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.
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.