To be alive is to grow, to change and to transform. As we grow as individuals and as a species, we move into positions of responsibility for the world around us. Plants remind us with both a gentleness and an insistence of our place as caretaker in this web of life. They also reward us, over and over with the most simple joys. It may be a piece of fruit, a new leaf, a beautiful blossom, an amazing fragrance, a baby plant or just an invitation to pause in the miracle of life. They teach us how to be patient and tell us when we are wrong. 

Over the last century the indicators that we are moving in the wrong direction and are neglecting our role as caretaker for all life, have become alarmingly profuse. Species are dying, plant and animal diversity is decreasing, human and animal infertility is on the rise, diseases are made stronger by climate change, and food development and delivery systems are completely unsustainable. Healthy and productive soil, high in organic carbon, is now acknowledged as one of the best pathways to removing carbon from the atmosphere. At the same time, it has become essential to develop local urban gardens and the required knowedge to grow and steward plant communities to sustain us through the resource dislocations that climate change creates. Now is the time to forge local gardens that sustain us: that awaken our minds and our hearts’ affection for the natural world. For, in the words of Stephen J. Gould, we will not fight to save what we do not love. Now is our moment to change, if we are to leave our children a livable world.

Plane tree in SpringThree weeks in spring, a London Plane on 6th Avenue, John Seitz © 2010