"You don't know about me without you having read a book by the name of The Adventures of Joe Tarr, but that ain't no matter." All literature should start with epic first lines; I stole one from Mark Twain! However, lets go backwards in my bio.
Adventures is rightly capitalized there in the title of my yet un-written autobiography. Currently I find myself at a latitude of 38.5 and 107.6 longitude in lovely Colona producing some lovely veggies on the Western Slope in the garden bustle that is spring!
I landed an internship here in January of 2015 and took over for Horton in June. I had previously been cutting my agriculture teeth in Northern California near Chico farming market vegetables and wanted to farm in winter, a rather un-farmer like venture in most climes. I took the farming plunge because I wanted to learn the simple ubiquitious skill of growing food for myself and others as a 'CAREER'. Ubiquitious in the fact that you can do it anywhere, anytime of year, and it is done everywhere around the world. A heuristic I've learned through my travels and traverses is that food is fuel and health, a lesson drilled into your body with age!
Now here is where some adventure began, if your sense of adventure hasn't been piqued yet! I landed in Northern California farming after an east west trek across the USA searching for a place for me to farm. I left Charleston, SC aside the Atlantic ocean and sought a vaster ocean over yonder, going west, but not so young of a man! I planned to trek via car, tent in tow, and visit our lovely national parks as I made my way west. Hot Springs National Park was my first stop and Cascade National Park was the last, seeing 13 in total in my 4 month trip.
And now a brief sad part to the story: I made my way to Charleston because my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer (rightly not capitalized!), and I wanted to be her caretaker through the latter part of her life not really knowing her in the beginning. And I was a horrible son who had been living overseas, far away from his mother, for almost a decade! After my mother passed, the family tied up odds and ends: had an estate sale, sold the family house, and moved my pops to live with my sister across the street from my adolescent home. I then set out on my journey to find someplace to live and farm, a skill taught to me by my mother, in the USA, a daunting feat for a well-travelled bloke like myself.
You see, I had been living in Frankfurt, Germany teaching at an international school and had just started my second year teaching there. I had started up a horticultural club at the school and had a greenhouse built during the start of my second year, excited to breed some new farmers while they are young but alas life had other plans to send me home!
Frankfurt, Germany, Western Europe, a pretty safe place, and I sought a little safety after experiencing the Arab Spring firsthand in Cairo, Egypt. I had been working for a British international school and eventually left because I did not feel it was the right place for me. Well, it is the Middle East silly. I intially came to Middle East to de-brainwash myself about Islam. I had been in Mumbai in the 2008 Thanksgiving terroist attacks and was targeted as an American by these 10 men who took over Mumbai, a city of 15 million, for 60 hours. Having gone through 9/11 and this attack, I thought moving to the Middle East would be the best way to re-learn about a part of the world so foreign to me and my past. My aspiration at the time was to be the best history teacher one must travel the world and learn about it all, from the source.
So, as an native English speaker educator, one is offered the opportunity to work in most of the 200 countries on the globe and I got an offer in Homs, Syria, and left 4 weeks later for probably the most adventuresome moment of my life so far. In Homs, I worked for a unique international school, founded in Lebanon, which had schools in 17 countries worldwide, including the USA. Oddly enough the school I worked at in Germany was part of this network also.
Okay, now how did I find myself in Mumbai you may ask? I always wanted to try to teach a history course backwards! Mumbai was part of my 6 month Asian diaspora after having worked and saved for 3 years in South Korea. I wanted to take in the world, slowly and thoroughly. I departed South Korea via boat after having taught English at a Korean university for several years and landed myself in China for the 2008 Olympics. An avid futbol fan, I saw my favorites, USA, the Netherlands and Argentina, play and met people from all over the globe. From China to Hong Kong, then Nepal, India, and rounded off with a surfing trip to Indonesia, this was a greatly influential leg of my life, my 4 years in Asia.
South Korea? Maybe you have noticed a theme here: I fancy myself as one who often takes the road less travelled! I left the USA after finding a job listing on craigslist for work and travel abroad, teach english. Fair enough, I had found a gem of a spot to live in the USA-60 miles from the ocean and mountains-Portland, Oregon. I had moved there 3 times and failing to land a full-time teaching job after substitute teaching for almost 2 years, I jettisoned myself to another shore!
The long and short of the beginning part of the story is that I spent some time ski-bumming in Jackson, Wyoming after college at the University of Georgia. The spark that set off the powder keg has to be studying abroad in the Netherlands, having roommates from around the world was like a mini-United Nations. I spent my formative years in Charleston, SC for middle school and high school, elementary school in Ohio and born in Annapolis, Maryland. And that brings you full circle. I've had a VERY fortunate life, and I have sought to use my skills to help others around me. I am very grateful for the opportunity to Be HerE NoW at Buckhorn Gardens working with other farmers growing fresh, nutritious and delicious food for Western Slopers, thanks!