Pandemic sparks new interest in growing food in home gardens

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) -- Springtime growing doesn’t just mean flowers, the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked new interest in growing fruit and vegetables at home.

“It gives them something to do because a lot of people are stuck at home right now,” Kristina Lacayo, the patio buyer at Green Acres Nursery, told FOX40. “I think people are kind of, you know, have that victory garden mentality, just trying to get vegetables in the ground.”

Starting last week, Lacayo said there was a huge jump in vegetable sales -- almost to the point where they were having trouble keeping some in stock.

“You can grow, basically, most summer vegetables here, which is tomatoes, peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumbers, squashes and zucchini," she said.

While shopping customers are able to maintain 6 feet of distance with signs posted throughout, those at the nursery say with sparse shelves at grocery stores and a recession likely, growing your own food just makes financial sense.

“You know, if you can grow your tomato plant for $2.75 instead of buying a bunch of tomatoes every time for $2.75 at the store, you end up saving money and you have the security of food,” one shopper said.

Many nurseries in Sacramento are allowing shoppers to "no contact" order, where they pay for items online and then their purchases are brought to their car, cutting down on in-person interaction.

And Lacayo said you don’t need a huge backyard to grow. Movable planter boxes will fit on most apartment balconies.

“We’re a huge believer of windowsill gardening," she said. "You can do some herbs on your windowsill.”

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