Many years ago we were living in a run down section of Pittsburgh, filled with people who seemingly had lost hope and direction in their day to day lives. In our response to being surrounded by negativity and people uninterested in changing what they had, we started a small garden with the hope we could incorporate healthy organic foods into our life. The local Giant Eagle supermarket was seemingly committed to serving processed and sugar filled unhealthy foods to the inhabitants of our ghetto and we wanted nothing to do with that.
Surprisingly enough, the soil in our backyard was nutrient rich and over the next few years we substantially increased the size of our garden, adding more vegetables and fruit trees and in a short period of time we grew so many organic veggies that we were able to share our crops with neighbors and friends.
On April 2, 2014 our house burned to the ground.
We were given a choice by our insurance company, we could rebuild on the site of our home, which of course was located in a terrible and dangerous neighborhood, but we would receive a generous insurance settlement to build there. The only other option was to take far less money, but have the choice to move wherever we wanted. We took the second option and escaped a terrible situation.
We ended up in a small college town in Massachusetts, surrounded by fellow like-minded people, searching for healthy options to an ever increasing corporate offering of corn syrup filled junk and prepackaged shit. We quickly befriended local farmers and ranchers in our new town, all were working on organic farming techniques that offer healthy food, a sustainable business model and great friendships.
To be honest, our life did not change dramatically because of location. In our previous ghetto, we ended up growing a majority of our fruits and vegetables. We incorporated a sharing aspect to our garden as it grew more edibles that we needed and some or our neighbors even began to share some of their crops. It was becoming a wonderful experiment. Don’t get me wrong, the vast majority of our neighbors in the ghetto were far more interested in drug deals and parties than sustainable small gardens, but there were a small number who would share garlic or tomatoes in exchange of green lettuce or apples.
Our change in location added more farming space, less crime and a much higher number of people who were both educated and committed to living a healthy, simple and productive life. This blog is our story on choices made to live with integrity, simplicity and honoring family, hope and love.