Is it against the law to plant vegetables on the median strip?

Put your hands in the soil every day.

This was my grandmothers advice. She was discussing with me how I should behave when I became a wife.  I was being brought up to be a good wife. There was no discussion from the women in my family, about  following my heart or whether I had some wonderful talent or even really having a job, I could start as a nurse or teacher if I must, but most of the discussion from my mother and grandmother was on how to run a house, how to cook, how to raise my children and how to be a good wife.   And this was in the 1970’s.

However a lot of my grandmother’s advice does hold true.  All my life I have put my hands in the soil and this has kept me grounded, literally as well as figuratively.  It works.

Yesterday we discovered that a young family in a small town close to here, were all dead. Two adults and three children. All killed by the mother, she shot her partner, her three small children and then shot herself. I know you do not want to read this. I know my language is harsh. I am too terse maybe. Most of us do not even want to think about it. But Life is harsh.  A lonely life in a small town, with no friends or family,( they had recently moved there) must be dreadfully hard. The town is about twenty minutes from here and I drove through it once.  It is small and grey.   The streets are empty. The curtains are closed.  The children are bused out to schools elsewhere.

I did not know this woman or her family.  But I wonder: if she had been putting her garden to bed for the winter, and watching the weather. If she had been deadheading and bringing in pots. If she had been sorting next years squash seeds and checking to see if they were dry enough for the children  to bag and label.  If she had a larder full of preserves.  If she had to check her pumpkins for soft spots.  And sort the good potatoes out. Would she have picked up a gun, loaded it and shot her own children.  Even if she had been struggling with a mental illness and I can only assume she must have been.  And I know how dreadful that struggle is.  I do know.  Would she have gone this far?  Maybe.  All I know is that your hands in the soil is the best way to mitigate that merciless loneliness. This I know too.

Phase two of  the Farmy has been moved up.  We need to bring the children and their families onto the Farmy. As well as cooking, we need to help the young people feed their families. We must try to find a way to break the isolation.

So, now that we are up and running, we want to create an environment for local families to come and work on the Farmy. Grow their own food, garden, raise their own beef and lamb or pork.  Pat daisy. Play with the cats, and be chased about by Mia. Muck out the barn, mow, garden, prune, pick, cook.  Just a few families, we will stay small.  But imagine helping young families fill their freezers  and jars with food  that they have grown themselves. Teaching the kids  to cook, preserve and run wild down the back.  Giving the Mum’s a break on the verandah.   But in a normal neighbourly way.  An old fashioned way.

I read another beautifully crafted story this morning here and it tied in so completely with what I am so clumsily trying to say.  I want to encourage other people on other properties to  help people grow gardens.  I want to encourage anyone with a backyard or a sunny deck or a windowsill to grow. Teach a kid to cook. Teach a kid to grow. Teach a kid to eat well.  Teach a kid to eat well  and grow while sitting in a tree.

So firstly, we need to help people get in contact with other like minded people, for example: bloggers who think, bloggers who eat good food, bloggers who grow good food, bloggers who take great shots of good food,  Oh My that is YOU!

I have opened a  FaceBook page. I need writers, photographers, cooks, eaters, consumers, shoppers, gobblers, happy people, knitters, readers, gigglers, gardeners, ponderers, poets,  sad people, farmers, drinkers (oh that’s me) I need advisers.  I want to repost all the good stuff. I want you to lean over my fence and share the seeds.  I want us to be able to find each other. I want us to plant gardens in the spring.

Did you know that in New Zealand they are trying to pass a law so that people cannot grow, share or trade home grown food, i.e. cabbages, broccolli, corn, beans, lettuce, spinach, seeds, seedlings, even water, WATER!? what about a fish, or a roast,  a cup of sugar, a pint of milk, the list goes on. It is true! They are trying to outlaw growing and sharing food. In fact they plan to have Food Safety Officers to enforce this. This is madness. Grow a garden!  Start digging New Zealand! We will dig with you!

