Dear Carrot Friends,
As it turns to the middle of spring here in Massachusetts I am reflecting on what seems to be one of the most consequential events in my sixty years, the global pandemic of Covid 19. We are absolutely suffering in Massachusetts with rates of disease among the highest in the US and a loss of life that is staggering in the aggregate but scarier still for our residents over 80. If trends continue for the next few days 1% of our population over 80 will die from Covid 19. (https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-dashboard-may-4-2020/download page 11)
Our whole way of life has changed here and a quarter of Massachusetts folks are currently unemployed. I feel and believe that on balance Massachusetts has the leadership and resources: political, medical, nonprofit, educational, religious, financial and spiritual to weather the crisis and remain whole. I hope and believe we will be able to learn from this and be a better community when the current period of fear and isolation are over. Globally the threat to other communities seems far more dire and I worry that coupled with climate change this pandemic could usher in years of suffering.
On Sunday May 3rd I gardened with my 94 year-old father-in-law and I must say I felt better about our situation after working with him. While we were planing sugar snap peas, he said we were getting the peas in two weeks late. I responded that lateness made sense with how cold our April was. We also planted carrots, radishes and beets. While we gardened I did tell him about the 1% figure and his immediate response was, “1%–now that is a low percent.” I was surprised by that perspective but on reflection if you have lived through the Great Depression and served in World War II in the Merchant Marines (the branch of the service with the highest fatality rate) the death of 1% of our residents over 80 did not sound that bad. Being with someone born in 1925 rather than 1960 showed me that we will get through this and that there have been far worse events. However this is our bad time and gardening helps me.
Gardening is part of my conscious strategy and I hope it can be a part of yours as well. For those of you who have requested carrot seeds I will be sending them out in the next week or so.
For those who have not yet please use this form to get your free carrot seeds.
There is little better than gardening with a child to make one feel better about the world. So in early June let’s get some carrot seeds in the ground and then thin them, tend them and harvest them after the frost. By then I hope we will have risen to the challenge of Covid 19. If not I know we will rise to the challenge later but we will have at least the respite of a really good carrot.
Spring in our yard at 41 Western Ave in Hull