The Best Day of My Life!

On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the fruition of years of dreaming, stretches of work inside corporations where I didn’t feel like I fit, exploring different types of urban farming, settling myself inside the Omaha community of non-profiters and months of planning: I met my first group of Mosaic volunteers at our Sacred Seed lot. Even now, typing this weeks later, tears well up in my eyes when I remember that first day together.

5 volunteers showed up with Tom, their job coach. We had two pickup loads of limestone rock that needed to be unloaded and laid out on the pathways. After a brief introduction and review of tasks ahead, we set off to accomplish our work. Several volunteers from No More Empty Pots joined us as well as a farmer looking to work with other groups, a friend who helps with yard work and a dear friend from our gourmet group and her daughter. As we set about our work, no one asked: “Why do we have to do this?” “How long will this take?”, everyone just pitched in and became chalkier as the day went on.

Getting our tools so we can get to work!

Getting our tools so we can get to work!

As I directed and redirected, answered questions and pondered ideas, I reveled in the fact of what the Lord had brought to pass. A boss, Nancy Williams, who allowed me space and an umbrella under which to develop my dream; being alongside specially abled adults who just want to engage and contribute and being out of doors working in the soil.

Here I am, two months later, heading to Sacred Seeds to meet up with this team, knowing that this is what is life-giving to me now. Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Touring Sacred Seeds to see what needed to be done!

Touring Sacred Seeds to see what needed to be done!

Dustin working the limestone.

Dustin working the limestone.

Louis and Tierre getting set up for the Cup Game!

Louis and Tierre getting set up for the Cup Game!

Land - whose is it anyway?

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Working alongside a Native American learning indigenous farming practices is eye-opening for me. First of all, growing food doesn’t require watering. Taylor Keene of Sacred Seeds, suggests planting the seeds and letting them go to grow. He doesn’t worry about watering them. He trusts our Creator to water them as needed.

Secondly, I’ve witnessed Taylor’s deep respect and honor for the soil. The soil was created by God and given to us to enjoy and steward. In his blessing over the soil, Taylor focused on thanking the Creator for the soil and how we can show reverence and obedience to Him in caring for it well.

On our New Moon planting day, Taylor explained that the women were the ones who planted the seeds, the men prepared the soil for the seeds. He was very clear on the different roles for different people. Seeing these clearly defined roles for men and woman, given with no excuses but a firm this-is-the-way-it-is manner, was another important learning for me.

Yesterday, when we were walking the Pop-Up together, I talked with Taylor about the Nebraskan Native Americans. From where we stood at the corner of 13th and Leavenworth, Taylor pointed to where 5 tribes had met individually and within 3 miles of each other in the late 1970s. More on this after I read his book recommendation, An Unspeakable Sadness by David Wishart. In elementary school, I learned about the land where I was born being taken from the Native Americans by the settlers. The Native Americans wanted to share the earth with the new folks. Instead, the Native Americans were walked off their lands and given the worst areas in America to live. Someone else now “owned” the land.

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Another concept of land ownership happens with family farms. Lives are lived on family farms and when those lives leave, it can be difficult to decide ownership of the family land. In my mother’s family, her father decided to give ownership of the family land to his two sons. The five sisters never expected to get the land because (at that time) they would not have considered becoming farmers. The sons were expected to farm the family land. While this may seem unfair, it’s the father’s land to share as he sees fit. In my mom’s case, her clever “Proverbian” mother started raising cattle and gave both cash and cattle to the girls as inheritance.

Another family handled the family land situation differently. When the father suddenly passed away at an early age, the remaining family decided that the only son who had been farming with the father, should receive all of the land. This son had worked with his dad since high school and had put in the hard labor to grow it up.  It made good sense to me when I heard about it, but I was a bit shocked.  When the other sisters/brothers had decided that they didn't want to farm, they expected that whoever did farm would receive the land. This family remains close and connected.

Whose land is it anyway?

Conservation may mean herbicides?

This past weekend, one of our projects, 727 S 13th ST: A Sacred Seed Pop-Up came to life. We were all excited for the day, after so many months and meetings of planning, we were set to get started digging.