Because, if someone had leant over the fence and said to the woman in the little town not far from here, who they are burying this week, and whose name I do not know.  If someone had leant over the fence and said,  ‘Here are some tomato seeds, you can sow them next month,  in the window, send over the kids I will show them how.’  Maybe, just maybe that would have given her breath enough to go on for another day or the breath to ask for help.

If this terribly sad woman had known that to survive she could put her hands in the soil every day. Even in a tiny pot of parsley on her windowsill. Maybe,  just maybe things would have been different. And there would not be five funerals this week.

So, if you want to join my tiny revolution, to help everyone plant a vege garden and share the food and share the knowledge and SHARE THE FOOD!!. Test my Facebook link and see if I have set it up right.  Press like and share the like.  And lets support each other and find each other and get together and grow.  It is a tiny revolution.

I think we can do this. I think we can.   I really think we can. Do I sound like ‘ The Little Train that Could’? Can we change the world one garden at a time? Is it against the law to plant vegetables on the median strip!?


103 Comments on “Is it against the law to plant vegetables on the median strip?

  1. This is poignant and sad and touching and honest and heartfelt and every other adjective I could ever find in the dictionary to label this post. We need more of you in the world to speak such truth. My heart hurts for this family. My heart rejoice in your care. You are a peach, dear, C. Let the revolution begin.

    • I know you don’t live in the country anymore, but you know the country, and i am sure you are already helping the young people to plan their spring gardens! this is our little revolution.. maybe I should call it the good wife revolution .. but I have never been a terribly GOOD wife.. slightly wild maybe.. c

      • ‘Scuse me for being a buttinsky, but as I understand it, C, being slightly wild–your brand, anyway–is the very definition of a Good Wife! If it means being family to the whole community as you’re advocating here, anyway . . . .

  2. I feel for the poor woman who killed her family – that’s real desperation and sadly I think there might have been more wrong than the soil could cure.
    The New Zealand law proposal is equally sad, but there’s something good in what you wrote – the heart of life and family is in the soil and round the table 😉

    • I know darling, i know you are probably right, but if she had always been OF the soil and the table and always gardened.. this is what i mean.. c

  3. So sad about that family..there were probably more things afoot there than we could ever begin to imagine that only divine intervention could’ve helped. Does it count if the soil is just in pots on the deck? 🙂 Poignant post here, Miss C. t

  4. So sad to hear about the family tragedy, I could never imagine something like this happening in a peaceful town 😦

  5. So wonderful. I worked on a community garden for a little while this summer – unfortunately, the neighborhood saw the growth as not being tidy enough, and didn’t understand that they couldn’t grow vegetables there too well because the soil was so bad. *shakes head* My mom taught me how to garden, and darn it, when I get the chance, I’m going to garden!

  6. Have you had a look at the Landshare project and others like it that are going on in the UK? I agree that being out of doors every day in some capacity or other, growing food, tending plants and animals are all good for the soul and I am sure your instincts that working with this troubled family in this most practical and connecting sort of way would have been a saving grace. What a sad thing to read about. 😦 I know a fair few people who have allotments and who either share them with their friends too. City dwellers get quite creative about their growing spaces, I am always gladdened when I see tubs of strawberries and tomato canes on people’s balconies. I took some photos this summer which I never quite got round to posting of people growing veggies in unlikely spot in the city. Maybe I will collect a few more next year to share. Keep up the great work, you are a good and kind person 🙂

    • IWe should do a collection of shots of vege gardens in unusual places. That is a great idea.! i shall check out the Landshare project.. thank you c

  7. Very powerful entry here. I live in a city where it can be hard to get in touch with the farm aside form the farmer’s market and occasional summer field trips. I love your message and long for a day when I can have my own garden.

  8. I’m an Aussie girl lucky enough to be living the growing dream. I have a large vegie patch ( more than one actually ) and cant imagine ever being without somewhere to get my hands dirty with my family by my side. My garden is my refuge from the pressures of everyday living and is there anytime I need it…and trust me when I say I know how lucky I am to have it.
    One can only imagine the pain behind such an act as you describe here – devastating.
    I too wish more people could come to understand the sheer joy of growing and picking their own produce and somehow contributing to a healthier life – and not just in the physical sense.

