It was about a year ago that master gardener and City Grange garden center founder LaManda Joy told me about the Great Grow Along, her plot to revive the Victory Garden movement, the worldwide World War II-era gardening campaign that provided food security for millions during disruptions to the supply chain. “Maybe this is the moment I was born for,” she told me.

The timing seemed right during the spring onset of a worldwide pandemic that kept most of us at home with not much to do. But the pandemic itself, along with the opening of City Grange retail locations north and south, put the brakes on organizational efforts.

But if the stories about backed-up orders at seed companies are any indication, the spring onset of what appears to be worldwide normalcy hasn’t diminished the ardor for growing your own food (or medicine). To that end, City Grange is presenting the Great Grow Along, a three-day virtual gardening festival featuring 40 online sessions on edible gardening, pollinators and plants, DIY landscaping, urban gardening, houseplants, and more.

Sessions will be hosted by dozens of gardening experts beginning next Friday, March 19. Me, I’m looking forward to “Grow Your Own Mini Fruit Garden” with Christy Wilhelmi on Friday, Saturday’s “Container Gardening for Pollinators” with Flora Caputo, and “Asian Vegetable Garden” with Wendy Kiang Spray on Sunday.

If that schedule looks like too much to keep up with, each session will be available online to registrants a week after the event. But the weather for next weekend here in USDA Planting Zone 6a will still be much too cold to put any plants into the ground anyway, so you’ll have time to kill. Your jigsaw puzzles and sourdough can wait for the next pandemic.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s great, Mike, but what’s in it for a free and independent press?”

Well, I’ll tell you. It’s $32.59 to register, but if you get your ticket here, $5 of your purchase kicks back to the Reader.

Now go on. Get Growing.