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No More Empty Pots’ master gardener, Nancy Scott, who had been influential in helping to strategize our planting, started by organizing plants by expected height, flowering time and longevity. The Nature Conservancy donated over 150 plants, native flowers and grasses. Nancy and Jill, pictured here, came early to do the sorting. I mostly moved things around according to Nancy’s direction and enjoyed the giggles and smiles as they read the labels to each other, reveling in the beauty we were planning to plant.

It was a joy to watch all of us, and new volunteers, who’d been planning for months to get out into the dirt and dig! Taylor started the event with a Prayer Ceremony that honored our Creator and asked Him to bless the soil, our relationships and our work. It was powerful.

The rest of the morning, we were digging, planting and watering our seeds and plants. Some of us noticed the grass that was appearing around the edges of the beds. Armed with shovels and spades, we began tearing out the grass only to realize it was everywhere. Our hopes were dashed, here we were planting all of these marvelous indigenous seeds that would have grass growing around them in a matter of days or weeks. Our furor against these invasive predators grew as we tried to dig deep into the soil and eradicate all of these villains!

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I asked our Kinghorn Garden designer, Nate, pictured here with his wife and girls, how deep the soil had to be to exterminate the grass. His sad reply was that the grass will just keep coming. Chagrined, Nate offered me a solution to the grass problem. I was excited but saddened with his reply of what is a dirty word to me, Roundup. He explained that there is no way to completely rid an area of grass without Roundup. Nate said someone will need to spray Roundup to get rid of the grass. He said this was the only solution.

I decided to ask some others on the team. Most admitted that yes, this was probably the best and most lasting solution to the grass epidemic. As I shared this idea with Eliza, from The Nature Conservancy she could see the sadness I felt about adding chemicals on our indigenous plot. She put her arm around me and explained how one view of conservation. Invasive species have to be contained and sometimes the best way to do this could be applying herbicides. Conservation, as Eliza shared, is how to keep the life of the land healthy and sustainable. If the grass could choke out our Ancient Watermelons or Mongolian Sunflowers, we must kill it.

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Nancy, my mentor/boss/friend/advocate didn’t see why we must use Roundup. She wondered how this would affect the food we are growing here and why mulch couldn’t be applied to meet the same goal of eradicating the grass. The conservation conversation will continue, for now no Roundup has been purchased or applied.

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The day was beautiful, the companionship compelling and being outside getting dirt under my nails made for a wonderful experience.

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Shirley, of Sheltering Tree

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Another divine appointment I’ve had in my quest to develop an inclusive urban farm came through my new mentor, Carolyn Anderson. She emailed me one day with this directive, “You need to meet Shirley”. I didn’t question her and found time to meet Shirley for coffee. Shirley McNally and her late husband decided to create a space for their fifth son, Mikey, who was born with down’s syndrome. The first residence they built had 10 individual apartments with a large common area, kitchen and game room. When they told Mikey that he was going to have a new place to live at Sheltering Tree, he was not interested. Mikey told his Mom that he didn’t want to live in a tree house.

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I visited the latest residence built by Sheltering Tree in March. This one, near 72nd and Ames, is where Mikey lives now. I met him and visited his apartment. His apartment has space for him to work on projects, draw and color. It has a nice living area, small eating area and large bedroom and bathroom. When I was there, Mikey was getting ready to do his laundry.

The calm and peace throughout this Sheltering Tree community was soothing. It reminded me of my first visit to a L’Arche setting in St Louis several years ago. Everyone was engaged and purposeful in their activities. I could only think of the many others who would benefit from having a space to call their own home and also have support when they need it.

When Shirley and I first met in December, she was enthusiastic about a new property that Sheltering Tree had just received. Someone donated a large portion of a farm near 180th and Fort street to their non-profit. The rest of the farm will be developed into 450 or so new homes.

Fourth Sheltering Tree Residence and Farm to be created just above the intersection on this map.

Fourth Sheltering Tree Residence and Farm to be created just above the intersection on this map.

In addition to another Sheltering Tree residence, Shirley wants to create a community farm. She envisions space for Sheltering Tree residents to connect with other new residents, to work and learn together on a farm. When we meet, we discuss how we are going to create a learning farm that will not only create community but produce food that residents that enjoy together. Since both of us have a Montessori educational background, we agree on learning exploration and how to create an environment that encourages this.

Each meeting goes long as Shirley’s quick laugh, sparkling eyes and contagious enthusiasm encourages great discussion. She’s another gem in Omaha, working to break down the barriers from the state and public opinions that keep specially abled people marginalized.

