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  • Grandfather, father and son in garden with tomatoes

Beth, Preston | May 1, 2020

There are many reasons to be more interested than ever in gardening at home. You may have more time at home, or a mind to being more self-sufficient, or simply want to save grocery money. Avid gardeners will point to the many benefits to being active and outdoors. Plus, there is something satisfying about enjoying blooms of flowers you’ve grown, or the taste of your own veggies.

Maybe you’ve considered starting a garden this year. Let Idea Exchange help you get going and enjoy your harvest!

Don’t have a lot of space? Many apartment dwellers, or those with little space, have found success with windowsill or balcony gardening. Using containers can yield more than you think. No fancy equipment is needed, either. Old pots, plastic containers, buckets, or pails can all be re-purposed into functional containers for any gardeners.

No seeds? Let your grocery scraps go to good use. Learn how to re-use scraps to grow seedlings for your garden.

New to Gardening? Idea Exchange offers free access to Gale Courses with many topics, from technology, writing, or personal wellness. One of their courses will even teach you how to start your own edible garden.

Too busy with your kids home? Getting kids involved with gardening can not only help you get to it, but can help them learn about and connect with you and the natural world more than ever.

The science of growing is a wonderful one for kids to learn in a hands-on way. For example, kids can help to build a new raised bed, turn soil, and plan the layout. They can discover the ecosystem of soil (yeah, worms!), learn about pollinators and other garden critters. And, of course, they can plant and care for new growth, and eventually harvest their own snacks.

Some kids may benefit from having more autonomy with a plot or container for just them (even if only to keep other plants un-stomped on), while others may be content to assist you. If a distraction is needed, don’t forget the magic of what a pile of dirt, some water, and some containers can do for keeping kids busy, if not clean.

National Geographic Kids, has many resources to supplement your kids learning. After logging in, search these keywords: garden, plants, pollinators, ,etc.

Need More Support and Connection? There are many local community resources that are able to support in various ways, as well..

Idea Exchange is actively involved with One Seed, One Community Cambridge

Rare Charitable Research Reserve has a fundraising initiative where you will receive free seeds with a donation. They also regularly post on eco and gardening topics on their social media and website.

Preston Community Garden has tips and tricks on their Facebook page, as well as an ongoing offer to till a new garden space for you.

If you harvest a "bumper crop," local food banks are eager for fresh produce.

Also, Idea Exchange Preston Seed Library would be thrilled to accept saved seed donations after we open again.

Happy growing!