As we put the finishing touches on Green Bridge Grower's first greenhouse structure that we're now completing in cooperation with Hannah and Friends, it seems time to put together our Top Ten List of Hopeful Things:
1) Teachers bring hope because not only do they help us learn, but the best teachers turn the world as we know it on its head and help us see new possibilities. Our venture keeps trying to learn each day, and we see the potential of each person we meet to teach and train us. Our work has been influenced by so many great teachers, here in this community and elsewhere. Teaching and Learning = Hope!
2) Collaborations are swell! We're very grateful to those who rallied to help with specific tasks of the construction of our prototype greenhouse - Richard Chapman II from Lawson-Fisher Associates, who calculated the snow and wind loads of our structure with great precision and care, and Kuert Concrete. Our gravel floor comes courtesy of Kuert - a great foundation for us, and even better is Kuert's interest and generosity towards our work.
3) Community Pride is turning South Bend aglow and we are happy to be on the cusp of new growth and change for our city, along with so many other wonderful new projects like the renovation of State Theater, the 933 Mural Project, EnFocus, and Three Degrees of Separation. Way to go, South Bend! We're excited to step up and contribute!
4) Mentors - we love 'em! One whose help has been woven into our venture from the beginning has been Gene Cavanaugh. Gene gives generously of his time, his business expertise, and even his know-how with a hammer. Mentors help ventures go farther faster, and there's no doubt Gene's really helped us accelerate our vision. Now that's hope!
6) Plants are always hopeful...to grow and nurture a plant is indeed very powerful. We see the potential of our business to be not just profitable and sustainable, but a way for our future employees to participate in work that's healing and fruitful! What a lot of satisfaction there is out of growing food yourself and for others!
8) Pie.... is simply the best form of edible hope. Cherry, blueberry, and apple flavors may all have added to our team's waistlines, but we sure have had fun indulging. Business is hard work, but who says it can't be fun? Dishing up the pie has always been hopeful, silly, and sustaining!
9) Teamwork is a very hopeful glue to a start-up business! From our intern Lauren, to team members Shane, Anthony, Conor, Tom, Jan, and Chris, we've collaborated each step of the way to test ideas, strategies, and business models. That's made us so much stronger, and symbolizes our hope in each other and our venture.
10) Family that supports the time and energy it takes to develop a start-up business are very much hope-in-action. Our co-founders' father and husband, Jay, has cheered and supported us from the beginning -- and his love for a drill and hammer has made our greenhouse what it is. Deli, part of the GBG extended family, has been so generous with her time, help, and enthusiasm. Now if that's not a hopeful thing, we don't know what is!
Let the hope continue!