Today there are peppers here at JPI, waiting for someone to take them home. One of our co-workers is sharing her surplus and they’re beautiful! Last week our fearless leader, Joe Peterson, graciously shared tomatoes and cucumbers from his own garden with all of us. Some squash showed up a while back, too… and I’m not even sure where those came from.

Late summer is always like that, but it seems the lockdown resulted in a bumper crop this year. A lot of people who don’t normally have gardens started one this year, including me.

I love it that we’re seeing a revival of the “Victory Garden.” I mean, we’re not technically in a war, but reflection has really made people more deliberately about finding joy in simple things, and many strive to be more self-sufficient by producing food. And frankly, a lot of us just got bored.

As the Marketing Coordinator for JPI Insurance Solutions, I latched onto this as a theme for some of our newsletter and social media content. As it turns out, people love to brag about their harvests! Several readers sent pics of fresh, beautiful veggies straight out of their gardens. That means people are actually reading my stuff, something I already count as a win, but seriously… this is just a cool trend. I hear urban chickens are making a comeback, too!

It reminds me of a time back in the 70s, when my folks decided to be more self-sufficient.

They bought five acres and populated it with horses, cows, goats, pigs, geese, ducks, and chickens and for years, I lived on our little hobby farm. My mom was proud of all she accomplished back then and why not be? She came from a more urban environment, so she had a lot to learn at first. After a few years, though, she could say that almost everything on the dinner table came from our farm; from the vegetables, to the butter and milk, to the beef, pork or chicken.

I was one of those kids whose hamburger always had a name.

Anyway, I’m happy to say this spring I finally started the container gardens I’d been thinking about for a year or more, and growing stuff has given me a great deal of comfort and joy this spring and summer. Most of my containers are ornamental, but I did put in potatoes and a few herbs. It’s late August as I’m writing this article and I can’t wait until I can harvest my potatoes. Aside from being my favorite food on the planet, potatoes are infinitely versatile… The Irish could feed an entire family with just a small plot planted in potatoes.

Someone recently pointed out, all I’m really missing is eggs and voila! Breakfast! Urban chickens, anyone?