Lights. Camera. Climate action! In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we’re digging deeper than the “well said” soundbite or your “well-done” weekly recycling. All you’ll need is a bit of elbow grease and your own patch of earth. 

The theme for Earth Day 2020 is climate action, and following in the footsteps of the 20-million Americans who took to the streets in 1970 to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet, we’re not letting the COVID outbreak get in the way of us celebrating and achieving gold. So this year, we’re taking the fight to our home gardens. Gardening has already proven to provide stress relief, and with 90 percent of us under stay-at-home orders, there’s been a resurgence in victory gardening. According to CBS, victory gardening “was a homefront craze during the World Wars, when Americans were encouraged to grow their own produce to supplement rations.” Joining in on the trend is the perfect way for individual families to unite in a demonstration of support for environmental protection. 

To start getting your socially-distanced, idle-hands on board, check out this list of easy vegetables to grow and this free Memphis planting calendar, where you’ll find the best dates for planting and transplanting. Here are some other great local resources to get your Earth Day 2020 victory gardening activities underway. 

  1. Dan West Garden Center: Founded in 1952, as a small feed and seed store primarily serving the farm community in East Memphis, Dan West Garden Center offers expert advice on how to care for your garden, trees, shrubs, and plants. 
  2. Flora Memphis: Self-professed plant obsessors, Flora Memphis aims to invigorate current plant lovers while enticing more Memphians to become plant-obsessed. They provide instructional content curated from the world-wide-web with images from their Instagram feed mixed in. 
  3. Memphis Area Master Gardeners (MAMG): Comprised of over 2,496 certified Tennessee Master Gardeners, the “master Gardener program seeks to improve the lives of Tennesseans by promoting environmental stewardship, non-commercial food production, and human health and well-being through horticulture education and outreach delivered by a dedicated and skilled volunteer network.” Don’t miss their Memphis Kitchen Garden Planting Guide
  4. Memphis Garden Club (MGC): Formed in 1921, MGC seeks to advance and encourage the knowledge and practice of horticulture and the design and development of gardens. The Horticulture Committee holds meetings periodically, as announced in the MGC newsletter. Programs include propagation, plant identification, bulbs, herbs, roses, and more. 
  5. Memphis Horticultural Society (MHS): Founded in the late 1980s by a group of passionate local plant enthusiasts, MHS is focused on the study of plants and the exchange of information among the members on care, cultivation, propagation of plants, and garden design.
  6. Shelby County Extension Service: The official website of Shelby County offers an extensive list of publications with everything you need to know about home gardening, lawn, and landscape care.
  7. Urban Earth: Located in Midtown Memphis’ Flicker Street Art District, Urban Earth is a welcoming, community-minded resource for plants and garden materials and garden design, creation and management.

If you’re not ready to get down and dirty, you can still celebrate Earth Day by implementing these simple tips to live a more sustainable lifestyle!

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