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Monday, August 1, 2016

Setting Up the Worm Farm

Lately, I have not just been growing a garden. I have been growing neighbourly relationships too. It is amazing how when you plant seeds in dark soil, you also reap tendrils of warm friendships that reach out to curl about your heart.

A neighbour peered over my gate to ask, "What are you planting?" Proud gardener that I am, I showed off my vegetables. He appraised them with a knowing look. Then, he asked, "What fertiliser do you use?" So, I volunteered my various types of poopy pellets. Then he scoffed and said, "I use nothing but worm poop and worm pee." Now THAT was a huge pick up line.

Petunia said, "Can I come to your house now?"

Then, I rushed out my gate and accompanied a stranger home to his house. He showed me a lush garden with lemon trees, passionfruit vines, ciku tree, mulberry trees and then, in a shady corner, he pointed out 2 worm farms. We opened up the lid and there were hundreds of worms. He saw the look on my face and said, "If you prepare your containers, I will give you some worms."

Oh man! He didn't need to tell me twice. I was off to the shops to get 2 plastic tubs. I made Smelly Boy poke holes in one and lugged them over to the neighbour's house for another self-invited visit. The neighbour pronounced his verdict. The worms will not like your tubs. I was quite disappointed so HE came to my house to look over my gardening supplies. He picked out2 flower pots and disappeared with them. He came back with them filled with a generous clump of lively worms.

I placed the worm farm in what I thought was a shady part of the house. Oh well, the sun moved and almost cooked my sweethearts to death in their clay oven. The maid, who owns a farm back in Myanmar, clucked at me and said that worms don't like sun. She marched off with the worm farm and placed it in a corner that never gets sun.

I now have happy worms.

Since that day, I self-invite to my neighbour's house very often. His gate is always opened. I just walk in with my farm produce and give it to him. Today, I pruned my tarragon and offered him a bunch. Yesterday, I gave him some elderflower kefir. Last week, I offered him a bell pepper seedling, in return for a strange plant that cures sore throats.

Gardens predispose people to neighbourliness, and generosity because things grow and grow and very often you have too much to eat on your own.

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