Anxious at home? Planting your own fruit tree can reduce stress — and grocery trips

Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to take care of someone — or something — else.

While so much of the world is on pause right now, some small businesses are still up and running as best as they can. Among them are local plant nurseries, and after weeks of monotony and sad news, I found myself unexpectedly delighted by a recent visit.

I stopped by Cahoon Nursery and Garden Center in Westlake, Ohio, where owner Brian Corrigan introduced me to his collection of adorable fruit trees. With four years under my belt of living in a dim Manhattan apartment, I immediately marveled at the idea of tending outdoors to a baby citrus plant of my own.

“People are at home,” Corrigan said. “So this gives them something to do at home. You can learn how to grow your vegetables from seeds. You can plant fruit trees and have some of your own food at home, which is kind of nice.”

Most of the plants have yet to blossom since it’s only early April, but a nectarine tree is already showing off beautiful lilac flowers with plenty of buds ready to pop.

Some of the varieties are more time-consuming than others — but let’s be realistic: In the weeks ahead, many of us will continue to have a whole lot of hours to fill. And with the news delivering a constant stream of alarming updates, we all need to occasionally clear our heads.

“I think it has a very calming effect,” Corrigan said. “Very therapeutic. You’re digging in the dirt. How can it be any better than that, right?”

Cahoon, like many local nurseries nationwide, is operating curbside service: Customers just call, place their orders and drive over at a designated time. It’s a safe, simple process that doesn’t put employees or shoppers at risk.

Don’t have the luxury of a yard? There are plenty of potted options to consider — some of which can happily thrive indoors by a window, like small lemon trees.

For more, watch the video above.

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