Holly Caggiano is a distinguished postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.
Most of us nurtured at least one pandemic-driven hobby in 2020, and mine, like so many others, started in a garden. My camera roll from that summer is full of greens, browns, and splashes of pink and red. April 22: the first seedlings sprouting in tiny cups. May 12: cucumber starts; the fresh mulch my partner and I laid in the previously neglected raised bed on the side of our two-family rental. May 14: sweet alyssum, marigolds, honey bees. June 25: the first (and only) strawberry. July is full of green tomatoes, bundles of herbs, the garden bed bursting at the seams with life. August, September — salsas, sauces, wood bowls of Jersey tomatoes. The last harvest before an early frost. If I scroll fast enough, I can see the sprouts and the flowers grow, blossom, and settle back into the earth in half a second.
My garden is a very small corner of the world, but it’s opened doors in my life. I grew up in suburban New Jersey. Though I’m from the Garden State, my mom was raised in the Bronx, and I have more childh... Read more