A woman who uses her land to grow food for families struggling with the U.K.’s cost of living crisis was devastated after discovering that her garden was destroyed by salt.
Carly Burd (@carlyburd43 on TikTok) is based in Harlow, Essex, and has been growing fruits and vegetables on her plot of land as a part of her “A Meal on Me With Love” initiative to help put food on the tables of families in need.
This was until someone vandalized her land and crops with salt.
In a video that has garnered over two million views at the time of writing, a tearful Burd shows the freshly-tilled soil polluted with white specs of salt.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken,” she says.
@carlyburd43 #costoflivingcrisis #harlow #heartfm #dailymail #itvnews #bbcmorninglive #community #hometown ♬ original sound – CarlyBurd
Burd suspects someone must have jumped over her fence at night to scatter salt over her land. Just as excess sodium is bad for humans, too much sodium chloride (aka table salt) can cause irreversible damage to plants because it dehydrates them.
“That means everything I’ve planted won’t grow and I can’t replant on it because it won’t grow,” Burd explains in her clip. “So all the hours and hours of work that we’ve put in is now dead and they’ve done it everywhere.”
Through tears, she proclaims, “You won’t stop me because I’ll just pick it all up and I will carry on.”
Burd writes in her caption that she has helped supply 1,613 people with food through the cost of living crisis — an ongoing period in the country where prices on essential goods and services are rising much faster than household incomes. As of January 2023, the crisis had affected 92% of U.K. households.
To help lessen this burden on local families, Burd’s A Meal on Me With Love initiative sends a large box of essentials plus “enough food, fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, breakfast,” and more.
By addressing local food insecurity through her garden, Burd is also helping the planet. Home growing is a more sustainable agriculture practice than factory farms because its small size requires fewer resources and less energy. Additionally, the garden’s proximity to her community means this food doesn’t have to travel far to get to a family’s table, meaning far less fuel gets wasted in the process.
Even as Burd struggles to make ends meet with the disability assistance she receives for her multiple sclerosis and lupus, the TikToker says she pays for most of this initiative herself — with occasional help from companies.
In September of 2022, she created a GoFundMe to raise £4,000 ($4995.25) to help with the costs. But after her recent TikTok went viral, over 4,000 people helped to surpass this goal, raising nearly £65,000 ($81,172.85).
Burd followed up her viral TikTok with another video, expressing her gratitude for the donations she has received.
@carlyburd43 #costoflivingcrisis #harlow #heartfm #itvnews #bbcmorninglive #hometown #community #thankyou ♬ original sound – CarlyBurd
“But I’m still absolutely heartbroken,” she admits in the clip.
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