Sometimes, when trying to convince the unconverted that growing fruit and vegetables is possible in the city, composting is fun and going green and being nice to each other is the only sensible option facing humanity today, words are wholly insufficient and I, for one, can feel like a broken (and very boring) record.
So I welcome and applaud unconventional and humourous ways of impressing on people how beautiful, precious and sensitive our planet is and how important our role of caretaker should be.

One such group is the choral sensation Ecopella and I am delighted to report that they braved a shower or two on Sunday, at the working bee of the community garden I helped establish (Waverley Park Communal Garden), to grace our little seedlings with melodic tones and bless our troupe of gardeners with a tuneful call to action. The most memorable song for me was called 500 years and was inspired by a true story about a church built in England in Shakespeare’s time...

The body of the church was hewn from stone but the ceiling was constructed with the help of a huge supporting oak tree beam. Huge oak trees were far much more plentiful in those days than these, but even so, some bright spark had the foresight to utter:

"Prithee folks, hear ye! Oaks trees are one helluva slowe growing tree and one daye our church might need a new roof! Let’s help our future friends by planting a fullsome stand of oaks o’er yonder and protect them with the law so when that that daye cometh, they hath the wherewithal to rebuildeth,” (or words to that effect).

Fast forward 500 years and the church caught a spark and the inside and ceiling, including oak beam were reduced to ash! Amidst the sorrow and loss was the grateful realisation that the church had been saved by the past actions of people who had the ability to look 500+ years into the future.

Wow, what a lesson for our short term thinking, fast paced world! What this story highlights is the need for us to take the long view and take steps now to build a better future. It doesn’t need to be much but it does need to be something.

Whatever the short term thinkers (and I don’t mean to get too political but hang it all! Yes, politicians) may do or say to hang onto their 3 to 4 short years of power, this story urges me to stand up to be counted in the long run. Something is rotten in the state of the world, so let’s dodge the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and take responsibility for all our tomorrows, STARTING WITH TODAY!

Nothing could be so simple: start by planting a tree.

Peaceful, romantic and optimistic notions for a wiser world.

Ecopella sings at Waverley Park Communal Garden