Backyard gardening eases, minimizes COVID-19’s negative effects on families

Mrs. Therez Ambrose-Versailles, left, Tourism Research Officer in the Ministry of Tourism with Kyle Flanders, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.
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BASSETERRE. St. Kitts — The effects of COVID-19 are felt globally, and many persons are seeking ways to minimize these effects on themselves and their families. Through a collaborative initiative – the backyard garden competition – between the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture in St. Kitts is well on its way to helping with the fight against the negative effects of the Novel Coronavirus through gardening.

The backyard garden initiative seeks to mitigate the effects felt by nationals through several means, according to Kyle Flanders, Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Providing food security is one of the many advantages of having a backyard garden,” explained Flanders. “Backyard gardens can be used to make sure that people have nutritious meals and food at their fingertips. Backyard gardens also alleviate hunger and its side effects.

“Having a backyard garden minimizes the onset of food insecurity,” said Flanders. “Due to job loss, some individuals be unable to maintain a consistent supply of healthy and nutritious food to feed their families, or have their eating patterns changed due to the lack of money. By engaging in the backyard garden competition, individuals can provide food for their family and food for the country if there is a surplus.

“COVID-19 and its impact in changing lifestyles have contributed to the rise in mental distress for many,” explained Flanders. “Participation in the backyard garden competition is one way to minimize stress and thereby contributing to the mental well-being of the gardener.”

“Farming in general increases life’s satisfaction, the quality of life and builds a sense of community,” explained Mrs. Therez Ambrose-Versailles, Tourism Research Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, citing findings of a study conducted by the International Association of Horticulture,

Mrs. Ambrose-Versailles pointed out that, through gardening, people are exposed to a productive way to lessen their stress while reaping the benefits of maintaining physical fitness.

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