Sunshine and downtime

By: Ellie Kerr, 2nd year Epidemiology

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Gardening is by far my favorite hobby – you get to play in dirt, grow food, and get the feeling of accomplishment that comes with keeping something alive.  The best part about gardening is that you really can do it almost anywhere!

During undergrad, I started rooftop gardening in Pittsburgh.  During the summer, I always had fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, herbs, strawberries, carrots, turnips tomand peppers growing right outside of my window.

When I decided I was moving to Atlanta, I got so excited that I would be able to enjoy a growing season that lasts nearly all year!  Moving to Atlanta, I’ve noticed that nearly every apartment has some sort of porch or deck, which makes finding space for plants very easy.  It’s only early May, and I already have multiple planters of assorted lettuce, strawberries, and tomatoes ready to be harvested.

I really think that everyone should have a few plants in their house.  Whether they’re flowers to brighten your day, herbs to jazz up your food, or fruits and veggies to munch on, gardening can be a very calming activity (which is much needed in grad school).  Here’s a quick list of plants that are easy to grow in pots over different seasons in Georgia:

 March – April: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, kale, peppers, tomatoes and herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, etc)

May – July: beans, cucumbers, green onions, strawberries

August – October: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce, kale, peas (all of these plants have a second growing season later in the year, after it cools off a bit)

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, just a few ideas to help get you started.  I really recommend spending some time Googling ‘urban gardening’ to get some strawinspiration before creating your own masterpiece.  If you really want to go a step farther, you can even do some cool things like make your own compost with a blender, some food scraps and some old newspaper.

If you don’t want to take the plunge and plant your own garden just yet, consider checking out the Rollins garden that REHAC runs!  Every Tuesday at noon, members gather to tend to the garden and give out some delicious produce.

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