Watch Our Gardening Event

Written by: The Exchange

Our grandparents and great-grandparents grew “Victory Gardens” during World Wars I and II when fresh produce was scarce. All the best trends eventually come back. But these days we have a whole lot of nifty ways to ensure a tasty harvest in as little time as possible. Make something easy and delicious that also comes with a great excuse to be outside. Whether you live in the city or the countryside, pandemic or not, there are so many great reasons to grow your Victory Garden – made better with science.


Tony Gurnoe is the Director of Horticulture at the San Diego Botanic Garden, where the mission is to inspire people of all ages to connect with plants and nature. Born and raised in Encinitas, Tony pursued his passion for the outdoors and natural world by studying Nursery Management and Horticultural Crop Production at MiraCosta College. In the years since, he has operated three independent nurseries, a small organic farm, and climbed his way from being a volunteer intern to directing nearly 40 acres of Botanic Garden.

Emily Hestness is an Education Specialist in Urban Agriculture at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C. She facilitates onsite urban agriculture programming and collaborates with national partners to offer urban agriculture education across the country. Before joining the USBG, Emily completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Science Education and worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Maryland’s Center for Science and Technology in Education. Emily has worked on an urban farm in Chicago and completed her Master Gardener certification in Washington, D.C. She is an active member of her neighborhood community garden.

Ari Novy is President and CEO of the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas, California, a 37-acre facility with extensive collections of Mediterranean climate plants as well as award winning children’s gardens. He is a plant biologist with a wide range of expertise in plant science and education. Ari has served on task forces and advisory panels for diverse groups including the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Cornell Alliance for Science, Botanic Garden Conservation International, Rock Creek National Park, and many others. He has a deep passion for translating science into best management practices and public education. Ari is immensely proud of having been a science advisor for the most recent seasons of the children’s television show The Magic School Bus.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.