By Naomi Sager

2020 has brought an abundance of uncertain circumstances, with one such situation being the COVID-19 outbreak, and ensuing pandemic status and State of Emergency. 

Within a very short period of time, our “normal” was turned upside down: social distancing and quarantine practices are now common-place, our daily routines have become inundated with updates, advice, and statistics pertaining to the pandemic, and our usual leisure activities such as going to a park, visiting with friends, or going to a restaurant are just now slowly starting to return.

Despite these undoubtedly peculiar times, spring itself was never cancelled: the days still started to grow longer, plants and flowers still began to bloom, and birds were once again chirping. 

Thankfully, along with nature’s interlude to spring, restrictions that had been put in place surrounding COVID-19 began to ease: we are once again free to enjoy the wonders of the outdoors through the re-opening of public parks and beaches, restaurants are beginning to re-open for dine-in service, and some sense of normality is seemingly returning– slowly, but surely, much like the arrival of spring itself.

Common Roots BiHi has seen a steady stream of plotters since we opened for the spring, and upon speaking with some of them, there has been a common theme of happiness. Here is what some plotters had to say regarding what they most enjoy about being able to return to Common Roots:

“I love getting my hand back in the dirt!”

“Just all of it… being outside, the fresh air, the soil… it’s wonderful.”

“Being able to get out and do something and see other people doing the same thing!”

A local organization which facilitates inclusive employment and workplace opportunities for people in Nova Scotia also joined us on the farm this week, with participants coming for a small socially-distanced gathering. The coordinator mentioned that they enjoy seeing the positive mental health benefits and sense of purpose that program participants derive from spending time tending to their Common Roots plot, as well as ultimately being able to put their harvest to good use.

Indeed, despite the unprecedented nature of the year thus far, the joys of gardening remain unchanged. Perhaps now more than ever, we can truly appreciate the significant and positive impacts provided by community gardens.