Chatting with Christy

Written by Plant With Purpose on July 9, 2014 in General

Today we’re featuring Part 2 of our interview with Christy Mandin, this quarter’s Cultivator. 

What aspect of Plant With Purpose’s work do you resonate with most?

Along the way to becoming a farmer, I learned the connection farming had to poverty, environmental degradation, and conflict. But, I also learned the connection farming had to empowerment, sustainability, freedom, and security. Not everyone in the world is passionate about farming. Not everyone is passionate about sustainability. But those who are should be given the opportunity to live out that passion. To know the feeling that comes with being able to provide food for your own family. To experience the snowball effect intensive small plot farming can have on the individual working to break through from poverty to plenty. To know the value in planting an ordinary tree that will benefit not only their own generation but the generations to come.farmcollage

Plant With Purpose provides opportunities to nurture those individuals who need farms and need sustainability around the world. And because farming and sustainability require a bit of a local touch to be successful, Plant With Purpose utilizes the local resources in each area to get the job done. Equipping the community by utilizing the community seems to me like the purest form of sustainability. I just really love that, at every corner, they are equipping individuals to take control of their own development. They truly nurture the whole individual.

Do you have advice for people looking to uniquely use their gifts to support Plant With Purpose?

For a long time I separated my talents neatly into their own little boxes. Farming in one box; blogging in another; a box for being a mother; another for philanthropy and academics. I found myself frustrated that I couldn’t be one because of the other. Until one day I decided that, just because I couldn’t put my sociology degree to good use by traveling to Africa to conduct hands-on research didn’t mean I had to be a bump on a log. Yes, I am here with my little ones everyday in order to teach them at home. Yes, we are a one-income household and my travel expenses have disappeared. Yes, I am now a mother and my schedule has drastically changed. That does not mean that I can’t still be sociologist and farmer and mother and blogger and philanthropist. The beauty of blogging is that I get to participate in all of them on some level. I decided that while I am here, doing the important work in our family and in our garden, I can still be out there doing the important work of the world and helping with someone else’s garden. I get to tell about the work Plant With Purpose is doing across the world on a farm in Tanzania. And why it is so important. And how it relates to what’s going on here. Because it absolutely does! That’s a full-time job by itself. The beauty of the internet is that we are so connected and so able to bring about change remotely. You don’t have to fly all the way to Thailand or Burundi to make a difference. You can do so right from your computer! Blogging is a great way to engage others and participate in the work of organizations like Plant with Purpose. 

Describe your perfect Saturday.

My perfect Saturday is spent with my family, preferably on a not-too-hot day, in the yard, in a canoe, or exploring a back-road somewhere.

What are the three items you can’t live without?

  1. Mud boots: I go through several pair a year. They’re a necessary evil when venturing into a chicken coop.
  2. Flowers: I love hanging baskets and potted plants on a porch. They make me happy!
  3. Wool socks: I love feeling cozy and wool socks are the perfect way!

What inspires you in your daily routines?

Hmm. I think the “what” is more like “who”. Henry David Thoreau inspires my quest for quiet living and simplicity. Sarah Bessey currently inspires me to view my world and my faith a little differently. All of the wild-child farmers doing it a little differently inspire me to blaze my own trail.


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