Grow Food Eat

Entry by: QueenC

22nd December 2017
Grow eat Food

On that day I was strolling my baby granddaughter past rows of cherry tomato in our communal garden. Here Council notices for all types of recycling flourished. Andrea the coordinator was a thirty plus woman with four kids and a workaholic husband. She was passionate about growing food and community.
Her husband on the other hand referred to her as the ‘magnet for diversity’. This was his euphemism for different or as some would say ‘weird’. For example, there was Kevin. He was an ex driver and her assistant garden coordinator. Kevin had been unemployed for ten years after serving time for reversing into a child with his double axel truck. And then of course there were the Korean family who created large shade structures that blocked the sunlight for other gardeners. Earlier in the year the local police had arrested a person of afghan heritage sleeping in the tin shed. He claimed to have been translating for the Americans in Afghanistan.
As the sun started to dim over bulbous artichokes and white heads of cauliflower the sight of Kevin shuffling out of the tin shed caught my eye. He was pressing a large bloodied handkerchief against his forehead. Seeing me he waved his hand to say, ‘keep going’. But I stopped and shouted, ‘should I call an ambulance?’ ‘it’s ok’ he breathed moving closer ‘Just knocked my head on the edge of the fucking Ikea cupboard. I’ll be right.’
I had just unclicked the stroller breaks to walk on when a young Chinese woman stormed out of the shed. She was chased by Andrea shouting
‘Jie! its ok …really it’s nothing…Kevin was just …well surprised’
‘Disgusted more likely’ Kevin muttered
Jie ran over to Kevin.
‘no no you stay away from me’ Kevin sounded scared.
Jie shoved him...’ leave soil alone’
‘see this’ he said pointing to his head ‘I will go the police and say you injured me...’
Jie cried. Andrea tried to mediate ‘ok she was wrong to push you inside, but she thinks you’re going to stop her growing food for her twins.’
Kevin looked Andrea in the eye,’ I draw the line at human faeces for fertiliser. It is bloody night soil. Like we live in blithering Elizabethan England. I’m also pretty sure the council officers would agree with me... Would you eat a mung bean from her plot?’
‘As a matter of fact I would!’ Andrea retorted ‘She doesn’t have the money for fertiliser and in any case where she comes from human faeces is recycled all the time in gardens. It made perfect sense to her to use the contents of her toilet on her plot. I would have thought this fits with the council’s policy on recycling’.
At that moment and much to my relief Jie’s husband and brother arrived with a large wheelbarrow. The three of them bagged several huge hessian sacks with Jie’s soil.
‘this soil too good for this garden’ said jie and with that they left.
To which Kevin replied, ‘and this place is too weird for me. I resign’.
Later after sharing a cup of tea with me Andrea philosophised
‘You know as a gardener, I try to be resilient, when things don't go well like today I think—there will be another season, another year, another crop to eat, another opportunity to try to grow something or welcome someone different….’.