您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 商业 >> 正文

从第一口自种番茄的滋味开始

更新时间:2015-4-12 10:01:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Believer in Vacant Lots
从第一口自种番茄的滋味开始

Karen Washington, a community activist who has been called “urban farming’s de facto godmother,” found her bliss when she moved to the Bronx nearly 30 years ago and began growing vegetables in her backyard. Gardening was not part of her heritage.

社区活跃分子凯伦·华盛顿(Karen Washington)一直被人们称为“都市农业界当之无愧的教母”。大约30年前,她搬到布朗克斯区(Bronx),开始在后院里种植蔬菜,自那以后就找到了自己的理想生活,尽管园艺并非她家祖传的技艺。

“My parents and grandparents were not farmers,” said Ms. Washington, who recently retired after 37 years from her day job as a physical therapist. “I took out books from the library and learned what to do.”

华盛顿做了37年的理疗师,最近刚刚退休。“我的父母和祖父母都不是农民,”华盛顿说,“于是我从图书馆里借来一些书,学着去做这些事。”

Savoring the memory of her initial harvest, which included eggplant, peppers and collard greens, she said it was the tomatoes that were life-changing. “When I bit into the first tomato I ever grew, it turned me around,” she said. “I thought, ‘This is what a tomato is supposed to taste like.’ I was hooked.”

她最初收获了一些茄子、胡椒和羽衣甘蓝。回味这些记忆的时候,她说,正是那些番茄改变了她的一生。“我咬了一口平生种出来的第一颗番茄,那味道让我感到惊诧,”她说,“我想,‘番茄就应该是这个味道的’,于是着了迷。”

As she walked under her grape arbor and past the strawberry plants, she pointed to the bee hive in the rear of her long, narrow yard. “You know, I got the bees for pollination,” said Ms. Washington, who has blond dreadlocks and a perennial smile. “I need to provide them with a home. If I don’t get honey, I couldn’t care less, but I got 24 quarts this spring.”

她穿过自己的葡萄架,走过草莓地,然后指着放在她家狭长后院后方的那只蜂巢。“你知道,我养这些蜜蜂是为了授粉,”头上扎满金色小发辫、脸上永远挂着微笑的华盛顿说,“我需要让它们有个家。就算得不到蜂蜜也没什么。但在今年春天,我采到了24夸脱(约合26.4升)的蜂蜜。”

“Let me give you some candy,” she continued as she handed a visitor a just-picked yellow cherry tomato. “Candy, right?”

“我给你吃颗糖,”她边说边递给来访者一颗刚刚摘下的樱桃番茄,“和糖一样,不是吗?”

Named in 2012 to Ebony magazine’s “Power 100” of influential African-Americans (a list including names such as Beyoncé, Oprah and Toni Morrison), Ms. Washington, 60, will receive a James Beard Foundation Leadership Award next month along with Michael Pollan, the author of “In Defense of Food,” and Mark Bittman, the columnist for The New York Times.

作为《乌木》(Ebony)杂志2012年提名的、有影响力的非裔美国人“百强人物”(这张名单中还包括了碧昂丝[Beyoncé]、奥普拉[Oprah]和托妮·莫里森[Toni Morrison]),今年60岁的华盛顿将于下月(2014年10月——译注)接受詹姆斯·比尔德基金会领袖奖(James Beard Foundation Leadership Award)。一同接受该奖项的还有《捍卫食物》(In Defense of Food)的作者迈克尔·波轮(Michael Pollan),和《纽约时报》的专栏作家马克·彼得曼(Mark Bittman)。

“I appreciate that the James Beard folks are recognizing a grass-roots person from the Bronx,” said Ms. Washington, adding that she was gratified that the other two of the five honorees were also members of minority groups: Ben Burkett, the president of the National Family Farm Coalition; and Navina Khanna, the field director of Live Real in California.

“我很感激詹姆斯·比尔德基金会的人,能认可一个来自布朗克斯区的草根人物,”华盛顿说,接着又补充了一句,她很高兴这五名获奖者当中的另外两人也来自少数群体:美国家庭农场联盟(National Family Farm Coalition)的总裁本·伯克特(Ben Burkett),和加利福尼亚“真实生活”(Live Real)社团的户外种植主任纳维娜·迦拿(Navina Khanna)。

Ms. Washington moved from an apartment in Harlem to a brand-new brick rowhouse two blocks from the Bronx Zoo in 1985. “I’d read an article in The Times about how the city wanted to bring the middle class back to the five boroughs,” she recalled. “I put in an application and one day I got a letter inviting me to look at a model home on 180th Street.”

