The Permaculture Podcast Episode 1505: Urban Agriculture as Community Development

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My guest for this episode is Rick Williams of Lick Run Farm, a growing urban farm in Roanoke, Virginia.

Rick was my first stop once I got into Roanoke as part of my road trip in October of 2014. We sat down at his farm in one of the city neighborhoods to discuss his vision of how that space, and others like it, can act as hubs for community development and enrichment.

I’d like to thank Michael Grantz for helping me to organize this interview, as well as all the other farm visits while in Virginia. I’d also like to thank all the listeners who support the podcast, allowing me to go and visit Rock and the others on this trip. Without your generous gifts, none of this would be possible. You can make a one time or recurring monthly donation by going to:

What I enjoyed in meeting Rick is that he is actively pursuing this work. He’s in the neighborhood he wants to be in and building his farm from the ground up even though he has questions about how things are going to operate and creating the plan as he goes. His approach might not be the one you’ll hear about in a business development course, but he’s embodying what he wants to see happen and learning along the way. As we said, succeed or fail, he is trying something different and exploring the possibilities. I don’t know where he’ll be in a few years, but I do plan to check up on him with another trip to Lick Run in the future and find out what lessons he’s partaken in while creating this dream.

Another part of this was when he talked about how there are things he doesn’t want to do in order to keep doing what he’s doing. I can deeply relate to that feeling as I know what it’s like to spend a lot of time focusing on what feels like the wrong things and not getting what you want done.

One of the question I often get asked is how I can produce the podcast, email and call people back and spend hours answering questions or just talking, while still being a present father and going back to school. Focusing on the things that I like to do is a big part of that. As I do, it doesn’t feel like work. It can be difficult, and I’m always busy, but it’s enjoyable to pursue. Just as Rick wants to work on building the farm as a community hub, I focus on creating the podcast to add more voices to the discussion, and on helping you, the listener. I found my calling. I love it, and whatever I have to do to keep on keeping on, I am going to.

Along the way I’ll be here to assist you, so please reach out to me if there is anything I can do for you.

Call: 717-827-6266

The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018

The next episode, out on Wednesday, February 11th, is another live recording from the Virginia trip, a conversation with Holly Brown of Island Creek Farm, perhaps one of my most life changing conversations of 2014. Listen in and find out why.

Until the next time, take care of Earth, your self, and each other.

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