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It’s Only Two Days Away…

Honestly, I should have been posting and building up to this coming Thursday since the first of September. It’s been so busy at Opal’s Farm getting the Fall crops in that the 17th almost flew by me! Why this important? Because this Thursday, 9-17-20, is North Texas Giving Day. It’s a special day set aside for giving to local non-profits serving the North Texas community. This year is especially important.

At Opal’s Farm our mission – Building vibrant local communities through regenerative urban farming, faithful gathering, and lasting fellowship – is even more vital during these uncertain times. Food insecurity and access to healthy, nutritious food is difficult in normal times, but the coronavirus has made life far from normal.

On this special North Texas Giving Day you have an opportunity to make a difference right here in Fort Worth. Your donation to Unity Unlimited, Inc/Opal’s Farm on North Texas Giving Day will be matched dollar for dollar; providing fresh, locally grown produce for more of your neighbors. Please give what you can this Thursday, 9-17-20.

Go to www.northtexasgivingday.org and look for Unity Unlimited, Inc to donate. Early giving is now open. Thank you for supporting Unity Unlimited, Inc. and Opal’s Farm!

Climate Change, Community, Consequences, Courage, Creation, Down On the Farm, Environment, Faith, Grace, Hope, Prayer, Quotes, Responsibility, Spirituality, Thoughts From the Porch, Volunteers, What Can I Do, Wildfires

“We see these natural tragedies, which are the Earth’s response to our maltreatment. […] It is we who have ruined the work of God.” – Pope Francis

Our prayers go out for all affected by the brutal wildfires in California and Oregon. Stacy Harwood, our Volunteer Coordinator has family near the Oregon fires. Friday was spent following up on Fire Level Alerts and a lot of prayer. Please keep her family and all of the others in prayer.

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Christianity, Down On the Farm, Faith, Food Insecurity, Food Justice, Friendship, Gifts, Grace, Grandchildren, Gratitude, Grief, Heroes, Humility, Opal's Farm, Prayer, Relationships, Role Models, Service to Others, Spirituality, Stories, Unity Unlimited, Inc., Urban Farming, Volunteers

Be Like Chuck

This is a difficult update to write today. Yesterday we learned that our friend, Chuck Briant, passed away unexpectedly on Monday. We are heartbroken by his passing. Chuck was a huge supporter and advocate for Opal’s Farm and I’m proud to call him my friend. Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

Chuck and I met early last summer. Our mutual friend, Harrison had brought him out to the farm. Chuck fell in love with Opal’s Farm right away. He made it a point to stop by the farm frequently, even during the extreme heat of the Texas summer and the blustery chill of winter. He helped harvest, prepare beds for Spring, and keep everyone in line. The only time we didn’t see him was when he went out of town to visit his kids and grandkids.

During the lean times of our first year it was Chuck that helped us through. More than once it was his words that kept me from giving up when it seemed impossible to make our dream of an urban farm a reality. He had an uncanny ability to say just the right thing at just the right time. I can’t tell you how much his encouragement and wisdom helped me grow as not only the Farm Manager, but as a person.

He had an incredible servant’s heart – particularly when it came to making sure everyone had food, healthy food, on the table. His passion was contagious. Most importantly, he served with a humble spirit, often asking to remain anonymous in matters of service. He gave freely – something we should all aspire to.

I think we were all in shock yesterday when we heard the news. Today was a mix of tears and “Chuck stories”. It’s fitting that I was watering in new seed when I got the call yesterday. Chuck was always intent on watering everything in good – sometimes to a fault. He’d always ask if I needed to get some water down. “Those plants look like they need some water”. I could never convince him that they were going to be okay (especially since I’d watered earlier in the day. As I worked the tomato beds today, I could see him standing there with hose in hand.

We’re convinced that Chuck knew everyone. His network of friends was unbelievable, which isn’t surprising given who Chuck was. We used to joke that when we all get to heaven Chuck will be deep in conversation with Jesus and somebody will walk by and ask who that is over there talking to Chuck…

Chuck touched each one of us who knew him in a unique way and helped us all be better people. He is missed more than words can say. We wish everyone could “be like Chuck”. We’d all be better for it.

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Ahhhh… Rain Days…

Good Morning to All! It’s a great morning for me, our volunteers, and all our plants at Opal’s Farm. Over two-and-a-half inches of rain fell yesterday with more coming today. Temperatures have dropped to the seventies and eighties with the precipitation. I can only imagine the conversations going on between all the vegetable plants that survived the August heat. They must be joyous indeed!

We haven’t been able to go to Cowtown Farmers Market the last couple of weeks. Triple digits over the last month reduced vegetable production. However, the rain and somewhat cooler nights have helped our purple-hulled peas, cantaloupes, and squash. Judging from what was growing yesterday we should see you all on Saturday at Cowtown.

Many of you may remember our virtual Townhall about Opal’s Farm with Congressional candidate, Dr. Lisa Welch. Dr. Welch is running for Texas Congressional District 12, which includes much of Fort Worth. On Wednesday, September 9th at 6:00 PM, we are honored to have Dr. Welch volunteering and working alongside us at Opal’s Farm. We are so grateful for Dr. Welch’s support for the work we do.

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

I’d also like to take time to thank Jesse Herrera and CoAct. I met Jesse several months before joining Grow SE and breaking ground at Opal’s Farm. For the last three years Jesse has been a major help to Opal’s Farm – meeting regularly to cement our core values, mission statement, and clarify our vision for the future. I could not do what I do without Jesse’s help (nor any of the Steering Committee members of Grow SE – it’s a team effort).

I often have far too much on my plate as Farm Manager. Our meetings with Jesse and Co Act have helped me and often reminded me that our vision – We imagine a world where diversity is evident, opportunities are plentiful, and divisions are crossed, all in pursuit of lasting unity. – is possible. We are so happy and grateful for Jesse, CoAct, and all those involved with Grow SE!