It was deep inside of you.

Given the opportunity to develop feet and wings for a childhood dream is fabulous and daunting.  Living with an idea in your heart and telling it to people who are close to you is natural.  The responses you garner don’t affect the dream.  When someone provides the way for the dream to come to life and you begin to actualize it, it becomes too good to be true and scary at the same time.  How am I ever going to do this? 

Exploring the how of my dream has been excruciating and exciting, and as its gained traction, I sometimes lose my way.  When others get excited about supporting my dream, I listen to their ideas and direction and mine seem to vanish.  This is where I was in early February.  I had the momentum behind me to get a farm going at Fontenelle Forest, people who came alongside who had more of a community garden in mind. It derailed my idea of a natural farm in the forest. I feel strongly about honoring the biological ecosystem where I live and grow.  As I shared my story with the sisters of Iowana farm, they embraced my dream and helped me remember where it came from – deep inside of me.

Earlier in the year, my husband attended a retreat hosted at the Arbor Lodge in Nebraska City. He found this quote there, it fits perfectly with creating a natural garden in a forest.

Earlier in the year, my husband attended a retreat hosted at the Arbor Lodge in Nebraska City. He found this quote there, it fits perfectly with creating a natural garden in a forest.

In a follow up Fontenelle Forest meeting, my mentor and boss, Nancy Williams showed all of us on the team how to develop a common goal for the space. It is through this alignment that we will collectively find our focus. I have peace and regenerated energy towards the forest thanks to Nancy’s direction.

You're too old to teach teenagers...

This was the quote I’ll never forget from my first meeting with Carolyn O. Anderson. She’s on the No More Empty Pots Board and volunteered to help with our CWTP (Culinary Workforce Training Program) graduation ceremony. We met at her office at UNO where I learned about her love for the marginalized, especially those with disabilities. Carolyn started an organization to bring inclusive quality art programming to the underserved. Her organization, Why Arts, is beauty to behold. I accompanied her on visits to two different sites this past fall. Watching singers and guitarists walk around and engage with children with multiple disabilities was stunning. The children responded in joyful ways. It brought tears to my eyes as I observed. Carolyn feels strongly that each individual, no matter their circumstance, has unlimited creative potential. And it shows in her organization.

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Now, about that line of Carolyn’s. Our conversation began with my explanation of my role at No More Empty Pots and the experiences I’d had teaching teenagers at NorthStar and Omaha Northwest. Carolyn looked at me squarely and asked, How old are you? When I said, 57, she laid out her line: “You’re too old to teach teenagers”. I was taken aback a bit but too startled to react. Later, I realized that there was truth in her words. No wonder it was so difficult, I was not in my 20s or 30s. Is relating to teenagers easier then? Not sure, but it did form a unique bond with Carolyn. She calls it as she sees it.

When I told her I wanted to start an inclusive farm, told her about the space I was considering on 90th and Center, she asked if it would be wheelchair accessible. To which I affirmed. She looked at me squarely in the eye again and said, “I’ll help you build that farm.”

The Farm Family of Common Good Farm

Just between snows in February, I visited Common Good Farm near Raymond, Nebraska. Ruth and Evrett, the farm family that started Common Good Farm are biodynamic farmers. In simple terms, this is organic farming at a deeper level. The treatment and care of livestock focuses on using food raised on the farm. Vegetables are fed with compost and manure from, you guessed it, this farm. Ruth and Evrett raise livestock, produce and are the proud of parents of Agnes, the corgi cattle dog and several 2-legged beings as well.

I enjoyed the morning at their kitchen table learning about their CSA and farm plans for the year, and several antidotes from their two teenagers who wandered in and out, depending on the topic at the table. Ruth and Evrett first heard about my idea for an inclusive urban farm last summer when I stopped to buy plants for my garden. They both had worked at Camphill Village in Minnesota, a farm for specially-abled adults.

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When I laid out our plans for Fontenelle Forest’s Camp Brewster, Evrett perked up and asked to see a topography map. They understood immediately about my desire to create a community of care for these wonderful lands we’ve been allowed to care for and started asking more questions. “What kinds of native cultivars do you see there? How will you incorporate intense growing principles to generate good soil health? Have you contacted the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum?” They didn’t fire these questions at me, but rather pondered aloud. They were excited about the project.

