Get Inspired

Sow seeds of goodness beyond your garden (part 2)

We start where we left off a few weeks ago, caring for the green green beyond our garden.

You may recall from the first article, that the 47 trees along our city bike path need water. After our family’s first watering, the hope is to get the community to contribute.

I invite the city through Facebook groups. And I set the appointment to water together to Saturday at 9.30 am. We need to water early, before it gets too unbearably hot.

As I walk to our meeting point this morning, I wonder if anyone will show up. The world is probably at the beach, escaping the city heat. Who would ever want to stand under the scorching sun lugging 5 gallons of water? And rightly so.

I get to the bike path and see no one. I’m a little sad. But I make my way up the path, anyways. Up to the first trees around the corner.

But look! When I get there, two people I recognize from virtual discussions are already there watering! It’s Gilberto and his wife. They’re equipped with at least 20 litres (5 gallons) of water, sun hats and snacks. And they’re on tree number 4!

Now that’s an awesome way to start!

After a few hugs and introductions, our smiles are as huge as our intention to water all of the trees. Even if it’s only us.

So I take my bottles down to the path and start unloading a few (4 lts or 1 gallon) at each tree. That’s all we have for now, so I need to ration the bottles.

As I’m doing so, someone honks. I instinctively look up. A super smiley man, Armando, asks me where he can unload his 50 lts of water. As I give him directions, I can’t help but grin from ear to ear. They’re coming! They’re coming! They care! WE care!

Once the new load of water is also distributed per tree, we start emptying the bottles in the small plastic tube that irrigates the roots.

Then another car honks! Another incredibly jovial man asks our little group where he too can drop off his 50 litres of water. We all look at each other with a twinkle in our eye. By then, we know all of the trees will have their drink today.

So we are now 5 people, with 150 liters to use. Remember, the last time we gave each tree 9 liters each. That was a total of about 420 liters, or 105 gallons of water. An obvious count tells us that we need more. So Paolo, the last to join, jumps in for the save. He lives at the end of the bike path and says he can go back and forth to fill his tanks until each tree gets its 9 lts. We thank him and accept his offer.

But now my cell phone starts buzzing of the hook. It’s a girl ringing me via Facebook. (I have no clue calls can be made through FB Messenger, by the way. Did you?). She is parking at the other end of the bike path and unloading 120 litres of water.

I go meet her, as I am still half away across the path on tree #26. The rest of the group is watering in front of me. Chatting, laughing, telling jokes, wiping sweat and trying to catch some shade while working. After all, it’s 10.30 and the temperature is getting increasingly torrid.

I meet Silvia. And we start watering from that end of the path towards where the others are.

When the 4 of us meet (Gilberto and his wife had to leave), we rest for a minute. And take the time to get to know each other better.

Right then and there, a tiny Smart car whizzes up towards us. The lady inside can’t stay but asks which tree she can water with her gallon. So we send her to the first one down the path. We’re all sure it will be happy to receive another slug.

It’s time to move on. To start over again so that each tree actually gets their 9-lt ration.

So back up we go. While the men lug the gallons, we girls stop to water.

It’s 12.30 and we’re done. All 47 trees are soaked in 2 hours flat. An awesome feat for an awesome team!

And before hugging goodbye, everyone excitedly asks when we can meet up for round 3. We decide to keep in touch for the new date.

Once home, I’m exhausted but happy. I post our pictures on social media and immediately get a flood of comments and likes. More than 5,000 people ask when the next round is.

So stay tuned for community action on Round 3. On Saturday morning, July 29th, we meet again.



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.

Leave a Response