We just buried my uncle, omo Orisa Oko. He will be missed. He worked the earth all of his life. He did other things too but his passion, his quiet time, his sanity, his sanctuary, his igbodu…..was farming/gardening/working the earth. When he came back to the lower ninth ward, after Katrina, he began to ‘work’ the abandoned lots of the flood-torn area. He found it funny that farming was now chic and called ‘urban gardening’. He was monumental in getting a lot of the urban gardening organizations off of the ground, in New Orleans. They receive grant money now, because of his consultations. He never wanted a piece of the money. Only the guarantee that more and more people would start growing food. He even bragged proudly as major universities called on him about soil samples and how he got certain things to grow that others struggled with.
He was a stubborn man. An educated man. A Navy man. A world traveler. He had been almost everyone, once. Most trips were in the four and five times. He was a no-nonsense kind of man. He said things only one time, and when he was done with something, he was done! I learned alot about myself as I reflected on his life. I also learned that as of now, there is no one else in our family who has kept the legacy of agriculture alive. My Uncle is the last of his generation. There are three generations behind him, at this moment. I think that we are in trouble…..
To my beloved best friend of my dad’s. May your journey to meet God be well. Ase. We will light our candle for you and call your name often.