Logbook I Day 10 I How to squat a river

Microphones and Marigolds

Luísa and Luís have known each other for many years, he was still working in the Navy and she used to clean his house.


By that time they already got along well and talked a lot. In their conversations there was a recurring theme: the rural origins of Luisa and the desire of Luis to have a vegetable garden. Today he is retired and she has another job. But they never lost touch. One day Luisa knew that a neighbour was going to leave the piece of land that he was squatting near Jamor, right next to the Queluz train station, and where he kept a small squatter garden. Full of desire to get her hands in the dirt again, but fearing that the task was too great to do it alone, she challenged Luis: he had always spoken of wanting a vegetable garden, wouldn’t he want to take advantage of that opportunity now?

That’s how the story of the squatting garden we visited this day began, where we went to do another filmed interview.

For those who have accompanied us, you already know the wonderful duo, which for three years joined the squatting community of Jamor, to make the river, and its banks, a common good. After the first visit, it was not easy to find them again. Due to the incompatibility of schedules, the appointment of this interview was a somewhat laborious task. It was the old method of the letter hanging on the gate of the squatting garden that made us go back to talking with the two squatters.



On the day of the interview, when we arrived loaded with the equipment to film, besides Luísa and Luís, there was also Mr. Heitor, a neighbouring gardener who also squatters a beautiful vegetable garden and of course we invite him also to talk with us.

The previously prepared script was practically not necessary. Despite the initial strangeness of the camera pointing out, the three quickly became involved in a conversation about how to make vegetable gardens in the middle of the city, biological remedies to ward off pests, the right to the river, the good that makes contact with Nature.

At halfway of the interview, another squatter from a neighbouring vegetable garden joined the group: Mr. Teixeira, 82 years old, still picks up the hoe to dig the soil, sow, plant and harvest beautiful fruits.



When we left, in addition to the equipment to film, we still had more bags. Our dear interviewees had prepared a beautiful bundle of vegetables: chayotes, lettuce, cabbage, pumpkin, parsley, and beautiful purple marigolds!

And what a beautiful soup that was made at dinner that day…

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