City Paper is not for tourists
Sioban Farey, she of the incensed, wordy postings regarding the planned closing of the National Cathedral’s greenhouse, is deep in the weeds on this issue now. Since City Desk broke the news the greenhouse would close June 29, Farey and between 65 and 300 other incensed plant-lovers (her estimates) have been busy organizing to stop the insanity.
They’ve launched a rudimentary Web site, savethegreenhouse.org (upgrades are coming), and Farey has been on the horn with the Washington Post (a weekend story is promised) and NBC 4 (news tonight at 6 or 11, she thinks). It was on the front page of the Northwest Current (can’t link to it, sorry) and, well, they are doing this thing; they are going to keep that greenhouse open.
The Cathedral, which has already handed out virtual pink slips to the greenhouse employees, does not appear to be budging. The associate dean, Margaret Bergan Davis, has said (I’m paraphrasing) that cuts need to be made, new visions have to be realized, the greenhouse is not part of said new visions, so good luck, Sioban Farey. Davis left a message on Farey’s machine about all the other green programs going on that still are a part of the Cathedral’s vision. Farey was not impressed.
Farey has said, well, Farey has said a lot. In a 45-minute conversation late this morning, she brought up Darfur, 9/11, the snipers, the Walter Reed scandal, global warming (natch), and the stress our nation’s decision makers are under. (Plants reduce stress. There are studies. She could find them.) For all of these reasons and many more—including people like to buy plants and herbs at the greenhouse—Farey thinks this is a cause worth fighting for.
“I read the strategic report yesterday. They [the Cathedral officials] want more diverse, younger participants. We’re moving into a more enlightened green period. Even if it’s John McCain, it’s going to be more progressive environmentally. America is rejoining the international community….I’ve been working on planet change the last couple of years out of my own personal interest…This is the nation’s church in the nation’s capital and what they’re doing is cutting the tiny greenhouse loved by lots and lots of people….”
Farey of Chevy Chase, D.C. side, says she has also been enlisting “establishment” people, one of whom calls what’s happening “absolutely disgusting” and another of whom promised to pull $1,000 out of her pocket right then and there “and she said she has a friend who’d be willing to contribute considerably more.”
Yet this is not just a greenhouse for the matrons of Cleveland and Glover Parks, she attests. Latinos shop there for the specialized herbs and people “make pilgrimages” there on a regular basis.
In other words, watch out Margaret Bergan Davis. You’re going to have to deal with this one for awhile yet.
(photo by Just Chaos)