Living in Society

Planting for Change

Ajuga rescued from the lawn.

Ajuga is a hearty plant. In the 1990s, we brought some from my father in law’s home to use as ground cover. It spread until plants were visible all along the drainage ditch on the north property line, stretching some 80 feet from the house into the ditch. We hope to use it in the planting area in front of the house this spring.

The last couple of years, before the coronavirus pandemic, there was a small crew of guest workers from Ukraine at the orchard. They were great guys, hard workers, and all with families left behind as they worked in Iowa. They lived in an apartment over the retail space and could be seen hanging around outside their apartment as I left work each day. I hope they and their families are alright during the war.

Our household has been consumed by news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We feel powerless. After receiving more than two dozen messages from politicians asking for a donation yesterday, I got an idea.

World Central Kitchen came to Iowa to support us during the aftermath of the 2020 derecho. Chef José Andrés set up World Central Kitchen on the Ukraine-Poland border to feed refugees. I went to a computer and found the non-profit and made a small donation.

It’s a drop in the bucket of needs for humanitarian assistance. It was something useful. We need more of that as the tension escalates.