We have a new church garden committee. The garden, and all the outdoor plantings, sort of languished there on Grand or Utah, not really doing much at all once the school closed (I had been garden coordinator, but that was only for the raised vegetable bed. I wanted to do more with that space, something akin to urban farming, but it wasn't in the cards back then and I didn't have the strength of will to fight the committee. So I settled for a raised bed and went with that). Now it is a little serenity garden, where we lit the Easter fire, where we blessed pets on St. Francis of Assisi's feast day.
There is also a little strip along Grand behind our wrought iron fence, now planted with some very nice bulbs and perennials. It looks so much more put-together.
Last night, Eric, who is in charge of the garden and also sits on Parish Council, let us know that when the committee & volunteers did a big rehab of the planted spaces last weekend (the 20th of May), they found a marijuana plant growing in the bed along Grand. This isn't that surprising. It is right along Grand, a heavily walked street, and perhaps somebody dumped their seeds.
The amusing thing is that Eric didn't immediately pull the plant. He let it keep growing there, another week and a half until Parish Council. So we all went out after the meeting to look at it. Pretty little thing, about ten inches tall. We giggled and pointed and marveled that it had grown so tall without anyone noticing (passing by, that is). Then we started to walk away.
"Wait," said Fr. John. "What are we going to do about it?" Everybody just sort of stopped. Nobody wanted to touch the plant.
So I reached down and easily pulled it from the dirt. I mean, it's not like it was a dirty needle filled with heroin or something--it really is just a plant. I handed it to Sr. Mary who dropped it off in the dumpster on her way home (I watched to be sure--just kidding).
On Thursday I made brownies for the rectory staff. In case anyone got the munchies.
In the end, no big deal. But it made me think about my parish for a minute. Where else would this have grown without notice? You would need the specific combination of urban and garden. More urban, you wouldn't have ground enough to plant it. More suburban, and I think pot smokers would probably not be so bold as to walk down the main street and drop seeds on the ground. And where else would this be met with mild amusement, and where else would it become an agenda item for Parish Council (I called it Operation Paraquat, and if you don't know what that is, you're in good company: of the 9 of us sitting around the table, I was the only one)? It's a good place.
We really should have cultivated it, though. The plant booth at the annual church picnic would have made a mint on that sort of plant.