By Marquart Doty
On a June 10 visit to Real Food Farm near Clifton Park, Maryland, I spoke to Dylan Moran, who’s involved with production at the farm. As we were speaking, he told me a story.
Everyday, Moran rides his bike to work. A couple years ago, he would ride to work, and every single day he would see a man sitting on a porch stoop near the farm. Everyday without fail around 8 a.m., the man sitting on the stoop would drink a “Natty Boh” beer. One day, Moran said the man had a horrible hernia attack and the farm had to call an ambulance for him.
He was at the hospital for several days, but when he recovered, Moran said, he noticed that none of his habits had changed. The beer can was still there. He was still drinking.
After a while, Moran stopped seeing the man on the stoop and wondered where he went. He eventually forgot about him.
Several weeks later, the man reappeared but Moran said he wasn’t holding a Natty Boh. He wasn’t even on the stoop.
This time, he was carrying a watering can and working on the farm. Since then, Moran he has seen him around, watering crops and working.
The change and resilience shown here is a sign of change in a neighborhood where change is occurring here in Baltimore. Often, people get caught up in a life that a lack of resources has built for them. In the past, it seems, people here never seemed to bounce back.
But now, people here are finding that change is possible.