So I trotted out to the back field the other day, just to see how fully the land the middle school kids* and I had cultivated last school year has "returned to nature," as no person or group stepped up to take it over when we finished. (I kept it going through the summer, with the help of some faithful water-bearing friends, and it served as the first model of intentionally-free, public produce in our city, with over 100 pounds of excess bounty donated to our local food pantry.) I expected the row and the big circle to be unidentifiable, mowed into unison with the surrounding area. But,no. Wait, yes. The area has been returned to Nature. And Nature is having a ball. Nature is growing pounds and pounds of mint, and a big potato plant, and lots of clover, buckwheat, winter rye, and hairy vetch. And the maintenance crew in the city park where this is located must have sensed that things were not done, that Nature was still expressing herself, and have been mowing around it all, instead of over itas I had expected them to do. It is a "something's happening" out there. I'm not saying I pulled some weeds and hoed a bit and planted sorghum and Egyptian wheat and okra and sunflower seeds yesterday, and I'm not saying I didn't. I'm not saying anything at all.
I had at one time thought that back field would make a lovely little public urban farm. Then, while working with the kids, I thought perhaps we'd just keep adding rows and see where it goes, with the kids leading the way. But now I guesswe'll all just wait and see what Nature has in mind.
(I am happy to report that some of the things we learned last year with Coach Burdette and the kids, especially regarding rows and bamboo, arebeing applied to our food pantry garden, right across the street from the middle school. And, yes, a number of the students' families are clients there.)