Great news on the farming side of things. As I was walking to church last Sunday, I asked Jesus to show me how he wanted me to employ my passion for growing things. As I was waiting to cross the street about 4 blocks from our home, I noticed an empty parcel of land. It is between our house and Glen's office at Centene. What an incredible answer from the Lord. A farm within walking distance from our house?
The first thing I noticed was the pathway worn through the land from the footsteps of the workers who take the Metro Rail to their jobs in Clayton. Most people are in the service industry. My first step is to create a nice pathway to keep them from walking in mud. If they wanted, they could work on the farm and take home produce as they left Clayton. Shipping/delivery done. As I looked over this property and started thinking of ideas, I walked through the Ritz Carleton to enjoy some of it's beauty. Then, I remembered the relationship Glen and I have with the executive chef, Melissa Lee. I could source her kitchen with the produce we grow on the farm. Her chefs could pick their own produce. Next step, farm to table dinners at the Ritz.
When I posed my idea to Glen his first response was to ask who owns the land. Great question, but how was I to know. We drove by the land after church and Glen again asked who owns the land. I still had no idea. We were enjoying a cocktail and making dinner, Glen asked one more time about the ownership of the land. This time, he gave me the answer. He know who owns the land...it's Centene. The company where he works.
The star is our house. And Cen Corporation Health Solutions is Glen’s office. The words Forsyth Metrolink highlight where the farm will be. So, as I was sketching out the farm the next day, I realized that the county courthouse and jail are just several blocks beyond Glen's office. Work release programs...folks can come to the farm and work...for pay and for real food.
My mentor, Sunny Schaefer, invited me to a luncheon at the St. Louis Club three days later. I was able to show her the farm from the 16th floor, just two blocks away. Her response, "It's perfect"!
Now, onto that pitch!