This is the first installment of The Slow Craft Series; a dialogue about craft, creation, and creativity and the power that slow diligence can have on shifting values in our communities.
When I moved to Salt Lake City, I didn't expect to find many advocates for urban farming in this desert landscape. As I write this, it's currently 98 degrees and climbing and if I can barely survive this heat, I had no idea how delicate herbs and delicious tomatillos could stand it. That was before I discovered Stagl Organics and their fellow members in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) groups.
On a warm Saturday morning, I got to visit them on one of their four backyard plots that they have throughout the area. I was met by Jahnava and Shad and we went from an urban neighborhood street to a beautiful backyard garden. I was in love with what they had been able to create, and was so excited to learn more about their efforts to bring sustainable, fresh produce to their community.
As they showed me the space, they talked a lot about the new processes they're using to create a sustainable garden that continues to produce amazing food for their members. It was so interesting to see how such an ancient practice was still being improved while staying, quite literally, true to its roots.
Simply spending time in the garden with Jahnava and Shad was such a peaceful experience. There was something about the fact that we were surrounded by something that had been cultivated with such care and passion that was really special. I was reminded of what had originally introduced me to the farmers at Stagl Organics, which was an interview that Jahnava gave to Devour Magazine. She said something that I think is so important:
"Eating good, high-quality and organic food is very important to us, and growing it ourselves is how we wish to live."
I think that this is the perfect start to The Slow Craft Series. To start with the earth, as one of the most vital necessities of life and something that has become so corrupted with the fast-paced community we all find ourselves a part of, was what prompted me to start this series in the first place. I wanted to know what comes of being connected to the things we choose to surround ourselves with. What does it do to us to slow down, make with our own hands, and find ourselves in close proximity to the creation of things?