Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Trenches

Sandy did something, a paradigm shift, a reorganization. Anyway you look at it, a land grab ensued. Trenches have been dug, fences raised. Blood mulch has been shed.

Tired of watching the weeds grow adjacent to our plot I decided to clear it. I sowed buckwheat seed for coverage, anticipating that I would grow some garlic there this winter. A man from another plot asked if I had gotten the newly cleared plot, to which I said no, and that he had tried to get it but it has been given to the school, which has become nearly a euphemism for the eager collector of plots that has claimed for the school both fenced-in plots pictured above as well as the plot opposite of the Beach Farm and, as it turns out, the plot I just cleared.

The day I was clearing the neighboring plot, the school was present with some of the kids, painting white all the accoutrements of the plastic-fenced, red mulched plot. How come there are no plants, a girl loudly pleaded. I offer the school some green bean seeds given how quick they'll grow, but the school turns them down because school ends the first week of August. Oh. How disappointing it must be for those kids painting signage and fence posts to participate in a gardening activity they never actually experience.

Now I see there's a run on plots. Go there now, I am told, ask for the one, get yer plots, gettem quick while the gettins good. So I walked around cataloguing all the plots unused for years or that had obviously been given up by Sandy's victims. There were two nearby our plot, across the path, one clear across the garden, another tucked between two newly turned plots. I head out to the airfield, into the renovated, well-cooled offices of the Fed. To make this long story (when is it not a long story at the government offices) short, the close plots had already been taken by none other than the school and another long-time, leather-skinned resident with three plots already to his name. One plot, at the other side of the garden, I signed for and became its proud caretaker. It is full of weeds, as they are without maintenance. I may till it under tomorrow and plant some buckwheat seeds (a repeat performance) in preparation for fall planting.

Agriculture begets territoriality, precipitates aggression and defensiveness. It is the foundation of our culture, it is who we are. So well-suited to the garden on the grounds of a Cold War military outpost.

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