C. Braxton Allen
Current place of residence
What is your current occupation/work?
I am currently an Urban Farmer with Truly Living Well. I mainly participate in composting (pick-ups, processing, managing, application), harvesting, planting, agri-tourism, and record keeping.
When and where did you work with Maurice and for how long?
Truly Living Well May 2016 - May 2017
What kind of work did you do when you worked with Maurice?
All of the tasks I currently do at Truly Living Well (TLW), I learned how to do from Maurice. I was a greenhorn when I walked onto the farm. With Maurice's vision and encouragement, I am much more confident and empowered to make a difference. When I got on board, a system of operations and a farm culture were being established. A major project of mine, tasked by Maurice, was to keep farm records.
What kind of growth/transformation happened for you (and/or for the people you served) because of your work with Maurice?
Personally, I learned so much about farming, plant biology, compost, and business strategies, to name just a few. With this newfound knowledge I felt more comfortable sharing with community members and guests of the farm. My confidence to take on projects and to lead projects increased while working with Maurice. I see now with a different lens, in regards to life, farming, and business. I ask myself and others more questions. I try to observe and understand how all the players in an ecosystem affect each other. My view of urban agriculture has been broadened while working with Maurice. He always had homework for me to do after farming. It is a blessing to work with this man, for many reasons, though one in particular is his experience doing this work all over the United States and his willingness to share. As a team, Maurice created a culture of love and excellence. To this day, that culture remains in the team and the people who have passed through. I have never been a part of a team so committed to the mission, the community, and to each other. He empowered everyone to be leaders.
How has working with Maurice benefitted you and/or uplifted you?
As mentioned before, my confidence and motivation to make a difference are established because of my experiences with Maurice.
What would you say to someone who is interested in working with Maurice in the future?
Do not miss the opportunity. Be scared, he will push you, and that's a good thing. When you are with him, enjoy it and ask questions!!
Memories and Stories
My first text from Maurice was during a staff meeting, after I briefed the room on my project updates. It said "I want you to work with me on the farm." For me, that was the coolest thing. My contract was ending and I didn't really have a solid plan for work after. Maurice saw my potential and gave me an opportunity.
A Few Words…
The man taught me not to be afraid to taste compost. Maurice stood up to leadership to protect the farm team for our best interest. He experimented with what we grew at the farm at his house.
Maurice loves and respects all things. Do not disrespect that.