What does Sam notice about how the garden is set up in Seedfolks?

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Sam notices that the community garden is segregated in the same manner that Cleveland is segregated among race and ethnic lines. Sam realizes that the segregation in the community garden is a microcosm of the larger segregation that exists throughout the city. White folks and black folks have their own gardening sections. Similarly, Asian folks and Central American folks have their own gardening sections. Something that could be a community-building project continues to replicate the same racial dynamics that exist throughout Cleveland. The racial and ethnic separation in the garden importantly denotes that intentional work is required to build bridges across the segregated lines of the communities of Cleveland. Even something as lovely as a community garden will continue to reflect society's larger problems until people choose to truly work on addressing cultural, social, political, and economic segregation.

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Sam is a seventy-eight-year-old Jewish man who hires a teenage Puerto Rican boy to plant pumpkins in the community garden on Gibb Street. One Saturday, Sam notices the garden is divided among certain ethnic groups, which is similar to how the neighborhood is separated into enclaves. He saw the black and white people working in separate parts of the garden, while Central American and Asian people had their plots toward the back of the lot. Sam comments that he wasn't surprised to see each group keeping to themselves, speaking their own language, and growing their own specific crops. He compares the garden on Gibb Street to the biblical Garden of Eden and mentions that the same God who made Eden also destroyed the Tower of Babel by dividing people. Sam believes the garden is turning back into Cleveland.

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