The subterranean homesick blues are rocking through my veins. I have moved to the city. The City. Crossed the great divide and become an urban dweller. After eight years of the wild West it felt almost a physical wrench to leave a place I have become connected to through people and through land. However I have done it before – a new love affair with some new place begins.
So how to survive the city and where can I be of use. Part of my move was driven by awareness that perhaps people need the kind of work Iâ€™m engaged with here where the majority of people live. The urban jungle, a place where it is harder to feel in touch with land and food. Almost instinctively I have spent the last couple of weeks seeking out the cracks in the pavement. I dream of how wonderful it would be to have a garden like the one I helped to create at Fforest farm right here next to the tarmac and ballast. After all nature is helpful. With few resources a garden can be raised almost anywhere.
Feeling the homesick blues, being in the city, soil has come on my radar more than ever. To me it means home, work and connection. In the urban fabric relationships with place are very different. Not necessarily bad, just different but I feel there is room for some re-balance- some more cracks to be opened up. After all, the city accepts a diverse array of neighbours side by side; council blocks and gardens; train lines and allotments; skyscrapers and a farm. Another possible dimension for urban diversity.
In the city space is a limited resource. Surprisingly London is comparatively very green. I begin to notice what is disused and lying waste. Polluted or scarred but all with possibility for growth- the economic term trying to be claimed back. Viaducts, council gardens, dormant school raised beds and even roof-tops offering space. Everywhere I go I notice bare tracts of land and I think of gardens and I think of food- soul and sustenance. Repeatedly I research them hoping there may be a way in.