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LifestyleColumnistsJessica Damiano

Enter Newsday’s 2018 Garden Poetry contest

Some see simply vegetables, others see the ingredients

Some see simply vegetables, others see the ingredients of a sonnet or two. Let your garden (or someone else's) inspire your poetic spirit. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

You don’t have to live on a homestead to appreciate self-sufficiency. You may even already be incorporating small sustainable practices without realizing it. Agrarian projects are fun, and their yields are better-tasting and less expensive than store-bought. Plus, it’s nice to know what your food contains, and that your ingredients have traveled inches or a few feet — not miles — to reach your kitchen.

Whether you have a full-scale family farm, keep enough bees to sell honey at the farmers’ market or simply make one pie from the yield of your lone apple tree every fall, you have experienced the satisfaction of providing something for yourself and enjoying the taste of fresh eggs, fruits or vegetables minutes after pulling them straight from nature with your own hands. This year I’m asking you to describe that feeling in prose.

Tell me — in limerick, haiku, slam, narrative or free verse — how and why you practice self-sufficiency, as well as the benefits you reap. To qualify, just keep poems to a maximum of seven lines.

The best submissions will be published in Newsday and/or on, and my favorite will get a copy of “The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual for Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself,” by Carla Emery (Sasquatch Books; $32.50).

Email your original poem, along with your full name, mailing address and phone number to, with “Garden Poetry” in the subject line, or send it by mail to:

Jessica Damiano, Newsday, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY, 11747.

Submissions must be received no later than May 27, 2018.

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