resilience

Dear Readers,

This time last year, Baltimore City decided to sell my urban farm space for development. Luckily, Whitelock Community Farm let me use some of their space, so: crisis averted.

There must be something about this time of year, because I got a similarly terrifying bit of news yesterday. For logistical reasons beyond anyone’s control or foresight, I won’t be able to start my seedlings in the hoophouse I’ve been using. Which is very bad, because I did not have a Plan B. After a fair amount of (definitely unnecessary) panic*, I decided that the next best option would be to move all of the baby plants into my apartment’s sunroom.**

After multiple trips back and forth between my home, the hoophouse, and Home Depot, and after getting my car stuck in mud, and after navigating 20 flats past the obstacle course of stairs and doorways on the way to the sunroom, I got three of these contraptions set up:

photo(7)

And then I started to feel better. Crisis averted!

The whole episode made me think about resilience. Many of the things I do for the farm challenge my deepest insecurities (Can I really lift heavy stuff? Am I qualified/capable of making financial decisions? Do I really know enough about growing plants to farm responsibly?). I often find myself thinking, I just have to do this, and then I put my head down and do it. I end up feeling like this……

clean

That focus makes me resilient. But there’s a dark side to it: it also makes me feel separate from the world around me, and I have trouble balancing the driven, I-can-do-it-alone resilience with the I-am-a-person-and-have-feelings side of things. So, how do I draw upon my inner reserves without feeling cold and mechanical at the end of the day, like this?…

cold

by Allie Brosh

I’m working on the balance. Comments and suggestions welcomed!

DSC_0053

Wishing you all a spring crocus…

Laura Beth

*Thanks Maya, Ellen, and Kathy for your moral support when I was freaking out! Also, uh, thanks mom and dad 🙂

**To all of my housemates, and particularly to Kay and Rachel: thank you for supporting the farm! It seriously couldn’t happen without you.

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4 thoughts on “resilience

  1. LB, we love you! keep up the good work. Farming can be so joyful… and at times so lonely. Don’t forget that you are part of community that enjoys your company and is invested in your success. Be sure to reach out for fun and for help. we’re here!

  2. Hey! Let me know when you need some help with anything?! I love lifting heavy things and digging holes and moving dirt around. That stinks you got kicked out again from where you thought you could plant, but I still live right near Whitelock so I can just skip over if you need anything, I’d even play my tin whistle or flute for you while you work if you just need company 🙂 And if you need an extra part of a room for seedlings Cat and I love watching plants grow and our apartment is quite large. Oh and I will probably be hosting a St Patricks Day House Warming Party soon so keep an ear out.
    love Ryan

  3. So sorry to read about your setback and impromptu recovery re: all your seedlings — enjoyed seeing evidence of one of my favorite all time Hyperbole-and-a-half posts – CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!! – omg how does she know! HOpe you are recovering still! PS I have seen blooming crocus already!

    best – Barbara

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