazing asset, because they can be stored much longer than other staples. Lastly, eggs are an excellent source of protein and omega-3s, which are considered good fats. Maybe consider raising chickens, under the guidelines of your local government. There are a multitude of benefits from implementing sustenance-based lifestyle choices. Growing your own crops may give you the advantages of saving money, developing a strong sense of pride, reducing your environmental impact, and lowering stress or anxiety levels.

Our ability to prosper, even during an unimaginable pandemic, is relentless. In parallel, humans and nature both possess resilient qualities. Plants endure fervent heat from the sun, excess water from the rain, polluted air conditions, and other ever-changing environmental variables. Humans are similar in the sense that we may encounter famines, pestilence, or times of war and, yet our resilience embeds us to push through. We are innately tenacious; therefore, self-preservation has always been at the forefront of our priorities. Not only do we survive, but we manage to thrive.

Goin’ Native Therapeutic Gardens, located in San Juan Capistrano, is a nonprofit organization that connects people of all abilities and backgrounds — through gardening. We understand how overwhelming the past year has been, and we’d like to extend our resources to you. If you are interested in signing up for our newsletter to receive more information on horticulture and well-being, please visit goinnative.net.

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