In 2012 we decided to take on what seemed to be an impossible project. Turning a sand-pit/drainage ditch behind the Homeless Resource Center into a thriving garden. Being the dreamer that I am, I was thrilled to show the site to other community members and farm-experts thinking they would see the vision and want to get on board immediately.
It was a major reality check when one person after another left the site trying to talk me out of doing it- telling me it was impossible and even saying that it could “ruin my reputation as a Permaculturist” as “Nothing will ever grow there…it’s a drainage ditch and it’s only going to drain money, resources and time”. No one wanted to help- no matter how excited I was, or how many drawings and visions I painted…I couldn’t get any experts on board.
Right as I reached my point of despair…a little angel showed up out of the blue….and she asked if she could help. The moment those words left her lips…it was as if the spell was broken. All of the a words spoken just hours earlier broke off. To see this 8 year old girl standing before me…with a willingness and a desire to help…with a desire to see and believe in the vision even when no one else would….It gave me all the hope I needed.
I got chills when i asked her name…and she held out her hand and said….”my name is Destiny.” And so…this is the story of what happens…when Destiny meets a drainage ditch…:) and little by little the community begins to activate, to awaken, to show up, to grow and strengthen a little more each week. This is truly a Revolution disguised as a Garden…. Deep gratitude to Rhiannon Chandler, Dr Lorrin Pang, for believing that the greatest impact we can make in improving the health of our communities in need- is to go there and to build bridges, to bring in access to mentors, to healthy food, to alternatives, and help them to empower themselves- to recognize their own potential. This project couldn’t have happened without Rae’s vision, dedication and love nor could it have happened without the amazing CPPW grant which got it started. Now we are in the place of what happens after the grants end…it is a powerful journey indeed.