    • Hi Sue and welcome! We can help more people love the garden. I am sure you are already and living in Australia, if you can get the water, you have a lovely climate for gardens and growing all year round. Thank you so much for commenting.. c

  9. Terribly sad, and what you said about neighbors being neighborly…so true. And your writing, oh your writing! I enjoy it so much, even when you are talking about something heart wrenching.

    When I was in high school I sat next to a girl in one of my classes every day one year. At one point, I could tell something was bothering her and that she was very, very, sad. Unfortunately, I was afraid to take the chance to say something. She was a Senior, I was a Freshman and I didn’t know her personally at all…you really didn’t do things like that. Within a month or so, she was dead. Locked herself in her running car in her mother’s closed garage because she felt so desperate about life. I think about her often and about how many other people who actually knew her must have noticed the change in her, MUST have, but also didn’t say anything. I’ve learned my lesson, the hard way. I don’t have any problem now leaning over the fence and offering a kind smile and some relief to someone who needs it.

    Cecilia, I think you really could change the world one garden at at time. 🙂

    • How sad that you lost the girl at school. It is so final isn’t it. I do know. And because you were broadsided by such a terrible act, you have been able to lend a hand and a smile. Now we will plant gardens with that smile of yours.. and get back to basics. c!

  10. How incredibly sad! As you said, isolation was probably the key to this. I think it probably is illegal to plant vegetables on the median strip, but it shouldn’t be. New Zealand needs a good kick up the bum for this idiotic new law!!!! It is legislation gone mad.
    I don’t use Facebook, but I am with you all the way in encouraging people to grow their own food or help someone else to.
    Good luck with your new project.

    • Facebook is only one way that we will begin to spread the word. The europeans are great at growing gardens, vineyards, and lemons and orchards in the tiniest of corners, you and your camera have probably learned some lessons you could share with us.

    • If we all work together and help out we migh be able to make a change.. somewhere.. but how do i get the word out there? Are there other ways of developing the grow a garden idea? c

  11. What a heartfelt and impassioned post. I hadn’t about that attempted law change in NZ. Here the farmer’s markets and roadside stalls are thriving, and all I’ve heard about is a few beurocratic tries at stopping homemade jams etc being sold on cake stalls. There’s no way such a law would succeed here. We are far too accustomed to trading and bartering.
    You are so right: hands in the soil keep us in a healthy relationship with the earth and ourselves. What you are doing is marvellous. Yea!

    • Wherever we can poke in a herb or kale or anything, city people have the biggest job, finding an empty plot or corner, or crack that we can turn into a garden.. I look forward to seeing what you can do in the Big Smoke. One person. One more garden. Our mini revolution.. c

      • Hope you don’t mind me butting in here, but when I lived in the city I had proper garden out in the back yard, and I loved to pop in lettuces, eggplant, kale, herbs, and more into my front gardens. It always surprised my neighbors, but I thought them lovely! 😉

        • Butt in any time you like! Now this is a very good idea, Front Gardens! I thought of this as a sweet protest idea in New Zealand and there you were doing it anyway! Pop any ideas on the facebook page too so that we reach more people! This is a goodie! c

  12. I heard on the radio about that happening. So sad and disturbing.
    When I saw your title I thought you might have the same ideas as me. I some times think while driving…what about all that land around the interchanges? Why not let people plant in those areas. Maybe make some community gardens. Put it to use instead of just mowing it ever so often.
    I agree helping others to grow their own produce where ever and however they can, will help themselves and give accomplishment. That can even help mentally, not to mention socially and physically.
    We have become so accustomed to staying within our own property lines, building fences to keep others out and relying on our selves. We need to reach across those fences, even break them down. Talk to those around us and become a community again. Neighbor helping neighbor. Not just waving from our cars as we go in and out the driveway.
    I think you need a bigger soapbox because a lot of us will probably want up there with you! 🙂

    • Well harold there is already room on my soapbox for many more. And there surely is work for you. This is what the Facebook page will be for, so make sure you get your tag in there so that we can get together and talk about the spring! It will be a busy one! c

  13. What a heartbreaking story. What desperation she must have felt. I pray that they all be received in the wherever with Love.

