Several months ago, we were contacted by Rosie Willis, asking for some help with home repair. It was a welcome surprise, as we knew Rosie from years ago when we had a sewing center. We'd provide her with burlap coffee sacks to use in Fresh Starts Community Garden, which she's managed since 2009. We were glad to reconnect. And she certainly needed some help. The stairs in her home were falling apart, and the walls had developed severe cracks from settling over the years.
We were also excited, because we are in the planning stages of Sozo Valley Ranch, which will include a permaculture farm on the premises. Amy and Jason, who will be running the farm, quickly decided to start gardening at Fresh Starts. This will provide a space for them to practice growing and make connections in the agricultural world.
Shortly after assessing Rosie's work, we were contacted by Jordan Zimmerman, who had a small crew of skilled people eager to use their skills and resources to help those in need. Within a few weeks, they arrived with a trailer full of tools and nearly too many helpers to fit into Rosie's home. We repaired the stairs, fixed her water heater, started patching the walls, replaced some screens, and did some general cleaning. Rosie was determined to pray over each and every person who helped her that day.
A couple weeks later, Jordan returned with another crew, and we continued work on the walls. It was slow-going, as the halls are cramped, and the walls needed so much work, and we needed to wait between coats of joint compound.
Throughout our time with Rosie, we've build a real relationship. She has much to teach and is truly encouraging. We were able to bring her flowers and a signed copy of a book by Bobby Norfolk, who she deeply admires, being a professional storyteller herself. She shared multiple jars of pickles and many wise words with us.
It took a while, but we finally finished repairing and painting her walls. Jason and Amy have gotten their beds planted, and a garden update will be coming soon.
To learn more about Rosie and her garden, you can click here
To learn more about our plans for Sozo Valley Ranch, you can contact Dr. Terry Goodwin at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the Farm at Sozo Valley Ranch, you can contact Jason Calahan at email@example.com