As an activist and someone living in one of such an alienating destructive culture its easy to forget that most people are just doing the best they can. Its been then to be able to work with people on some small but positive solutions to the global situation we are in.
One of the cooler things I have been doing is helping residents at a government housing complex establish veggie gardens. Through Housing NZ we got funding to build garden beds for around a quarter of the residents initially with more if these ones prove a success. As part of the funding I have been able to go out and get seedlings and seed to help the families get their gardens going and I have spent a few mornings helping people plant their patches up. Most of the people I am working with are refugees and there is quite a language barrier but gardening is universal and through mimeing and broken English we have been able to explain most things.
Most of the plants the familys want to grow are things like chilli peppers and eggplants which cant really be planted till October at the earliest. The winter crops they are most interested are things like carrots and onions, stables which they use a lot of anyway. I have been using seed catalogues with heaps of photos in to explain which seed is what and how they need to be looked after. This can be more complicated than it sounds when you add three or four people asking questions, kids running round digging holes and chucking seeds around and a generally chaotic atmosphere.
The garden beds we have put in are small and most of the familys are already using the lawn and any other available space to grow veggies. I cant wait to see yards overflowing with productive plants come summer :)
There is a possibility that housing NZ could fund a lot more projects like this but even if there isn’t any easily accessible funding this is something I want to keep working on.