    Celi, you sweet, pro-active, human hummingbird! What an incredible idea. Talk about drops. Thanks for the link.

    I love your idea, your approach and your enthusiasm. Not only are you responding to an artist naturalist who will be over the moon to hear this and to your granny, but you are also pulling purpose out of a tragedy. Or putting it in, I’m not sure which.

    Guess I have no excuse for putting off picking up some boards to build boxes for holding soil. See? It’s been a seed and you just watered it with your drop.

    • Thank you and Thank Robert for enabling you to kick me into second gear. We are going to help plant gardens. I am going to help my readers to help one other person to plant a garden, or a window box, or a lettuce in a pot. And come spring we are going into high gear!! I am sure that over in Hawaii there is room for another garden!! c

  14. Pingback: An Incredible Artist and A Hummingbird « Soul Dipper

  15. There is evidence that living in an urban environment devoid of trees and wildlife is not very good for our mental state. I feel a lot better inside when I can walk through woods and parks, but most of the time I’m left with concrete roads and chicken kebab shops as my main view. So many people here tarmack over their entire front garden so they can fit cars onto it. The greyness of it all gets me down.

    • When I lived in London I saw a lot of the concreted over gardens too and often they were right next to a riot of flowers in the neighbours garden. One wonders how they could make such a decision. And in the winter that greyness is hard on the heart. Just the tiniest plant can help us. c

  16. I’ve clicked the like button C, which simply doesn’t convey me feelings strongly enough. I’ll pop over to Facebook and link in. Basically I’m with you ALL the way. I lost a dear friend to suicide this year, and we are still reeling. Isolation is a killer. Simple. But horrid.
    And I KNOW the difference gardening has made to me, My allotment has helped keep me saner during tough times. And I know there are many others like me out there.
    So I want to wish you and John all the very best out on the farmy. As to practical help? let me know kid!

    • Suicide is a dreadful thing, especially as we know, we know for sure, that things WILL get better, they always do, life is not stagnant. We will work together this spring to bring in a few more gardeners. With your seed saving and sharing you have already made a difference i am sure.. c

  17. This is a wonderful post, so sad, but so hopeful too. Thank you. Like you I’m convinced that growing a garden gives hope and life, a consciousness of the continual cycle of nature that puts temporary difficulties and worries into perspective. I’m just going to look at your Facebook page now.

  18. Count me in, Celi. Maybe I should create a Misk Cooks account on Facebook. Maybe after Christmas when I have a minute spare to catch my breath. 🙂

    • Thank you Nia, living in that big city you must know of many people who respond to your lovely smile and helping hand.. c

  19. So very, very sad. And you spoke the truth – perhaps just one glimmer of hope would have helped that mother make it through another day, and her children. And perhaps their lives would have been changed enough that their story would have been completely different. It is important to be grounded, to cook, to plant, to grow, to realize there are others in this world that will help. I’m afraid isolation has crept into our society – even neighbors rarely talk – much less sit on the back porch and enjoy a glass of ice tea and some cookies. But the world can be changed. And you have already started to make that change – I salute you!

    • We needs to work together Phyllis, in the summer we will start sharing plants, so when you plan your garden this year put a few extra seeds in for some plants to share! That might be the plant that makes the difference. c

  20. Outlaw growing and sharing food – outrageous! Urgh!!!
    So sad about the family C so very sad!
    Just liked your FB page – heading over to have a look-see and share.
    😉 Mandy xo

    • Isn’t it the strangest thing!? That law, I am still gobsmacked about the whoe thing. What are they thinking about? Is it Monsanto and the seeds? taxes? What!? I will do more research. thank you for joining the facebook, This will be the headquarters for the garden. We have to start making a plan.. c

  21. Reblogged this on Raven Mist Farm and commented:
    I was working on a post this weekend about how exciting it is to go through seed catalogs after the holidays to while away those long, cold, dark days of winter. Cecilia’s post goes beyond what I was trying to convey and I could not say it better–well worth the read. Thanks Cecilia.

