Opinion: Take a moment to appreciate promise of spring during these troubling times

I hope everyone is coping in a strange and difficult time. I feel like I am an extra in a science fiction movie. I am sure that many of you feel the same way. Eventually this movie will have a relatively happy ending if we all do our part.

My wife has been visiting her aging mother three or four times a week for several years and now is unable to do so. Instead, she now writes letters and drops off a treat at the front desk of KinVillage residential care. Today is Babybel cheese and the reminder that she loves her and hopes to see her again soon.

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To an aging and reliant mother and her daughter, this is an emotionally tasking time. I feel for all those who have spent quality time with their loved ones in care facilities whom are no longer able to do so.

The past few weeks have really illustrated the good, bad and ugly in cities and communities all over the world. The run on food supplies has been particularly troubling to me. I am one of those people who generally shops daily because I like eating fresh. I am happy to see that grocery retailers are finally putting up limit signs so the selfish hoarders can’t further bolster their apocalypse-worthy stockpiles.

I feel for the kids in Delta who will miss the social interaction and fun that a school setting provides. I am sure that our school district will find ways to engage them in the coming weeks and months.

I am glad that some great early spring weather allowed my Project Pickle crew to get lots of seed in the ground. Hundreds of young farmers have planted radish, peas, arugula, lettuce and kale and “Farmer Mike” will continue put seed in the ground and in to seed trays for the greenhouse.

We will figure out how to distribute the seedlings to the kids so they will have something to grow at home in the summer.

As usual, the kids have been given instructions on what they can harvest from their school farms in the summer. When, what and how many are the rules of engagement so that everyone gets their fair share.

That is an important lesson, especially in the unprecedented situation we currently live within. I personally feel that teaching kids about food and farming is an essential service and that the life lessons learned through small-scale farming are hugely important for the future for all of us.

I would encourage parents to follow up with their children and make best efforts to find a chunk of back or front yard, patio or window box to grow your own food. There may be a time down the road where supply is not as bountiful as we have known it to be. Your families will benefit from the fun and reward of eating your own home grown food.

To further build your pantry, consider growing fruits and vegetables that can be preserved in jams, pickles and sauces. Agri-literacy in Delta is paramount, especially now. If you would like some advice, feel free to email me at mikes@dccnet.com.

In these changing and troubling times, take a few minutes to appreciate spring and the promise that it brings. Be well.

Mike Schneider is founder of Project Pickle and likes to write about growing, cooking and eating food. He is a Jamie Oliver Food Revolution ambassador.

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