Tuesday, 15 January 2013


One of my all-time favourite books is 'Seedfolks' by Paul Fleischman.

'Seedfolks' is a slim (less than seventy pages) simply told, beautiful and inspirational story.

The first chapter begins with Kim, a girl of Vietnamese origin. Her father is dead-Kim never met him-and the whole family is mourning his loss. As a reminder of her father, who had been a farmer, Kim grabs a handful of lima beans, a spoon and a thermos. She walks to a vacant lot and begins to plant the beans in the ground.
As she plants the beans she is watched by a lady in a neighbouring flat.
Kim's actions set in motion a whole sequence of events and before long many people from differing ages, cultures and backgrounds participate in a community garden.

We learn of the backgrounds of the gardeners; of concentration camps; of immigrants moving to a new country suffering cultural shock; of a woman who is afraid of people since being the victim of a robbery.
We read of an entrepeneurial taxi driver who appoints himself four times the garden space of anyone else, and then proceeds to fill the space with lettuces, without realising he is planting them in the wrong season.

The garden works in magical ways to briing people together. Friendships are formed over discussions regarding eggplants and pumpkins, tomatoes and peppers.

After reading this book, I am reminded of the song 'From little things big things grow'.
Small deeds can lead to big changes in individuals and can change communities.

Highly recommended.



Anonymous said...

The term 'Polish concentration camp' is incorrect. The Nazi Germans established the 'concentration camps' on occupied Polish soil. The camps were not Polish as implied by the comment Please correct the error.

Casey Cardinia Library Corporation said...

Thanks for your feedback. The blog post has been corrected. We apologise for any offence caused.


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