September 5, 2014. This day marks the beginning of the next chapter in my life. It was on this day that I arrived in Mouscron, Belgium, greeted by a kind and gentle friend who asked a simple, yet life-changing question. “What happened to that ‘Garden Project’ you were working on back when we were in Göttingen?” Oh. My. Goodness. This was it. This was what I’d been waiting for since the Summer of 2013. This had to be my next step. It was so clear to me, and it all started with this simple question from a friend.
September 8, 2014. I’m coming home…at least for a month…
September 9, 2014. No, really. I’m coming home. A 10-hour train ride is a long time to think. It’s a long time to write. And it’s a heck of a long time to be alone with yourself with what feels like the biggest question/decision to make EVER. However, after pages upon pages of thoughts, a few hours of restless sleep and a ton of feeling of my feelings, I made my decision. I’ve had butterflies in my stomach ever since.
September 10, 2014. Call Camrey. Check. Call Dad. Check. Call GG. Check. Call Mom. Check. There’s only 100 more people I have to tell this too. Where do I begin?
September 11, 2014. Start networking. Write your thoughts down. Ok. I’m going to create an educational space for my community where individuals, young and old, are empowered to work together and cultivate the land, which in turn will provide them with healthy, organic produce/products and the knowledge they need to nourish their bodies. What could begin as a simple cooperation with local school classes during the spring, followed by a summer-long program and harvest in the fall, has the potential to develop into an incredible, multifaceted learning space. Additional projects in the future could include:
– beekeeping & honey-making
– goats for milking and cheese-making
– sheep for sheering and wool-making
– a restaurant linked directly to the farm to provide local, fresh, low-cost organic food to the community
– adobe brick-making, followed by the building of pens or a house
– employment for people with disabilities
– language learning through gardening (English, Spanish & ASL)
– farmers market (for produce/products not used by the community)
– exploratory playground (based on German “Aktivspielplaetze”)
– bakery (participants learn how to bake homemade bread)
– opportunities for volunteers (W.W.O.O.F.)
– storytelling Sundays (creating an archive of stories from the community)
– workshops addressing topics valuable to locals (diabetes, obesity, native foods, etc.)
October 2, 2014. It’s all coming together. Partnerships on the horizon. First three German donors. Part-time job in the works. So much LOVE and support from people in Germany and back home. Each and every day seems to add a new layer to my original idea. I’m so thankful – thankful for precious opportunity, thankful for life, thankful for CHANGE.