Why does Ana get involved in the garden in Seedfolks?

Quick answer:

Ana decides to get involved with Kim’s garden because she saw Kim bury something in the empty lot next to her apartment. Ana thought that Kim was burying a gun or drugs, but when she dug up the area, all she found were several white beans. She decided that it was wrong to have dug up the girl’s garden and went to talk to Wendell, a neighbor who was experienced with plants. Together they worked on growing their own gardens.

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Ana, an elderly woman, has lived in the neighborhood a long time.  She likes to sit by her window and watch the activity outside. She says,

“I’ve seen history out this window.” (pg 5)

She sees Kim, the little Vietnamese girl, bury something in the empty lot next door. Ana thought Kim might be “mixed up in something she shouldn’t be.” (pg 8)  Having worked for the Parole department for twenty years, Ana thought Kim might be burying drugs or a gun.  She was about to call the police, but decided to check it out herself.

When she went down to the lot, she dug up the area where the young girl had been seen. All she found was a white bean.  She found two more beans with roots and suddenly realized that she had done the wrong thing. She had dug up the girl’s garden.

“I felt like I’d read through her secret diary and had ripped out a page without meaning to.” (pg 9)

Since Ana is elderly, there isn’t much she can do.  However, she contacts Wendell, a man who lives on the first floor, and shows him the beans.  He is surprised that the beans even sprouted because Kim planted them too early.  However, Anna tells him,

“But they did…. And it’s up to us to save them.” (pg 13)

Ana watched those beans, and when Kim didn’t show up for four days, she made sure that Wendell watered them. Wendell had some experience with plants.  He dug a trench around one of the plants to hold water.  Kim suddenly arrived, and without speaking a word, Wendell showed her what he had done.  When he returned later, Kim had dug a trench around the other plants.  Then Wendell decided to grow his own garden.  If Ana hadn’t gotten involved, Kim’s little garden probably would have remained just that, her little garden.  Because Ana got involved, Wendell got involved, the garden grew, and others joined them. Although Ana did not have her own garden, in many ways, she was responsible for the whole garden.  

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