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First and Last Name

Michelle Romain

 

Current place of residence

Atlanta, GA

 

What is your current occupation/work?

I am currently in my last year as a student at Georgia State University.

 

When and where did you work with Maurice and for how long?

2016, at the Collegetown location for Truly Living Well

 

What kind of work did you do when you worked with Maurice?

Farm tours, composting, planting, building beds, soil sifting, photography, managing a work crew,created a soap making budget for TLW, landscaping.

 

What kind of growth/transformation happened for you (and/or for the people you served) because of your work with Maurice?

I came in to volunteer with Truly Living Well just to get some experience with knowing how to take care of plants for my future goals of becoming a horticultural therapist, when Maurice shook me of any of my original plans for my being there. He put me to work, hard work, almost immediately with managing his daytime labor crew along side another intern, when I had never given out orders to someone else before. Tasks like that where I was very inexperienced were continuously put before, and I would be lying if I didn't say that I was very intimidated, but it made coming in everyday into that farm exciting. I never knew what the day after was going to be like, but I did know that I would be sure to learn something new. Maurice taught me to have a lot more faith in myself and my work, and I'm much more sure about going into the field of horticultural therapy than I ever had been before. 

 

How has working with Maurice benefitted you and/or uplifted you?

Yes, I have learned about how unique and intelligent every plant that we as humans have interacted with are, and that there's much more to them than what we can just see. I am much more sure about going into the field that I have chosen and hope to continue to meet radical plant people like Maurice in the future.

                 

What would you say to someone who is interested in working with Maurice in the future?

He has the face of a mean mugged bear, but is soft like a bid ole teddy bear. Don't let him intimidate you, because like the plants he loves so much, there's much more than meets the eye. Also, work hard. He doesn't take bull.

 

Memories and Stories

I remember when Maurice and I talked in his truck while picking up this grill from the kid's summer camp, and he told me that he wanted to tell me how he thought of me. It both excited and scared me at the same time, because I had never met anyone so blunt before in my life. He told me that he thought both me and the other intern girl working with me, were crazy but it was the kind of crazy that he needed. We were crazy because we were doing work he never expected for us to be able to handle, but we were doing it with ease. That moment has really stuck with me for some reason, but I really cherish it. It makes me think that I can easily apply that so called "crazy" into any work I come across and still receive great results.

 

A Few Words…

Maurice Small is like Mary Poppins. He goes where he is needed, but only comes back when it is necessary. He takes care of those that he cares about, and is very patient. He's very much a farm dad, and makes sure that not only are his plants taken care of, but his crew as well. I have learned so much about different types of plants that can heal and hurt, and how to utilize both from him. He's a crazy plant man, but he's very knowledgeable about what he does, and I'm sure his dream of teaching people how grow their own food will come true.

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