Where do you find the person known as ‘The Green Hornet?’
The answer to that turns out to be the Crazy Store.
I was frantically scouring the shelves, when I bumped into my daughter’s P.E teacher, Midge, similarly harassed – looking for creative ways to label bottles of wine for a 50thbirthday party.
‘Large lettering!’ I suggested, figuring most wear reading glasses by then. We laugh, and she asks what I am doing? ‘Finding treasure to decorate a compost bin for The Frog Theory book launch.’ I answered, ‘and wondering where to find live earth worms.’ I added, as a semi-serious aside.
‘I can get you earth worms!’ Cut in her friend, taking my comment seriously. ‘It’s red wigglers you need for compost.’ Midge introduces the petite lady with sparkling blue eyes as Wendy Pringle.
‘THE GREEN HORNET!’ I yell, at the top of my voice. (Embarassing.) Midge backs away muttering ‘that’s why it’s called the crazy Store.’
But this is the person I have heard whispered from afar, nick-named the Green Hornet. All-knowing font of knowledge regarding anything green. Revered, retired Thornhill teacher responsible for inspiring generations of children to appreciate that we are symbiotic with the earth, and to hurt our planet – means to hurt ourselves.
Graceful, and wonderfully good-humoured, she assures me she can get ‘red wigglers’ for my friend Andrea.
Andrea had a home compost-bin, prompting me to buy my own to feature at The Frog Theory book-launch, spilling out fake treasure – with a flag on top saying ‘compost is treasure.’
Because compost IS frikking treasure, and here’s why –
It starts by taking a massive chunk out of landfill, reducing methane production – a greenhouse gas twenty one times more potent than CO2.
It makes our vegetables taste better, adds nutrients to the soil, and filters out many chemicals, preventing our food from absorbing poison. The list goes on, but you get the jist.
I was keen to try this miracle-worker myself, but we were only here for another eleven months, and – I am a city kid who grew up buying plastic-clad broccoli from supermarkets, so gardening in general? Hmmm. Lets say I was slightly nervous of the idea.
Then life dropped an unexpected opportunity into mine and B2’s lap – a little sausage dog.
Rory was very unwell, so I took him to the vet, and asked B2 to hold him on her lap in the car. It was there that we saw the vet (Laetitia’s) beautifully simple self-watering vegetable garden, which produces enough to feed herself and her family salad and greens every day.
It immediately stole our hearts and we decided on the spot, encouraged by Laetitia, to attempt the same thing at B2’s house in Oodi.
Laetitia also introduced us to a plant called Speck-boom, breaking off a piece for B2 to plant at home, which we have since discovered is a famous super-plant.
Her store-room of household products was another revelation – full of the same products many pristine safari lodges use, available here in Gaborone.
Bought in bulk they are cheaper than the major brands – and don’t kill worms or effect bore holes and wildlife.
Rory, thankfully, was sorted out with a course of anti-biotics and a subsequent round of acupuncture, and we soon scoped out the land at B2’s house in Oodi, clearing the area, ready for the next step.
‘The Green Hornet’ stayed true to her word – providing red wigglers for Andrea’s compost bin, carefully transported in an up-cycled ice-cream tub…
…and one of the random eco-related products from the last post ‘Ready Steady Eco’ sold out and got re-stocked at The Honeycomb Hub.
So I felt I was getting educated slowly but surely, and will end this post with a touching interaction.
I re-tweeted something about frog-rearing by Ayub, owner of a science garden in London, saying I was writing about ‘worm-love’ because my daughter once told me it was important to love worms, not just the ‘fluffy stuff.’
Ayub sent her some photos of caterpillars he rears, to make her smile – and to show that insects can be fluffy too : ) Aminart.