Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Growing in America

From the bean of Green Bean.

by Ima Greenie, reporter at The Daily Planet

The importance of volunteerism was a recurring theme in Barack Obama's campaign last fall. As President Elect, he and his wife, Michelle Obama, participated in a National Day of Service and planted the seed for more active participation by America's citizens. Since taking office, the President has also launched www.service.gov in the hope of spurring the country's couch potatoes to rise up and give back.

One local woman claims that the President's efforts have born fruit, and vegetables, in her own neighborhood. Ms. Green Bean invited us into her front yard to discuss the growing volunteer movement. As we walked through her front yard garden, Ms. Bean pointed to a spot of purple flowers brewing with bumble bees. "This would not have been here but for the budding volunteer movement," she confided. Ms. Bean explained that she and her young sons had endeavored to plant a sunflower house but that the house never came into being. Apparently, a hoard of pests devoured the sunflower and bean seeds as they sprouted and left Ms. Bean with a large empty patch of soil.

"Someone must have heard our call for volunteers," she hypothesized, "because, before we knew it, all this sprang up to take the place of the sunflower house. Were it not for the borage and Queen Anne's Lace, well, this would just be bare land."

Ms. Bean says that volunteers have also risen up on the sidewalk strip in front of her house. Hulking sunflowers the size of basketball players, California poppies and flirty Cosmos. She even indicated that a sungold tomato plant - one which she assures us she did not plant - emerged in her back yard.

But others say that Ms. Bean's yard is not proof of any budding movement. Rather, they say, volunteering has always been alive and well in this neck of the woods for many years. "You reap what you sew," said Ms. Bean's neighbor who noted that Ms. Bean had let her Cosmos and borage go to seed last year.

Tell that to Ms. Green Bean though, as she walks amongst her borage and sunflowers, and thanks all those volunteers who made her front yard possible.

If the growing volunteer movement has impacted you personally, please contact this reporter. with details.


Farmer's Daughter said...

GB You're too cute.

My best tomato plants this year are ones that came up from seeds of rotten tomatoes last year in the garden.

Steph @ Greening Families said...

This is a very cute post! My girls loved the name of the reporter. I have a feeling Ima Greenie is going to become one of their go-to characters. Thanks!

risa said...

We put out a call for volunteers to help us feed tomatoes and pumpkins to the poultry and not just our greedy selves! And sure enough ...

Thanks, this was great!

Green Bean said...

Abbie: I too always have the best luck with volunteer tomatoes!

Steph: Glad to give your girls a chuckle. :)

Risa: I'm telling ya. The volunteer movement is growing.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

What??? The Sunflower House was attacked?? I wrote the book Sunflower Houses in 1991 and since then I've received hundreds of photos of successful and beautiful sunflower houses. Try again next year, but this time plant the sunflowers and vines in small paper cups, once they're up a few inches just slit the bottom of the cup and place tuck it in the soil with about an inch of the rim above ground. Good luck next year!!

Sharon Lovejoy (www.sharonlovejoy.com)


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