Study Guide

Seedfolks Chapter 13

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Chapter 13


  • It's time to switch gears one last time and meet our final narrator, Florence.
  • Florence's family sure does have a history. Her great-grandparents were freed slaves who made the trek (on foot!) from Louisiana to Colorado in 1859. Now that is a long walk.
  • Once they'd reached the Gunnison River, they started a family. And not just any family: "the first black family in the whole county" (13.1). See what we mean? Florence has some pretty amazing history in her roots.
  • For Florence, looking at the garden on Gibb Street has her thinking about her family. Yep, we know you aren't surprised that our thirteenth narrator of the book also interacts with the garden.
  • Because of Florence, we learn that eventually, sometime in the future, the garden gets a makeover, with a tool shed and new spigots.
  • Florence doesn't actually plant anything in the garden because she has arthritis. Back in the day, she was a librarian and always keeping busy. Now that she's retired, she stays pretty active, but she can only watch the folks in the garden. And she's not the only one who likes to be an observer.
  • She sees other folks on the street who like to watch. Plus there's a guy in a nearby apartment who has his rocking chair near the window, and he likes to keep an eye on the garden too.
  • One day, Florence sees a dude try to take a tomato from a plant by the sidewalk. Yep, this is one of Curtis's plants (hop back to Chapter 9 for a refresher on Curtis's tomatoes). Good thing Florence is there to stop the tomato thief.
  • So the garden has been going really well all summer. But Florence lets us know that every fall, the weather gets cold and the gardens have to come to an end. The first summer was extra tough, since it was the first time everyone had come together to plant their seeds. But the fact that Florence talks about "every fall" (13.5) also lets us know that this garden is going to keep going year after year.
  • The first year of the community garden ended with a super chilly winter. This means no plants in the garden. And no gardeners either. Plus, winter in Cleveland is long as all get-out. This particular year the snow lasts all the way through April. Sheesh.
  • Finally, the snow clears. Florence is kind of disappointed to see that no one has started planting yet, but it is still super chilly out.
  • One day, Florence sees someone in the garden: "It was a little Oriental girl, with a trowel and a plastic bag of lima beans" (13.8). Florence doesn't know who this is but we do: it's Kim again.
  • So looks like the garden is going to start up once more. Florence is happy. The man in the rocking chair by the window is happy. And we're pretty stinkin' happy, too.

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