It all started with an invasive weed pull at Lost River Cave on Earth Day in 2011. We came home to our cabin on 8th and Park that afternoon, covered in sweat and soil. As we pulled in, Tim pointed out that the same vine we had been wrestling in the woods was billowing over from a steep retaining wall up hill and covering a forth of our yard. We couldn't resist...
Hours later, as the sun was setting, we drug large coils of vine to the edge of the drive and looked back on the unveiled space. We had uncovered the ruins of a stone terraced garden with two tiers of small plots that were as enchanting as they were promising.
Working as a stone mason, Tim quickly restored the structural integrity of the beds and created a new bottom tier. It wasn't long and we were shoveling heaps of our compost into them and plugging them with seeds.
I remember coming home that August after a two month stent in Maine as a camp counselor. I had been steeping in Tim's letters and lusting after the heavy tomatoes, pole beans climbing sunflowers, and amaranth hanging its head from the weight of its seed. I had longed for the humid evenings full of fireflies and songs carried up the hill from musicians on the square.
When I arrived, I feasted on Thompson Prolific dent corn and Amana Orange tomatoes with fresh basil. Tim had been creating a work of art while I was away and my love for him and for Nature intertwined.
Still a student, I tried to balance my studies with our burgeoning passion for urban farming. In 2012, I flew away again. This time to Bavaria for five months in order to finish my degree. I still remind Tim of how grateful I am for all he was able to accomplish that season without me. He was tending to five different gardens scattered across the county during a year of historic heat and drought while also working as a mason. Even his hands changed. They were made rougher and wiser from twelve-hour days laying stone and the neck of a shovel.
He had established a market for the bounty that became of his efforts. The folks at Community Farmer's Market welcomed us with open arms and lovingly chided us when we rolled out our kitchen table on Saturdays to sell our goods.
2013 was a year of change and adaptation. We lost so much of our work and intention to the hand of a misinformed property owner just as our labor was beginning to fruit. But we gained so much knowledge and experience through that suffering and limitation and threw ourselves into the soil that supported us. I began to work as a legal assistant for mass tort litigations in order to float our ship while we drew nearer to our vision of full-time farming. 2013 was the year we were introduced to permaculture ethics and methods, created our first hugelkultur mounds, had our first consultations, and found inspiration in the wisdom of Masanobu Fukuoka, Sepp Holzer, Bill Mollison, and David Holmgren, among others,. The result was a rich urban farm created at breakneck speed that, by the end of the Fall, was the subject of university research and community gatherings.