How does my garden grow? Odds and Ends



That title is deliberate. If you are sick of the whole election you can skim over this post. However, I am, like the rest of the world, and especially Donald Trump himself, trying to work out what happened this week and what the ramifications are. Not living in the States I can only understand the broad brush stokes of the election, not the fine details that are seen close up. But I can see that his victory has given heart to the Right Wing around the world. We saw Pauline Hanson and her cronies cracking open the champagne to celebrate on the steps of our Parliament; Marie LePen was jubilant, knowing that her Fascist movement has just been given an almighty boost.

Because of the time difference in Australia we watched the whole train wreck of an election in real time. Every time the maps and graphs were shown I was hoping that what I was seeing would change. There is always a happy ending….right? The princess gets saved, the murderer gets caught, the cavalry rides to the rescue. Not this time.

Now people are anxious and afraid, people whose lives are already affected by hatred, poverty and discrimination ~ people in the LGBTQ community, Muslims, people of colour, Latinos, women who need an abortion, women in general, migrants, those on food stamps and so the list goes on. To state the obvious, being President of the United States means that Trump’s decisions will affect the whole world. There are real concerns about climate change and humanitarian programmes.

The distrust with mainstream political parties and structures and feelings of hopelessness and alienation are common features around the world. Racism, homophobia, sexism, intolerance are pouring out through the cracks and being encouraged by the political right, both ‘respectable’ and extreme. But at the same time there are those who refuse to be cowed by intolerance, like the thousands have protested against Trump’s victory

While dismayed and concerned for the world, I have been heartened by the blogs I have read. Below are a few that have encouraged me to believe that humanity and inclusiveness are still strong values that are held dearly. If you have a post to share, add the link in the comments below.

In her pre-election post Alys showed me that Americans have an enthusiasm for democracy, and she has an official polling booth in her garage! Her post Dashed hopes sums up her despair. I love that her son wore black to school the day after. The comments are worth reading too.

Celia, who created the Fellowship of the Farmy over at The Kitchens Garden, is a New Zealander by birth but now lives in the US. In her very heartfelt post she writes about how her idea of Home and being Other has been brought into focus by the election. The comments on her post I am an immigrant need to be read as well.

Marina from Letters From Athens, puts the Trump victory in the wider global context in her post A general malaise  Follow the discussion in the comments too.

Francesca rightly points out that it is not the time to sit around anxiously navel gazing; it is a time to protest and speak out. Her post is A Saturday perspective.

Ailsa from Where’s my backpack? has challenged us to do something great. In her post, Great she has written the most amazing poem in response to Trump’s victory. It is worth reading just for that, but she goes on to say:

Do something great. What that involves is entirely up to you. Create something beautiful and share it with the world. Write something true from the depths of your humanity and share it with the world. Do something kind for someone in need. Embrace a different culture. Volunteer. Plant a tree. Tell someone how much they mean to you. Reach out to someone in your community you’ve never even noticed before. Try to understand someone else’s point of view. Learn something new. Teach your kids something new. Stand up to bullies. Protect those being victimized. Be brave. Be gentle. Be vulnerable. Nurture. Encourage. Forgive. Love. Shine.

Many of us see that we are in a period of transition, of flux. However, the outcome of that transition is not predetermined. If we want this period of transition to be a transition back to humanity and inclusion then we need to act, to make our voices heard, to stand up for what we believe. How, where and when then become the questions to be answered, and I am still working through those.

But in the short term I am planting my veggie garden. It may seem an unusual thing to do in response but gardening is always soothing. When you plant a seed you are investing the future, and building hope.

As well, our vegetable garden is in the front yard and in full sun and full view of passerbys. It gives the Fella and me a chance to chat with others and strengthen community bonds. I know that others have been inspired to try their hand at some veggies too. So our garden is growing trust and hope as well as potatoes and tomatoes ~ well I hope so!

[Below are some photos of the work in progress. The plants by the fence are from the Last Chance section of our local nursery; slightly battered, but at half the price. The wooden planks are to make edging for the beds and came from our neighbour’s hard rubbish pile. The potatoes are very wizened because they have been sitting around for a couple of months. Even the worms benefitted, as they got the cardboard nursery tray!]

42 replies on “Trump”

A great summary of where we at at now Anne. Vegetable gardening is the road to reflection and you are right about how many ways you can connect to your community through gardening- chatting, but then sharing and swapping the excess. Bullies must not be tolerated and we need to stand up and made our voices heard. Complacency and silence was one of the factors at play in the rise of Nazism in Germany. It can happen again.


I wondered what that brownish object was in the bottom row, but hitting “expand” (or whatever that is called) I see it’s one of our potatoes…but it looks like an alien creature, sunbathing on the bare gardening soil 🙂


Good post, Anne, and thanks for linking mine as well. I follow most of the others, but will read the rest (all women, I notice – we must be better at expressing ourselves 😋). Life goes on, we must get on with it.


As I said to Francesca in the above comment, I am sure this is a topic we will return to many times. Yes, life does go on, and of course, how I live my life is the issue that I am thinking about at the moment. I enjoyed your post, because it helped me remember the wider view of all of this.


Well summarised. We are all feeling on edge, wondering whether the attitudes and opinions displayed by Mr Trump were for the purpose of being elected, or whether they reflect his true ideas. I am full of fear about what will become of us all if they do. But we must move forward, we must remain hopeful and we must perform random acts of beauty, kindness and creation to ensure that the bad stuff doesn’t engulf us all because we despair and become immobilised by it.

