News The Power of Giving

Gardener Heartbroken

A gardener who donates her crops to those in need is seeking help after vandals destroyed her land with salt, ruining her harvest for years to come.

Carly Burd has a garden in Harlow, England, and she grows fruits and vegetables to share. Everything she reaps from her allotment, she organizes into donation boxes. According to her TikTok, she’s singlehandedly fed 190 people since November, and her A Meal on Me with Love initiative has fed many more.

On Tuesday, Burd posted a video saying that an unknown person has strewn salt around her garden, killing nearly all the crops.

“Everything I’ve planted won’t grow, and I can’t replant on it because it won’t grow,” she said.

‘Salting the earth’ is an age-old technique to cripple an enemy’s land, rendering it unfit for farming for years without serious work to reverse it. It’s included as a war crime under the Geneva Convention. That of course doesn’t apply to individuals, but it illustrates how serious this is. Someone was so offended that this gardener was feeding the poor that they went to some trouble and expense to ruin her efforts.

“The amount of work — I can’t even begin to tell you — that’s gone into that allotment, it’s unbelievable,” Burd said in another video.

After news of the vandalism went viral, being reposted by news sites and spread across the major social media platforms, donations poured into A Meal on Me With Love. And farmers spoke up on the gardener’s TikTok, offering advice and help. (A lot of straw and water, said most of the advice)

In a follow-up video today, Burd told her viewers that she still doesn’t know who did the deed but she is moving forward. With the help of volunteers, she dug away as much of the salt and contaminated soil as they could, and with donated money, she’s covering it with new topsoil. The current crops are still lost, and the recovery of the soil will take time.

Photo: Shutterstock