By Francie Lin, GFN Writer-in-Residence I think everyone would rather forget the early pandemic days…
Welcome to the first of our series of Good News messages from us to you. We have been sending a lot of important and serious updates and calls for fundraising to you in the last few weeks. Here’s something to lighten things up, a little care package. Scroll through for some beautiful pictures, a visit with our new resident at the Giving Garden and a poem at the end that we have enjoyed.
The Good News for us this week is YOU, our loyal friends, old and new. Thank you for your tremendous support of Valley Grows Day. We’re happy to report we just topped our goal of $15K, thus meeting the very generous offer of a dollar-for-dollar match of $15K offered by Local Roots Care, the funder collaborative that helped us launch the Community Food Distribution Project. This money is already going far to support local farmers and feed people in Northampton. We’re humbled by your support and the faith you’ve put in us. Thank you.
Take a breath and spend a few minutes enjoying our Good News…
New Residents at the Giving Garden
Melissa and Ellena have been joined in the Giving Garden by a killdeer who has set up her home right in one of the rows and spends her days serenading the garden. At first they noticed two eggs, now there are four! You can see the mother in the bottom picture, sitting on the eggs. We hope the eggs stay safe and the chicks make it, they sure are cute! We promise to update you.
It was a gorgeous spring day for last weekend’s Community Garden work party and new gardener orientation, safely physically distanced, of course. Everyone was happy to get outside and begin to bring the garden to life for the season.
Grow Food Kids, at home!
Sisters Zoe and Wrenna (pictured) from Jackson Street School made our kale salad at home! Thanks to their mom for sending us some pictures of the delicious results.
Check out our growing lists of home activities and recipes that build on the Grow Food Kids curriculum:
This poem has been traveling through our inboxes. Enjoy…
WASH YOUR HANDS
by Dori Midnight
We are human beings re-learning how to wash our hands.
Washing your hands is an act of love
Washing your hands is an act of care
Washing your hands is an act that can relieve the hypervigilant body
Washing our hands helps us get back to ourselves washing what doesn’t work.
Wash your hands
as if you were washing the only cup of tea left of the ones your great grandmother carried across the ocean, as if you were washing the hair of a beloved who is dying, as if you were washing Grace Lee Boggs feet, Beyonce, Jesus , your dear aunt, Audre Lorde, Mary Oliver — you get the idea.
As if this water poured out of a pitcher that your best friends just took three miles of a spring that had to climb a mountain to get to.
As if water was a beautiful resource
made of time and miracle
They say you have to wash your hands and cough on your elbow.
Rest more, stay home, drink water, have some soup they say.
To what I would add: burn some plants that your ancestors burned when fear was palpated in the air,
Boil some aromatic leaves in a pot on your stove until your windows get tarnish.
Open your windows
Eat a piece of garlic everyday. Tie a tooth around your neck.
Friends mix, it’s always been the truth, these things.
It’s past time to make them.
It is always true that we must move carefully and intention, asking
Instead, you want to crash elbows? with everyone we meet.
It’s always true that there are people who live with just one lung, with immune systems that don’t work very well, or maybe work too hard, fighting themselves. It’s true that people are hogging the things that the most vulnerable need.
It’s about time which maybe it would be a good idea to fly less on planes and not go to work when we’re sick.
It’s about time at which maybe it would be a good idea to know who in our neighborhood has cancer, who has a new baby, who is old, with kids in another state, who has extra water, who has a roots cellar, who is a nurse, who has a garden full of elecampane and nettles.
It is time when temporarily non-disabled people should think about people living with chronic diseases and the disabled, in which young people should think of the elderly.
It’s about time to stop using synthetic perfumes to not smell like a body, to pretend we’re not dying. It’s about time to remember that those fragrances make many of us sick.
It’s about time not to take it personally when someone doesn’t want to hug you.
It’s time to slow down and feel how scared we are.
We are already scared, we are already living in the time of the fires.
When fear arises,
and it will come,
let it bathe your whole body instead of being snuggled up firmly on your shoulders.
If your heart squeezes,
Science says: compassion strengthens the immune system
We already know, but capitalism gives us amnesia
and deceives us into thinking what protects us
but it’s the way we house the thing.
The way we do the thing.
The ones we have forgotten the traditions of amulets,
we resort to the accumulation of hand and masks disinfectant.
we found someone to blame.
We think that will help.
Want to blame something?
Blame Capitalism. Blame the patriarchy. Blame white supremacy.
It’s time to remember to hang garlic on our doors
to wet our tissues in thyme tea
to rub salt on our feet
to pray the rosary, kiss the mezuzah, purify with an egg.
In the middle of the night,
when you wake up with terror in your belly,
it’s time to think about star dust and geological weather
Secoya trees and dance parties and mushrooms that remedy toxic soil.
is the time
To take care of others
to pray on water
to rinse fear
every time we wash our hands.