There are times for following systems and there are times for saying to hell with it and creating a completely new way of doing something. Sometimes we do things because that’s how they’ve always been done. It feels safe. The outcome is reasonably predictable. We can relax and just be on autopilot. We are not challenged or asked to step out of how we’ve done things in the past. But who wants to live like that?
Moving out of my old house and into an apartment was the opposite of autopilot. Nothing was familiar; my new life was not only unrecognizable, it didn’t even exist yet. I felt deep in my heart that something great was going to come of this new adventure, but I couldn’t see any evidence of it in physical form. Nothing! Some might call it faith, or optimism, or visualizing or just good old-fashioned hard work. I suppose creating the garden at The Edible Apartment – and my new life – was a combination of all of the above.
When I had the idea (rather, when the idea was dropped into my head) to personally fund the transformation of the unused 1000-square foot lawn in front of my apartment, people thought I was nuts. I was told by countless individuals that it was a huge mistake to put any of my own money into a property that I didn’t own. Yet something deep in my gut told me that this was what I was meant to do. I decided that rather then buy more crap that I didn’t need, I would put my hands, heart and soul into the soil, and see what came up.
What was in one moment an inner urging, a passion, a yearning to find a way to grow my own food, is now a thriving non-profit and an amazing TEA-M of individuals committed to talking this project all over the world. Universities are coming to visit and asking to partner with us. Students want to donate their time. Local farms are bringing their crew and driving down to come visit and help. People are sending us seeds form all over the country. And we get letters all the time from all over the world expressing appreciation for getting to watch this process unfold. All because I wanted to grow my own lettuce.
You have to understand that this garden is not even a year old. We only broke ground on May 9th, 2015. We received non-profit status at just 6 months. And we are just getting started….
Do not neglect your inner urgings. One more time: Do not neglect your inner urgings. It may work out the way you expected, or take you in a totally different direction. It may work out even better than you could have imagined. Don’t play it small. Nobody benefits from that, least of all, you.
Signing off now from The Edible Apartment. It’s 6am, the sun is coming up, and it’s time to greet the garden.