Aside from the 12 gardens we tested today (whew) I have a lot of thoughts running through my head– about race, the value of this project, and perhaps doing solidarity work in general. And although I would love to share my thoughts, I’m not quite sure what I feel comfortable writing (and maybe should not include) in this blog.
After visiting Mill Creek Farm today, Ari and I walked over to the garden on the other side, which is the Brown Street Community Garden. There was an older black man sitting on one side, taking a break from the beating sun. I talked with him for awhile about the history of the garden, etc, and asked if he’d feel comfortable giving me his name and phone number so we can notify him of the results. I followed that up with “would you like to know the results?” He looked at me and said something like he’s going to keep gardening here no matter what, so he doesn’t care/need to know. Earlier, he told me he’d been gardening there for “many moons”– and this was coming from an old man.
I stepped away from this conversation nodding– understanding– with a slight smile. Understandably, this man is going to continue doing what he’s been doing for so long in HIS OWN neighborhood. Who am I to tell him that Pb in his soil may be a concern, given hundreds of other things that could be remedied in his life? It was humbling.