1985年,华盛顿从哈莱姆区(Harlem)的一套公寓搬进了一栋崭新的砖砌联排别墅,与布朗克斯动物园(Bronx Zoo)两街区之隔。“我在《时代杂志》上读到一篇文章,内容是关于纽约市多么想让中产家庭回归五大行政区,”她回忆道,“于是我递交了一份申请。然后有一天,我收到一封邮件,邀请我去看看180街(180th Street)的一栋样板房。”

After she toured the model, she was told that if she wanted to buy one of the $50,000 houses she should come back the next day with a $500 deposit. “This was my big chance as a single mother with two children to own something,” said Ms. Washington, who returned with the money and was given a pin to put on a map to select the location she wanted. “Thank God I chose this spot because of the empty lot across the street.”

参观之后她得知,如果想购买这样一栋售价5万美元(约合人民币31万元)的房屋,她必须带上500美元(约合人民币3100元)的定金,第二天再回到这里。“对于一个带着两名孩子的单亲母亲而言,这是一次绝好的置业机会,”华盛顿说。她揣着钱又去了,得到一枚大头针,可以钉在一张地图上她所选中的位置上。“感谢上帝让我选了这里,因为街对面有一块空地。”

Initially, the lot on Prospect Avenue was an eyesore. “It was full of garbage, which I now know is environmental racism,” she said. “People look down at you if you live in a neighborhood with garbage.”

起初,位于展望大道(Prospect Avenue)上的这块地是众人的眼中钉。“这里全都是垃圾,后来我才知道,这就是环境歧视,”她说,“如果你住在一个满是垃圾的地方,人们就会瞧不起你。”

One day in 1988, she looked out her kitchen window and saw a man with a shovel and pick in the lot. It was Jose Lugo, a neighbor who said he wanted to create a garden; Ms. Washington offered to help, and they’ve been working together ever since.

1988年的一天,她从厨房的窗户向外看去,发现有个男人正用一把铲子在那块地上挖土。这个人就是她的邻居约瑟·卢戈(Jose Lugo),他说想在这里造一座花园。华盛顿主动为他提供了帮助,于是从此以后,他们俩就一直在一起工作了。

“It must have been fate, because the next day a big green truck that said Bronx Green-Up pulled up.” A worker hopped out “and said she was from the New York Botanical Garden and that they were in the process of turning empty lots into community gardens and they would help us.”

“这肯定是命中注定的,因为第二天就来了一辆绿色的大卡车,车身印着‘布朗克斯绿化(Bronx Green-Up)’几个字。”一名工人从车里钻出来,“说她来自纽约植物园(New York Botanical Garden),他们正在进行一项把空置地块变成社区花园的计划,所以,他们会来帮助我们。”

It was the birth of what is officially called the Garden of Happiness. “If you come into the garden feeling sad, you will leave feeling happy,” she said, walking through the allée of holly bushes that forms a graceful entrance to the 36-plot garden.

于是,这座“快乐之园”(Garden of Happiness)正式诞生了。“就算你来到这座花园的时候心情低落,离开的时候也会变得开心,”她一边说,一边穿过一道用冬青灌木围成的优雅入口,进入了这座划分为36块地的花园。

One of the things she loves about the garden is being able to raise hens across the street from her house. She sells the eggs at the nearby La Familia Verde farmers market she runs on Tuesdays. With help from Just Food, a group dedicated to improving access to locally grown food, she said, “we built this mansion, this chicken coop. My girls live royally. I feed them organic grain and leftover vegetables.”

这座花园让她喜爱的一点是,她可以在自己家对面的这条街上养鸡。每个星期二,她都会在附近的La Familia Verde农贸市场中售卖这些鸡蛋。她说,在一个致力于促进本地农产品流通的组织Just Food的帮助下,“我们建造了这座豪宅,也就是这栋鸡舍。我的母鸡们过着皇室般的生活,我用有机谷物和吃剩的蔬菜喂它们。”

The Garden of Happiness led to Ms. Washington’s involvement with the New York Botanical Garden, just 10 blocks from her house but not on her radar. “I thought it was for Westchester people and the very elite,” she said.

这座快乐之园,让华盛顿女士与纽约植物园(New York Botanical Garden)有了千丝万缕的联系,这座植物园离她的家只有十个街区,但她以前从未留意。“我一直以为这座植物园是为威切斯特人(Westchester)和精英一族服务的。”她说。

But her perspective changed when the botanical garden provided the Garden of Happiness with fruit trees, bushes, perennials, transplants and seeds. Her relationship with the botanical garden flourished as she helped spread the word about community gardens. “I would do these dog and pony shows for Bronx Green-Up with Gregory Long, who is the garden’s president,” she said. “He asked me to be on the board about six years ago — a grass-roots person like me!”