In Ruth’s words, “This is such an incredible opportunity & community effort already. There is so much coming together in support, it’s very cool. The layout/topography still has great potential...tucked in and open spots for diversity of cropping, being more public, less public, etc.”

I will return to Common Good Farm soon, mostly to pick up some of their grass fed beef we ordered, but also for more conversations with these remarkable people.

Mosaic - Gentle and Humble in Heart

This past week, I visited Mosaic to attend their monthly “Discover the Possibilities” tour. I was met with warm grins, sweet hugs and endearing stories as I learned more about the program. There were several parents of Mosaic who shared testimonials.

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This is Chris. One of the speakers was Chris’ mom, Sarah. She explained the different jobs Chris has held through Mosaic and all of the people he’s chosen to meet. Starting with our Mayor, Jean Stoddard, he then chose to meet Governor Ricketts and you can imagine who was next, President Obama. To see Chris’ grin as his mom told about their travels and held her hand provided the context of why Mosaic means so much to so many.

They believe in moving beyond stereotypes to provide a meaningful life, caring community and giving a voice to all of the Mosaic family. One gentleman explained that everyone has dreams and goals, why should only basic needs be met? People of all types need to be given a chance to seek their goals and bring dreams to life.

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The care and kindness I witnessed in this short tour reiterated what I’d read earlier about Jesus and his life on this earth. He encouraged us to bring our burdens to him. He was gentle and humble in heart and offers rest. The Mosaic people I met were all that, gentle, humble and offering me rest from the chaos of life. The burdens to keep up, fit in, feel productive and have value evaporate within the walls of Mosaic. It is easy to rest and enjoy when surrounded by people who are gentle and humble in heart.

The Encouragement of Sisters

One of the best things about creating a pilot project is the amazing research work involved.  Meeting farmers, teachers, gardeners, entrepreneurs and others has prodded my thinking and directed my decisions.  As wonderful as researching is there are times when my shy gene rears its head and I nervously think, “Why did I set up this meeting?”

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It was this sentiment that flooded my thoughts as I drove across the Mormon bridge into Iowa last week, heading to the Iowana farm.  My boss, Nancy, had told me about Terry and Cynthia, the farmers who embrace educating others about organic farming.  When I’d reached out to Terry initially, she was warm and welcoming, inviting me to “come in through the kitchen door”.  Even so, as I drove into their lovely farmyard, I was bashful.   

That lasted for about 2 minutes.  Once I entered the warm kitchen and was invited to sit down at the table, the stories naturally began.  I first heard from Cynthia, whose PhD from Northwestern in interpersonal communications has her currently working with other educators to put their lessons online.  Cynthia’s passion and broad background in training teachers and education at all levels was evident as she delivered vignettes of what she’s learned by learning with others.  Terry, meanwhile, had been chopping and sautéing veggies for lunch, as well as brewing a lavender/basil tea that we enjoyed while lunch was cooking.  When Terry finished preparing lunch, she started by explaining how she and Cynthia visited this farm, their grandparents’, every summer from California.  She shared an early memory of riding on the harness of her grandfather’s horse team above the cultivator as it dug up soil on either side of the corn rows.  As she explained this memory, I could smell that warm soil being overturned and releasing the pungent aroma that defines Spring planting to me.  It became the driver to Terry’s life as she completed working 27 years in the Stanford Physics department and moved to Iowa to start the Iowana Farm.

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Terry shared the development of their certified organic farm, in the valley of the Loess Hills. These hills, without much clay, have eroded to provide 80 inches of top soil in the valley where this farmland is situated. This organic farm teaches school children, volunteers, interns and CSA subscribers by providing farming opportunities throughout the year to work together planting, weeding, harvesting and processing food.

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When Terry and Cynthia turned their attention to why I had asked to visit the farm, I shared my childhood dream and both of them smiled from the inside out. Explaining how I see this farm coming to life to provide magic for the marginalized made it more real for me too. As I told them about Fontenelle Forest, being granted 2-3 acres next to the forest and my desire not to dig it up to create beds but to use it in it’s natural state, Cynthia lit up like a firecraker! She said, “This is exactly where agriculture is moving - towards being biological, not chemical”. The girls were at the Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference where they heard about Michael Phillips’ book, “Mycorrhizal Planet” which encourages a nondisturbance priniciple to build soil structure and fertility to last for ages. She also told me, “Trust your instinct” which resounded deeply in me.