  22. Heartbreakingly sad and yet hopeful. May that tragic little family rest in peace in a better place. I love your ideas and join you in spirit with my hands in the soil at our farm! Still harvesting lettuce and other greens from our greenhouse, even though it was 10 degrees F last night!! We share your ideals here at Mehaffey Farm!

    • You do maggie, I just dropped over to your site and I am thrilled that you found me. Maybe in the spring as we go around our people we should give away a couple of zucchini seedlings! or something like that! We surely are the lucky ones! c

  23. Your capacity for compassion is evidently in the fact that you can read that horrible story and feel for the mother. You are such a good person with wonderful intentions. The world needs so many more of you. Thank you for telling this difficult story in such a compassionate manner.

    • We can all make a difference, no matter how small. And we should all feel some responsibility for each other, which is hard. Our way will be to plant a garden and then help someone else plant theirs. This way we will spread out the compassion. c

  24. Such a tragic story, Celi, but your prescription is what’s needed here. A day or two on the farm and the resultant contact with others just might have helped pierce the isolation. I’m very lucky here. My neighbors are about as ethnically diverse as you can get and everyone talks over the fences and across the yards as if this were 1965. It makes living here really special.

    • You are lucky and that makes for such a healthy environment. I bet you are passing over dishes of food as well.! Really good. I love hearing that.c

  25. That is a heartbreaking story, and although as a mother in modern times, I think the piece of the puzzle that you touch on that is probably the most important part of what your farm and ours and the ideas you have can do–bridge isolation, build connections. We live such isolated lives these days, it can be brutal for mothers I think. There are so many huge challenges and equally intense joys, but without a sounding board for both the good and the bad, how easy it is to dissolve.

    I so appreciate what you plan for your farm, what a beautiful resource for your community!


    • Thank you Sheila. And we are lucky because we are in a position to grow an extra few seedlings and pass them over the fence. Build some bridges. It is hard to reach out though. We have been herded inside. by commercialism, tv, all of it. Time to break out! c

    • exactly every little bit does help and maybe next season you can join the revolution and share a few plants as well! awesome.. c

  26. Thank you for sharing this, cecelia. My Mother often told me the same thing – go work the earth and it will help you heal. It’s true, and I have felt the absence of a garden the past few years, when it used to be a source of pride and joy. at one point in my distant history, I wanted to start a shelter for battered woman that was a farm, where the women could be safe, talk, heal and reconnect with the earth and their own hopeful ability to make things grow. I’ve often thought of that idea in the last couple of years, and wish I had made it real. I’d be delighted to join your community on Facebook.

    • that is quite a wonderful dream, i always thought of having an enormous house, surrounded in huge gardens and filling it with old people who would do all the cooking and gardening!! .. I hope you still are able to garden in a small way, and I also hope you are able to share your joy of gardening somehow.. c

  27. I hear stories like this and it never makes sense. So horrible, so sad. And I do think, if only a day before all this happened, if someone knew, if someone had seen her, spoken to her, she may have seen some hope in her future. At this time of the year, depression hits many people. I think you have a wonderful idea and I support you 100%. I’m also so thankful to have “met” you; you are truly one of the beautiful people of the world.

    • It is very true what you say about christmas, it is evidently one of the worst months in the year for suicides.. so sad, hope you are able to start spreading the gardening, maybe a plant from you will change someone’s life! and you won’t even know it, that is the amazing part.. ! c

  28. I was late today picking up all my messages and I am reading this with are so right. It´s a tough time of year but what you say and propose is so true and so right. I´ve been through tough and dark times (although thankfully nothing like what this poor womam has experienced) but living as I do now (a little like the way you live) gives meaning to each day and hope and plans for the future. You are a wonderful woman because you care and because you understand that hope lies in the simple things.

