Trade also made us think of our plants differently. We realized that most people initially saw flowers (and nature at large) as something intangible, disconnected from their lives, and impossible to have a real relationship with. But in fact, the natural world is something we are all connected to in so many ways. It’s something that is around us all the time; we just have to look. We are nature ourselves. Trading somehow helped people connect those dots.
Maybe it was the conversation. Maybe it was just connecting with us, the humans who had engaged with nature and reaped the fruits of that labor. Whatever it was, trading the flowers seemed to engage people to forge a new relationship with the outdoors and grow something for themselves. It made the task seem completely human. Completely possible. We told them you just have to be patient, to learn, and to observe. And they brought those lessons into their lives and began to get out there.
Though the flower exchange, we tried to make people feel happy while also opening their minds to nature and to what happens when you share freely, without the constraints of money.
Even more, we wanted people to open their minds to trade and what might happen if they take money away from some small part of their lives. We now trade as a part of our lives and will trade any of our abundances for those of others.
Remember that it all starts with a conversation. We are all more similar than we are different, and we are all more powerful when we work together.
Ready for another dose of homegrown inspo? This Los Angeles family is growing 6,000 pounds of food a year in their tiny backyard, and check out Matt and Lentil's new book on how to forge an accessible, rewarding relationship with nature.