Brecht for Plants

By Meredith Kooi

I’ve been reading sections from Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Novel to some plants in the greenhouse and garden here at Better Farm.

Greenhouse breath, the rhythm of the reader. Some words to the plants from a page in the glass box. She wasn’t sure if they understood. Better to read to them than talk to them. The pages of Brecht did the talking, replacing words she couldn’t say.

Aloud she spoke to the garden plants. Their stomata-ears exchanged her exhalation for noise. Noise for sound. Sound for words. Words formed sentences that fluttered through their chlorophyll relaying back oxygen to feed continuous exhalations, more words for the plant. An onion trampled by the garden’s other inhabitants, three chickens, unaccustomed to propriety.

Meredith Kooi is a visual artist, writer, and photographer. Learn more about here here. To learn more about Better Farm's betterArts residency program, click here.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.