Tiffani Thiessen is making the most of self-isolation, and she’s already on her way to cultivating a more self-sufficient life for her family with a massive home garden.
The actress and mother-of-two joined ET’s Katie Krause via video chat from her home, and opened up about how she’s been keeping busy while staying at home during the coronavirus outbreak, including making her own food from her massive garden and her seven chickens.
“But they have been the highlight through all of this, I’ll tell ya,” said Thiessen, who shot a tour of her home garden for ET, including her rows of vegetables, her copious fruit trees and her chicken enclosure. “I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls lately of people wanting produce, and there’s so much citrus happening right now… I’m definitely a hot commodity in the neighborhood.”
Among the many people asking for some fresh food during these trying times are a few of Thiessen’s friends and former TV co-stars, including “Saved By The Bell”‘s Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who shared a video of himself picking up a bundle of eggs from her house.
“He actually came to me. What I did is I actually put them outside our gates and then he actually came by and picked them up because he was out and about,” Thiessen said of the exchange, adding that Gosselaar had previously gifted them with some craft beer. “He doesn’t live far. Maybe 15 minutes, 10 minutes at most. So he’s not far at all.”
Thiessen added that she’s also gone on a few deliveries for friends and family, “Some that worked out great, some that didn’t work out so great.”
“One delivery I actually dropped all of the eggs and cracked every single one of them,” she recalled. “It was pretty funny, my friends were like, ‘Are you trying to egg our house? What are you doing?!'”
Thiessen, her husband Brady Smith, and their two kids — 9-year-old daughter Harper and 4-year-old son Holt — have been in self-isolation due to extensive social distancing protocols for more than two weeks, and the actress says that they, like so many others in the same situation, are just “taking it day-by-day.”
“We wake up every morning feeling thankful that we’re healthy and that we have each other, and everybody in my circle is good,” she shared. “It is what it is and we’re trying to make the best of it.”
One thing that has been a big part of the family’s life since the outbreak began is getting more in touch with cooking and gardening, as the actress said she “really wanted to teach [the kids] where their food came from.”
“I mean, here we are cooking three meals a day, two to three snacks a day, you know? I mean, that’s a lot. I cook a lot already, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a lot more than ever before,” she shared. “It’s given us more of a chance to get the kids in the kitchen with me, which they’ve always been huge about. They’ve always loved doing that, but it’s definitely been more of it because now we’re cooking breakfast, and lunch, and dinner.”
An upside for Thiessen is that having to stay home hasn’t been as much of a challenge from a mental perspective, because she’s always been “very much a homebody,” so not having to worry about getting styled for an event or an interview has been fine by her.
“I love not having to put hair or make up on. I love having my hair in a topknot or a ponytail,” she shared. “I don’t wash it more than twice a week at most, depending on how sweaty I get from my workouts. I never wear make up unless I have to. And I’m usually barefoot! Like, I never put shoes on ever.”
However, while she’s been making the most of a bad situation, Thiessen admitted that the nation-wide shut-down of the entertainment industry has had an impact on her directly.
“The last season of “Alexa and Katie”, we already shot, so that will be coming out,” Thiessen said of her Netflix series. “But there was a couple of other projects I had. I had a TV project that I was in like a week away from shooting. Another project that was literally two days from shooting. So a lot got shut down.”
Since neither project has been shot yet, Thiessen said she couldn’t elaborate on either one. Fans have speculated that she may have some involvement with the upcoming “Saved By the Bell” revival — which Gosselaar is confirmed to have a role in — but nothing has been announced or confirmed regarding Thiessen’s potential involvement.
As Thiessen has been gardening, cooking and delivering eggs during this national crisis, she said she recognizes that everyone is having “a hard time mentally grasping the sort of newness in our world right now,” and had a bit of advice for those trying to keep things together.
“The two things that have helped me the most are getting outside — literally just being outside with fresh air, whether you’re in cold, whether you’re in hot right now, it doesn’t matter. It’s just fresh air,” Thiessen said, sharing her tips for mental health while in self-isolation.
“And then secondly, just staying connected. Staying connected to people, to your family, with people that you’re close with, your friends,” she continued. “I’ve been doing these Zoom cocktail hours with my girlfriends. I’m literally going to be talking to my grandmother tonight, who is 94 years old. It’s super important to stay connected.”