Ben Thomas Jr. Mayor of Greencastle
Ben Thomas Jr.

So what are you doing to stay busy and occupied? Spring cleaning has been more active than other spring seasons. The grass will get mowed more often. Hopefully you’ve called more folks than normal. Hmm ... how about planting a “victory garden?”

I found this information from the National Garden Bureau: "When the Victory Garden Manual was first written in 1943, it was pretty easy to come up with reasons to grow your own vegetables. It was wartime and food was scarce. The food that was available might not have been the freshest or healthiest. Statistics say that in 1943, nearly 40% of all fruits and vegetables grown in the U.S. were grown in-home and community victory gardens. That’s impressive!

"Now, as National Garden Bureau celebrates its 100th anniversary (1920-2020), it seems timely to reintroduce the concept of victory gardening with quick and easy steps to plan and grow your own vegetable garden. The National Garden Bureau is calling it: Victory Garden 2.0!

"All credit goes to the author of this book, James H. Burdett. Mr. Burdett founded the National Garden Bureau in 1920 as a way to enlist horticultural writers and broadcasters in the noble effort of mass education to create a population of gardeners. In the process, he improved the lives of citizens both in wartime and in times of peace.”

We are fighting an invisible battle. I call the coronavirus a violent storm and look forward to the calm after this horrific storm. Think about planting a simple 8’ x 8’ garden. I’d love to hear from those that grew up in Greencastle during WWII and helped with the “victory gardens” in the back yards of our community. Getting outside is great therapy. Grow that small garden. Take that walk. Sit on that porch.

Growing up we had a big garden and would help grand-ma, aunts and uncles in their gardens as well at harvest time. Aunts and uncles would drive the tractors plowing up potatoes. We’d dig them out and have quite the bounty. Quite a garden coup. Now, Tina and I love to watch our grandchildren pick fresh vegetables in their own little gardens. It’s amazing how much yield these 8’ x 8’ garden plots produce. Last fall, Quinn loved to pick and eat the cherry tomatoes before they made it to the back door. The community rabbits and insects enjoyed their share of the early bounty as well. 

We have distance worshipped for Palm Sunday. I encourage you to distance worship Easter Sunday via the internet, telephone and in your home with your loved ones and your spiritual families. “Till The Storm Passes By” was one of my Dad’s favorite hymns. Look it up on YouTube if you are able and listen to the words. After every storm, there is a calm; a rainbow; a time to be thankful.

So how can we be helpful to others? Check on those who are unable to supply their daily needs. Help a senior or one that may be challenged and make sure they have healthy food and staple items. Call them every day just to say hello with telephone companionship. Decades ago I was a cadet at the police academy. The training was mentally and physically challenging. I clearly remember a sergeant standing in front of the class. His two words stuck! “Have confidence” was his firm message to me and the other cadets in the class.

My message to you is “have confidence” until this storm passes by. We are blessed.