This photo essay expresses my reflections from my experiences as an urban farmer and researcher.
Drawing from Tupac Shakur’s poetry book “The rose that grew from the concrete” this image displays the resilience of an ancient plant species from Mexico that grew informally, guerilla-style through a crack in the asphalt near an urban community garden in Santa Ana. The image embodies the resilience of the people in this community who have found ways to thrive in places with very little resources such as access to land.
This is an image of me behind a bunch of young cempasúchil plants we were transplanting to containers in preparation for the Day of the Dead. There is significant cultural relevance to the cempasúchil flowers for those who celebrate their loved ones on the Day of the Dead. Though the image is multilayered in its message, the idea that is most prevalent is that the plants (garden or gardening) are more important than the researcher.
This image represents a key concept that has surfaced most recently in my time at that garden which is that healing is a political act, and the garden is a place of radical healing. This simple image conveys what it looks like when we (gardeners) get together or convivir with each and take a moment to enjoy the fruits from the garden. These moments when we are not hosting an event or doing physical labor in the garden are special because we tend to reflect, share, and connect with each other these are the times that strengthens our bonds with one another or even brings others into our world at the garden. This also represents the uniqueness of the garden since yellow watermelons are bright and uncommon like the we do at the garden.