New Hire: Urban Farm Manager for the Tiny Diner and Honey House Farm

Last week I was standing on a brick sidewalk in Raleigh, North Carolina, pondering a move to the southeast. As a vegetarian, bike commuter, and winter hibernator, this place had a lot of pork, narrow curving roads, and year-round growing space to offer. Yet it was not meant to be.

Stone sidewalk Raleigh, North Carolina.

Stone sidewalk Raleigh, North Carolina.

After a flurry of exchanges and interviews with the Tiny Diner owner Kim Bartmann and the landscape designer Paula Westmoreland, I signed on the dotted line to become the new, “Urban Farm Manager and Community Outreach Coordinator.” Being born and raised in south Minneapolis, I feel very fortunate to be able to live and work within one of my heartlands. I aim to weave my plant and people skills with diverse community efforts already happening in the area. I have a lot to give and even more to learn in this new role.

Overgrown raspberry patch on north edge of the Honey House Farm, mid-March, 2013.

Overgrown raspberry patch on north edge of the Honey House Farm, mid-March, 2013.

Mid-March Madness. Now I am responsible for two sites that have yet to unfold. The Tiny Diner, which was an old car service station, and the Honey House Farm, are being installed this spring from the ground up. I have seen the designs on paper as well as discussed project roll-out dates (site clean-up, grading, bed formation, cistern installations, etc.). There is a lot to accomplish this season. The “To-Do” list reminds me to reign in many of my dreams for community workshops until the foundation (the soil and space) is solidly built. At this point, I have driven past the sites and walked the perimeters – they are covered by 3 feet of snow! I have no idea what is under there – spring will tell. In the meantime, there are people to meet and plans to make.

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