10 easy food crops for your Bay Area food garden during coronavirus pandemic

In times of insecurity, we return to the basics, such as being with those we love, cooking with staples or growing food. While a garden takes time to grow, and it won’t fully feed your family, it can definitely increase your sense of calm and provide some help with groceries.

Fortunately, among the fastest crops, and the most useful right now, are leafy greens. They can provide something fresh and clean in a time of limited shopping. While there have been no reports of COVID-19 spread by food, there is peace of mind in cutting fresh greens you grew yourself. A garden is also a fine activity for schoolchildren home during this crisis. They will have fun while learning a garden’s usual lessons of consistent nurturing and patience.

There will be some limitations to gardening during this period of coronavirus concern. Most nonprofit vegetable plant sales have been canceled, and we are hesitant to shop at all, although San Francisco’s shelter-in-place order exempts activities related to food gardening. Many nurseries are open, though they might have shortened hours and could have shortages of particular plants, seeds or other supplies.

Remember that hardware stores, which are also allowed to stay open, carry some garden plants and seeds. To protect their workers, stores might allow only curbside pickup of orders. Mail-order seed and garden-supply companies are mostly operating normally but might be a bit slower to deliver due to higher demand. To learn of current conditions at local or mail-order sources, start with a look at their websites. You might be able to call them, but don’t be surprised if you get a recording because their workers are too overburdened to answer phone calls.