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Posts Tagged ‘Memphis’

I somehow convinced a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer to move with me to Memphis, Tennessee. I very recently decided to choose 901, a week ago to be exact, and having the “let life flow” attitude that many Peace Corps volunteers have, Danny signed up too. Without a job firmed up, and having never visited the city he might be even more extreme than I am. My bubbling chatter about my visit to Memphis must have spilled over to corral him into the movement. So how did I end up in Memphis? Well, in November after a few weeks back in the States from Mexico, I called an acquaintance from my college days knowing about his involvement in the food movement here in the US and wanting to pick his brain about how I could jump right in stateside. A simple inquiry resulted in a phone call, and a very good sales pitch about Memphis and the meaningful work to be found in this mid-southern city. I bought the pitch, and planned a trip down for early December.

When that acquaintance picked me up from the airport, that car conversation was the longest conversation we had ever had. We knew each other’s faces in college, but nothing else. I was going on pure gut feeling. I spent the next few days in Memphis with an agenda completely focused on food. I spent the day biking around to different community gardens with pit stops to Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken and Soul Fish Cafe. I met beautiful people growing their own vegetables in places like the McMerton Gardens. I felt and fed off of their excitement about inspiring others in their communities to do the same. People very openly spoke to me about Memphis’s struggles, but  they also shared their visions for potential and positive change.

One fateful trivia event in Memphis’s hip Cooper Young neighborhood, I met a fellow New Yorker. I knew we would get along when she came into the bar, ordered a hot tea, whiskey, and some honey, and started to prepare herself her own treat after her flight back in town from the holidays. In a bar foaming over with full beer glasses, this girl knew exactly what she wanted. I liked that. We got to talking and she asked what I was interested in pursuing post Peace Corps. I gave my five minute pitch – urban farming, food justice, community engagement – and the baby of passion in my stomach began kicking again. She wanted her voice heard. This young woman listened, and told me to send over my resume. I obliged.

I came back down last Sunday to officially accept a job offer with Knowledge Quest as the non-profit’s Farm Manager and Education Programmer for Green Leaf Learning Farm. The next adventure begins…

the twigster,

Josephine

PS: Did you know that Memphis is in the top ten for farmers markets in the nation?

Green Leaf Learning Farm

We Dig South Memphis

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