the gardener you can count on during the coronavirus in the lehigh valley

Sienna Mae Heath

It began with a hyacinth. Then, a basil sprout. And finally, a rogue pumpkin vine out of my compost coaxed me to grow my own vegetables. Seven years later, I’ve re-rooted in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where I have four gardens.

I grow herbs and seedlings in my window, shady ornamentals in my apartment courtyard, sun-loving flowers and raspberries at CoWork 414, vegetables and a pollinator patch at the NCC East 40 Community Garden. While indoors, I write plant profiles for The Spruce.

When the coronavirus escalated in our state, I could count on my plants. But local grocery stores became sparse and then we learned which PA businesses are “life-sustaining.” My heart sunk. Garden centers didn’t make the cut. 

Suddenly, friends and family started calling me for advice on how to grow their own food. “I don’t have a green thumb,” some say. Well, a green thumb is just a glowing passion for fresh food. All we need are seeds, soil, and sun. 

A movement has begun to sustain ourselves. We don’t have to feel hungry and quarantined. We can nourish our souls in nature. I’m here to help gardeners, new and seasoned. Gardening is not canceled.