As I prepared to leave, we quickly decided that more meetings were needed for us to define how to imagine an agricultural systems that functions like an ecosytem. So, while I drove up a bit bashful, I left the farm excited.

Perhaps my favorite quote of the day was from Cynthia, when she said this about sisters: “The thing that may annoy you most about your sister usually turns out to be one of your best qualities”.

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Chris' Why

Christopher K Kelly

Chris Kelly passed away this morning at 2 am. Chris was born with Cerebral Palsy from his mother’s prenatal drug use. He was adopted by Carol and Dennis. After Glen met Dennis at their church in South Florida, Dennis asked Glen if he would meet his son, Chris. Glen did and the two became friends. Chris’ dependence on a walker wasn’t a problem for either one of them. Glen would simply pick up Chris and throw him over his shoulder as they went wherever they wanted: movie theaters, South Beach, restaurants. Chris was 15 when they met and in an honors program at the Boca Raton High School. Glen, a tad older, and working for First Data in Coral Springs, Florida.

Chris was brilliant. He could relate to anybody he met, could code in all sorts of languages and could fix any issue presented from operating systems malfunctioning to how to hang Glen’s ties in temporary housing to how to have tough conversations with colleagues to finding our way around a city. Chris was our first and most trusted Siri.

I first met Chris when we were in Florida for a wedding and Chris was the best man. He had everything organized, timelined and set up for the couple, complete with a script for Glen to read during their first dance at the reception. Chris was flawless in execution. It was our initial trip to Florida as a couple, and since then, we’ve made 13+ trips to Florida. Most often, we would stay with Chris and his parents. Glen and Chris would spend at least one day to themselves to watch movies, eat Cuban food and discuss all sorts of topics. There would be plenty of giggles and curses drifting out from Chris’ bedroom.

In 2004, Chris’ condition worsened and he was no longer able to use a walker but was confined to a wheelchair. In a matter of months, he was sequestered to his bedroom where he spent the next 10 years of his life. We celebrated the Academy Awards together last year, splitting Veuve Clicquot via FaceTime.

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Chris was never ever complained but rather would call to encourage us. When I talked with him last week, he asked if we’d secured our champagne for the Academy Awards as he’d ordered his. Before we hung up, he prayed for Glen and asked what was going on with the farm and when would Gabe be able to start working on it.

Chris’ why was evident: Only the present matters.

Chris and his parents, Dennis and Carol, Christmas 2018.

Chris and his parents, Dennis and Carol, Christmas 2018.

Desserts untouched

I enjoyed attending a luncheon at Lauritzen Gardens mid December. The space was beautifully decorated with all sorts of festive ribbons, poinsettias and even the people were decorated in holiday clothes. It was a sweet time of fun fellowship.

As we were walking out, I noticed an entire table that still had 12 untouched desserts on it. Then, I thought about our table. I bet 6 of us never touched our desserts…or bread….or wine. What was going to happen to all of this food?

I ran into someone I’d just met at a meeting the day before, Polina. I told her about the desserts and she mentioned the name of the caterer. I called the caterer when I returned home and they assured me that any food that was salvageable was sent to a mission or homeless shelter. When I questioned how much of the food was shared, she explained the details on food that can be shared with others.

I knew that all of those desserts landed in a trash can.

Then I called Saving Grace, a Food Rescue organization in Omaha and spoke with Judy. I’ve chatted with her before about rescuing food as one of her trucks delivers to No More Empty Pots once a week. We discussed barriers to food rescue and how it can be done more effectively. I told Judy about our desire to incorporate specially-abled adults into a nutrition/food prep roles at our Food Hub. There is a group in Pittsburg, 412 Food Rescue who created a group of restaurants/food productions sites, with organizations who can use the food and inserted others willing to pick up and deliver the food. Why couldn’t our specially-abled adults help out with that? Why couldn’t Gabe and his friends walk around that banquet room and take untouched food and plop it in a foil pan to transport it to someone who is hungry? And why couldn’t we just be a branch of the Pittsburg group and call ourselves, 402 Food Rescue?

Why not?

What about 402 Food Rescue?

