By: Greg Jones, MD
Some of my earliest and most formative experiences were in the garden with my dad. From earning a quarter for a bucket of weeds, to the treasure hunt of digging up a grouping of potatoes, I always find myself lusting for the growing season. That being said, I am writing this blog post not only as a love letter to the backyard farm and garden but also an encouragement for our readers to consider their own role in food production.
We take so much pride in our winter’s in Utah. We line up for the powder chair, have license plates claiming the “greatest snow on earth,” and mourn the passing of ski season. I too, love the winter. I admit, yes, you may get a few days of spring skiing but I am not being bold when I say winter has left us. So, let’s talk Spring. Spring hits with roaring eruption. With that I encourage you to straighten your skis, edge over the lip, and send into this tumultuous season.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, April 20 is Salt Lake City’s frost date. I take this as an indicator that any investment made in the realm of seeds or plant starts should not be gripped by a frosty death. So the way I see it, our time has come to plant. There are many layers and aspects to propagation. This post can obviously not address the depth of the topic. The one thing we can address is your first step. Our first and most important step is set a goal for your garden. If you are a seasoned grower try something new, perhaps this is the year you grow okra or you a finding a new perennial herb peaks your curiosity. For the new gardener, you can’t go wrong with tomatoes and basil. Simply add mozzarella and you’ll be enjoying a fresh caprese salad all year. Write it down. Clearly state your intended purpose and set your plans accordingly.
In my final words, I only have simple encouragement. Spring is a time of renewal. Whether this start of the new year has been wonderful or has brought moments of pain and a desire for redirection and clarity, I encourage us all to find comfort in the rebirth of Spring in Utah.
Greg Jones, MD, is a first year resident in the Division of Family Medicine in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. His medical areas of interest include lifestyle interventions, nutrition, psychosocial approaches to care, and more.