“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.”~ W Berry

Urban Farm Hollyhocks
Urban Farm Hollyhocks

So, I am in Phoenix and driving through one of its many neighborhoods, which generally consist of modest homes and strip malls, and I see a huge mass of tall hollyhocks in every color. Of course, I had to stop: A. because the hollyhocks were so beautiful. B. because this looked so out of place for the suburban area. As it turns out, it was actually a small urban farm, not a huge garden as I had initially thought.

I was photographing all of the hollyhocks that outlined the  garden, not wanting to trespass and then saw some people and asked if it was okay to venture in. I started talking with a man there and came to learn some of this place’s interesting history. It all began when one man had a calling to do some good in this world and another man who donated the land to make the dream happen. The idea for Harvest for Humanity was born and they grow not only flowers but organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the financially needy and for cancer patients. Volunteers run the operation at this point in time and they have even branched out to other areas within Phoenix. In addition to the concept being fantastic, I could not believe the quality of their produce.  Not only is it organic but it is also in the middle of the dusty desert. The thousands of flowers…..most all of them were actually perfect (e.g. no bug holes, healthy blooms, etc.). I was invited in not only to take pictures but I was also given cutters to pick some flowers and I ended up taking home a few sunflowers, a hollyhock stalk and 3 allium flowers. They had no donation jar out but a left a few dollars with my pair of cutters when I left.

Coming in contact with something like this gets one thinking about possibilities….dreams, possibilities, plans and then actions are what make up your reality, to a certain extent. Maybe all possibilities cannot manifest to fruition but without moving in the direction of your dreams, hoped for possibilities will most likely not happen. The soil is rich but one has to plant the seed.


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