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Sometimes The Hopes of Our Hearts Finally Bear Fruit

Posted Jul 03 2011 6:11am
My younger daughter and I stood there and watched this squirrel, eye to eye, species to species, understanding how it feels to be able to just grab a piece of fruit on a hot summer day.  We found this squirrel in the fruit orchard that serves as the entrance to the new Edible Garden (which was a parking lot a year ago) at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  Crop circles.  Row crops.  Espaliered fruit trees.  Vertical growing wall.  Outdoor kitchen and fireplace.  The works. (Organic?  No sign of it.)  There are terrific examples of what's possible showcased at this new year-round demonstration growing space.  Here--I shot it for you:


  And although we couldn't graze our way through the gardens, we were able to enjoy the new Metro Fresh Cafe, where everything we used was compostable (but corn-based cups?  GMO corn, and farmland diverted from food to make non-food--is that good?)  My fave feature of the day?  The Brita "hydration station" for refilling water bottles.  Finally!  (Is Brita now recycling filter cartridges in the U.S. or still just in Europe?) 
Back at home, I found the first figs of the year hiding, hanging heavy on the bottom of my tree, and so large they each fill a teacup.  They are a good, solid month early, as were the potatoes this year, and as my winter squash appears to be.  (Butternut squash in July?  Seems like that's what's going to happen.)
On my bike ride to the post office (where I didn't find a bike rack, and was reminded of how riding bikes puts you at a handicap in our car-based society), I found the pear tree at the center of my city overloaded with ripe pears, again at least a month early, and I got to thinking about how I watch the majority of that fruit rot each year ( here's what I wrote about it three years ago ).  I got to thinking about the food pantry, and how if we could just get a truck with a cherry picker, and maybe a police officer to divert traffic, and a group of people to help . . .  how hard could this be?  We already have the big red buckets. (Here's a photo from our garden donation to the food pantry in late February--some weeks we fill five of those buckets.  How many buckets worth of pears do you think there are on that tree?) 

I shot this video, I emailed a few city council members, and, guess what?  Response (on a holiday weekend, no less) has been positive so far.  I think this may happen!  Sometimes, just sometimes, our efforts are fruitful.

As the designed pages of my book started stacking up, I nibbled a fig and thought, Yes.  Sometimes the time and the effort and the hopes of our hearts finally bear fruit.
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