The pandemic continues to affect the world, and through quarantine and lock downs many residents have taken up new hobbies and passions.
People have taken up baking, gardening, home improvement and more.
President of the Ellis County Master Gardener Association, Maureen Nitkowski, encourages others to be patient in their journey through gardening.
“There is so much information available on gardening. What you can grow successfully in Oregon or Washington state, the odds are it's not gonna do terribly well in Waxahachie,” Nitowaki stated. “The good place to start it to understand where you are[Geographically]. Ellis County is blackline prairie.”
On their website, the Ellis County Master Gardeners Association(ECMGA) have various resources available for community members.
The ECMGA is a group that values helping the Agrilife Extension service achieve their mission of disseminating horticultural information to the county.
“As far as more people gardening right now, that’s probably accurate. We really love to do our Lawn and Garden Expo at the end of March and if you know we had to cancel it because of the way the virus was spreading and we have a very large group of people that come,” Nitkowski shared.
During the Expo, the Master Gardeners usually find people that are new to gardening or simply interested. However, this year the expo was canceled due to severity of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think, right now people who may not have gardened in a while or at all, because you’re at home, gardening is something you can do with your family,” Nitkowski stated. “It’s a multigenerational thing. It’s bonding. It’s productive. It can be be kind of magical when something you want to grow actually does grow.”
Nitkowski says that people do not have to have an acre to pursue the art of gardening. Because of its evolution, there are many ways community members can grow flowers or produce in containers.
“The personality of a gardener has to be hopeful and also humble. We can have the very best advice, the very best plants and mother nature will give us hell storms, Nitkowski said “But every year you’re hopeful. You go out there and you plant. Success breeds success. The success of growing something that adds beauty or food. I think people want continue it.”
“Frankly, gardening is a lot cheaper than therapy. To give you a purpose. Something that’s successful. We all need that all the time,” said Nitkowski.
If residents have questions they are encouraged to send them to the Ellis County Master Gardeners, which can be found on http://www.ecmga.com/ .
For those that are interested in gardening, Nitkowski says that any nursery or store is fine to obtain the necessities.
“Generally the policy of the master gardeners nationwide is that we don’t recommend a specific product or company. But in Ellis County, any of the companies that are here, landscaping and selling plants are absolutely fine,” shared Nitkowski.