[TALMAR] A Farmer’s Perspective: Chris’s Story

Chris’s Story:

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TALMAR –is a therapeutic place. Thanks to  Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, we reside amongst the 480 acres of Cromwell Valley Park.  This beautiful setting enables us to provide an alternative to the grit and grind of the demands placed in our lives. I would like to share a story that reflects how we at TALMAR, change lives.  After eliciting participants to share their experiences, one very special individual came to mind.  His name is Chris…: not Christopher but Christian”.  At age 17, Chris came to TALMAR through the court system.  After being arrested and charged with assault, he was sentenced to 50 hours of community service. When Chris’s probation officer recommended TALMAR Gardens, he was nervous. He’d done some landscaping, but only in urban areas.  He’d grown up a resident of inner-city Baltimore all his life. He’d never heard of terms like “Sustainable Agriculture” or “CSA”.

Chris first met us at TALMAR, we immediately saw beyond his recent misdemeanor charge. We were determined to make him a master at harvesting purple pole beans and we weren’t going to give up. Within one-week Chris had turned his anger into passion. After listening to TALMAR’s mission- healing individuals with special needs using plants and the outdoors, he was motivated. It turned out he had a knack for farming after all.

Chris’s attitude changed. The idea of feeding people from the beans and vegetables he grew, inspired him. He was out in nature, he could make a mess, and he could get his hands dirty in the soil. As opposed to the hustle and bustle of the city, TALMAR’s farm was quiet and relaxing. It made him calm.

TALMAR’s form of rejuvenation turned Chris from one who struggled with anger management, to being a caring, disciplined, and patient human being. He became self-reliant and more independent. As he grew, so did his confidence. He asked for a job and not only did we offer him full-time status, we insisted he live rent-free, in the farm’s three-bedroom house, the stipulation being that he’d have to wake up at dawn to open the farm, and be home by dusk to close the gates and lock up the chickens. No more would Chris travel to the inner-city, wrestling with the problems he’d once had. He was safe within the grounds of TALMAR.

We exist because of donations from production of what is grown at the farm, events, and individuals who support us through AmazonSmile.  smile.amazon.com/ch/52-2165052

hashtag #SeasonOfSmiles