People all want the same things, basically. Delicious food, refreshing drink, a safe/peaceful world, friendly neighbors, a pleasant natural environment - these are all parts of a common dream. We're dreaming the one big dream together. And I believe that each of us is playing our own unique part in building that dream, ever so slowly making a better world.
What would I do if I had a million dollars? One thing, I'd buy that lovely piece of property on Flowers Ave where we started building a garden. And I'd plant there...well, let's see. Hydrangeas would be nice, and peppermint and orange mint and apple mint and lambs quarters and marigolds and lilies and sunchokes and zinnias and French sorrel and sunflowers and purslane and bee balm and comfrey and tomatoes and tomatillos and hemp and garlic and lettuce and cantaloupe and squash and watermelon and roses and aloe and daylily and horseradish and thyme and flags and amaranth and gladiolas and strawberries and asparagus and dill and fennel and onions and chives and fern yarrow and papaya and bananas and........
Bananas and papaya!? I've been growing papaya here in Pittsburgh, but frost kills it. They're a warmer climate fruit tree. On the average, our weather is getting warmer, so who knows what will grow around here? The leaves of the papaya tree (I grew it in Miami) are where we get the enzyme papain for meat tenderizer. Indigenous Americans would fold fish in papaya leaf overnight before cooking it.
There's a tiny little stream coming down the hill to that garden. I'd have calamus (which is like ginger) and watercress (which has a nice, tangy peppery flavor) growing in that tiny little creek, along with other water-loving plants such as rushes (which have edible roots) and mints (which can stand too much rain or not enough and still carry on).
With part of that million dollars I'd set up an enclosed medium scale gravity passive solar composting system, somewhere where neighbors could donate cardboard, leaves, kitchen scraps, grass clippings, and paper, and then share in the healthy soil material produced from yard and kitchen organic waste.
I'd invest some of my money in a plant-starting business to supply Floriated Interpretations, which sells potted plants and related items on Second Avenue.
I'd set up a little manufacturing operation to build low-cost composting toilets, all certified of course with the Allegheny County Health Dept. There is a great need for this type of ecologically wiser human waste processor as our weather will perhaps continue to become more unstable as to and so power outages and plumbing functioning may fail more often.
With herbs such as mint and basil currently selling for more than a dollar an ounce, the revenue from the garden ought to easily start making more money with my money underbidding these big chains. Meanwhile, with all the need for jobs helping to transition the economy with green industry, I know some people uniquely qualified to train eco-landscapers to replenish/preserve Nature's ecosystem services such as pollination.
And, like at Everybody's Garden (which is at W.Elizabeth & Lytle Streets), I'd get peach trees going, and apricots and apples and figs and...
Aside from growing for food and medicine, we can also grow trees (and other plants such as bamboo) to provide building material for anything from greenhouses to bird houses to bee motels to compost structures.