Shirley is the girl in the picture. She wrote an essay at her school which qualified her to go to Guatemala with members of her school. She had a firsthand a view of how the harsh living conditions are in developing countries.
She has expressed to me her thoughts about beginning to understand some of the social and economic issues that face poor people.
Chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and GMOs are the reality for most Americans. In countries in Central and South America it is even worse because there are few regulations for dangerous chemicals being used on crops. I am convinced that even in the United States we cannot stop Monsanto.
Organic gardening is hard work. I build Square Foot Gardens, compost and make an organic soil mix. Yesterday I brought the materials necessary for Shirley to build a Square Foot Garden. With some help and my direction, Shirley did most of the work. She screwed the 2 inch by 6 inch lumber in place. She stapled the weed block to the bottom. On her hands and knees she mixed the vermiculite, peat moss and five different types of compost together. She planted some vegetables and learned about the importance of watering deep into the squares.
For me it was a good day. For Shirley it was a dirty day. And now of course, the responsibility is hers.