The Veranda Farmer
“I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” — Abraham Lincoln
‘Morning, fellow earthlings. How is the quarantine treating you today?
A few months ago, our greatest concern in the day was the fuel in the tank of our cars, or the marinated chicken in the freezer, or that presentation the boss had asked us to make, and we’d told him it was done, but it wasn’t. That was a few months ago.
Now, it’s ‘is my car battery still alive?’
Or perhaps ‘is my boss still alive?’
One thing a lot of us have turned to in the wake of this quarantine is gardening. Whether we’re growing mint outside our kitchen or weed in our garage, you know who you are.
But here’s a collective point of acceptance for humanity: It feels nice to see something grow. To understand the needs of a life that has very little communication skill. To find out that what you earlier discarded as kitchen waste is actually the stuff of life. The realization is humbling.
Plants may not be able to talk like us, or even make sounds like animals, but those who have spent time observing the micro changes in plant life know that they have ways to communicate. Yellowing leaves means not enough sunlight, blackening leaves means sickness, wilting leaves means not enough water, slow stem growth means not enough nutrients in the soil.
After all, decryption of communication is always the responsibility of the more self-aware, isn’t it?
“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” — Alexander Den Heijer.
It is our personal journey with the language of these green buddies in our garden that we try to further communicate through our art. Who knows, one day our ability to communicate through art may evolve so much, that we can get plants to feel and appreciate it?
As our cars stand in the garages and mold grows on the shoes in the malls, the one pleasure that us veranda farmers can have for free is a breath of fresh, unpolluted air. Stepping out into the garden that we’ve labored to perfect and inhaling the freshness of the clear skies above our heads is a privilege that our generation of climate change witnesses have come to appreciate.
Perhaps this is the smallest assistance we can provide mother nature in reducing our individual carbon footprint on her, so that she doesn’t have to release another Coronavirus to help us realize that our gardens may be a cornerstone of our existence.