One of the more interesting things we added to the early Agrowbox idea was the element of psychological well being. We took a cue from a soup kitchen that started their inner city garden. They realized the kids working in the gardens actually were calmer and more at ease than the kids who were out simply surviving on the streets.
I thought about it one day, while mulling over the different needs with orphanages and refugee camps and what we could do to speed up crop and nutritional growth in spots of the planet that were usually devoid of much. Then I remembered driving each day through a slum in Manila that saved a lot of time to get from our hotel to the Araneta Coliseum where we were doing shows.
In all the squalor of that slum and the houses made of whatever material one could find – there was that one woman's hut we drove by each each day. She would be sweeping out her hut, making it clean. She was in a pressed shirt and a big apron. I can close my eyes and vividly remember her, as it was as if lighting a torch in complete darkness.
In her makeshift windowsill – there was a coke cans cut in half and out of it sprang a colorful flowers. Just a few flowers and her heart seemed to illuminate everything around that spot in the slum.
That is when i thought, “We need to put flower seeds kits into some of the boxes,” Not so that the kids would eat them, but rather, the psychological benefit of the beauty of flowers, color, and overall an improvement to the psychological well being and hope that life for many will get better.
It is amazing what we can take for granted in the developed world. truly amazing.