  29. Such a tragic story…that breaks my heart. It’s hard to read, but we can’t ignore the fact that things like this actually happen. I really admire you and what a wonderful idea…I do think one person reaching out really can make a difference. You are amazing, Cecilia!! x

  30. You’re probably the only person in the entire WORLD who could tempt me to join Facebook… I’m still thinking about it, though…I have some serious issues with that company and their values…

    But, you make a compelling argument. And, you know I share your passion for All Things Muddy, and teaching our little ones about the world…

    Much love to you, m’dear. You might have the biggest heart on the planet.

    • You don’t have to be on Facebook to join in. I will keep you up to date. On this side of the world we will not be doing much gardening for a bit anyway!! c

  31. It’s terrible to hear about the family mentioned. I love my family so and couldn’t imagine being without them. It definitely makes you appreciate things more. As always.. its a pleasure learning more about you :). You really do remind me of my grandmother..

    • I love that I remind you of your grandmother, though I am not nearly old enough nor wise enough.. I hope you are having a great day and i bet you will have a lovely family christmas. c!!

  32. I’ve already saved seeds to try to grow a garden again. (Texas this year was rather hot and everything died except the mint). If we were allowed chickens in the city limits I would be building a coop right now, or chicken tractor. For inspiration go see GardenGirlTV on YouTube or Urban Sustainable Living magazine!
    I grew up with a huge garden, we had everything that would grow in the short Canadian summers. I dearly miss the fresh peas and potatoes and berries.

    Everyone should blog, or at least write a diary or journal if you don’t have a computer. Back when nobody knew about my blog, it was still a joy to be sharing, even if only with myself. Now I love the online community that has welcomed me with open arms 🙂

    All we need is love.

    • You have come up as anonymous, however thank you so much for dropping in. Come by again so that we can find your blog and have a read. I want to know more about your garden and your seeds.. I am not very good at saving seeds yet! c

  33. A very poignant post Celi. I have thought for quite awhile that the sense of community that is missing from society can be held accountable for a lot of loneliness and terrible things that happen. People used to get together to swap bread to meat, share baked goods and handmade wares. I live inner city so have no garden to tend at this stage, but I do have cooking days with friends now. It’s started from being part of the blogging community and feeling food has more to offer than quenching hunger. We make tomato sauce and chutney and baked goods to share. It’s wonderful.

    You’re writing inspires me Celi – don’t stop what you do. I’ve just jumped across and joined your FB group too.

    • Those cooking days sound really good, it is all about your neighbours and friends. teaching people to cook, exchanging recipes is so much better than giving them a biscuit and the talking and laughing and all that goes with the contact is gold. This is a wonderful idea Aimee.. c

  34. This is an unspeakably powerful post, Celia. The deep tragedy of that woman-without-hope who committed murder-suicide, if it acted as a further catalyst on your mission to save the world one human contact at a time, is not entirely in vain. We know we’re surrounded by such horrors and that still, when they hit so close to home, they shock us. The only possible response that carries any hope is to do our incremental best to offset them with our deeds of love and kindness.

    I have long fantasized about a sort of mini-communal gardening/farming exactly as you’ve described it here, and while our property here mightn’t allow anything quite on the scale you’re hoping to achieve, I suspect your post today will push me to step up my plans for what I *can* do at this place and in this time, because it needs to be done, not just be dreamed. Thank you for this, my love.

    • I am not surprised that you have thought of doing this, and I am not doing anything on a grand scale, just a few families, being able to raise their own meat for the freezer and plants for their gardens. We need some noise around here! get the kids away from the tele.. c

  35. That is such a very sad story and you’re right…would that she’d had something to ground her and neighbors to lean on. I’m with you 100 percent! 3 years ago a local Georgia farmer started taking all of the waste from Whole Foods (grocery) and bio-dynamically composting it and selling it. From there he started the school farm to table program in Atlanta where he volunteered to help each of our local schools build raised bed organic gardens and all the kids help with their plot..then he expanded to our community gardens in my part of town, where each person can have a plot and now almost everyone in our little neighborhood has something edible growing in a plot in their yard or in a community garden. People share if someone has too much of a good thing, plus support local CSA’s as well. Most of our restaurants buy their produce from these school gardens and little farms, and a few have the leftover produce for sale in the front of their restaurants with info on how to support the movement. Lots have rooftop gardens and pots of herbs and greens of their own. Our part of town is now known as one of the more self-sustainable (relatively speaking) and locally supporting areas in the state…and it all happened one step at a time! Go, go, go, C…you can change the world!

