Sorry, Ash, I meant to repost this a long time ago!
Yesterday as I was walking Asher, I ran into R., a man who walks around Franklinton selling flowers. We have talked a couple of time. He kept asking me what I was doing all the way on Hawkes, so I am guessing he thought I lived at 123. R. gave me a flower, and I ran inside to scrounge up some money to buy a few more. I legitimately never carry cash, mostly because it is easier for me to tell people who ask that I don’t have money then to try to figure out if I should give it to them. But tonight I found a couple of dollars and we spoke awhile in front of the house as I picked out carnations.
After Brian and I pulled up our garden, we put the remaining tomatoes and peppers that we couldn’t use right away on our front porch. Most of the tomatoes were still green and needed to ripen. We’ve given some away to neighbors, but now they are looking a little grim. R. started eyeing them so I told him to take as many as he wants, although I warned him that they are starting to go bad.
He gave me a slightly accusing look. “They are going bad. You guys are just messing around.”
Then he opened up the plastic bag he was carrying to reveal two gorgeous heads of romaine lettuce. Not the crappy iceberg lettuce, but really dark, rich stuff. I commented on how good it looked, and then he tried to give me half of it.
While this was a quick interaction, it left a strong impression on me. Mainly because….
1. At least in part, we are just messing around. Brian and I love the idea of gardening and responsible food production, but we get so busy that we do a terrible job of preserving it. Letting produce rot on our porch is a crime. My goal for next year is to produce more food and make sure that we can or freeze the excess.
2. R. had two amazing heads of lettuce in his pack and was really excited to get more produce. This just reiterates the importance of all of the community garden projects the community is working on, especially Franklinton Gardens
. I probably should have taken some of the lettuce he offered as trade, which would have been a more equal interaction.
3. As R. was going, he looked back and said, “you are all so nice.” As Brian and I biked home a few days ago, some kids on the street yelled, “hey Ashley and Greg!” I am not sure how our neighbors conceptualize our group, but something tells me we are interchangable.