In honor of Earth Day, we asked Cornellians to tell us about their experiences over this past year growing gardens.
Since the start of the pandemic, a record number of people have taken advantage of their time at home to get their hands dirty and plant pandemic gardens. According to Agweek, Burpee Seed Company sold more seeds in March 2020 than in any month in their 144-year history, and Johnny’s Selected Seed recorded a 270 percent increase in spring 2020 over pre-pandemic seed sales. According to Axiom’s 2021 Gardening Insights Survey, 86 percent of last year’s home gardeners plan to continue gardening this year, and 47 percent of them said they plan to expand their gardens in the 2021 growing season.
Alumni from across the country responded to our call to “show us your plants.” These Big Red gardeners range from first-timers experimenting with starting their own seeds, to master gardeners sharing their prize-winning roses, to multi-generational farmers raising food to feed their communities, to talented chefs incorporating their harvest into mouthwatering recipes.