  36. that is a fantastic story, wow, that man must be a dynamic angel.. we have talked about collecting the produce waste from a supermarket in the big town.We already have wonderful compost from the animals. I am going to reopen discussions, Imagine the veges if the kids can help make the compost as well, they can take bags home for their gardens..just a little at a time though.. little chook steps.. c

  37. Hi Ceci, I came here via a link at Amy’s blog.
    What a terribly sad story. I cannot imagine a mother killing her own children. I cannot imagine how desperate she felt her situation to be that she killed her whole family too ..why why why would she kill her children too? oh sigh…

    I wasn’t taught to feel the dirt from my granny or my mom [you’re so lucky] but I found out myself just from digging in the gardens in the 3 countries I’ve lived in. It’s the best medicine to cheer me up, help me feel grounded and leave me feeling good.
    Great idea to get us all back to the farmy! I’m with you. And I will spread the word.

    • Excellent Roseanne. you are spot on. One for me and One for you Gardening, that way we get to help out in the neighbours garden too! Old fashioned. But we need to get back to those days. Thank you for dropping in and Welcome! c

  38. I keep trying to comment here and my computer keeps switching me off. Wonderful post – although not everyone is in a position to get their hands in the soil, it can be a metaphor for sharing smiles, and help where needed. Country communities here do live like that, but big cities can be very isolating. Good luck with your campaign, it will be well worthwhile.

  39. What a touching post.. just catching up on your stories and was shocked and saddened to read this. We had our own tragedy this week, a young man shot 4 people and killed himself over a broken heart… there is so much pain in thinking that if only… if only we could have talked to them, brought them home, asked them to open their hearts to us.. had comfort and support.. none of this would happen. You are making a tremendous change, a powerful change, in your community, they are so blessed to have you. I feel there is a power in the written word… but to have it backed up with human contact… well that’s nothing short of miraculous.
    ps An avid Facebooker.. I’m heading over to add you now.

    • Something definitely smells about this one. It is had to get past the sensationalist gossip and find out what they are actually up to c

  40. So sad, Celi. And yet there is a quality to your post that makes it very appropriate for Christmas – it really is all about giving and sharing of yourself. Your farm project sounds both wonderful and admirable, and I wish you all the very best with it!

    I can’t believe NZ wants to outlaw sharing homegrown food? What is that all about?

  41. I have a post in the can about death in our community as well – but am waiting until after the holidays to publish it. I am glad you posted this, because I agree – a connection to the earth, to the soil, is something too many live without. Attending to small growing things that don’t scream, demand attention and talk back (and don’t get me wrong, the upsides to parenting far exceed the downsides, in my opinion) – but this kind of tending soothes the soul. It is as close to a communion with the divine as it gets, here on earth.

    I can relate to despair. To despondency. To feelings of no way out. I cannot, however, imagine the depths one must have to plumb (or fail to plumb) in order to murder one’s own children. I shudder to think how, poised on that razor’s edge of sanity, one simply pulls the trigger. The first time, no doubt, hardest. And pulls it again. And again, because damage has been done and why not. And again, as who could continue living with these acts of horror on one’s conscience?

    • Exactly William. We can and should be responsible for ourselves, instead of giving our power away and whining about it! c

  42. Ah, C, honey, you needed a hug when you wrote this. Family murders are common here in our violent SA society. The sense of cummunity that humans need is often missing in modern life. I’m in on your fb project, already ‘liked’ it. And I was also a 70’s girl, taught how to be a good wife…but I wasn’t taught how to get thru being pregnent at 18, having 3 children by 24, divorced from an abusive, alcoholic husband by 31. I did get thru, and so did my kids – I survived like you did!! Hugs!!!!!

  43. The Hope that planting a seed…and watching it grow …gives life to the Spirit is profound. Which may be more important than the life it will bring to the body in the form of nourishment.

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