In my neighborhood we are blessed to have a plethora of interesting and lovely people. One of those graceful, charismatic and interesting people is my “true blue stuck like glue” friend Anna Pearsall. Anna happens to be one of the most interesting, motivated, resourceful and creative people I know. When I moved onto Chestnut St. 2 years ago, Anna was one of the first people that I met. It was Friendship at first site, a meeting of minds. No other way to explain it other than magic! Anna continues to challenge me to evolve into a better person, get outside of my box and simply put follow through on my dreams. Do you have someone that pushes you to follow through on your dreams?
A little over a year ago Anna made a leap of faith, quitting a high stress, demoralizing, but high paying job in pharmaceutical sales knowing that she had to do something different. If Anna had stayed where she was with pharmaceutical sales she would have been compromising her morals and ultimately her health and wellbeing. What Anna did, (leaving a job in a recession with no back up plan) took guts, faith, determination and the belief that she needed to be true to herself not who and what society and family thought she needed to be. After leaving a job that was sucking her soul she decided to dedicate herself to her own passions. As it turned out spear heading our community garden in Historic Aycock last year was top of her list. Last summer, I watched Anna put in 12+ hour days getting up before the sun to water the garden . Sometimes watering could be an all day task. I watched how she rallied the neighborhood pulling in resources, getting a water hook up on the land, teaching people to garden that may not normally garden or take part in the neighborhood social events. I watched Anna’s eyes get big and sparkle every time she talked about all of the plans she had for the neighborhood garden. Did I mention she did this out of the goodness of her heart? Yes, really for someone with no job she threw herself into the historic Aycock community garden and didn’t ask for a dime in repayment. She simply wanted to bring the community together around gardening, healthy living, sustainable gardening ideas as well as teaching people how to nourish themselves.
Since last summer she has moved away from our neighborhood garden and onto other projects that might help her bring in an income and put food on her table (quite literally) one of the projects she is now working on is her own garden and Chickens! I think her mom put it best when she said “Chicken’s! Anna! Chicken’s”. Yes, Chickens! I do believe that Anna was the first to bring Chickens to our lovely and quaint historic neighborhood. Chickens were always a plan for the community garden before Anna had to move onto other projects and I’m happy to see that she did not disappoint! As our country begins to understand how important sustainability is I believe that backyard and front yard gardens for that matter will become more popular. We will remember why it’s important that knowing where our food comes from is also important. As families begin to embrace sustainability there will be more back yard chicken coups, victory gardens and coffee meetings at the local farmers markets.
I could go into why having chickens is so awesome and wonderful for yourself and your community, but I’m not going to right now. What you need to know right now is that Anna Pearsall also is wearing many hats and she inspires me to continue to wear many different hats.
Embrace your internal farm girl and go dig in the mud or build a chicken coup, you might just surprise yourself.
Anna took all of the chicken photos for this post today, in addition to being a talented gardener she is an amazing photographer. Not to mention she built the chicken coup from found and donated materials!
My hat goes off to Anna.