Yesterday afternoon I was lucky enough to spend the bulk of a warm, bright, late-September afternoon touring a few of Global Gardens' refugee farms. Somewhat uncharacteristically, I was a bit apprehensive about heading out to the 7-hour event on my own. I was convinced yesterday morning that the swine had finally infected me with their flu and I was just feeling blah. As it turned out, a little inspiration and rejuvenation from the incredible Boise community was just what the doctor ordered.
After meeting at the King of Glory Lutheran Church, the participants boarded a bus and headed off to the Somali Bantu farm in Eagle. The land is owned by the Camille Beckman company and sits next to their facility out Highway 44. It's a beautiful setting, situated away from the main road and nestled next to a nice canal flanked by large trees. The director of the Global Gardens program gave a short introduction then let the farmers do the talking. The president of the Somali Bantu community spoke about the farm and its incredible accomplishments in just three years. The community's marketing director then spoke about their experience selling the produce at the Tuesday and Saturday farmers markets. He demonstrated some of the tools they use and also gave us a tour of the farm, row by row, noting what was planted and how it had fared this year. For the crops that didn't turn out as well as anticipated, he noted what they did wrong and promised that "next year it will be perfect."
Next year it will be perfect--what a wonderful phrase. It kept bouncing around in my head, and not just because my cranium was extra empty this particular day. It's enticing and inspiring not because I think next year will be perfect, but because it represents this wonderful recognition that we can learn from a mistake, release it, and try harder to get it right next time. For a person who has always thought you have to get it right the first time--and rarely, if ever, does--this is a mantra to live by, both in my garden and everywhere else.
We continued our tour with stops at the African Community Development farm on Allumbaugh and back at the church to tour their community garden and eat a delicious, local meal. As the last of my white bean, chicken, and tomatillo chili hit my stomach, I was totally content, tired, and completely inspired by the people and places I was introduced to over the course of the afternoon. Totally content as I may have been, the apple pudding with maple whipped cream did seem to be the perfect ending to a perfect day.
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