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Home of the Creative and Supportive

Report From An Opinionated Gardener – September 3

One of the stops that our Garden Writer’s (GWA) group made in Indiana was at a slow foods garden. I was especially enamored with the windmill that read “Growing Places, Indy”. It had some traditional elements of the wind powered structures that have pumped water on farms and ranches all over the United States, but it went beyond those conventional structures in an artistic, sculptural manner.

Going through my photographs today I was once again delighted by this image, especially after reading some on-line posts by other garden communicators who are unhappy about the choice of Arizona as the GWA symposium sight for next year. Some not only expressed their reluctance to go the conference at all, but said that they would boycott vendors who choose to show their products there.

My first reaction was a head shaking because it was clear that these people don’t understand how the planning of such large conventions work. Hotels and meeting rooms must be negotiated and locked in two to three years in advance. The Arizona site was chosen and booked long before the state’s governor and legislator decided to enact stringent laws on immigration. Location selections can’t be turned on a dime.

Secondly, to my mind it’s just wrong to punish those good working people, the convention vendors, hotel employees and wait staff that such meetings support. I plan to go to this meeting in AZ, but hope to find a way to also express my support of all of those who have worked hard to achieve the American dream, legal or not.

Farm workers have traditionally cultivated more than food in this country, so garden communicators rightly feel a connection to those who cross borders seeking growing places in all implications of that phrase.

The windmill over the Indianapolis garden reminds me that America has long been a place where creativity has flourished. Plant me among those who abhor the Arizona laws but support the nurturing of imagination, tolerance and working people.

6 comments to Home of the Creative and Supportive

  • Beautifully said C.L. I kept thinking of my husband’s business. We have numerous employees who are immigrants and what would happen to us if our state was boycotted. It doesn’t hurt the state. It damages those who have to live and work there. I also hate that law because it unfairly targets all people of Hispanic descent. Thank you for wording it so beautifully. Wasn’t that garden grand?~~Dee

  • Steve Maurer

    Well said. Thanks for a rational thought on this issue!

  • It’s important to take a stand on beliefs, but it’s easy to become so passionate that the resulting actions lose their context. This is a clear and honest overview about next year’s GWA event. I will go to Arizona, supporting the hard-working people I do believe in — no matter what my political views are. Thanks for the bigger picture. And, speaking of pictures, I love the whimsical windmill!

  • I’m so glad I got to meet you at GWA. I was impressed by how friendly, helpful & supportive everyone was to a first-timer like me. Thanks for providing some background on symposium selection sites. Your image of the windmill and flag is very striking.

  • I agree. I can’t imagine punishing Proven Winners, for example, for supporting our convention of garden writers for a decision (where to hold the convention) that was made prior to the laws in Arizona changing. It makes no sense. There are a number of ways of showing your feelings and making a difference on political matters, and this just isn’t an effective one. It only harms people who are trying to help our industry.

  • Beautifully stated, C.L. Thoughtful as always. We are fortunate to have your voice in the world.