14 January 2013
The Nola Tilth farming venture began with a desire to grow something delicious and beautiful and a recognition that there is interest in New Orleans for locally grown food. Urban farming is being fostered and supported by a number of passionate people and local organizations, and I have been so fortunate to connect with many of them since launching my own effort.
Some have offered moral support and encouragement, and my appreciation to them cannot be overstated. Likewise, many have offered me their time and resources, without which I would not be where I am today. From the very beginning, Propeller has been there to guide me, offering technical support, the wonderful lawyer who wrote up my contracts and a network of social entrepreneurs with whom I share resources and brainstorm ideas. Best of all, Propeller connected me with my consultant, Matt Rookard, who constantly keeps me steered in the right direction with his common sense and wisdom.
Throughout my endeavors, I have learned that farming is a community effort. It’s not about one farmer working alone in a field. Along with volunteers, this support system and an ever-growing group of Nola Tilth members, we are discovering the fun of the process–the joy of teamwork and sharing in the effort and seeing the pieces of a business come together. The volunteers and members who have been hauling rocks, pulling weeds, tilling and planting have also discovered that it is also really good exercise.
Currently Nola Tilth members meet on weekends and work together tilling, weeding and planting. At the end of each day, when we are exhausted from our efforts, we all pull up chairs and sit and admire our work. Seeing my dream begin to come together has been such a tremendous blessing, but the discovery of working together as a community has been my joy since this project began. I believe this is true for everyone involved.
When it comes time to harvest our flowers, vegetables and herbs, we will know that there were no pesticides or chemicals used in the process and that everything was grown through our loving effort. However, the best part will be that we can share our harvest with our family, neighbors, friends and support system that have been so helpful along this process.