What do you reckon, take it fu/arther?

FERTILIZER



Tom Berry had the best vegetables on the estate. He kept a quiet garden, buried under a shady tree that hid it from the neighbours’ view. Raised bed with solid Oregon timber beams: turnips, sweet potato, prize-winning-sized carrots and pumpkin in the winter [?] months. Folks on the impoverished housing estate called him Old Tom. No-one really knew him as Tom Berry, Retired & disgraced Dr. Tom Berry. But there he was, Dr. Tom Berry, retired Head of the Research Dept at the University of Anatomy in the Deep South. Old little bent scarecrow of a man in his grey Anorak and Black Rubber Boots, looking like a Nazi War Criminal. He would sit perched in his window seat and scan the street below, writing descriptions of the local thugs as they sold their wares and loitered in the trash-filled gutter. He was given a wide berth by the mostly-black residents who dividedly thought he was either a child-molester, or someone on the witness-protection- programme. So he kept to himself and pretty soon became part of the grey concrete surroundings. As far as anyone knew nobody had a garden or had attempted to grow one on the estate, apart from a few trees and shrubs at the rear of people’s properties that existed without human help, everything was concrete. But Tom had silently broken up the concrete patch of yard at the rear of his house, under the cover of a ragged hedge-of-a plant that grew in the alley that ran parallel to Tom’s high fence. He drove to the outskirts of town in a hired small covered-truck. He returned in the middle of the night and parked under the smashed streetlight outside the entrance to his apartment on the ground floor. If anyone had seen him they would have been surprised at the old man’s strength, as he lugged the retaining beams for the vege-garden down the side of the two-storey unit, stacking them neatly under a black tarpaulin. He later used the black tarpaulin to cover the garden from the elements and neighbours prying eyes. After a while, word got out amongst his neighbours that he had a pretty successful vege-patch right under their noses. Dr. Berry saw this coming and appeared within a matter of minutes on each doorstep within the visible vicinity and presented them with a shopping bag full of fresh vegetables. His plan seemed to have backfired as pretty soon every mother’s son was queuing up for Old Tom’s fresh ‘organic’ vegetables.








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