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It’s a pretty crazy time. With a pandemic, economic shutdown, interruptions in the supply chain, and everyone trying to figure out what the heck “New Normal” is supposed to be, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and out of control. There is something you can do to not only help your sanity, but supply you with food when the inevitable shortage happens this year. 

Back in the early 1940's America was still recovering from the Great Depression and was faced with war in Europe and the Pacific. Like now, it was a pretty crazy time. At the time, Americans were told that one of the most patriotic things they could do to shore up the home front was to plant a garden and have two laying hens for every member of the family. 

When everything was out of control, the American people rolled up their sleeves, got their hands dirty and took control of their situation. These were the Victory Gardens. 

There are a lot of benefits to gardening besides just growing food. It's been known for a long time that spending some quiet time in the garden can soothe frazzled nerves and help clear your head. During all of the uncertainty going on right now, the last thing you need is more stress. 

With worries about finances, the safety of loved ones, and all of the crazy changes happening all at once, it's easy to quickly get overwhelmed. There is a measurable decline in stress when you garden so it's a great hobby even in the best of times. 

Another benefit to gardening are its health benefits. Mom always said the best disinfectant was sunshine and fresh air. Mom was right. Sunlight, in moderation, is great for us and one of the only ways for us to create the all-important Vitamin D. 

So what do I grow and how do I grow it? There are a lot of answers to this question. Start by making a list of the veggies you eat the most. The garden should be useful. No point in growing an acre of German Chamomile if you hate hot tea. 

Next, you're going to want to do some research. There are thousands of DIY gardening videos on YouTube and other sources. Check them out; you will be surprised what you learn. 

Traditional Plot

This is your traditional garden patch in the yard. Cut out the grass, add topsoil, till, furrow. and plant. These are great if you have the space for them. They do take some work though and it really helps to have a roto-tiller to mix in new topsoil and compost. However, if you have a patch that gets good sunlight 6 to 8 hours a day, these gardens can yield a LOT of food

Once established, these plots are fairly easy to replant year after year. If you're not sure exactly what you want that's ok, there are garden planning apps and software out there to help you sort it out.

Raised Beds

Raised beds are great for suburban areas and can be made in different shapes and even be made to look decorative. If you have mobility issues, the beds can be raised higher or made narrower for ease of access. 

The best part about raised bed gardening is something called the Square Foot Gardening Method. Basically it breaks down how much of each kind of plant can go into a square foot of garden bed. It even takes into account companion planting as some types of veggies like growing with other types of veggies. There are Square Foot Gardening apps to help you get going.

Container Gardening 

If you live in a city, container gardening is for you. I mean, it can be used anywhere, but if you're limited on space, this is the best way to go. Containers can include anything from pots, boxes, or even vertical wall gardens. Be creative! They work great for porches, balconies and even roof tops. 

The cool part is the same square foot gardening concept can be used for container gardening, too! As long as your garden receives 6 to 8 hours of sunlight, artificial light, or a combination of the two, you can put a container garden almost anywhere.

Aquaponic and Hydroponic

These kinds of gardens are great and can be done on almost any scale. They can be as simple or complex as you like; your imagination is the limit. The only limitation is that they can be a little tricky with root vegetables like carrots, radishes, etc. These types of gardens can be challenging but fun and very productive. There are a lot of kits available on the internet or you can design one yourself!

Worried about food shortages? Gardening. Stressed out? Gardening. Need more sunshine and fresh air in your life? Gardening. Need more exercise? Gardening. Need a hobby? Gardening. Worried about commercial farming practices? Gardening. Need more control of your environment? Gardening. Suddenly have a lot of extra time on your hands? You guessed it. Gardening! 

It's time to do that most American of things and get to work making your situation better. So roll up those sleeves, get your hands dirty and get to gardening! #VictoryGarden

Written by Josh Elledge - CEO, UpMyInfluence

Josh Elledge is U.S. Navy veteran and launched UpMyInfluence to help entrepreneurs like himself attract the perfect audiences and grow their authority and influence. While growing their better-than-PR agency, UpMyInfluence discovered that building 7-figure B2B Sales Systems (with zero paid advertising) for agencies, consultants, coaches, and other high-ticket B2B service providers is actually what they do better than anyone else on the planet.

UpMyInfluence was the natural outgrowth of his first startup, which has grossed more than $6 million in sales with zero paid ads. He did it all through building authority and serving audiences in the media.

Josh is a weekly TV consumer expert in Orlando, writes a syndicated newspaper column to 1.1 million readers, and regularly appears on more than 75 TV stations across the country. All told, Josh has appeared in the media more than 2500 times.

Josh loves living in Orlando, FL with his wife and three children.


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