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  1. Great Things Grow Everywhere

    Wednesday, July 3, 2013

    In case I haven’t mentioned this, I tend to fall in deep like with my class.  For the most part, they are adults whose lives have been very rocky roads.  They are typically people who do not know their own greatness.  I can relate to their plight in life in many ways. 

    One year, we read Seedfolks which is centered around a fictional community garden that brings a community together in Cleveland, Ohio.  The community in the book reminds us of our Bronx in many ways.  That year, I was inspired for us to try planting lima beans like the little girl in the first chapter did which was how a garbage-filled lot began to become a community garden.  We began our plants in cups that were clear, so we were able to see some of what was happening in the soil.  Eventually we needed to transplant them into larger containers.  Those that grew successfully were then transplanted into a small community garden we have on campus.  We also used the song “Keep on Pushin’” as a way to look at metaphors for the growth of the plants and ourselves and a way to continue feeling inspired. 
    Several years have passed since then, my students are not the same, so I decided to use that book again.  This time, aside from the reading and assigned writings, we made a miniature community garden.  Most of us did.  Not everyone finished something for it, and not everyone followed instructions exactly; we did come up with something beautiful. 
    That welcome sign is also an unfinished ramp entrance to the garden.  That center area with the tree, benches, and fountain was done by a talented jewelry maker, Carlos Munoz, who can be found on facebook.


    In the photo below, on the top right, the woman used bird seed to look like fruits and vegetables and even made some look like chili peppers.

    When I told the man, who put this lovely garden inside a glass with no entrance, that no one can join him in his garden, he said, “Yeah, I know.” 

    One woman actually baked her creations to make it look like food.  She also painted a pattern on a sheet of towel paper, and it is under the glass enclosed garden. People did interesting things.  It is a thrill to see such creative abilities in people who I normally know by their academic abilities.  Not everyone stayed miniature, and those contributions were displayed to the side of the garden.


    It was on display at a party, it was admired, and we were proud.  Thanks to Karen Griswold and Kitty Crooks for the photographs.

  2. 8 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      Wow what beautiful work! Thanks Mindy!

    2. Jack Cooper said...

      Anything tied together with string to get from one side to the next reminds me of me -- it's the Swift Family Robinson of self ... Love the whole project, having always had a fondness for those who think small. The framed pieces are marvelous -- just a wall apart from the doll house at the Museum of the City, which has a tiny "Nude Descending a Staircase" actually executed by Marcel Duchamp. Were Voltaire alive today (and the pinhole universe knows Candide is!), he would certainly approve -- if not, himself, write: Isolate your garden.

    3. Wow, I love these comments. Thank you both for putting a smile on my face tonight.

    4. RHC said...

      What fun to see what you inspired.

    5. RHC said...

      What fun to see what you inspired.

    6. She So Funny said...

      Oh, those photos are gorgeous! ~Samantha

    7. Unknown said...

      Great job - if we could just miniaturize our life! Loved watching your garden grow several desks over. xoxo, Ricardo

    8. Thanks everyone for your appreciation. Richard, the challenge is now where can I put it for safe keeping and still have it able to be displayed.

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