但自从植物园的人开始在快乐之园里种植果树、灌木丛和长青植物,并做些了移植,以及提供了一些种子后,她的看法就发生了改变。她开始帮植物园传播关于社区花园的消息,他们的关系也随之越来越好。“我会和这座植物园的园长格雷戈里·朗(Gregory Long)一起,为‘布朗克斯绿化项目’策划一些盛大的表演活动,”她说。“六年前,他邀请我加入了董事会——一名像我这样的草根人物哎!”

When the botanical garden received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2010, Mr. Long invited Ms. Washington to the White House for the ceremony. “I got to meet the first lady,” she said. “It was one of the highlights of my life. Michelle Obama is more beautiful than she is on TV.”

2010年,这座植物园获得了美国国家博物馆与图书馆服务奖(National Medal for Museum and Library Service),于是朗邀请华盛顿一起去白宫参加庆祝仪式。“我要见到第一夫人了,”她说。“那是我人生当中的一个高潮。米歇尔·奥巴马(Michelle Obama)比电视上漂亮得多。”

Sitting in her paneled living room surrounded by African art and artifacts — Dogon doors, juju boxes, masks and carved figures that are nearly as tall as she — Ms. Washington explained that she wasn’t a collector until about 18 years ago. “My daughter came home from college at Notre Dame and said, ‘Mom, we don’t have anything ethnic in our house,’ ” said Ms. Washington, who started buying African art from a sidewalk vendor in Greenwich Village. “I kept going back and it became an addiction,” she said. “I don’t buy anymore because I ran out of room.”

坐在她那间四壁镶了嵌板的客厅里,周围环绕着许多非洲的艺术品与手工制品——比如一道多贡大门(Dogon doors)、几个魔法箱、一些面具,还有和她一样高的几尊人形雕塑——华盛顿解释说,她十八年前才开始成为一名收藏者。“我的女儿从圣母院大学(Notre Dame)回来,然后说,‘妈妈,我们家没什么有民族特色的东西,’”华盛顿说,于是她开始从格林威治村的街边摊上买一些非洲艺术品。“我去了又去,渐渐买上了瘾,”她说,“但我已经没有地方放了,所以现在也就不再买了。”

Now Ms. Washington, who has been apprenticing at Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y., is thinking about becoming a full-time rural farmer. “A group of my friends wants to buy land upstate,” said Ms. Washington, who studied organic gardening at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz. “I spent six months there living in a tent,” she said, which “really upped my activism. I looked at the whole food system and didn’t see people who looked like me.” This led her to help found the Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference. “I knew my mission was to grow food in a way so people understand this is how we are supposed to eat. We are not supposed to eat food from a can or a box.”

华盛顿现在已经成了纽约州肯德胡克市(Kinderhook)罗克斯伯里农场(Roxbury Farm)的学徒,她正在考虑下乡当个名符其实的农民。“我有一些朋友想在纽约州的北部购买土地,”华盛顿说,她在农业生态学中心(Center for Agroecology)学习了有机种植,还在圣克鲁兹(Santa Cruz)的加州大学(University of California)学了可持续农作物种植体系(Sustainable Food Systems)。“我在那里住了六个月的帐篷,”她说,这“的确提高了我的能动性。我看了看整个农作物种植体系的学习者,没发现看起来像我一样的人。”这促使她开始参与组织“黑人农民与城市园艺者大会”(Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference)。“我清楚自己的任务就是通过某种方式来种植农作物,让人们了解我们应该怎样去吃。我们并不一定要吃罐头食品或盒装食品。”

Recently, she bought a shiny black four-door pickup. “It’s my baby,” she said. “When I got this truck I thought, ‘People will take me seriously as a farmer.’ ”

最近,她买了一辆崭新的黑色四门皮卡。“这是我的宝贝,”她说,“我买这辆车的时候就想,‘人们肯定会把我当成一个真正的农民了。’”

Ms. Washington has never been to one of the celebrity chefs’ dinners at the James Beard House in Greenwich Village, and extravagant dining is not her style. “My friends are good and simple people,” she said. “We go into our gardens, grab something we grew and have a meal together. That’s powerful. That’s living for us.”

华盛顿还从来没有去过格林威治村的詹姆斯·比尔德餐厅(James Beard House)参加明星厨师晚宴,奢华的晚餐不是她的风格。“我的朋友都是淳朴善良的人,”她说,“我们走进自己的花园,摘一些自己种的菜,然后一起吃饭。那样才显得隆重,那才是我们的生活。”

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表