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Sow seeds of goodness beyond your garden (part 3)

We pick up where we left off two weeks ago, caring for the green beyond our garden.

You may recall from the first and second parts of this article, that the 47 trees along our city bike path need water. Our family’s first watering was in early July, whilst the second round with 7 community members was two weeks ago.

After that last round, a third invitation goes out to the city through Facebook groups. And I set the appointment to water together to Saturday 29 July, at 9.30 am.

The day arrives. I am sure two awesome girls I meet during the week on Facebook – Silvia and Anna – will be there. But I am not quite as sure anyone else will be present. Mainly because it is the end of July and extremely hot. So most Romans are likely to be at the beach or getting ready for their holidays.

When I get to our meeting point, I see Silvia and Anna’s smiles. And right then, I am sure we will make it. Even if we need to drag the huge water containers and bottles up, down and beyond the bike path on our own.

So we start doing so. And we have 200 lt to move!

As soon as we get our game on, a man in a car – Gianni – stops us. He has a car-load of water -120 lt – and wants to know where he can drop these off. When he does, right at or feet, we happily thank him. He drives off with a huge smile and we get back to leaving a few bottles and containers under each tree.

There are nearly 50 trees, and each one needs to receive at least 9/10 lt in order to survive to the next watering round. Each of the large containers holds 18 lt (5 gallons) of water, and we have 6. Try lifting that up and pouring it into the plastic watering tube attached to the tree trunk! We’re definitely in for a serious workout today!

Four trees in and the hot sun is cruelly beating down on us. Two ladies – Sabrina and Gianna – walk by asking us what in the world we are doing. After briefly explaining, they look at each with a grin and run off. They are going to the supermarket to buy some water. And when they return with an extra 50 lt, they decide to stay and help us too.

What an amazing group of women! We feel so happy, so empowered, so useful! It’s amazing what one common cause will do to strangers. We feel we’ve known each other for years and are so loving this moment.

We are now on tree 16.

Paolo, one of the friends from the previous watering round, shows up with his 60 lt. We’re so happy to see a smiley man around, finally! So we ask him to drag the weights a bit, and distribute the water containers along the path. While doing so, though, one large container rolls into the street. And since it’s downhill in this specific point, it decides to head straight for the ditch on the other side of the road. We need to stop it in its tracks, making sure no cars hit it (or us)!

So Paolo runs off after it – and saves the day.

We laugh to tears, film the crazy scene then get back to work.

A couple – Jacqueline and Eugenio – now walks up to us. They say they want to help – so they get down to business immediately.

Again, amazing. We are now 9. The group is growing, and we are definitely feeling the positive vibes flying around.

When the last of the men – Giorgio – shows up with more water, we’re ready to give all of the trees a second slug. Adding Giorgio’s 120 lt, we manage to finish up wonderfully. We’ve done it again, and in 2 hours flat!

Crunching the numbers for this third round, we have 2 hours, 10 people, 460 lt, 47 trees – and 1 big, happy group.

And, beyond this, a strong sense of community is forming. So much so, that everyone asks when the next round will be.

So stay tuned for round 4, set to take place on the morning of Saturday, August 12. I will be abroad and not able to attend. But the group has already gotten organized and the event will be broadcast live, as alway, on our Facebook page.


Michelle Calcatelli

Michelle Calcatelli

Hi there! My name is Michelle. I'm an American living in Italy, mom of two girls, a lover of travel, music and good food shared with loved ones. I am a freelance grant writer and a former agricultural development practitioner, having worked mostly in rural Africa for 18 years. I look forward to creating a space here - with your help - where we can exchange dreams, ideas and kindness to start shaping a better tomorrow.

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