Last week, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan TD called for hardware stores and garden centres to remain open so we can paint our houses, and for all south-facing windowsills to be used to grow salad during the coronavirus pandemic.
"Let's get every south-facing windowsill in this country and let's plant our seeds in the next week. So, if there is any supply crisis in two to three months' time - and this hits hard - we have our salads ready to go," he said. When we had finally stopped laughing at the intensity of his outburst, we all realised that Eamon had a point. A very good point. In a time when Covid-19 is making us rethink how we consume, it makes perfect sense.
This year I was planning on growing more, expanding from flower pots to veg pots in my dark urban backyard. I'd chance growing cress, parsley, maybe some lettuce. And before anybody rolls their eyes at the humble herb that yes, is less gardening and more the sideshow to an uninspired egg sandwich, think about how insanely rewarding it is to watch an actual green thing grow.
All going grand, come high summer I'd have salads and herbs. It could all go badly wrong - but that, too, is exciting in itself. So even before Eamon stood up in the Dáil to exhort us to grow our own salads, I'd planted three rows of lettuce and radish seed in a bright orange tub.
The sill doesn't face south and doesn't have get much daytime sun but growing is a satisfying and messy and challenging-in-a-good-way experience that's more than the end product. Like a pet cat. A high-investment pet cat with extremely low cuddle-returns.
There's a bit of practicality to it too. It's food insurance. Just look at the state of supermarket shoppers. First it was the masks that sold out, then hand sanitisers. A week later the novel coronavirus had us all rushing out to buy the last roll of toilet paper.
Shelves emptied across the world from Brisbane to Ballybunion as we all realised that most of us didn't have enough food in the house to survive a few hours, never mind 14 days in isolation. And this despite - or maybe because of - authorities repeatedly urging us not to stockpile rice, pasta, beans and the kind of inexpensive staples that we could stretch into a month's worth of meals.
Logically we all know that 48 rolls of toilet paper aren't going to save us now. But life as we know it has changed, and when confronted by uncertainty, we are forced to re-examine how we live, and our consumption choices. It also can feel like the situation is entirely out of our control, we are all alone and there's nothing we can do to keep our family safe. But there is a way to take back some control over our lives and that's going back to the old ways of being more self-sufficient.
You see the day we stopped darning holes in socks was almost certainly the genesis of our present throw-away society, the dawn of global warming and our over-reliance on buying things. From that day forward we wore it and binned it, not just socks but all clothing, then small appliances, now almost everything we use in our daily lives.
In Ireland there is over one million tonnes of food waste disposed of each year. Around one-third of this comes from households. The amount of clothing purchased per person has increased by 60pc in the last 20 years while the amount of times we wear an item has reduced by almost half.
Our grandparents hardly threw anything out. Torn clothes, faulty appliances, chipped cups: you name it, they fixed it. Old flour bags became bed sheets. Clothes were mended and old buttons collected. Christmas cards were cut up and reused. Food was grown in the garden.
Most of us are continuing to swarm to urban areas. 54pc of the global population to be precise. By 2050 that number is predicted to rise to 70pc, but even if you don't have a garden (or even a window), you can still grow your own sprouts, herbs and microgreens. And even the tiniest scrap of outdoor space can be turned to good vegetable use. Raised beds, big pots, clever planters - even bright and sunny windowsills.
Now I am not suggesting this because I think we'll all be living off the land in a few months. The food supply chain in Ireland is robust. While the shelves might be briefly bare, there is enough for all of us.
But being more self-sufficient and taking pleasure in it is exactly what we should all be doing much more of on whatever scale we can manage.
Reconnecting to nature by means of a little gardening is a therapy for these strange times too because growing fruit, veg and herbs is one of the most life-enhancing, practical and enriching things you can ever do. Forget the flowers - you can't eat flowers. Any container will do. Although you might want to put a lick of paint on the sill first.