Tomorrow is opening day. Tomorrow is opening day.Category: Ryan's Blog
Tomorrow the gates open and we begin our 20th year of very public experimentation on how growing food on concrete can make a difference. And I say gates plural because Greensgrow West will welcome its first spring in its permanent home. The tiny house got delivered yesterday, so I imagine Lee is already putting out the lawn chairs and hanging the moose head on the wall. That reminds me, I need to review Pennsylvania’s squatter laws…
Of course we’re never really closed. That’s been the tremendous success of the farm over the last 10 years, getting to a point where we can keep many of our staff employed year-round. But it’s also important to step back and take a break, look at the farm from the crow’s nest view, and make sure someone is still steering this ship in the right direction. That work happens in January and February, so at least we can pretend we know what we’re doing when spring comes around earlier and earlier each year. Looking around, I’m fortunate to be surrounded by many capable pilots and quite the stout ship. Of course we always need more people to swab the deck.
I like to think we mirror our age nicely. Not a brash adolescent flying by the seat of our pants fighting raging hormones and focusing inward, but a mature 20 year old out in the world on our own, looking to make our mark, still willing to take a chance on a bold idea, sometimes still crashing in our parents’ basement when we make a wrong turn. But dammit – still fun to be around.
The Greensgrow of the next 20 years will be focused on building the unique combination of experiences, products, programs, and outcomes that we call #TheGreensgrowEffect. There are many competing businesses and services out in the world jockeying for prime position in your news feed and in your wallet. Many of them offering the same products and services we’ve been providing for over a decade. But that’s good news. It means we’ve been on the right track, we’ve been adding value to your lives, and we’ve been showing others what is possible. Greensgrow is a non-profit because we believe we can continue to take the necessary risks to lead innovation in how urban farms and markets can create opportunities for local growers – and you as citizens – to build happier and healthier neighborhoods. There will always be competing products, but the Greensgrow experience will always be unique. We invite you to come help shape that experience, and we promise to keep an eye on that horizon, despite the winds and waves that roil the oceans around us.
The gates are open, come on in.
–Ryan Kuck, Executive Director