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Unfortunately, Kate, whether he means it or not, he opens up the space for so much hate to come spewing out. So our acts of beauty and kindness and creation are so important. The beautiful quilts that you create and then give away certainly fit into all of those categories. xxxx

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I wish it were spring here, and I could be planting something and feeling hopeful. The combination of the election outcome and the cold, gray weather of late autumn is unfortunate timing. I hope those of you watching from around the world remember that more than half of us did NOT vote for Trump and we will be vigilant . . .


Digging the soil and planting are such hopeful activities, so I am sorry Kerry, that you can’t get out there. I need to sow the corn today, so I will plant some that have your name on them! Everyone is very aware that more people didn’t vote for Trump, especially if you take into account the number of people who didn’t vote at all. Would you be in favour of compulsory voting?


I expect it to be a disastrous time too, Ellen. However, the ending, if there can be such a thing, is not predetermined. I like to think that my actions can have some influence over the outcome, even if only a little bit. And it will make me feel better too!
As for the links, these had meaning for me. As time is going on I am finding even more thoughtful reactions!


Thanks for all these links, I’m going to read them now.
I lay awake at 3am this morning thinking about the dreadful opinions expressed by Trump and his followers and fretting about the situation. Here we are, holding our collective breaths, wondering if it’s going to be as bad as we fear… I’m trying to remain positive, but it’s hard. I really want to give a big hug to all my devastated friends in the US. For now, planting and nurturing seem good ways forward, plus communicating… let’s never stop sharing our love and support.


We are all holding our breaths, waiting. And I am sorry that you were holding yours at 3:00 in the morning. However, it is not as this has come completely out of the blue. It was an unexpected victory, but his ‘policies’ voice attitudes that have been with us for too long now. Many countries have experienced the sense of Other and reacted to it ~ Brexit, as I understand, and certainly Australia’s shameful treatment of refugees……I started to write a list of examples, but it got too long and I was depressing myself. Those thoughts have now got an offical voice with the most powerful man in the world. It is hard to be positive, but, as you say, communication, love, support and empathy will all help.

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Hugs to you both! Sadly I’m not surprised by Trump’s victory, but I am deeply saddened and anxious about it. Too many on the progressive side of politics have been failing to pay attention to some of the social costs and consequences of current policies and neoliberal capitalism on specific segments of society. I am worried for the future, yet hopeful that this mad election may cause the broken system to come crashing down, allowing something else to be born – something we can help shape into a fairer and more sustainable system. Trump is horrible, yet business-as-usual is unsustainable. In the absence of a model for transition, I hope for the birth of new ways in the ashes of this destruction.


Wouldn’t that be something?! A fairer and more sustainable system is what humanity, and indeed the planet, needs. It is the drive for profits that has brought us to this point.


Thanks Anne. I love the encouragement to go and do something great. And the idea that this can be the beginning of bringing back the more humane approach to leadership. Sometimes you really do not know what you ‘have’ until you lose it.


Wasn’t that a lovely list of things to do, at least as a beginning? Francesca also had good ideas about more collective actions. I am still working through what I think I will do, but I know that my actions will play a small (very small!) part. Can you give your donkeys a hug and a scratch from me? They would be very comforting at the moment.


I truly like the idea of this period being a transition back to humanity. I just wish the path were easier to see. Actually, you know what would be a huge step in the right direction? Penny Wong as PM. Now that would send a real message to the world about where our hearts are. And then hopefully she would show some compassion towards the asylum seekers we’ve hidden out of sight, out of mind. What we’re doing to /them/ is another symptom of this cruel transition. 😦

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Penny for Prime Minister ~ has a good ring to it! I agree that it would be a good step.
Our treatment of refugees is another example of that cruel transition, and shows that it is not just a phenomenon that arose with Trump. I wonder about this latest deal with the US about the asylum swap. Will Trump accept it? And what’s the benefit for the States? I did wonder whether the Obama administration was doing it to get up Trump’s nose, making things difficult for him……..


I was so stunned by the election results that I’ve been in limbo for days. My greatest consolation so far has been Michael Moore’s editorial, I think in the NY Times, wherein he rightly identified T.Rump as a narcissist who will undoubtedly make a mistake or series of mistakes that will instigate impeachment proceedings. One can hope! This is the first time in my life when I’ve been fully ashamed to be an American. Now to go read the recommended blog posts…

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I can understand your shock. Every step of the way commentators etc have been saying “This will be the thing that brings Trump down”, and it never happened. But I am heartened by the number of Americans who are aghast at the result, saying that he doesn’t represent them. So many good people!
Thanks for telling me about the Michael Moore editorial. I will go find it.


Gardens grow many things; hope and community among them. I wish I had something more that containers locked away behind a fence in a sea of white gravel, but then I’m living in the wrong place right now, biding my time until I can move and nurturing what I can. Meanwhile, there are other ways to sow hope and community, starting with smiling at strangers and giving a hand up to those in need. Thank you for this hopeful post.


Smiling and helping are very powerful ways to sow hope. You will be pleased to know that the garden is coming along, and as I garden I have been thinking about all the people I have met through this blog. I am gardening for all of you!


A beautiful post, Anne, honest and true and so heartfelt. It’s been a worrying time around the world. I took a break before re-reading your post. His name sends chills down my spine. But it was important for me to come back and read your words, and to know that there are people like *you* in this world. We need you more than ever.


I knew that you would need time to regroup, Alys.Thank you for coming back to the post. The events of this week, with the various appointments he made would not have eased your mind at all. On the other hand we have found so many people across the world who are dismayed by what has happened, and what may happen. That is hopeful.

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Just read this…it was written before I was a ‘follower’.
I want you to realize your articulation of events/feelings as a non-American perspective are ‘spot-on’. Harder to read this at this time, tho, since this was just the beginning…

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