Hello, again!
I’m not sure where I came across the saying #outsideisfree, but I like it. On trips up the turnpike to Kansas City, I typically stop at the Bazaar Cattle Crossing to take a photo looking south. The higher elevation of the stop is a perfect place to view the Flint Hills. It’s amazing how every trip to the spot is different than the previous time through, even if it was just a few hours. On social media, I use the tags #mostscenicspotonearth #Kanzaprairie and #outsideisfree, which all pretty much describe the spot. 

For the most part, I just like spending time outdoors. Are the Flint Hills the most scenic spot on Earth? Well, we all have our favorite spot. Is outside free? Maybe not. The point is, we don’t need to spend a large amount of our income enjoying time outdoors. Biking isn’t free, walking the dog isn’t free, and gardening isn’t free, but in the end, you reap so much more than just the act of doing the activity, and it’s worth the small investment.

Science tells us that there are health benefits to spending time outside. For me, it’s an escape and a way to stay somewhat in shape. I sleep better after an outing. My attitude is better. My closest friends over the years have been those I’ve spent time outdoors with.    

With big changes going on in our society daily, it’s going to be difficult to maintain a regular daily routine. Last weekend, we went to a cycling event in Oklahoma. I know if the event was this weekend it would have been cancelled. Writing this on Monday, who knows what the news will be on Wednesday when you receive it. Making a trip to the grocery store yesterday, I mentioned to Angie that it was a depressing shopping experience. There were very few shoppers, the produce and bread sections were wiped out, and there were no eggs at all. It just didn't feel right. I found myself putting things in my cart that I normally wouldn’t have, packaged milk with a long shelf life, dried beans and an extra container of steel cut oats. Naturally, she assured me that everything will be ok. We have the best food supply chain on earth. On her trip to the store, the produce section was again fully stocked, and everything was ok.

For years, I’ve been aware of the benefit of spending time outdoors in the sun. Plants do so much better with sunlight. They bloom, grow stronger and healthier with sunlight. There are fewer insect and disease pests when plants are healthy.

According to the Journal of Virology, Sunlight or, more specifically, solar UV radiation (UV) acts as the principal natural virucide in the environment. UV radiation kills viruses by chemically modifying their genetic material, DNA and RNA. I don’t know if sunlight will control Covid19. I would guess that being outside in your garden you’ll be safer than being in the stuffy inside.

With our annual Spring Open House starting this weekend, we are moving forward with it. We know it will not be what it has been in the past. Truthfully, we are figuring all of this out as well. We still have plants to care for and we’ll be around. We’ll be happy to let you ‘shop from the curb’.

Your friend in the garden,
Marty Johnson
Owner - Johnson's Garden Center