“Oh, no! My collard farm. It is devastated!” exclaims Timmy. By the time Timmy got to his field he had assessed the situation and realized that the ferocious wind we had been experiencing all throughout the night had broken a very large portion of the Moringa tree and it was resting exactly on the field of collards where he had been weeding, and watering and fending off pests since the collards were planted there.
“Why the hurricane last week did not do that much damage, the tree only had a small branch broken away”, lamented Timmy as he attempted to make sense of it. As the rest of the kids learned about the tree they came to pay homage to the field and to give solace to Timmy, that is the way it works in the garden, we all share successes and failures.
Well, Timmy, natural disasters aren’t planned and just think how real farmers must feel when hurricanes, tornados, drought and pests destroy their crops and they must replant and sometimes even rebuild their homes and land. It's a lesson brought to life in the garden.
Now, we must think of clean-up and at least for today we will stay away from the tree because a Moringa tree is susceptible to breaking in the wind. They are amazingly resilient trees and are easily propagated by cuttings and in fact, we will cut a few of the branches, poke them in the ground, keep them watered and see what happens. Our Moringa Oleifera tree comes originally from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains and is commonly referred to as a “miracle tree". So named because every part of it is considered beneficial from purifying water, to medicine, to food, and cooking oil, natural pesticide, and most recently biofuel.
Always looking on the bright side, the garden staff and students, led by Mr. Gus decided to cook up all those crushed collards in some olive oil and garlic. We looked around and realized our radishes needed harvesting and we added them to the mix. Brown rice and beans seemed to magically appear, Mr. Gus, we are sure, had those cooking before we could wash and chiffonade the collards. It was a delicious and unexpected treat and all because a tree fell on Timmy's collard farm!