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The Value of a Community Garden

  • Subject: [cg] The Value of a Community Garden
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 08:50:33 EDT

On the Value of a Community Garden

Yesterday, Tuesday September 10th, began in our apartment with the usual 
quotidian ablutions, chores - the process that propels my wife and me to our 
workdays.  Since the same time last year, our routine now includes an e-mail 
to our son, a freshman at an out-of-town college, and and remembering to  hug 
each other  and to say "I love you," before we brave the streets and subway.  
 Prior last year's events, we, like many American families generally expected 
to see each other at the end of the day - we're now consciously grateful that 
we do. 

Like that second Tuesday of September last year, I placed some empty  5-cent 
deposit soda bottles next to a sleeping homeless person while I walked my 
dogs ( making sure that they didn't pee on their shopping cart of belongings) 
- the hungry are very much with us. Again, like last year, I  voted in a 
Primary Election and stopped off at the Clinton Community Garden on the way 
to the subway.  I've found that many folks have taken to stopping by the 
garden on the way to work as a way of  starting the day, either with a cup of 
coffee or a jar in hand to harvest a few tomatoes or some individual plot 
flowers for the office. I like walking to the subway with a few drops of dew 
from the lawn sprinkled on my shoes.

As I write this at home, before I head off to work, I hear my hard-of-hearing 
neighbor's TV - a nice lady, she has the news coverage on.  Uniformed 
bagpipers have been marching from the city's peripheries in Long Island, 
Queens and the Bronx all night and will be at the Ground Zero "Pit" in a few 
minutes along with elected officials, uniformed public safety workers and the 
families of the murdered. 

Playing from my radio is a Bach French suite, creating with the bagpipes an 
oddly appropriate quodlibet for this morning. 

Last year, as block president here on West 55th Street, I helped some 
survivor families get into the apartments of the murdered to collect DNA 
samples from toothbrushes and combs escorting them to the WTC victims center, 
in a converted pier, just west of us on the Hudson river.  Since last year, 
the WTC victims center has been moved to lower Manhattan and the pier ( The 
"Unconvention Center" it's called, I can't make this up)  is  hosting a 
fashion show. ) 

A few of these folks, currently heading downtown to walk down a ramp to place 
roses in the WTC pit wanted to take me and my wife out to dinner last night, 
but as she was at school and I didn't know, quite frankly, if I could accept 
the gesture without breaking down, suggested that we pick up some sandwiches 
at a local deli and visit  the garden. 

As we sat in the garden,, listened to the birds and let the green of the 
place embrace us as we ate our sandwiches, it seemed right.  Some of our 
flowers will accompany the roses placed in the pit this morning. 

God bless you all.  And now to work.

Adam Honigman, 
Volunteer, Clinton Community Garden

The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org

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