What about 402 Food Rescue?

One year ago today...

I started a new job at No More Empty Pots. It was first real job in 4 years and like any change, I was skeptical. My concern was how I could continue to do the things I loved when I had to go to work. Since one of my new dear neighbors, Jess Pate, had introduced to Nancy Williams, the No More Empty Pots CEO and co-founder, I had been intrigued by the concept of a Food Hub in a food desert. So off to Florence I went last January 8, to open a new chapter in my career.

My title was Project Lead and I was tasked with developing a curriculum to teach young adults about IoT and Local Food Systems. I had never heard about IoT, so I first had to learn about the Internet of Things. The concept of the diverse connections you can create with technology was interesting but I what I really learned about at No More Empty Pots was how to “Live my best life on my own terms”.

Early on in my conversations with Nancy, I felt a difference. It wasn’t just that this was a non-profit setting, it was Nancy. She had a way of bringing out the best in anyone with little ease. She had complete confidence in my ability to develop this curriculum, even though I was dubious. After my first time delivering the content to high school juniors I felt I hadn’t done well because they hadn’t listened or engaged with anything. Nancy told me, “They were listening and watching everything you did. It’s just not cool to listen when you’re a teenager.” Then as the deliveries continued through the summer, I dealt with tougher situations and more distant teens, she told me, “As long as you show up everyday, you are teaching them something about life”.

Throughout my first year in this role, Nancy always had time to listen to me and remembered what I’d said. She told me that she had complete confidence in my abilities, and while that may seem trite…she believed it and after a while I started to too! One of the most powerful statements she made was her telling me, “This is not the last job you were at.” I hadn’t shared any background on my last position, yet she intuited from my behavior that it had ended acrimoniously.

One of my favorite memories of Nancy was from a meeting when we were developing the concept for our inclusive urban farm. The executive director who has the land had stated that we have 2-3 acres to use however we want to teach people how to grow and enjoy food. The nutritionist shared that she and her team were prepared to devise the programming. Nancy looked at me and smiled and said, “Whatever you ask me for, I’ll say yes.”

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I praise the Lord for bringing Nancy Williams into this world and into my life. As I continue to grapple with her line to “Live your best life on your own terms,” I have the best role model to learn how this is done. I simply watch Nancy live hers.

Potential Partners for our Inclusive Urban Farm Pilot

December 4, 2018 was a banner day for our “yet to be named” inclusive urban farm pilot. A few weeks back, I met with Nic Batterton at Mosaic. We were talking about my nephew Gabe and the possibilities that Mosaic may present for him. After this, we chatted my current role at No More Empty Pots piloting an inclusive urban farm for specially-abled adults. Nic lit up, seriously, like a Christmas tree. He explained, as Daryn Richardson had a couple months back, about specially-abled adults needing opportunities to integrate into the community. Nic explained that many of the Mosaic people would love to do something somewhere that had meaning. As I explained more about our Collaborative Community centered food hub, Nic started to see the possibilities and knew we needed to meet at No More Empty Pots.

Last week, Nic and Aaron, met Nancy and myself at No More Empty Pots. As we toured our food hub and the ongoing construction on the ground and roof levels, we brainstormed how our two organizations could partner together. Nic and Aaron told personal stories of the folks that would love to be involved in food rescue efforts to learn about nutrition and create meals. Another passion of mine is recycling, Aaron shared that their recycling team has taken bottles out of people’s hands for fear it would end up in the wrong bin.

When I told Nic and Aaron that I haven’t developed curriculum for specially-abled people, they were quick to console me and explain that the lessons we teach aren’t as important as the care and kindness we can show the Mosaic people. Sure, we’ll learn how to cook carrots but we will also become friends who work together. This is where the magic lies. People who grow, prepare and eat food together.

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Enter Gabe.

Gabe has always loved farming. Years ago, my sister started the practice of making sure Gabe got back to the farm every planting and harvest season. This was a feat, given that they live in Santa Monica.

It’s one of Gabe’s favorite things to do in life, riding with Dad in whatever implement he’s driving.

Creating a space where Gabriel could contribute in a meaningful way is one of my goals for our Inclusive Urban Farm. Knowing that Gabe is the impetus behind the collaboration of No More Empty Pots, Mosiac and VODEC makes this pursuit all the more important.