Time began in a garden. So too did community, according to the beautiful novella, Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman.
Seedfolks documents the journey of an inner city empty lot, clogged with old refrigerators, bed springs and beer bottles, from trash pit to community garden. Various members of the community garden - all from different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities - tell how they came to be involved in the garden and what it meant to them. Some find new life in the garden, new purpose. A pregnant teen mother uses it to come to terms with her child while a young man leverages the garden to court an old flame. Some find business opportunities and others sanity.
A short book, Seedfolks is just what the doctor ordered. And just what my blogging cohort promised me it would be. The global crises we face - climate change, mass extinction, an ocean of plastic - are often overwhelming and even paralyzing. The answer, for me, is to instead focus on what I can affect. To build local connections, to make changes that empower one's self and one's community, and to build hope. Seedfolks offers all those three things in abundance.
The book is appropriate for older children but I think adults would treasure it just as much. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and urge you to check out a copy from your local library and then get growing - a garden, a community, a home, anything.