Publish date 21-09-2020
The lockdown arrived here in Jordan as we were preparing for the summer planting and full season of the bean and pea harvest. Suddenly we found ourselves alone with all the work we normally did together with about thirty disabled children from the vocational training program, an agricultural engineer and a farmer. We soon realized that the work was too big to be carried out and so we decided to concentrate our efforts on the vegetables already sown and almost ready to harvest, so that nothing was wasted especially in a difficult time like this. We collected the last few spinach, red cabbage and broccoli, some surviving salads, kept an eye on the broad beans and peas that continued to grow and gave the olive and fruit trees to drink.
But with the passing of the weeks and the complicity of a few days of storms followed by the first very hot days of the season, we found ourselves facing a further problem: the grass has grown a lot! The green that makes the landscape always very suggestive here from February to April disappeared within a few days, giving way to the yellow of the now dry grass. The lockdown prevented us from being able to immediately call a tractor and when the agricultural vehicles were allowed to circulate again, the grass was so high that it prevented access to the field and any agricultural work. With the beans and peas now ready to harvest, it was necessary to intervene quickly.
We started looking for help and found many closed doors ... so we thought of calling an old friend of the Arsenale who had told us in the previous days: "Please, tell me whatever you need!". Said, done ... he comes to see and tells us: «Don't worry, I'll take care of it». The next day he sends us three agricultural workers and a tractor. He does not just clean up the passages and make the sown area reachable but he plows all 33 hectares of our field. He gives us the entire job. Now the beans and peas are reachable, but we realize that the cost of the workers to help us is much higher than the value of the harvest ... we would need someone to return the workers' work for free to do a charity to the families we help and that in during this period they struggle to find and buy good and fresh vegetables. So we decide to contact some of the people who are normally "loyal customers" of our "vegetable bazaar" to ask them if they are willing to help us with this return: give us the collection of vegetables to be able to donate. At the first phone call we explain the situation and receive this answer: «Don't worry, I'll take care of this charity».
We get much more than we need. Within a few days, all the peas and broad beans are harvested and we manage to get some families of vegetables. Small signs of hope and restitution even at the time of the lockdown. Because if the heart knows how to be moved, nothing can block generosity ... and the happiness of making others happy.
NP Giugno/Luglio 2020