In the last few years of my existence, my mind has been transformed about gardening. It started while I was in Little Rock, AR. My genetics class worked with a local organization to complete a community service project. During that project I had to learn about genetically modified foods so that I could teach them. We ended up watching a film that uncovered the nasty tactics that big agribusinesses used to take away land from smaller family owned farms. We were outraged and looked for ways to participate in gardens in the community. My students told me about this garden where they volunteered. It was an amazing opportunity to assist whenever I could, but I really wish I had more time in the garden to learn about how to grow plants.
As a child, I never paid much attention to anything outside other than playing and watching sports or playing games. My mom had flower gardens in the front yard and we had pecan and apple trees in the backyard, although the birds demolished the apples before we could ever get any. However, in the last few years my mom and aunts have maintained food gardens where a lot of the Sunday dinner meals were prepared using food from their gardens. Of course I don’t live near them so I don’t get to participate in any planting or harvesting.
Since my move to the Caribbean I have an entirely new perspective on gardening! I want to plant all kinds of food so I can eat fresh. We have fruit trees in the backyard but they are not cared for like they should be so they are not really maximizing production. There are so many different plants I’d like to care for but I never seem to get anything started.
Recently I took a trip over to another island to visit family. My friend’s aunt has a beautiful flower garden. My focus has been on food so much that I lost sight of the beauty in flowers. Now don’t get me wrong, whenever I start gardening I will definitely plant food crops, but I can also appreciate the beauty in flowers.